A lot of people were closing the door on 2016 before the clock had even struck midnight on New Years Eve, eager to bid farewell to a year of loss and division, injustice and tragedy. I get it. But dammit if I can’t get closure on the year without hitting publish my annual recaps! So bear with me. I’ll keep it light.
I went to the movie theater once last year, for Finding Dory (we have got to get out more!), but we saw quite a few flicks at home. Best film award goes to Brooklyn. Shane and I watched this on our low-key-but-luxurious anniversary, when we took the day off to do the things we can’t normally do with a toddler in tow (like watch a movie in the middle of the day!). It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a romantic movie that’s not cheesy or over-sexed, but this one nailed it.
Favorite TV show:
I’m a little behind-the-times on this, but after much ranting and raving, Shane convinced me to sit down and give Leftovers a go. I’d seen bits of it as he watched Seasons 1 and 2 when they first came out, but gosh, I felt like someone was either wailing with despair or writhing in pain every time I walked by the TV. I was more interested in Season 5 of Girls and powering through the guilty pleasure that is Gilmore Girls. Finally, though, I got on board the dark-and-twisty train, and dang, this show is good. Superb acting, heart-wrenching characters, a complex weaving of relationships and time. Can’t wait for Season 3.
(Honorable mentions to This is Us, Better Things, and O.J.: Made in America.)
Weather-permitting, I try to push away from my desk at lunchtime a couple of times a week and get out for a long walk down by the waterfront. I’ll lace up my running shoes, put on my headphones, and queue up a podcast, fully reveling in an hour of distraction-free listening. I’m still a devoted Reply All listener and think This American Life pretty consistently knocks it out of the park (check out Will I Know Anyone At This Party? if you have an hour), but Heavyweight stands out a new favorite. Listen to Episode 4 for some especially sublime story-telling.
I came across Vance Joy’s Fire and the Flood when I was looking for a soundtrack to Juliette’s third birthday video and have had it at the top of my playlist ever since. It’s got that whole slow-acoustic to happy-dance crescendo thing happening that I’m such a sucker for. And in the oldie-but-goodie category, Juliette and I love belting out The Long Way Around by the Dixie Chicks when we’re bopping around town together.
I went on a week-long word game Letterpress binge, and I spend way more time than I should scrolling through Instagram, but I keep circling back to Wunderlist as my most-loved app. I know, I already sang this app’s praises in my 2015 favorites, but seriously, having one place to store shopping lists and work to-do’s and house chores and meal plans has kinda changed my life.
Favorite professional moment:
I was immensely thankful for the gracious way my office hosted Juliette on Take Your Kid to Work Day, but the real stand-out moment came right before Christmas when, with my team members huddled around my desk, I clicked Send on the final construction drawings for UW Medicine Phase 3.2. I started working on this campus 11 years ago when I was just an intern that hardly knew AutoCAD and over a decade later, I’m leading the charge on this most recent phase of UW Medicine’s development in South Lake Union. That single mouse click felt like the culmination of so, so much learning and collaboration. It’s also the culmination of a fair amount of stress and far too many mind-numbing meetings with city officials and lawyers, but in 2018, when I walk through this courtyard, I don’t doubt it will all have been worth it.
Favorite personal project:
I read a lot last year, got back into knitting once the cooler weather set in, and organized the heck out of our closets. But far and away, the most satisfying “me-time” I spent was at a four-week summer print-making workshop at Pratt. I hadn’t been in the studio since Juliette was born, and it just felt…right to be back there again.
Favorite family pastime:
I cherish my personal time somethin’ fierce, but the reality is that I would
usually sometimes prefer a day with Jules and Shane to a day alone. 2016 was chock-full of quality family time, but our camping trips stand out as my favorite adventures. I had such high hopes when we set out for that trip to Owhi campground back in June, fervently praying that Juliette would sleep well and love the campfire and walk away without any severe injuries. And although that weekend was rainy, we rocked it. Our trip to the North Cascades was incredible. Tinkham was a blast. Looking forward to busting out our mondo tent again at the first sign of summer!
And, favorite days…
2016 was good to our family.