There are so many things to say about 2016 – good, bad, ugly and memorable. In short, it was a very full year. Not just in the news and politics here in the U.S. and abroad, but in my personal life as well.
Today, I’m choosing to round out the year with the positive. As the broadway hit asks, “how do you measure a year?” While mine can totally be weighed in dinner parties, showers, and events (and this year, weekend travel) the true answer is always love.
Without further ado, my top 20 highlights of 2016:
- Starting with breakfast and friends. There’s no better way for two people who love entertaining and feeding people to kick off a new year than with a shared meal, and that’s exactly what we discovered on January 1. We’re going for back-to-back good starts this year.
- An L.A. day trip. We went to Bottega Louie before my first USA soccer match, and then met our new niece on the way home.
- Attending the Sarah Bessey interview in Point Loma. Bessey is possibly the most-influential author in my life in recent years and I could not pass up seeing her in person–especially in my favorite city.
- Coffee with Whip, please. Anytime we’re sitting down for good coffee, I order mine with whipped cream. It’s always good.
- Eclairs! I made them first for the Super Bowl, and they’re now a go-to recipe and often requested by friends.
- Rachell’s bridal shower. It was a truly lovely afternoon for toasts and celebrating my little sister. Many hands helped make it happen, and I’m certain that’s what made it sweet as can be.
- Copa America Centenario weekend. My in-laws are super generous and brought the family together for two epic soccer games in San Jose on a Friday and in Pasadena the next night.
- Boston. This was a business trip and I spent the majority of the time in conference rooms being flooded with really great information and ideas, but the nights were spent exploring a bit and eating well. I discovered that this is a really special city that I hope to visit again for fun.
- My sister’s wedding in Orlando in August (yes, that’s correct). Seeing her and her new husband with their people, their community in their element was very sweet. I’m so happy we were there to witness that. Much joy happened there.
- My husband performed the ceremony for Rachell and Alex’s nuptials! It was his very first time and he was so honored by the opportunity, and I was proud of the great job he did. Anyone need an officiant? ;)
- More soccer with more family! The day after my younger sister’s wedding, a big group of us went to an Orlando City game.
- I got promoted at the end of the spring! It had been months in the making and I’m grateful for supportive bosses and a fantastic team.
- Lots of salads with cara cara oranges and avocado! Tart, creamy and refreshing.
- Watching (and cheering loudly and via social media) friends launch creative businesses and put the side hustle out there in the universe. I love it when my people are brave.
- Visiting Sean’s grandparents at their home, where Sean grew up spending holidays, etc. It’s always special to spend time with grandparents and I’m grateful for quality time when I get to see their friendship first-hand.
- Being the Matron of Honor for my older sister’s re-wedding in October. Talk about a fun family bash! Her crew knows how to party, that’s for sure!
- That trip to New York City in October. Oh my gosh. It was a much-needed, oh-so-anticipated whirlwind weekend and everything we needed. We want to go back ASAP.
- Celebrating Sean’s birthday with a seafood platter at Herringbone. Yum.
- Painting. I’m no pro — more like a reckless wannabe artist that likes to throw paint on canvas. I don’t take this too seriously and it’s been a great creative outlet.
- Every time at the table, with friends and family or just the two of us. It’s been a good year of dinner parties, lunches, small groups and simple shared meals.
It feels good to focus on the blessings as the year closes and a new one begins, and I’m so grateful for this list. My wish is that each of us can reflect on the love and light of 2016 and enter the new year with hope and great expectation.