Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2017 in review

I honestly wanted to do this in my bullet journal, but writing by hand takes a long time, so blogging will have to do. I was going to include photos, but now that Picmonkey makes you pay (and we all know I am inconsistent with blogging, let alone using photos), I didn't. If there's an alternative I should know about, let me know.

I started 2017 with a new job offer in the works, so I knew it was be a year of change. I put in my two weeks' notice in January and never felt more love from my old job. Doubleback BBQ helped the Hop Stop celebrate their first anniversary with a busy, day-long party and so many of our friends came to support the guys - it was great to see them, but I was so busy, I couldn't really enjoy them! I went to the Women's March and felt empowered and saw Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds in concert, which was wonderful.

The Super Bowl came to Houston the first week in February and took over downtown. My sister-in-law and her husband, his mom, and a friend came to stay with us and they went to the game. I started working from home and I chopped off a lot of hair. I went to NYC for work and visited Harlem for the first time.

In March, I settled into my new role a little more. I went to Lindy West's book event (my most liked IG pic of 2017, which is weird) and went a little crazy at my neighborhood's garage sale.

Our annual BBQ and Bluebonnets trip kicked off April and we found a great field this year. And had Truth BBQ (Cake. So much cake.). I also worked my first event at my new job, which was luckily in Houston. It was a learning experience for sure, but so nice to be in a place I knew.

May brought another work trip to NYC. This time, I stayed in Midtown and took a walk through Times Square solo (so many people, so not for me). I saw cute pigs and stopped eating pork for like, three weeks. I went to New Orleans for the first time (again, for work) and fell in love with a bar where you put your card in a machine to dispense however much wine you want and then pay at the end. I left early so I could come home to go to the U2 concert, a huge one off of my concert bucket list. We had an incredible spot in front of the stage and I loved that it was The Joshua Tree tour. We experienced our first Sunday Supper at State of Grace, which was among my favorite meals of the year.

For the past three years, June has meant a trip to Austin for the ATX Television Festival. We passed Damon Lindelof crossing the street, I relived my childhood via Pete and Pete, completely enjoyed the cast of Younger, and saw Adam Scott in real life. I also had a work conference in Vegas full of great swag and good parties. Andrew joined me for the last few days and despite the awful heat, we watched my beloved Bellagio fountains, finally tried Lotus of Siam, and saw the Beatles Love yet again (I think this was the fifth time?). We also celebrated one of my best friends' engagements and went to our only Astros game of the year (in which they lost miserably...).

In July, I got a new niece! Technically, she was born in late June, but I met her in Atlanta on July 1st. Newborns are cute, but they sleep so much. We had a relaxing few days with Andrew's family, and then I stayed in town an extra day for a work event. We tried to go to an Astros game for Andrew's birthday, but it was a disaster so we left for tacos instead. We celebrated a few days late with a great dinner at Xochi. I had brunch with Bre which turned into a trip to Michael's which turned into starting a bullet journal.

My nieces came to town in August for their annual summer trip. The oldest one is a senior in high school this year, so I don't know how many of these we have left. We got pedicures, took photos at the water wall, did mud masks, and went to the science museum. Andrew and I went to the Avett Brothers concert and had great, free seats (thanks, twitter). I went with him to a few BBQ stops as he worked to get through the Texas Monthly Top 50 and was a good BBQ wife. I got together with friends to Brunch and Bujo and made it into an instagram account and now a thing we have done every month since. At the end of the month, the city started to prepare for Hurricane Harvey, which we didn't think was going to really be a thing, but we were so wrong.

September was a bad month. Parts of the city were shut down due to the hurricane, but there was also an incredible amount of humanity visible all around. People were off work and kids didn't go back to school right away - everything felt a little off. Amidst all of that, Andrew's sister passed away. She had been fighting cancer for 18 months. We had one last, good, funny visit with her, and shortly after, she was gone. I don't want to sound blasé and gloss over this, but I don't feel like I want to go into it on the internet, either. But there was a week in September spent in a hospital and then helping our 20 year old niece plan a funeral so it was emotional and hard and busy.

Needless to say, I was happy to see the calendar flip to October and loved having Astros playoff baseball as a distraction. Working from home was a huge perk for daytime games and plans were made to be home in the evenings to see each one. I went to Philly for a work trip, got to meet Steph in real life, volunteered at Broad Street Ministry (such a cool org), and saw a little historic architecture. Andrew and I had a trip planned for my birthday weekend to the Texas Hill Country to stay in a cute Air BnB in Wimberley. We went to a very cool winery, a bourbondistillery, shopped in the town square, and watched baseball on my iPad from the house's fire pit on the first cold Texas night of the year.

The Astros won the World Series on November 1st and the next day, I went to Rapid City, SD for work. I was bummed to miss the citywide celebration but had a great experience learning about Native culture - attending a pow wow, putting up a tipi, and seeing the Badlands were all incredible. And it snowed a little, and I got to see Mount Rushmore. It was a cool place that I don't know I would ever visit otherwise. We had our annual Friendsgiving (Andrew smoked a turkey) and Thanksgiving with my family and then spent Black Friday getting a new Christmas tree, going crazy buying new ornaments, and having a nice lunch. I think lunch and ornament shopping may be new Black Friday traditions for us.

The year ended in a bit of a blur, but December is nearly always that way. It was nice to have fewer work commitments than I used to, but I did spend a night in San Antonio. Houston had its first snow in nine years and it was magic, but it melted way too soon. I spent weekends Christmas shopping and weekdays working from the couch so I could enjoy the tree. We traveled to Delaware to spend Christmas with Andrew's family and got to see our now six-month-old niece (way cuter now, but she still sleeps a lot). It was cold, but no snow, and it was a nice, relaxing trip. We came home and had Christmas with both of my sets of parents, and my nieces came down, which is always a treat. We kept New Years low key, going to dinner at Nancy's Hustle, which is new and casual and had an incredible burger, and were home by 9:30 to watch awful NYE specials on TV in our PJs.

... and that's about it. I feel like I grew professionally, learned a lot, and also did a lot of nothing. My friends are no longer ready-made coworkers, so I worked harder on maintaining friendships all around. My hope for 2018 is that my recap is twice as long due to the number of things I did and accomplished. We'll see if I can keep that in mind for the next 12 months.


  1. i use befunky or canva for fonts; my go to is pixlr for actual image editing (resizing, photoshop stuff etc).

  2. Ugh - PicMonkey. I used it a decent amount so I paid for it, but I'm annoyed I did. Sounds like you had a productive year! On to bigger & better in '18 :)

  3. I hate the fact that PicMonkey makes you pay for their services now! It's so annoying! And so much happened to the city of Houston this year with the Super Bowl, Harvey, the Astros, and even snow!

  4. Oh pic monkey. So annoyed by that. I won't pay either. September was my hardest month of the year as well. So sorry to hear about your husband's sister. That is devastating.

  5. To be selfish and mention this first, I'm so glad I got to see you in person this year.

    Definitely a full and busy year for you with a lot of great stuff with travel and concerts and a new love of bullet journaling plus time with nieces new and old as well as expanding your professional horizons, but also devastating lows with the loss of your sister-in-law and that Harvey.

  6. I just cancelled my picmonkey account (I did pay, but then I got Lightroom instead plus Canva which I prefer anyway and is freeeee).

    I'm working from home too, and not having readymade coworker friends is tough! I can easily go days without seeing anyone except my husband which I feel is not a good thing.


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