Friday, December 30, 2016

My Year In Review - 2016

I managed to get cards out to a handful of friends this year but didn't get any kind of newsletter or update given. I feel like most people have gotten the scoop on my Facebook statuses throughout the year but here are some highlights in case you missed anything!

January started out in Woodland, CA and Tony & I went to Roaring Springs Railroad as well as the Mystery Spot. Next was my somewhat now traditional trip to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show. I met a nice couple there who invited me to CHA in Anaheim (huge craft conference!) so I extended my trip a few more days and had an amazing time at that conference. My brain was on overload from all the new things I got to see and learn about!

In February Tony and I got to go to Kanab and crew for my friend Judy in AZ and her hot air balloon. We were so lucky to be able to stay in the Parry Lodge where a lot of famous actors used to stay. It was quite a fun festival and we are planning to go again in 2017.

March came and we were consumed with school and work but lucky for us, this was our last semester before graduating in April! Tony went to quite a few job fairs at BYU and ended up getting hired off of a LinkedIn profile by a company called Jacobs, located at a navy base in Ridgecrest, CA. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

April was a very busy month because we both graduated - I, from LDS Business College with a certificate in Social Media Marketing and Tony from BYU with a BS in Computer Information Technology. We were lucky to have some family, including parents, who were able to come down for Tony's graduation and we had a joint party that was attended by family and a few close friends. The weekend I graduated I was also attending a big blog conference called Snap, for the first time and I am looking forward to the opportunity to go again in 2017.

We were able to finally get to Gem Mountain in Montana in May. This was the first time either of us had been to this state and we were impressed by how green it was. I was unimpressed that there was no T-Mobile coverage barely anywhere. We got to visit Glacier National Park as well and the Miracle of America museum that had all kinds of random vehicles, sculptures and antiques. On our drive back to Salt Lake, we went to Yellowstone and explored the top half which we have never seen before and I got to see live bears in the park for the first time.

June in Utah has lots of hot air balloon festivals and we were able to go to one almost every weekend. We also got to go up in hot air balloons throughout the year at different festivals which was pretty special. Tony's family had a reunion in Albion, ID and it was really neat to be up there and do some new activities plus get to know his extended family better. It's one of my favorite memories of this year! We stopped at City of Rocks on the way back to SLC. 

July was a bittersweet month, Tony and I took my sister and her kids to Lagoon as a special treat and the next day Tony left to move to CA and start working for Jacobs. I stayed in Utah to continue to working and we started looking at living options for the town of Ridgecrest. We started the process of buying a house which was one of my least favorite things we've ever done but Tony dealt with more with that than I did. Before Tony left we also go to go to Bear World in Rexburg, ID which is a place I've been wanting to visit for quite awhile. It did not disappoint! If you ever get the chance to go, it's so worth all there is to do there.

In August I stayed busy in Utah with family and Tony's cousins. Went to garage sales, the state fair and a big fair in Salt Lake called Craft Lake City. My good friend Tim got married in L.A and I flew there to go to the wedding. Tony picked me up and we got to go to the La Brea Tar Pits and explore that area. Saturday night we drove to Ridgecrest so I could see the new place we were in the process of getting on Sunday morning but due to a terrible realtor who canceled us getting to see the place at midnight as we pulled in to town, I got a tour of the naval base on Sunday morning instead, as well as a self-guided tour of the outside of the house before catching a flight in Vegas later that day.

I won VIP tickets to Comic Con in September so I went to that every day after work and had a fantastic time. I also tried to get more serious about packing and doing things with friends even more since I would be moving to California soon. I also took the opportunity to go on as many scenic drives as I could, to Millcreek Canyon, Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon and others around the area. Fall in Utah was spectacular this year!

October was a sad month. We packed up the moving truck on the first weekend of the month - thanks to the help of many family and some friends who helped us load up. We made the long drive to Ridgecrest but were not able to move in to our new place on the day we were told so we spent a week and a half in two different motels in town just waiting for the keys to our new house. The most exciting day of the month was getting the keys and being able to move all our stuff from the moving truck in to our new house. It feels so cool to be a homeowner! Years of renting treated us fine but it is nice to move into the phase of owning our own house. I headed back to Utah towards the end of the month to care for my 4 and 2 year old nephews while my sister and her husband and baby girl went to Peru.

I stretched my stay in Utah in to November and went to Pinners Conference in Salt Lake before driving down to Page, AZ to meet Tony and go to a hot air balloon festival.  We went to Woodland to visit some family and friends and got to go to one of my favorite places - Apple Hill! I had not been since I was a teenager with my family so it was really neat to show Tony around and get apple donuts again and fresh apple cider. Later in the month we drove to Boise, Idaho to spend Thanksgiving with our families. The drive is now double what it was from Salt Lake but at least it's doable.

I can't believe December is here and now almost over! Eek! Boxes are pretty much all unpacked, we are collecting the things we need for rooms in our house and hosted our first couch-surfers who came down from Canada. We made some new friends and got to know the neighbors on our street a bit better when we brought them Christmas goodies. We went to Irvine for a weekend to do some errands, visit Tim and his wife + week old twin girls! and saw Rogue One. We headed up to Idaho once again for Christmas and are looking forward to what life brings us in 2017.

This year in review just barely skims the top of all we actually did in 2016 but check back to previous blog posts to see what else happened this year. Thank you to all who played a part in our lives this year, we love and appreciate you all so much. If you are ever driving through southern CA to visit Death Valley, we are not too far from there and would love to see you or have you stay the night if you would like. See you in 2017!

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