Category: year in review

2016 Year in Review

December 28th, 2016 — 11:07pm

This is my 12th annual year in review. To read past reviews, click here.

2016 in a nutshell: Exactly where we should be. Or the year we closed Tangle.

2016 was a year of joys and sorrows, life being equal parts normal, hard, and exciting. Many people on social media are lamenting that 2016 was the worst year ever, but there are enough bright, shining moments in this past year that I’ll have to respectfully disagree. Yes, there has been a lot that was hard and a lot that makes the future seem a little bleak, but there has also been so much good. Life is always good and bad, hard and easy (and hard again), bitter and sweet. I think this year proves that again and again.

For me this year has been about identity. I’ve had to take a good, hard look at myself and be honest about who I am and who I am not. I’m doing the slow, hard work to begin to trust my quiet, and timid, inner voice over the loud and screaming voices of others. Some of these lessons have been very, very hard, knocking the wind out of me in ways I never saw coming. I’ve spent too much time worrying about what other people think of me, feeling un-liked and unloved and left out for reasons I don’t understand. And I am learning imperfectly and too slowly that I have to fully embrace who I am, whether it’s liked or not, to both do my job and my life well. It’s slow work, but exactly what I need to be doing.

This fall, while driving up to the mountains to camp, we learned about the Enneagram personality test and it changed our family. While Honor’s still not quite ready to embrace the nerdiness that is the personality test, the rest of us learned so much about ourselves and each other. My results did not come as any surprise to me, but did force me to take a look at who I truly am and embrace rather than fight it.

Marriage to Josh has continued to be life’s sweetest surprise. I marvel that he loves me so deeply and that he is enduringly committed to making our life together work so well. It is the biggest joy to be on the same team. I never imagined I could find someone who would love both me and the kids like he does. It is not lost on me how beautiful redemption can be, in so many ways that you can’t even imagine.

• In February, we flew to Austin, TX to visit Josh’s mom and sister. We had a great time exploring the city and I have yet to perfect my recipe for authentic Austin BBQ beans. (But I’m getting closer!)
• Josh and I went over to Boulder with the Western Colorado teams that won our local Go Code competition while they worked on their pitches for the finals in Denver.
• We, along with Eden’s BFF, went with 40 of our closest friends to Green River, Utah to camp and raft along the Green River in our fourth annual Riverpalooza aka rPAL.
• My youngest cousin got married in Rapid City, South Dakota so we drove, via a quick trip in Wyoming to see my Grandma, to the wedding. We really enjoyed our time at Mt. Rushmore and Reptile Gardens, where we got to pet a baby alligator, and then popped over to Denver to see my sister on the way home. 1425 miles.
• A week later we traveled back to Denver so I could attend a very exciting Parking Conference.
• Took the kids to their first big concert. We were so fortunate to see Coldplay, up very close, in Salt Lake City. It was a memory we will all cherish forever.
• Josh and I travelled to my cousin’s wedding in Portland, OR. We decided to drive so we could really experience new parts of the country. We stayed in Boise along the way and were amazed by the Columbia River Gorge. We spent time along the coast and fell in love with Portland (especially the food). We got to tour our first Frank Lloyd Wright house as well as one of Oregon’s few working lighthouses. 2400 miles.
• We were back over to Denver before Thanksgiving to load up on Ikea furniture for FACTORY.

• Had the opportunity to walk the Governor around Main Street and talk to him about the things we’re doing in Downtown GJ.
• Decided, after 10 years in business, to move on to the next chapter and close Tangle. It was hard and many people were sad but it’s been the best decision. There’s a season for everything.
• Hiked the Ouray Perimeter trail with my workout buddies. It was gorgeous.
• Became the Executive Director for the Downtown Business Improvement District. A few of this year’s proud moments at my job include adding three new properties to our district and having my proposal to launch a pilot program for a parking app in the Downtown area accepted by the city. I really love my job.
• Turned 35.
• Found myself in some really sweet and special friendships that have been so meaningful to me.
• Really enjoyed making this house our own, scouring second-hand shops for midcentury modern pieces that we could afford and spending way too much time at Target.

• Moved from a shared office to his own office on Main Street. With his expanded space he was able to hire two new employees and an intern.
• Along with his partner Brian, did a fantastic job hosting the second Go Code competition for Western Colorado. (You should really watch the video, it’s fantastic.)
• Joined the Food Bank board.
• Created and launched an app called Wild Colorado that our local library commissioned.
• Discussed tech entrepreneurship in western Colorado with Governor Hickenlooper.
• Flew a plane.
• Turned 35.
• After years of working, saw his goals achieved by opening Grand Junction’s first coworking space, FACTORY.
• Got to ride up on the ladder of a fire truck to take photos during Downtown’s Tree Lighting.

• As part of her extensive orthodontic work, had surgery on her mouth.
• Turned 14.
• Had blonde then purple then blonde then blue then blonde then magenta hair.
• Had her first boyfriend.
• Won the directors award in choir (again).
• Graduated 8th Grade and started HIGH SCHOOL.
• Became a vegetarian.
• Went to her first homecoming.
• Was accepted into the Women’s audition-choir in High School.

• Stopped being a vegetarian. (Coincidentally grew several inches when he started eating meat again.)
• Celebrated the beginning of Summer by having his second annual All-Nighter with his sister.
• Along with his sister, celebrated their dad’s wedding in June.
• Got really into gaming, learning how to play D&D, Magic and all kinds of other games that his mother doesn’t understand. His favorite thing to do is meet his friends at our Downtown gaming shop to play games for hours and hours.
• Graduated 6th Grade and started 7th.
• Turned 13.
• Became a yo-yo expert.
• Started shaving.

• Participated in our first presidential caucus. I was an alternate delegate and we enjoyed learning about the whole process during the local democratic convention. The kids came along with us to the caucus and enjoyed it far less than we did.
• Bought a raft.
• Celebrated Mothers Day on the river, in the rain (again).
• Celebrated our 2nd anniversary during a lovely, quick trip to Aspen.
• Successfully grew a small vegetable garden. All credit going to our automatic sprinkler system.
• Had our hearts broken over the election results.
• Celebrated birthdays, Fourth of July, Pumpkin Carving, Pie for Breakfast, Thanksgiving and Christmas at our house. We love that it’s a party house. We love filling it with our people (and good food!).

We go into this next year of double mind. Hopeful for what’s to come in our personal lives and cautious for what’s in store for our country. We’ll be focusing in on fewer things so we can do each of them better. And we will be resting more too. We will be working on ways to help our local community, looking for common ground and practicing radical love. Peace is a word that resonates deeply with me for the next year. We will continue to pray for it and do our part to bring it, in all aspects of life.

And finally, to sum it all up:
Life is sweet. And hard. And love always, always wins.

Every Instagram photo from 2016:

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2015 Year in Review

December 31st, 2015 — 8:30pm

This is my 11th annual Year in Review. To read past reviews, click here.

2015 in a nutshell: Adulting.

2015 hasn’t been the easiest year. A lot has changed and I’ve spent a lot of time learning to trust. I’ve struggled to hang onto the the rescued perspective I gained after my divorce, dealing with loss and loneliness, struggling to forgive. While so many of my life experiences have taught me that I need to protect myself, I’ve had the chance to learn to trust Josh who has proved himself to be completely trustworthy. Marriage is proving to be something vastly different (and better) than I’ve ever known.

There have also been a lot of wins this year: we moved into our dream house, I got a new job that I love and life has really stabilized in ways that I haven’t seen in a long time, if ever. When things were so dark for me, I had this small glimpse of what life could be and it became the hope I hung onto. It was a hope that rescued me and got me through. There are so many ways that this hope has become my reality.  In ways that still astound me. The kids are the most stable they’ve been in years and are both really happy and coming into themselves. 2015 feels like it was a good solid step in a direction I’ve been hoping to head for a long, long time.

•Josh and I travelled to Denver in March for some much needed time away. We visited the newly remodeled Union Station and, as always, ate our way through Denver.
•Camped along the River in Utah during Spring Break.
•Rafted and camped the Ruby Horsethief section of the Colorado River in May. In the rain.
•Rafted and camped with 63 people in Utah for the 3rd annual Riverpalooza. In the rain.
•Went to Wyoming for our family reunion. Made 6 batches of ice cream.
•Josh and I flew to Venice Beach all by ourselves for a week of laying on the beach.
•Josh and I popped over to Colorado Springs this fall for a quick work trip and a short visit with family and friends.

•Did a little modeling for Pollux.
•Had some of my hand lettering featured on Style Me Pretty and Wedding Chicks.
•Completed a 16 week diet: the Colorado Diet. It was hard.
•Launched the Curiosity Project.
•Calligraphed envelopes for two weddings.
•Spoke at CMU to a group of students for Entrepreneur Day.
•Started a new job as the Marketing Director for Downtown Grand Junction. Was hired on later as the Co-Executive Director of the Downtown Business Improvement District. Worked crazy amounts of hours until I decided to step back from Tangle, only working there 1 day a week.
•Had surgery to remove a (cancer-free) lump in my breast. Didn’t like having surgery.
•Floated the river with Brooke all by ourselves.
•Hiked my first 14er.
•Celebrated Tangle’s 9th birthday.
•Celebrated my 34th birthday with a Low Country Boil in our new back yard.
•Along with Robin, my fellow Co-Director, presented our 2016 budget to City Council.

And Worked.
And Worked.
And Worked.
And then it was June.
•Helped bring GoCode to Grand Junction and coached the teams during the competition.
•Spoke at CMU to a group of students for Entrepreneur Day.
•Created a ticketing system for Monumental Events [insert nerd speak here], sold tickets for Juco, the Fair and lots of other events.
•Hosted a Western Colorado Startup Weekend. Had over 30 participants.
•Turned 34.
•Experienced lots of success with his business, FastPXL.
•Launched an app on the new AppleTV on day one.
•Gained lots of momentum for his non-profit tech organization, LAUNCH West CO.

•Travelled to Colorado Springs with the honor choir to perform for CMEA.
•Turned 13. Dyed her hair blue for her birthday (and consequently her skin too.)
•Got braces.
•Was voted Outstanding Choir Student by her peers in choir.
•Graduated 7th Grade and started 8th Grade.
•Decided to whip up a batch of cookie dough because she wanted some. (It’s begun.)

•Had a seriously difficult 5th grade year dealing with bullies at school.
•Trekked to the grocery store a mile away with his sister to stock up on candy and soda for their epic, spring break stay-up-all-night movie marathon.
•Graduated 5th grade and started Middle School and flourished.
•Had to take a little trip to the hospital to have a chunk of wood removed from his leg.
•Turned 12.
•Learned to play the Cello.

•Celebrated our 1st anniversary.
•Celebrated 4th of July with Brooke, Brian and fam with a raft trip and fireworks in Lincoln Park.
•Moved to a new house. With lots of space and a pool and 300 lavender plants.
•Celebrated Abigail and Donnie’s wedding and Meghan and Dustin’s wedding.
•Hosted my birthday party, Honor’s Birthday party, the Pumpkin Carving Party, Thanksgiving, Tangle’s teacher Christmas party, THE Christmas Party and Eden’s class Christmas party and Christmas Dinner at our new house.

This year ended with an unbearable sadness. We unexpectedly lost my uncle, at the age of 57, on Christmas night. He has always been such a father figure to us and we’re not really sure what life is going to look like without him. It’s hard to see a purpose in such a senseless loss and the only thing I’m able to take away from this heartache is to hug my people tighter. To take more picture and make more phone calls and to try harder to be present when I get to be with the ones I love. I end this year heartbroken but also so thankful for what I’ve had. I’m lucky to have gotten 30 years with a man who’s held the standard of what a father and husband should be. I’m lucky to have been loved so deeply by someone so very good.

Life is always, always bitter and sweet. And in the darkness I remember that the light will always overcome it. Happy New Year.

Our 2015 in pictures


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