2016 was a year full of change, challenges, and incredible opportunities. I lost my job very suddenly, Adam lost his grandpa, we had friends that slipped away, we made amazing new friends, went on as many adventures as we could, and we moved across the country just for fun. It has been a long time since we blogged, but we figured now is the perfect time to look back at the year and some of our favorite adventures and memories together.
Texas State Parks
2016 is the year I fell madly in love with the outdoors. Adam has loved being outside for as long as he can remember, but 2016 is when I realized how wonderful nature is. This year we revisited a few of our favorite Texas parks including: Enchanted Rock, Pedernales Falls, and McKinney Falls. 2016 is also the year we finally went camping as a couple and then again as a family.
Tried to find Chip & Joanna Gaines–twice
Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of Fixer Upper on HGTV, are our absolutely favorite (Can you say #MarriageGoals?!). We were lucky enough to visit the Magnolia Silos twice this past year and wow–that place is like Disney World for adults, both in the awesomeness of the place and the craziness. We never saw Chip and Jo, but maybe next time!
Unfortunately this highlight of the year doesn’t include Adam, but one really cool opportunity I had in 2016 was to travel across the US for my job as an Events Marketing Coordinator. I was able to go to the Bay Area, my birth state of Arizona (for the first time in 14 years!), Atlanta, Toronto (my first time outside the US), Florida, and Boise. Being able to fulfill my passion for travel while doing a job I love is something I am very grateful for. During my final work trip, my company laid off 12% of employees, including myself. That experience, which seemed awful at the time, ended up being one of the best things that happened to me this year. It forced me to grow as a person, taught me how to find the positive in every situation, and was the catalyst to move to the PNW.
One of our big trips for the year was visiting my best friend in DC. Neither of us had ever been before, so it was really fun to see all of the sights for the first time together. We also had an awesome tour guide to show us around. 🙂 Besides seeing the historical sites, we also did a big hike at Shenandoah National Park. I had found a 9 mile trail for us to do, called Old Rag Mountain, which at that point was more mileage than we had ever done. This hike was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences we have ever had. We had to climb rocks, overcome our fears, and lean on each other for support. We have hiked many incredible places since, but this hike will always remain one of our favorites.
In May, we headed to Chicago for a long weekend to see family. We have been together before, but this trip was extra special because we knocked off an item on Adam’s bucket list–a game at Wrigley Field. Adam is NOT a Cub’s fan, but he has always wanted to go to a game there. What makes this even more special is that we got to see the World Series winning team. Besides the Cubs game, our trip consisted of lots of good food and revisiting some of our favorite sights.
In our last blog post
we recapped our Kauai trip, so we will keep this short, but Kauai was definitely one of the best trips we have ever been on. We went right after I got laid off, so the timing was perfect. This trip really brought us closer together as a couple and brought out a more adventurous and goofy side in us. We have such a deep love for Hawaii and its culture and everytime we visit one of the islands, we feel at peace and at home. If we are being honest, one reason we chose to move to Seattle is because it is so much easier (and cheaper) to get to Hawaii from here. I see many more Hawaii trips in our future!
Life in the PNW
We had been planning to move to Seattle in the summer of 2017, but after I got laid off, we knew that it was a sign that we had to go sooner. We chose Seattle because the Pacific Northwest is very outdoors focused, which fits our lifestyle perfectly. Adam got a job very quickly and we packed up our stuff and moved in August. Moving away from family for the first time in my life was such a hard thing to do, but this experience has been so much fun so far and we know that we made the right decision to move here. We love Seattle–from the quaint neighborhoods, nearby islands, parks, lakes, coffee shops, farmers markets, professional sports teams, and proximity to the mountains, National Parks, Oregon, and Canada, we really have it all up here. We are so happy to be here and cannot wait to continue to fall more in love with the PNW in 2017!
This year wouldn’t have been so awesome without the support of our family and friends. A big thank you to everyone who has stood by our side throughout every setback and opportunity! 2016 taught us that we can overcome anything that comes our way and we are so excited to take on 2017!
I love your blogs!!! So much information and pictures…makes me feel like I am experiencing your adventures!