Category: year in review

2018 Year in Review

January 1st, 2019 — 1:20pm

This is my 14th annual year in review. To read past reviews, click here.

If I were to describe 2018 in a word, I think it would be delightful or maybe Proximity.

While this year has not been without its trials and challenges and many, many lessons learned, I leave it in utter delight. Which is a feeling I have not had for many years. It’s like the lessons of these last five years have finally been brought to a point. Or one might say all those years I couldn’t see the forest for the trees…those trees now make so much sense. Maybe that’s because I am now thirty-seven and I finally have the benefit of a little wisdom. Here’s also what I think may have happened: I think I might be incredibly blessed, incredibly lucky, and the benefactor of a very radical shift in perspective. For all of which I cannot be more grateful. 

There were hard lessons learned this year, for sure, like when I resigned from my Downtown job only to watch all of the hard work I had done for three years be undone, and for no reason other than of convenience with a good dose of manipulation on the side. I learned the very hard life lesson that what is right does not always win. And my once stalwart faith in local government began to match my (lack of) faith in national government. Corrupt people are, unfortunately, everywhere. It was a hard, and unexpected loss, that took me quite a while to work through. 

Though we certainly had our share of hard things this year, for me, there were fewer hard things than usual. Less loss, less heartache, less abandonment, less fear. And maybe all of those things were there, the bitter with the sweet, but the sweetness of this life shone through brighter. My gratitude for it continues to be unyielding.

We’ve experienced so much this year. Building a thriving tech company that Josh co-founded has been challenging, with so many important lessons, and it has been SO fun. We work with a team of 30 remarkable people and are doing work and living a life that I couldn’t have imagined. I have been fortunate to have had many amazing jobs in my life, and getting to be the COO for Proximity is right there at the top of the list, a position I didn’t imagine I would have when I started back in March and one that I now know I was made to do. 

The kids are exactly where you might think they’d be. Eden is driving and thinking about college. Honor is just starting out his high school career, figuring how who he is and who he wants to be. As a family, we experienced some amazing things and places this year, memories that are forever seared into my mind.

This life just continues to feel like such a remarkable gift and I am in awe that I’ve been entrusted with such a gift.

• We took Eden and a gaggle of girls up to the Mesa to stay in a cabin for her 16th birthday. It was snowing and magical.

• Josh and I didn’t take our usual vacation with just the two of us this year, however, we spent several weekends in Denver, traveling over both for work and fun. We had the privilege of representing Proximity at the Governor’s Mansion when we were nominated as a 2018 Colorado Company to Watch.

• We had great fun traveling with the Prox team to Denver for the Colorado Companies to Watch gala in May.

• Josh traveled to Florida and Portland and Durango for work, enjoying his time with the team. And marveling that the sun really does rise every day. (Inside joke!)

• Eden went to NYC with her choir and got to perform at Carnegie Hall. They toured the city, taking in all the important sites and several Broadway shows.

• I traveled to Portland with Brooke to explore the PNW and attend a mindfulness retreat hosted by my aunt and cousin at my cousin’s flower farm. It was delightful.

• Not long after, Josh, the kids, and I traveled back to the PNW to explore Portland, Seattle, Bainbridge Island, and Vancouver, BC. I fell in love with island-life, marveling at the ferry, the Puget Sound, Gamble Bay and everything in between.

• We camped and rafted and took solace in our mountains and nearby towns when the heat, and smoke, in town became unbearable.

• Brooke and I traveled to Denver in November to see Rob Bell finish up the last leg of his Holy Shift tour. It was a poignant time for both of us and we had a great time.

• A lot of what I did this year centered around work. I’m always happy when I have something huge to throw myself into. When I first talked to our CEO about coming to work for Proximity, my only caveat was that the position needed to be hard enough. I need a challenge. And it’s been a challenge! I’ve had the opportunity to help shape the company. I’ve done the majority of the hiring, helping the team grow from about 12 to 30 since March. I’m proud that we’ve built an entire marketing brand from the ground up, helping this company – a leader in our industry – tell our story and convey our values: that people and connection and community matter most.

• Before I left Downtown, I got to launch a project that I’d been working on for years, free WiFi in DTGJ. And I got to see the Mayor present a check to our local United Way for over $14,000, a direct result of a parking project that I spearheaded.

• Celebrated my 37th birthday on our backyard, surrounded by people who love me.

• Had my fallopian tubes removed.

• Discovered that I’m allergic to wasp stings.

• Went to my first coffee cupping. And judged a latte art throwdown.

• Broke my damn toe, which turned out to be a much bigger deal than one would think!

• Cooked so, so many amazing meals. Creating is always so life-giving for me.

• Produced and hosted Grand Junction’s first-ever TEDx.

Turned 37.

• Started building his Design department at Prox.

• Worked on several house projects. Built many awesome things.

• Got a drum set and returned to his passion after a several-year hiatus.

• Designed the graphics, posters, and programs for Eden’s holiday choir concert.

• Started to prioritize time for himself and took a little bit of time away.

Turned 16

• Won first place at the Altrusa Art Fair.

Finished 10th grade and started 11th.

• Performed her own music publicly for the first time, at an #enough rally with her fellow students.

• Got her driver’s license.

• Had her first real relationship.

• Went to prom and homecoming.

• Sang and sang and sang. In 10th grade, she was in 2 choirs. In 11th grade, she’s in 4. She also started recording her music (including a song she wrote for me!).

• Was student of the month.

• Was accepted into the IB Programme for high school.

• Attended his 8th grade semi-formal.

Finished 8th grade and started 9th.

Turned 15.

• Got his very own cello thanks to a generous friend. (Thanks, Charles!)

• Prepped our entire lavender field for spring. (for .$75/plant)

• Won a poetry contest that the library hosted.

Marched in the Women’s March (except for me because I was home sick.)

• Celebrated our 4th anniversary.

• Attended the pride festival.

• Hosted our annual Pumpkin carving party.

• Hosted 4th of July, the Prox Pool Party, all of our birthdays, Pie for Breakfast, Thanksgiving, THE Christmas Party, and Christmas at our house. Our hearts, and home, are always overflowing.

• Went most of the year without our pool. We were finally able to get the pool company to come out and replace our liner and enjoyed the last month of summer. Just in time for several pool parties.

• Had an exceptionally magical fall in western Colorado. The sky was more vibrant than usual and we had stunning weather, amazing colors, fog (!)… it was beautiful.

• Remodeled our laundry room.

• Witnessed as the kids participated in the nationwide school walkout after the Parkland shooting.

• The kids had their annual school’s out All-nighter.

• Celebrated Brian and Bonnie’s wedding on a rainy October evening and it was perfect.

• Got a hot tub! Something that connects us and allows us to unplug and be together. It’s been so awesome.

• Enjoyed a fun and wintry visit from my cousin HaLee and her husband, Dave.

We move into 2019 more rested and more hopeful than we’ve been in past years. We’ll take some downtime in the next couple of months and recharge for the wildness that will come in the spring and summer months. We’ll settle in and do puzzles and play card games and lay by the fire reading books. And we’ll also be working hard, excited for what’s to come with Proximity – I have a feeling it’s going to be something amazing. We don’t have much time left with Eden living at home so we’ll keep trying to squeeze in all of the things we want to do with the kids before she’s gone, mentally checking off the list, hoping we’ll get it all in. Our house will be full; we’ll cook and prep and plan and clean and it will be exhausting and exhilarating and such great fun. And we’ll travel, I’m not sure where yet, maybe to Alaska to visit my aunt and uncle and/or maybe somewhere else. I’m sure we’ll be checking out some colleges. I’m sure we’ll be up to the mountains and down to the ocean too. No matter what, we’ll drink it all in, hearts and eyes wide open, grateful for the gift of this life and all the people that make up the pieces of it. We are so very lucky.

Our year in Instagram.

Our year in Instagram Stories.

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2017 Year in Review

December 29th, 2017 — 4:49pm

This is my 13th annual Year in Review. To read past reviews, click here.

2017 in a nutshell: so, so busy. Or the year we bought our house.

I’m of double mind about 2017. There was both so much bitterness and so much sweetness, as life always is. On one hand it was the year that I saw the culmination of years of my own personal growth. On the other hand it was such a stressful year, especially for Josh. There were so, so many challenges and stressors and there were times that I wasn’t sure how we were going to get through it. Josh found himself with three thriving businesses and not nearly enough time to make them all work. In the midst of it all he moved his mother here from Austin, TX and she ended up living in our house much longer than we had originally planned.

We also embarked on the super-stressful process of purchasing the Mid Century house that we’ve been living in for the past two years. Let me tell you, getting a mortgage when you’re self-employed is no joke. On the other hand the kids nothing short of blossomed. They are thriving more than ever and are both just coming into their real selves, unashamed of, and confident in, who they are. Josh merged FACTORY with the coworking space in Montrose, Proximity Space, taking on the role of Chief Creative Officer in a startup that has every chance of becoming something huge. He’s doing work that he’s excited to do every, single day and it’s so fun to watch.

Year three was a hard year for our marriage. I feel like our newlywed bubble finally popped. Some days, and nights, were so hard. But in the end, we’re getting past the butterflies and heart-eyes and into the grit and heart and sweat and tears that make a real marriage. It has been so amazing to be with someone who is dedicated to fighting through whatever comes our way. And it means more than I can say that there is someone who loves me so much that he will do everything he can to never leave my side. We find ourselves at the end of 2017 stronger than ever and with a little more of that all-knowing wisdom behind our eyes that only comes from having walked through fire.

The best word that I can use to describe myself this year would be Solid. Sometimes we grow in inches, or even millimeters, and sometimes we grow in leaps and bounds. This year was leaps and bounds and it happened in ways that seemed so easy, like the final pieces of a puzzle clicking into place. Some of the experiences that I had, I’d still rather not have had, but I was able to use them to connect the lines to lessons I’ve been learning over these past several years. I’ve come to really know that the only way any of us truly fill the holes in ourselves is only with ourselves. That no one else can do that for us and we will always be needy and searching until we understand that. This year I learned to stand up for myself, to have confrontation (so much confrontation thanks to my job) and to trust myself. I just really do feel so solid. I’ve found that there are times in life that we let life happen to us and there are times what we make our lives happen. This year I chose to make my life happen.

In 2017 I learned to Look Up. It started with a phrase that continually rolled through my head. And every time I heeded it I was astonished. Sometimes all we need is just to interrupt ourselves, to see, actually see, where we are. Sometimes the only solution is to get some perspective and to practice thankfulness. And sometimes those astonishing things are just there as a gift. Reminding myself to be thankful and to take in this gift that is the earth beneath my feet has been transformational. Seeing that everyone and every situation in my life is there to be my teacher has changed my whole perspective. When I remember this, when I practice this, I get to live in the fullness of who I truly am. And that makes life, even when things are bitter, so very sweet too.

We didn’t stray quite as far from home as we usually do but we did take a few trips over the mountains to Boulder and Denver for GoCode’s Mentor Weekend. We camped in Moab during spring break and spent a day exploring Arches National Park. (For as close as we live to Arches, I’m ashamed to say this was everyone’s first time.) I joined a group of our friends to float Ruby Horsethief in May while Josh took some needed downtime and the kids went to Mexico with their dad. We camped and floated on the Moab Daily section of the Colorado River outside of Moab, Utah in June for our 5th annual Riverpalooza (rPal) with our dear friends. And we only camped once more on the Grand Mesa before school started. Josh and I travelled to San Diego for my birthday in September where we spent everyday laying on the beach and got the chance to snorkel with sea lions after climbing cliffs in La Jolla. We took a day trip to Aspen so Eden could attend the college fair (yes, we’re already at THAT life stage). Aside from that we managed to sneak away into a mountain town or two a few times throughout the year.

• My job continues to keep me on my toes with big challenges and successes, especially in the area of Downtown’s public parking system (aka the “P” word). I saw a lot of successes in my marketing efforts and saw our district thriving more than it has in years. I struggled to not take criticism and crazy people personally but learned to hold things loosely and focus on the good work that I’m doing and the ways that I can make things better. Public service continues to be of constant fascination to me and I am never, ever bored.
• Turned 36.
• Had an op-ed published in the newspaper.
• Started hosting my own monthly radio show on our community radio station.
• Hiked the lower and upper monument trail (12 miles) with my workout girls in May.
Lost my grandmother – my dad’s mom in February.
• Made some dear new friends after reaching out over Instagram to some like-minded ladies. We now get together monthly in my kitchen to create.
• Got to pet TWO Great Danes. (life dream)

• Participated with 5,000 other people in the Women’s March down our Main Street.
• Turned 15.
• Went to her first Winter Formal and homecoming.
• Performed a solo during the Solo/Small Ensemble week the school district hosts.
• Played golf on her high school golf team.
• Got her permit.
• Got her braces off.
• Finished 9th grade and started 10th.
• Got accepted into the Show Choir along with continuing in the advanced women’s choir.
• Busked for the first time on Main Street.
• Performed 18 days in a row during Christmas with her two choirs.
• Wrote a book.
• Posted her first video on YouTube
• Got a new cat named Leo.

• Saw his coworking space, FACTORY, really thrive after their soft opening in December 2016. The grand opening party saw hundreds of people. It has been so cool to see how this community has embraced this new (to us) concept.
• Josh and his partner, Brian, merged FACTORY with Proximity Space with it bringing them 5 new business partners, two more coworking spaces, new friends, and a kick-ass company that provides hardware and software for managing coworking spaces and communities all over the world.
• Hosted the Western Colorado portion of the Colorado Secretary of State’s coding competition, called Go Code, at Factory in the spring. We sent two teams to compete in the finals in Denver.
• Turned 36.
• Started winding down his company, FastPXL.
• Perfected his smoked brisket recipe.
• Built an amazing wood plank wall at FACTORY.
• Started going to Montrose once a week so he could work in-person with the Prox team.

• Continued to spend a lot of time honing his card game playing skills at our local game shop. His new favorite game is called Star Wars Destiny.
• Took over running the after-school D&D group at his school.
• Anchored the weather on his school’s news channel.
• Turned 14.
• Grew taller first than his sister and then taller than his mom too.
• Got braces.
• Finished 7th grade and started 8th.
• Really turned into a hard worker, helping his mom a lot during Downtown Events.
• Started a political satire blog.
• Learned to solve a rubix cube in about 4 minutes.

• Celebrated my Grandma’s 90th birthday and my family reunion (mom’s side) this year at our house. We had so much fun with cousins and aunts and uncles playing in the pool and lounging in the back yard.
• Added a new honorary member to the family when my event coordinator, Caitlyn, lived with us for a couple of weeks while she found a new place to live. She’s become like a little sister to Josh and I and a big sister to Eden and Honor.
• Celebrated a pool party with all the Proximity business partners, a back-to-school pool party with the kid’s friends, pumpkin carving, Thanksgiving (including Pie for Breakfast™), THE Christmas Party, and Christmas Day at our house.
• Participated in the Inside-Out Project, taking poster-sized pictures of ourselves and pasting them up, along with 250 other community members, on the outside of FACTORY in support of the Dream Act and all of the Dreamers in our country.
• Voted in two local elections, losing the first and winning the second. Feeling hope start to seep into this community that has historically said NO to everything.

We go into next year with a plan to rest more, to focus in on the few things we know we’re supposed to be doing so we can leave behind some of the frantic and stress from 2017. We will keep remembering to #lookup and take a minute to learn the lesson and see the gift that is before us. We’ll paint some walls and change some things in our new house now that we own it. And we’ll focus in on the teenagers because we are realizing just how little time we have with them before they embark on adventures of their own. And we’ll continue to always, always be thankful for this life – this redemption – that we have, knowing just how precious it and just how lucky we are that we get to live it together.

Au Revoir 2017!

Every pic I posted to Instagram in 2017:

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