Category: year in review

2022 and 2023 years in review

February 8th, 2024 — 7:53am

This is my eighteenth and nineteenth annual year in review. To read past reviews click here.

If I were to describe these past two years in one word or phrase it would be life and death.

I’ve struggled to write this over the past month, trying to remember everything that happened and trying to see it all through a beautiful lens. The truth is that 2023 was the hardest parenting year of my life and on top of that we did two rounds of layoffs at work and two people we loved died.  Most of this happened in January so I never had the space to sit down and write about 2022. In reality, I don’t know how to write about it all even now because I don’t know yet how to make sense of it all. So instead I’m going to write about the shining moments, both good and bad, that describe it as best I can.

It’s early January 2023. We find out right after Christmas that Eden is pregnant. We’re still reeling from that shock and we have to do some really painful layoffs at work.  At the same time, my family is here to say goodbye to my grandmother who is in the last days of her 95-year life. This feels especially raw, we lost my aunt to cancer the year before. I’m running myself ragged planning and cooking meals for everyone. In my enneagram two-ness it feels important to make sure everyone is fed, a way to show my love. A way that I’ll later realize is how I buy love.  In her last days, my grandmother is in rare form, wittier than usual, funnier than usual, and without filter. I hate that my core memory of her last days is of being hurt by the things she said to her grandchildren. Intellectually I know that these words came from a place of love, but emotionally it’ll always stand as a beacon, a reminder that her religion kept a wedge between her and me. Everyone leaves and I am exhausted and a little bit shellshocked. Carrie calls and says she’s jumping on an airplane. She needs to come lay eyes on me, even if just for 48 hours, to make sure that I’m ok. I feel so loved and seen and cared for, feeling a little bit saved by one of my oldest and dearest friends who knew I needed someone to come give me a hug.

It’s September 2022. I’ve got it in my head that Hardy needs a dog friend, an idea I can’t let go of. I’m still not sure how this happened, but we started out wanting to foster a Coonhound and came home with a Weimaraner/Great Dane/American Staffordshire Terrier mix with high energy, separation anxiety, and a good dose of dog shelter-induced trauma. He turns our life upside down and we question continuously if we’re the best fit for him. We also fall in love with him. We spend a Europe-trip’s amount of money on dog training and embark upon a new way of life, helping Hardy be a better-behaved dog too. We learn that it’s never a good idea to buy a dog for your dog. We still love him. We still aren’t sure if we’re the best fit.

It’s a Thursday night. Brian is dying and there’s not much time left. One of his final wishes is to drink some really good whiskey, something the cancer in his liver hasn’t allowed him to do for a long time. We buy the best bottle we can afford and toast him over Thai food. We all cry talking about what he’s been through and how much we love him, how much so many people love him. It’s the last time we’ll ever see him. I’m so glad that I hugged him when I walked in. Josh will always regret that he didn’t. Brian battled stage four cancer for almost three years and died at the unfair age of 45. He was such a good man. We’ve lost so much.

It’s January 2022. Dexter has been sick and has slowed way down. He needs too big of a surgery and we don’t feel it’s fair to an old dog body to put him through that. Honor loves Dexter the most and has been sleeping with him every night for years. He’s the one who makes the decision that it’s time. I’m so glad that I don’t have to force this upon him. The vet has strict covid rules still in place so we all can’t go inside to be with Dexter as he passes, only one person at a time. Honor chooses to go. He’s only 18. I hate that he has to go through this. We bury Dexter wrapped in his favorite blanket next to the garden. We Facetime Eden for our little burial service. This is the first big event that she hasn’t been home for.

It’s December 2022. We drive to Aspen and eat at our favorite Italian restaurant. I always get the seafood risotto. It’s so good. Aspen is glittery and the kind of cold that takes your breath away. I am utterly delighted. We walk the streets and then stand in line at the Belly Up. We see Marcus Mumford perform in a room so small he wraps up his set with a couple of unamplified songs, just his voice and a guitar. It’s beyond magical. I cry. It feels like church but without the guilt. He skips the charade of the encore. We drive home in the snow, the only car on the road, high on the beauty and magic of the night. It was perhaps my most favorite thing that happened in 2022.

It’s May 2023. Josh and I have been doing a round of therapy together.  Something clicks for Josh about his childhood experience that makes things make sense for him in a way it never has before. All of the pieces get reordered and it changes our marriage forever. I grieve the time we’ve spent with things being harder than they need to be. But maybe it all happened as it’s supposed to. Loving someone long-term means forgiving a thousand times. Laughing and crying thousands and thousands of times, constantly evolving together or waiting while the other one catches up. Loving each other long-term can be so brutal, so beautiful. It feels like such a worthwhile endeavor.

It’s June 2023. Eden is in the hospital for a week with early labor, pumped full of all manner of medication. I thought the babies would come early, but not this early. Contractions finally stop and she goes home and we also drive back home. She is back in the hospital before we even made it through our five-hour journey. We’re packing, ready to leave again at a moment’s notice. We decide we’ll take our new (to us) Airstream with us so we have somewhere to stay while we’re there. It’s Monday morning and she’s calling to tell us her blood pressure spiked and she’s having a C-Section. We’re on the road when the babies are born. I am terrified for Eden’s life. The babies are 29 weeks. We’re grandparents, Birdie and Pops.  Eden suffers not only a difficult pregnancy but leaving her babies behind in the hospital. They do remarkably well in the NICU and come home 60 days later. She’s such a good mother, displaying a grit that makes us both amazed and proud. The babies continue to thrive. We love them.

It’s the end of summer 2022. We travel to Denver for a two-day concert with friends at Red Rocks. We laugh and eat good food and love having VIP access. We wander through the Red Rocks museum, finding the shows listed on the walls that we’ve been to before. I find my first concert ever, DC Talk.  It’s October and we drive to Denver again for another concert. We’re seeing Metric, Josh’s favorite band. He has the best time he’s had all year, taking beautiful pictures, immersed in the music. It’s my 42nd birthday and we’re at the Hollywood Bowl to see the Lumineers. Ten years before, on my birthday, we’d watched them at Red Rocks with the Colorado Symphony and Orchestra. Because of that, it’s even more magical.

It’s spring of 2023. I’ve been at Proximity for five years. I’m the COO, the second in charge. I’m good at my job. We’re in DC meeting with a company that will white-label our product. The future looks bright and hopeful. I’m sitting in a meeting and get called “young lady”. I go to a 1:1 meeting in another room and the man I’m meeting with tells me, “Don’t worry, I know you’re married.” At that moment I reach my limit of being the only woman sitting at the boardroom table, being ignored, talked down to, leered at, and, in general, undervalued. It’s been a long time coming.  I’m very valued by the rest of our (male) C-Suite, but I can no longer work for an all-male board. I stop wanting to be in the tech industry where the patriarchy rules and I’ll never win by being myself. I want so badly to work with women. It’s October and we have to do layoffs again. I choose myself to be the first to go. I earn more than half our family income and I’ve worked so hard to build so much of this company, it has built so much of me. It doesn’t matter. It’s time. It’s time for what’s next.

It’s early 2023. Honor is on a gap year and decides he wants to pursue the literary arts. He gets a job working at the library. He isn’t qualified for the job but he gets it anyway and blows everyone away. More than once I hear from library board members about how much Honor has impacted the organization. Everyone is sad when he leaves to go to college. It’s August 2023. He’s packing up everything he owns and we drive him to Denver. He’s starting school, making a life, being braver than I ever was. It’s harder than any of us expect and he soldiers on for several months but decides to come home for a bit to reset. Life is harder for these kids who came of age during the pandemic.

It’s summer of 2022. Carrie arrives in her camper with her two boys. They post up next to the house for a month. We have the BEST time, even though Josh and I finally get covid. We sit for hours and hours by the pool, the boys swim, we catch up. We grill oysters with shallot butter and they are amazing. It’s reminiscent of when Carrie and Seth lived with me after I got divorced.  Gosh, we miss living in close-knit community. It’s the best summer we’ve had in a long time.

We travel. Each year we visit our regular Airbnb in Santa Monica, walking to our regular coffee shop each morning for breakfast, sitting on the beach at least once a day. We go to NYC on the train after our DC trip, it’s so close we can’t pass it up. We eat dinner from a halal cart in Central Park, we wander Brooklyn, and ride the ferry past the Statue of Liberty. We drive to the PNW and visit friends and family. There are horrible wildfires and I feel terrible the whole time. We switch up our plans and stay on the coast an extra night, loving our Airbnb with its own private beach and clean air. I am continuously dazzled by the Pacific Ocean whenever we’re that far north. We drive to the front range more times than I can count. We spend a week pretending we live in Denver, having the best time, eating the best food, soaking up the culture, feeling surrounded by people like us. We see the babies as much as we can. They are so darling.

It’s spring of 2023. One thing that is so clear to me is how much I value beauty and what a valuable pursuit beauty is. It isn’t something frivolous but something that brings meaning and delight to the world. I know that what I’m supposed to do is make beautiful things and make things beautiful. We continue to renovate our house: finish up the kitchen remodel, update our bathroom, tile our fireplace, redo both hallways, make the kids’ rooms into well-appointed guest rooms, build new pool fences, build a cabana and continue to make our property an oasis. We buy a 1976 Airstream with great plans to make it perfect. I grow loads of flowers. Nothing makes me feel more delight than believing I’ve had some small part in making something so utterly magical, so utterly beautiful as flowers. We start a complete overhaul of my 1/4 acre garden, scraping the whole thing, making a blank slate to build what’s next. It will be amazing.

It’s Christmas 2023. Eden and the babies are coming. Honor is home. I’ve been not working for a couple of months so I have fully transformed into an Elf. I’ve loved every minute of it, wrapping presents, baking an obscene amount of cookies, handmaking gifts, diving deep into all of the tiny details. I feel creativity seeping back into my veins. I can’t wait for the babies to be here, to spend hours on the couch snuggling them, memorizing their nearly identical faces. I am so proud of Eden, she’s working so very hard to care for them. They’re thriving. I love having the kids back together, they are completely silly around each other and it’s endlessly entertaining. I can’t wait. Josh will have a minor foot surgery after Christmas and we will spend the rest of the year lying around. It will be lovely.

None of it’s perfect, but it’s a rich life we’ve built and are continuing to build. The kids are starting to build their own too, doing it their own way, finding their own path. Sometimes it feels like it’s happening so fast, other times it feels like life is so long. It’s so hard sometimes but it’s also so, so beautiful.  I’m thankful for all of it. And it’s all happening the only way it could.

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2020 and 2021 Years in Review

January 2nd, 2022 — 7:40pm

This is my sixteenth and seventeenth annual year in review. To read past reviews click here.

If I were to describe these last two years in one word, you’d not be very surprised: COVID … or maybe division. 

For two years now we’ve lived in a pandemic. I remember thinking in early March 2020 that I hoped the lockdown would last a full month. That may tell you how completely spent I was and how very thankful I was to be stuck in my house, forced to slow way down. It’s hard to remember what it was like to wish for that because all I wish now is for it to be over. It’s kind of hard to imagine what a return to normal would even be like at this point. These last few years have been so hard. I’m sure that is true for almost every single human on earth.

I entered 2020 knowing that we had precious little time left with the children at home. I’ve had these specific ideas about how that would go and what it would be like. We would celebrate their graduations. We’d move them to college. We’d enter into the next phase, freshly into our 40s and ready to start the next chapter of life anew… Both children are now finished with high school but other than that not much has gone according to plan. But also: we got so much extra time with them, all stuck together in the same house. That is something we will cherish always.

In the early months of the pandemic I spent my time furiously sewing masks for healthcare workers and friends. My final total was right at 400. I distracted myself by turning our 300 lavender-plant labyrinth that we inherited when we bought the house into an insane flower and vegetable garden. Though I’ve always grown at least a small salsa garden, I’ve never grown so much at this scale. I love the magic of growing plants, everyday finding something to be delighted by. And I LOVE, love, love growing an overabundance of flowers. In 2020, I canned and canned and canned the bounty my garden, setting us up with a stocked pantry that will last well into 2022. I 2021, I gave the veggies away, feeding about a dozen families.

The last two years have been marked by more sickness than I would like. At the end of October 2020, I suffered a concussion by falling out of an inversion table onto the top of my head.  Nearly a year of post-concussion syndrome followed. And I finally figured out why I always feel so terrible but no amount of medical tests could show a reason: A chronic inflammatory condition that’s triggered by a genetic susceptibility to mold. That condition got much worse before it started to get better just a couple of weeks ago. I really struggled these last few months with managing feeling so sick and trying to hold everything together. It can be very hard to deal with an invisible illness.

Eden graduated, we moved her to college, then home again, and then back again to Ft. Collins. Though her graduation ceremony didn’t happen until mid-summer, we celebrated with a drive-by party where we had friends and family drive down our driveway with banners and balloons, stopping for us to hand them milk and cookies and send their well wishes through rolled down car windows. It was actually perfect for an introvert like Eden. She’s doing well in Ft. Collins, working full time and about to start part time at the community college there. We miss her, but are so thankful that she’s thriving.

Honor got to act in one final play at the beginning of his junior year and just recently finished his high school career. He’s hated these last two years of school and we were happy for him to finish up early and get out of a place where he felt he so clearly didn’t belong. We’ll celebrate however we can in May when he will walk with the rest of his class in a graduation ceremony. He’s now a barista, working at a progressive coffee shop in town. He continues to be obsessed with board games and has turned into quite the photographer. We will see where he goes with his new freedom, but I suspect that it won’t be long before he takes the step to live on his own.

Josh hosted TEDxGJ just days before we went into lockdown. The event went great and he was so grateful to get to host it—if it had been a week later, he and his fellow organizers would have lost a lot of money. He took a small corner of our garage and turned into an office. He went through a bit of an internal transformation in 2020, using the downtime to work on himself with a therapist. In 2021 he was diagnosed with diabetes which he reversed in three months by making a major diet change. I’m so impressed with the discipline he’s learned in these past few years and so grateful for the man he continues to become. He completed a massive project for work that frankly took too much out of him. He spent a month this year on sabbatical resting up and recovering from the huge push that changed, for the better, the future of the company.

We traveled, a lot in the first 3 months of 2020 and then not as much after lockdown. Before COVID took hold we went to Denver for the Gen XYZ awards ceremony and then back a few weeks later to take the kids to see the spectacular Monet exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. Josh and I went to Charlotte, NC to meet with a company that Proximity acquired and then right to Wyoming for my 99 year old step-grandfather’s funeral. Eden and I went to Little Rock, AK with a few other choir kids and their moms so they could perform in an honor choir just a week before lockdown. We had the best time wandering the city, utterly charmed in the most unexpected way. After lockdown started, we spent time in Denver, masked and distanced and a little sad. The city was such a shell of its normal self, boarded up from riots and empty because of the virus.

Josh and I traveled to Portland and Seattle after we were fully vaccinated, emboldened by our newfound freedom and so grateful to visit dear friends and family and finally stretch our wings again. We also took the kids to L.A. for some much-needed beach time, enjoying what it’s like to vacation with adult children, each of us doing whatever sounded fun for the day, coming together for meals and having zero expectations of who should do what and when.

What else?

  • We brought home the most adorable coonhound puppy, Hardy, the dog love of my life.
  • One of us got Covid though all of us are vaccinated—making the case relatively mild. (Can we talk about how relieved and thankful we were to get vaccinated?)
  • We’ve walked into stage 4 cancer with some very dear friends. The feeling of helplessness to watch people we love go through this is unrelenting.
  • We celebrated when Trump lost the election and wept when the capitol was breeched. We also wept as we saw black lives taken, one after the other, in ways that have happened for years and years and years. We continue to do our best to understand privilege and our unintended biases and fight for the those that have unfairly been forced to live in the margins. We have much to unlearn and much to improve.
  • My now 94 year old grandmother moved here from Wyoming.
  • We lived through a kitchen flood; a major remodel of our kitchen, bathroom and bedroom; complete mold remediation; and some necessary and beautiful upgrades to our property and exterior of the house. I loved designing everything—it was such an important creative outlet for me. Now that all that’s about done, we probably want to move. We need to live in a place that loves us and these last pandemic- and politically-fraught years have shown us that this community that we’ve poured so much into is just not that into us. We’re tired of being so lonely.
  • Josh built an online directory of hot springs across the country called Drench.
  • Eden is now 19, Honor is 18, Josh and I are both 40. We’ve now been married 7 years.

I’m not sure that I can say that I enter 2022 as evolved as I had hoped to be by this point, by the time I was 40. I regret some of this time languishing through the pandemic, wishing in hindsight that I would have made more of every second. But that’s hard to do when you’re walking around with an emotional sunburn, being so sensitive to the touch. (A friend once described going through the pandemic that way and I think it couldn’t be more true.) Nevertheless, I can say that I still grew. That I learned and became and endured. And I am proud of that.

In 2022 I want to not be sick. Not be lonely. Not be afraid of other people getting me more sick. Not be angry at those who follow Jesus but ignore his teachings to love their neighbor.

I want this world to love. Love each other, love the planet, love me, love the marginalized, the widow, the orphan.

I want joy to be the theme. I want to live in hope and not despair. I want to make and grow beautiful things and spend every moment delighting in all of it, the bitter and the sweet—in this gift that is life.

Happy New Year! 

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2019 Year in Review

December 31st, 2021 — 12:54pm

This is my fifteenth annual year in review. To read past reviews click here.

If I were to describe 2019 in one word it would be growth or possibly college.

I struggle with what to say about the past year and instead keep finding myself with clarity about how I am leaving it. It was certainly not the year I had imagined 365 days ago. 2019 met us with unexpected trials that, at times, seemed insurmountable. But in trial and pain is where we find our best teacher and in those moments growth comes exponentially rather than linearly. And even though much of the year was hard, it was also so full of joy. I know that my perspective slipped a few times, but I was able to regain it by using the tools I’ve amassed over these 38 years. In knowing myself more, I’m able to see the times that I need to send myself to a quiet moment in the early hours of the morning with a journal, a cup of coffee and a resolve to find the light.

I’ve now been the COO of Proximity for a little over one year. What I’ve learned about operating a tech startup is that there is no manual for such things. We have to blaze the way and figure it out as we go and resolve that as we learn, we will make better mistakes tomorrow.  I’m learning how to keep our collective gaze firmly on our goals, that work is supposed to be hard, and that 24 hours is about all the radio silence I can expect to have from this growing company. I often remind myself that not many people get this kind of opportunity or this view of the world and I am constantly grateful for what I’m learning.

Generally, when people have caused me harm it has been because of their own brokenness and without intent. But towards the end of this year, we had the unique experience of a cruel, vicious and intentional undoing of something precious to us. I’m not even sure what else to say about it other than this is my resolve: I will not let hate make me hate, I have a deep believe that karma knows what it is doing, and there is beautiful redemption in even the worst nightmares.

Our children are almost grown and we’ve enjoyed them immensely this year. There is a special delight in watching (not-so) small humans step into the fullness of who they are.  I feel so grateful for the people Eden and Honor are becoming and also so proud. It is amazing to watch evolution in action—the generation after us building upon the lessons we learned to be more evolved, more emotionally intelligent and full of wisdom.

This year was about college. While Eden was searching for her perfect fit, FACTORY was moving from our downtown location to the campus of CMU. It’s been fun viewing this whole other world, imagining what life will be like for Eden in 9 short months and at the same time experiencing a bit of campus life ourselves.


  • Spoke on three panels about my work and being a woman in business.
  • Hiked quite a bit – mostly with Brooke. We celebrated her 40th birthday on the Oh Be Joyful trail in Crested Butte.
  • Traveled for work to Dallas, Chicago, and Denver to train one of our enterprise customers.
  • Took some of the team to Denver to tour coworking spaces.
  • Created food and hats and quilts and pickles and jam and tinctures and hot sauce (with my cousin!).
  • Turned 38.
  • Traveled to Casper, WY with my cousin to visit our grandmother.
  • Was nominated for the GenXYZ awards and is in the top 50 finalists.
  • Participated in the Christmas Crawl and sold hats and napkins.


  • Performed in Chicago
  • Got a tattoo
  • Turned 17
  • Had a summer internship at Proximity
  • Finished her junior year and started her senior year
  • Got accepted to many colleges and chose CSU.
  • Baked a lot.
  • Made it into several honor choirs.
  • In a series of necessary life lessons that I’ve been working on with Eden and her friend, learned to make jam, lasagne, a hat, pie crust, and candy cane cookies.


  • Got his permit
  • Became a marketing and dev intern at Proximity. (Gave himself the title of Head Dev Intern.)
  • Finished his freshman year and started his sophomore year.
  • Starred in The Odd Couple
  • Started competing in League
  • Turned 16
  • Spent quite a bit of time learning to cook.
  • Hosted many, many game nights with his friends.


  • Produced the 2nd TedXGJ event.
  • Built a beautiful patio in our back yard.
  • Had the most challenging year of his life.
  • Built a beautiful wall in the new Factory location.
  • Started rock climbing.


  • Celebrated five years of marriage
  • Started meal prepping every Sunday so we could eat healthy food throughout the week.
  • Escaped to Denver a few times for some much-needed downtime.
  • Snuck in a few extra days in Chicago so I could see Josh’s old stomping grounds.
  • Visited Canyonlands national park.
  • Hosted two Proximity dev retreats at our house.
  • Survived the moth invasion of 2019.
  • Celebrated the 4th of July with some of our Proximity pals in Ouray.
  • Camped in Crested Butte for Brooke’s 40th.
  • Joined a wine club.
  • Took the kids to the college fair in Aspen.
  • Toured three front range colleges with the kids.
  • Hosted our annual Proximity Pool Party, the Pumpkin carving party, Pie for Breakfast™, and The Christmas party.

I leave 2019 knowing more of who I am. I’m resolved to take from life what I want from it, to work a little less, stress a lot less and keep my gaze firmly on gratitude and joy.

Note: I wrote this in 2019 but it’s remained unpublished until now. I’m not exactly sure why I never hit publish, but here it is!

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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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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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2014 Year in Review

December 30th, 2014 — 5:12pm

I’ve been writing my Year in Review since 2005. You can read past year’s reviews here.

2014 in a nutshell: We got married. Or we moved.

2014 saw some of the biggest changes we’ve experienced in life. Josh and I got married. A couple months later we moved out of the house the kids and I had lived in since 2001. Moving was (hopefully) one of the last big consequences of the divorce. I stopped running the free clinic for the church due to budget cutbacks and our community really changed. 2014 felt like for everything I gained, I lost something equally as valuable.

I’m going into the new year living life a little slower than I have for the past several years. I’m shifting my extra time towards Tangle and really focusing on taking care of myself and my new little family. I’m finding myself more content with what I have, learning to sit with loneliness and not run from all of the feelings that come and then go. I spent some time in therapy this year, working through all the “leftovers” that have come up now that I’m safe enough to deal with them. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that I do the best when I let my heart be broken for the world around me and focus on all the good I have. Thankfulness and hope are the “drugs” that get me through. I’ve also learned that the value other people communicate to me does not have to speak louder than the value I find in myself. It’s been a season of boundaries and pendulum swings that are settling me right in the middle of where I need to be. I’m learning to trust myself when all I’ve ever been told is that I can’t and shouldn’t. It’s been work, but it’s been worth it. It’ll keep being worth it.

•Josh traveled quite a bit for work doing tech support for some new technology (iBeacons) he implemented for one of his conference apps.
•We took a few trips to Denver to soak up the city and shop for wedding clothes.
•We honeymooned in Denver, San Fransisco and San Diego. It was relaxing and perfect.
•We got to hang out on the Green River for the 2nd annual Riverpalooza.
•Had our second annual family reunion at my grandma’s place in Wyoming.
•Went up to the mountains to celebrate my cousin’s wedding just a few weeks after ours.
•I rafted/camped with all the boys over Labor Day Weekend.

•Lost both of her pet rats to sickness. They’re buried in the backyard of our old house next to her pet snake, Lightning.
Wrote a beautiful and heartbreaking poem about her family.
•Turned 12. We celebrated with a plethora of giggly girls (not) sleeping in the living room.
Grew taller than Carrie.
•Was awarded the Directors Award for all of 6th grade choir.
•Graduated 6th grade and started 7th.
•Dyed her hair hot pink.
•Sang her first solo.
•Learned how to play the guitar.
•Dressed up as Strawberry Shortcake for Halloween.

•Graduated 4th grade and started 5th.
•Had a seriously hard time with moving out of the only house he’s ever known.
•Turned 11 and celebrated with his buddies in our new family room.
•Became a pescatarian.
•Dressed up as a ninja for Halloween.
•Competed in his first Lego League competition.

•Through my new little company, Kindred Creative, I got to design the menus, including a custom font, for my favorite restaurant, Bin 707. I also got to design several wedding invites/suites, logos, postcards and other business marketing materials. So much fun.
•Got to tell my redemption story at church with this video.
•Started working on my personal manifesto.
•Spent most of the year sick with sinus infections. I think my body was finally done with the extreme stress and fast pace I was living at.
•Talked about vulnerability on Carrie’s podcast, Honestly, Dear Listener.
•Started running Downtown Coffee for the church after we got back from our honeymoon. We’re open just on Sunday mornings. It’s so fun being a barista.
•Spent some time with Elliott when his mama was super sick with her second pregnancy. Got him to say my name.
•Turned 33.
•Dressed up as a vampire for Halloween.
•Had fun with the girls at the 2nd Flower Potluck.

•Developed some really cool apps. One for Oprah, one that tracks the People in Space and one that allows you to email reminders to yourself to name a few.
•Spoke at The West Leadership Conference.
•Designed and developed the new website for Downtown Grand Junction. It was a fun collaboration with me because I’m on the marketing committee for Downtown GJ.
•Became a parent to two kids in one fell swoop.
•Turned 33.
Shaved his beard for his Halloween costume. It took me two weeks to recognize him.
•Built a heated dog house for the dog and cat to share.

•Got engaged.
•Established a family tradition: Sunday Morning Breakfast
•Also established “family dinner” with Seth and Carrie on Thursday nights.
•Designed some killer invites for our wedding.
•Got married on a perfect June day with all of the people we love surrounding us. There was great food and drinks and candles and balloons and twinkle lights and flowers in my hair.
•Packed up our little, yellow house and moved a mile away to my favorite Main Street. Now we live on the same street as Tangle, just 10 blocks away.
•Celebrated our Pumpkin Carving Party –  abbreviated this year with just a few friendies.
•Hosted THE Christmas Party, giving Amy a break. Our new house was perfect for celebrating.
•Celebrated real hard when our terrible neighbors moved out. They were the only downfall to our new house.

•Got some cute, new shirts. (designed by me!)
•Took out our first loan and expanded our fabric.
•Got a new sign.
•Hosted our first pop-up shop with 3 Leaf Floral.
•Installed our temporary knitted art installation, Knit on the Corner. Then had it all destroyed by a “prominent” member of our community. Really.
•Turned 8.
•Got an Instagram.
•Started advertising on bus benches.


Our Year in Instagram:

Some of my favorite tweets from 2014:
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2013 Year in Review

January 1st, 2014 — 4:40pm

(I’ve been doing this since 2005.)

2013 in a nutshell: Bittersweet. High highs and low lows. Or the year that I learned to trust again.

2013 was my most bittersweet year. I started to see redemption that I had previously only hoped for, not knowing exactly what that hope-realized would even look like. I also saw nearly everything in my life balanced carefully on a precipice, about to fall, about to be lost. My faith and ability to hope eluded me for awhile and things got really dark. I spent over a month in constant tears, lashing out like a wounded animal at everyone who tried to help me. Even with everything that happened with my marriage, I don’t think that I’ve ever dealt with so much fear. Because of everything that happened with my marriage, I had to relearn how to trust. It was hard.

Somehow I forgot all that I’ve been through. How I begged God to save my marriage but what he gave me was something so much better. I forgot to be thankful for what I’ve been through and for the huge lessons I’ve learned. I think that even though all this time I’d been choosing to trust that things would be ok, I’d still been secretly believing that good things don’t happen to me. Too many difficult things built up and I stopped hoping that things could ever be better. I found myself more afraid than I’d ever been, feeling like I was going to lose it all.

I think this was all triggered by my fear of trusting Josh. When the newness of the relationship wore off and we started to face a little reality, I started to realize that the last thing I wanted to do was risk my heart again. I have a customer at the yarn shop who once told me about her divorce. She told me it took a full seven years before she was over it. I couldn’t believe that at the time, but now, halfway into year six, I’m seeing how many layers of loss and healing there are to peel through. But getting over a person and the way it tore my family a part seemed easy compared to letting myself risk it happening again. Relationships are such a relinquishment of power. Scary. And it’s been hard to see this relationship with a fresh lens rather than through the lens of my past.

To top it all off, the kid’s dad broke up with his girlfriend of 2 years in the exact way he ended things with me. Nearly to the letter. There were flashbacks that I never wished to relive. The kids had to go through anther divorce-like situation, having someone move out, losing again. It was really hard to watch and completely out of my control.

Josh has been everything that I had ever hoped for but never knew was possible. He has been constant and steadfast, never wavering in his love or commitment to me. I know that it has been very hard on him to see me struggle, but he did exactly what I needed him to: He proved his love over and over again. It wasn’t fair, but it was exactly what I needed. He had to fight for my trust, but he’s earned it, completely. He’s done the same thing for the kids too. There were really difficult moments with them, but he was just as steadfast. He proved over and over to them, too, that they were loved, he was there for them and that things would be good.

We’ve had some amazing moments, bright and shining in my mind that have made the whole year worth it both with our community and together. I think about moments when his eyes would get all sparkly and I would know I was loved in ways that are still so foreign to me that I still can’t quite believe it’s actually true. I’m finally letting myself believe that I’m loved and on the same team with someone and that redemption is happening.

• We took the kids on their very first airplane trip to California. They got to fall in love with the ocean and Disneyland. We traveled up the coast to visit my friend Joelene and her family, stopping at every beach along the way. My friend Amy once told me that she starts to get itchy if she doesn’t see the ocean every year or so and now I feel the same way. I nearly cried when we left Hwy 1 and headed towards LA, craning my head for one last look at the ocean.
• in July we headed to Wyoming for the Thompson Family Reunion, the first on my mom’s side. Even though I might be the black sheepiest of the whole family, I was the only one who could manage to get everyone together. It was a significant time for me, looking at all my heritage, connecting to cousins that I haven’t seen in years and learning from my Uncle, the original black sheep, how to fit into my family.
• Went with Brooke and the kids on our annual Spring Break trip to Ouray.
• Josh and I went to the front range to see Churchill at the Ogden Theater and Shiny Toy Guns in Colorado Springs. Then for my birthday we got to see The Lumineers at Red Rocks.
• Camped with Caleb and Rickelle at Champman Dam Campground above Reudi Reservoir.
• Camped with 25 people in the desert, along the Green River for the first annual Riverpalooza.

We celebrated
• Eden’s 11th Birthday
Carrie’s Baby Shower
• Eden being accepted in the Challenge Program
• Valentines day with a homemade brunch.
Easter with lunch at Aunt Annie’s house.
• Caleb’s birthday
• Carrie’s 29th birthday.
• Brooke & Gunnison’s birthdays
• Rickelle’s birthday
labor day weekend at the lake with Seth and Carrie
• Honor’s 10th Birthday.
• My 32nd Birthday
• Fall with two trips to the corn maze. One with the adults at night and one with the kids during the day.
• Josh’s 32nd Birthday
• Halloween with a pumpkin carving party and trick-or-treating downtown.
• The birth of my new nephew
• Thanksgiving at home with my mom and our traditional pie for breakfast followed by a hike.
• Seth’s 30th birthday.
• Early Christmas with my sister and her family.
• Christmas at our house with our first real tree.
• Brian’s birthday
• New Years Eve with poker at my house full of people we love.

• I participated in the 21 Day Challenge twice, losing a decent amount of weight and body fat each time.
• Helped Brian plan and pull of The West, a one day, local leadership conference.
• Instituted a super-silly duck face week.
• Started to question some of my theology. This was a huge year for really examining what I believe and why.
• Started doing some design work on the side, got to design the billboard for Downtown Grand Junction and all of the holiday ads plus a bag for farmers market.
• Mysteriously injured my ribs in June and was unable to lift weights at the gym for the rest of the year. Cried about this more than once. Also, gained 10lbs.
• Knitted a whole slew of hats to sell at some of the local shops around town.
• Started doing a teeny bit of public speaking for the Good Samaritan Clinic.

• Instituted bimonthly date night trips to the nearby hot springs.
• Attended the first two meetings of the West Slope Supper Club.
Had a baby. Ok, Carrie had a baby. But he’s mine too.
rafted a lot
• Took the twinzies to the aquarium for their 4th birthday.

• Moved to Grand Junction to live closer to me. (a block and a half away to be exact.)
• Rented out a super cool office with Seth.
• Learned a little something about phpmyadmin from ME!
• Got a new tattoo for his birthday.
• Established himself as a member in our little community, making everyone fall in love with him.

• Saved up for a helicopter so he could fly one like Josh and Seth.
• Turned 10.
• Adopted some crayfish that he kept alive for several months until they tragically died when we got the house sprayed for black widows.
• Got glasses.
• Learned how to ride a bike.
• Took huge steps forward in his behavior and his general adjustment at life. I blame Josh for this.
• Got really into Minecraft and learned all kinds of things about programing and servers.

• Graduated from 5th grade.
• Started wearing adult sized clothes and shoes
• Turned 11
• Started middle school and started wearing (occasionally) makeup.
Made a website.
Sang the cups song at the school talent show.
• Had her first out-of-raft experience on a rapid in Glenwood Canyon. But Brian was with her and everyone lived.
• Got bit by a bug during Riverpalooza and got really sick with a high fever and really swollen bite. Was treated for Lyme disease. Still alive.
• Got accepted in to the honors choir at school. (Not her brothers choir, the choir for kids who are really good.)

• Josh helped me build a new headboard for my room and wire up a chandelier that I had found at a yardsale.
• Dug a legit firepit for the backyard.

• Had a little makeover as we rearranged the shop.
• had underwater themed windows for the summer. The most loved of all of our window designs to date.
• Installed Knit on the Corner for the 4th year in a row.
• Celebrated our 7th birthday.
• Struggled a little bit through the summer as all of downtown felt the delayed effects of the economy but came back through fall and winter really strong.

Good Samaritan Clinic
• Decided that we didn’t want to continue to pay high rent for the clinic so moved a couple times into donated spaces.
• Hired me on as official staff at the church to run the clinic as my official role as Director.
• celebrated our 2nd year of offering free medical care to our community.
• Saw 430 patients.

Every picture I posted in 2013:

Created with flickr slideshow.

Some of my favorite tweets from last year:

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Year in Review 2012

January 13th, 2013 — 7:49pm

(I’ve been doing this since 2005.)

2012 in a nutshell: Life and more life. or All of the things. or The year I got addicted to caffeine. or I became a football fan.

I’m not quite sure how many times I wrote in my journal, THIS is the final step in my transformation. At this point, I’m pretty sure that there isn’t a “final step” and that I’ll always be changing and growing. But 2012 saw lots of steps for sure. 2012 was, for me, about being alive. I got to live more life and experience more things in this year than I had in the previous 5 years. This was the year where I started really dating, quite a bit, having so much fun and a little heartbreak too. I fell in love (a couple of times) and started to see what I actually had been missing all of those years prior. I got to answer some big questions about what I wanted for my future and started to hope that I could have all of the things I couldn’t ever imagine for myself, but my friends promised me were out there. I very solidly reveled in my second chances, knowing that I was rescued from SO very much. Also, I learned to be content with where I was rather than hope for what was to come.

2012 was also about community. I got to walk through some very significant things with several of my friends. It was good to be the person giving instead of the person needing. We saw the expansion of our little community, welcoming some bright and shining people who have added so much. I realize over and over again how special this group of people is and how very loved I am. And so safe.

Looking back, I can say that 2012 was the happiest year of my life.

We celebrated:
• Eden’s birthday
Danielle’s baby shower
• the Kentucky Derby at Amy’s
• Caleb’s Birthday
• Carrie’s birthday in 3 parts:, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
4th of July with Brooke & Brian and their kids
• Megan moving to Africa with about a week of parties
• My 31st birthday with a huge party in my backyard
• Halloween with a pumpkin carving party and then a costume party the following night
Thanksgiving at my house with the whole fam and Josh.
• the birth of Amy’s third baby.
Christmas, decorating the house for the first time ever
• Christmas with the community at Amy’s Epic Christmas Party
• Christmas for my employees at Tangle and Christmas for the clinic volunteers at my house
• New Years Eve with poker and friends and special videos

• Shoshone twice
• In town once, with the kids
• Moab daily once and invented Riverball in the process.

celebrated Easter for the first time
• Went to church camp. It was Honor’s first time.
• took Dexter to compete in the Wiener dog races. He lost.
• adopted a pet black widow for a couple of days
• went to Denver on the train for our Christmas Break get-away.
• moved into (part-time) a house with their dad and his girlfriend and took a lot of comfort in the stability it provided
• learned how to paddle the ducky when we were camping at Reudi Reservoir

• recorded the silliest song with her dad
• turned 10 years old
• spent an evening in the ER getting staples in her head
• ran a 5k with Girls on the Run
• was rewarded with a pet snake for keeping her room clean for an entire month.
• experienced true loss when the pet snake died
• graduated 4th grade and started 5th
• got a pet rat to replace the snake. Then got another pet rat to keep the first company. Penny and Paris respectively.
• played basketball

• wrote some poems
• also became a football fan
• graduated 2nd grade and started 3rd
• turned 9
• got really good a building legos
• also playing Mindcraft
• had a hard time adjusting to the changes in his life
• got a best friend

• became a football fan
• sewed 2 quilts
• was in a commercial that Seth filmed for the church
• started to learn to fly fish
• discovered beer-garitas
• helped Seth direct a commercial for Pollux
• Got away with Amy, Rickelle and Carrie for a life-changing retreat in the mountains.
• judged the “Heritage Arts” section of the Mesa County Fair for 4H
turned 31 with a huge party in my backyard
• went away to the mountains for the weekend on a retreat with the church staff
• went to my first Broncos game with Brooke and watched the Raiders LOOSE!
• celebrated the 1 year anniversary of being divorced.
• went away with a bunch of friends to Powderhorn for the weekend to “help” Seth shoot a promotional video.
• participated in, and won, the 21 day challenge. Lost 7lbs in the process.
• got a boyfriend. The first since I was 18.
• painted the windows for the church’s upcoming coffee shop
• learned to snowboard

• got a letter from our Senator thanking us for our hats for the troops project.
• sponsored Knit on the Corner for the third year
• had some pretty epic windows
• turned 6 years old
• celebrated the end of the year with 15 teachers and staff!


• began a badminton league which consumed many of our evenings and weekends until it got too cold
• instituted Football in the Garage, moving my TV to Caleb and Rickelle’s wood stove-heated garage every game so we can all watch together
• said goodbye to Seth and Carrie when they moved to Ft. Collins and hello to them when they got pregnant and decided to move back home
• did dreamboards with the girls

front steps got a new coat of paint
• gave the backyard a total makeover, installing a path, lots of wood chips and contributing a large pile to the City’s landfill
• planted a garden
• rearranged my room for a new bed

Good Samaritan Clinic
• consumed a large part of my life as we got it running smoothly and on the road to financial sustainability
• moved into a new home which required an intense week of set-up and organization.
• I became the Director of the clinic in August.
• operated one free clinic a month.
• introduced a video that Seth made about the clinic to the city.
• ran multiple fundraisers each month: farmers market booths, concerts, hot chocolate booths, donation boxes, church presentations
• launched a partnership program designed to create financial sustainability
• passed the 500 patient mark

Some of my favorite tweets from the last year:




























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