Well 2016 was a thing wasn’t it? You hear about everyone complaining about it being “the worst year ever” or “could 2016 get worse?” or even people setting up a GoFundMe page for someone to go protect Betty White till 2017 (they raised over $3,000.)
And while there is a lot of “bad” that happened in 2016, there was also so much good that happened! At least in my life there was. So! Here is some of my highlights from the best year yet: 2016.
Well when the clock struck midnight on December 31st, 2015; I was in the most exciting place ever to ring in a new year. not. Due to a delayed flight, my family and I were in a hotel room in Los Angeles…
Yeah no. Anyway…
Later in January I had my “first” official date with Matt which was amazing.
Few days later I hit my Golden Birthday! What better way to celebrate turning 19 then with a sleepover in a fort!
February held a few adventures, including going on a ride-along with Everett Police Department, which was an amazing, adrenaline pumping experience!
Then on Valentine’s Day, a day I previously had never really enjoyed, my valentine gave me some pwetty pwetty flowers. (and yes I spelled it that way on purpose)
A few other things happened in February like me becoming an accidental serial cat killer… whoops… and then later in the month, my sister Liz and her boyfriend, and Matt and I went to a Rend Collective concert which was an amazing night full of worship and dancing!
March started with me being sick as a dog, cramming to finish a research paper only to find out in class the next day that the due date got pushed till the next week… still a smidge salty bout that… (ps i’m told being salty equals being butthurt or annoyed. so yup fun fact)
Later in March, I embraced my hairdresser side and dyed my sisters hair. It was a bonding experience.
Spring Break I flew out to visit my best friend Caroline, and many fun times were had!
April started with donating blood, getting my veins complimented, agonizing/dying a little every day in Math class, and then finding out just how ungraceful I am by going ice-skating for Matt’s Birthday! (and yes, that’s his smolder and this was also before I fell on my rear about 58 times)
ITS GUNNA BE MAY
In May, Liz, Lauren (or more commonly referred to as bro) and I went color running! I love the Color Run because it’s not timed (yay), while there is a few legit runners the majority is just people out for some fun (yay), you get covered in powdered paint every kilometer (yay), and after the race, you get to go party and covered in more paint (YAY!) so overall its just the funnest thing to ever do!
The before pictures…
And the after!
Then later in the month Matt and I went to a friends birthday party and danced the night away! or well we tried to at least…
Then later our family and the guys went up to Mt. Baker National Park to attend my cousin Michelle’s wedding! We had a little cabin up in the woods with a hot tub which oh man… it was amazing… until you had to get out and run into the house before you froze to death.
At the end of the month, Liz and I volunteered at Camp Gilead’s 5K River Run which raises money for camper scholarships! It’s always a super fun day filled with me jumping up and down cheering people on and basically getting the same workout as actually running the 5K! (in picture from left to right; Liz, me, and Alex)
And then before the race started, I got the rare privilege of driving Jack’s golf cart! Which if you know anything about Camp Gilead, you should know that not just anyone gets to drive it. I was very excited.
Well June rolled around and on the 4th Matt and I celebrated our 6 months of adventuring together!
A few days later had me swamped with finals and ready to just table flip every table I saw. But I settled with burning all of my math homework which was quite therapeutic let me tell you!!
Then it was graduation season! A few of my friends threw a party and of course I couldn’t resist the photobomb opportunity… sorry not sorry guys….
For Father’s Day we went to go see Finding Dory where we laughed till we cried, and then some of us just cried…. (I’m looking at you mom…)
And then, well the greatest part of 2016 started. Over the summer I worked as a camp counselor at Camp Gilead, and it was one of the most amazing, enriching, growing experiences of my life. (This is not sponsored by Camp Gilead I promise)
At the end of June, we had a week of staff training, where we played games, learned about policies, and altogether had an absolutely amazing week making friendships to last a lifetime!
After a very short weekend we got CAMPERS!! And thus started the craziest week of my life! While I was insanely nervous about counseling my only 5 campers, it turned out to be an awesome week with crazy dress up days, water wars, and jumping off a diving board more times then I ever had before in my life. I also got to know my fellow girl counselors a lot more, and I can’t even describe how much of an impact this camp made on me.
July was full of trying to stay awake on Sunday mornings in church, and then driving back to camp in the evening for staff worship and meetings. Monday mornings we welcomed day campers, had breakfast and then went back to our cabins to wait for our campers to arrive!! The rest of the week was filled with skits, chapels, singing and jumping and singing and jumping, and swimming and crafts and archery and boating and dirtboarding and riflery and the super duper comfortable not at all painful slip’n’slide (so much sarcasm in that phrase oh man). Friday nights were campfire night where we got to hear about important spiritual decisions the campers had made that week, which is always very special and encouraging to everyone! Saturday mornings were quite bittersweet with saying goodbye to my campers and looking forward to that nap I got to take in the afternoon!
I also got to lead my campers in a Bible study every day, and I loved answering all their super random questions about anything and everything! When your campers grades range between Grade 3 and Grade 12 depending on the week, you can imagine the topics we covered! And yes, dinosaurs were discussed… Job 40:15 is a popular verse for that one.
So as you can see there was a lot that happened! lots of messy days, and fun staff meetings in the mornings, and amazing campfires every Friday night.
There was also a week of Family Camp in July which was so much fun and a totally different week then the others! We also got to be in a parade!! It was so exciting! I forgot to princess wave, and definitely regretted that about 2 minutes in when my arm already hurt…
August had 2 more weeks of campers, and then a final banquet for the staff and their family. I must admit I cried more that summer than I think I had before in my whole life. Lots of happy tears, lots of sad “I’m going to miss you” tears, and lots of “ow I fell down the hill again” laughing tears.
This picture is of my sister and I on banquet night, and we were quite happy to finally see each other again! (and yes I know, I have quite the tan lines… that’s what 8 weeks in the sun does!)
A few sleep filled days later, our family was off to Paris, France for a short vacation there before taking a train down to Venice, Italy to meet up with my dads side of the family where all 15 of us took a Mediterranean cruise! We hit up 2 cities in Croatia, and 4 cities in Greece! When we got back to Italy, we spent another few days there before flying back home! It was truly an amazing trip and it was so much fun spending time with our cousins and grandparents!
Here are some pictures from our time in Paris:
And then pictures from the Cruise!
These are from Zadar, Croatia:
And then Split, Croatia:
Then from some places in Greece:
So that wraps up August! Truly a trip of a lifetime!
September started with me cleaning out some super lovely freezers…
And then starting my second year at Everett Community College!
All in all, a pretty uneventful month but still good times were had!
In the beginning of October, I got to be on the front cover of my schools newspaper which was kinda exciting!
Then for my Geography class we had a field trip to the middle of nowhere to do some super important data collecting… not the funnest way to spend the weekend… and then back in civilization everyone was bracing themselves for “THE STORM OF THE CENTURY” which ended up being the biggest embarassment to weather forcasting agencies everywhere. Meanwhile in the middle of nowhere, WE WERE IN THE TYPHOON!!! at least there was a double rainbow to make it less miserable.
Took my doggie Gracie for an adventure which was thrilling!
Then I got to experience carving a pumpkin for the first time which was truly an experience let me tell you! Oh man… the guts…the knives falling on my feet…it was so fun…
Near the beginning of the month I discovered I am not a big enough person to donate double red cells, but I am perfect for platelets donation! so a giant needle, and 70 minutes later I got to see what platelets and plasma looks like! Fun fact; plasma is yellow!
Had a small camp reunion for the High School campers, which turned into a small “family” reunion for me and my “family” from camp!
Top picture is from during camp, and the bottom is at the reunion minus Jono aka the brother.
Thanksgiving!!! A wonderful night filled with laughter, good conversation, and games! So that concluded a very fun November!
December 4th was Matt and I’s anniversary of dating for a year, so to celebrate, we got a betta fish!! His name is Maraschino and he’s kinda crazy.
And then later that day, he took me out to very nice dinner! It’s been a crazy adventure with him, and I am so excited to see what other adventures we have together!
Then finals week hit. And oh man did it hit. 5 finals later me and my bro were quite happy to be done! I couldn’t have made it through the quarter without her! She makes me laugh all the time even when I’m benching and then I almost die which is awesome.
And then it SNOWED!!! I was very excited. So Liz and I went outside and frolicked to our hearts content!
And then on Christmas Adam (the day before Christmas Eve) it SNOWED AGAIN!! All the happies were had and I loved it!
In our house, my sister and I have a tradition of sleeping under the Christmas tree every Christmas Eve! It’s so much fun and this time we caught the giggles and oh man it was hilarious.
And then when we wake up; IT’S CHRISTMAS!!! After church, we took a picture of us all fancy like, and then 2 minutes later I was back in my PJ’s ready to open presents!
One of my presents from my parents was tickets to go to the Science Center to go see the Sherlock Holmes exhibit and oh my goodness it was so much fun!! Matt and I solved the crime, and then went to the butterfly house and ahhh I found my little friends.
Then 2 days later, my mom and I flew out to Florida to have a short vacation with my grandparents! I love every opportunity I get with my family whether it be in another state, continent, or just at home.
Not to mention there are beautiful sunsets and beaches here…
And with that; that concludes my year! If you made it to the end, congratulations you’re a trooper that’s for sure!
I hope you all have a wonderful New Year’s!! Be safe, have an adventure and here’s to the next greatest year ever!