December 31, 2016

2016: a year in review

2016. You were one hell of a year. (One that I would really prefer to never have to relive ever again, if that's alright by you.) 


I started this year chasing pink clouds through bitter cold wind and got weird looks from my coworkers and told them to "shut up because I'm chasing clouds."  I tried to take a picture a day. I got an apology from Cody, almost ten years after the fact. Still kinda blows my mind, tbh. 



Justin and I started binge watching Deadliest Catch and buying all the DVD's off of eBay to start our collection. We spent all of our spare time together and somehow didn't get sick of each other. It was a good bonding month for us and reminded me of how strong our relationship is. 



One day after work I went to McD's to get coffee and sat in the park. And then I started doing it almost every week all spring and summer long. It became an essential ritual of self care for me this year, and I will always love coffee for providing me with a sense of comfort and home. 


I turned the big 2-4 and celebrated by scrapbooking at Cristin's. Justin and I celebrated three years of living together. I took my like 7 days of paid vacation off from work for my birthday week and went home just for the weekend to see my family. My dad took me to the Oak Creek Diner and we went to the airport where he worked to change the steering wheel on his Monte from the classic dealer wheel to something a little more race car, just like dad loved. I'm beyond happy that we got to spend that time together, just the two of us, and I will never forget that memory of us hanging out in the garage one last time. 



Life felt full. I was enraptured by little things, like sitting in the backyard with all these purple flowers and feeling completely at peace. I went flower hunting in the Shopko garden center every time I was sad because I knew it cheered me up. I was focused a lot on trying to tame my anxiety. 



This month was good and bad all at once. I went to the beach with my friends and drank cheap beer and we laughed our asses off at nothing. It was one of the best days. But I also called my dad to with him a Happy Father's Day and got the news that he was in the hospital with a spot on his liver. That spot on his liver was Small Cell Lung Cancer that had metastasized to his liver and spine. He never got out of the hospital once he was admitted. The last time I saw my dad was at the end of June. I cried because he was being so strong and I couldn't keep myself together because I was so worried about him. He told me he loved me and to be strong. 


I got new glasses for the first time I was a freshman in high school! I took a lot of flower pictures and went for a lot of walks around South Park. Went to the beach + Wendy's and to the fair with my beans. I was happy. 



Aka the worst month of the entire year. The last time I talked to my dad was August 3—every time I called after that, his phone went straight to voicemail. He passed on the 17th and from there on out it was a constant headache of grief and family and funeral planning and STRESS. The only good thing about August is that Justin and I celebrated 4 years together. 


I said goodbye to the POS, Ponyboy, my Alero that my dad got for free and fixed up for me whenever it broke down. That was a major moment for me—doing something car related without him, and I know he's happy that I bought a Chevy. I listened to a lot A Day to Remember and Mayday Parade to try to cope with my grief. I started watching Scandal on Netflix. 


Justin turned 30 this year. I did the adult thing and finally got myself a checking account! But the event that overshadows everything else is the loss of Justin's brother, Kerry, on the 27th. It's a loss that everyone in his family is still trying to recover from. 



I voted for Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. I drank a lot of coffee and snuggled with the Mew cat. I went home for Thanksgiving and my mom gave me the best Christmas present ever. A quilt she had made of my dad's shirts and hats and the knees of his work jeans. I will cherish it forever. I got to spend time with Bryce, doing our usual hoodlum activities. And I got to watch the GILMORE GIRLS REVIVAL with my best friend. 



This month has been quiet. Christmas didn't feel like Christmas this year. Usually I'm on of those people who leaves Christmas decorations up until New Year's Day to enjoy the magic a little longer, and this year we tore everything down on December 26. We're all tired, I think. So much loss this year has drained everyone's spirits. 

Here's to a bright, hopeful 2017. xo


  1. Anna, I am very thankful that we were able to spend time together this year; even though it was to grieve the loss of your Dad and my brother. Im thankful for you and I am looking forward to a 2017 that is filled with hope, life and love. Cheers to you, my sweet niece 🍻😘

  2. Anna, I used to read your tumblr, and I hadn't stumbled across your blog for a long while. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your dad and Justin's brother. It made my heart hurt for you and want to swathe and swaddle you in comfort from across the ocean. You are a brave and remarkable human and I hope you are finding it in you, even in grief, to rise strong. I have always had this feeling in me about you that I know you can, and so I'm praying for that over you now - to be exactly who you are, unhindered, fully known, fully felt and fully flourishing. You are wonderful, dear woman. I hope you know you have exactly what you need within you, and that the light shines on you today in exactly the way you love. Thinking of you, Katie x