Jan 11, 2017

2016, Final Post


What.  A.  Month.

It started out with a bang! We headed up to NYC for my coworker Alexa's wedding.  It was a stunning wedding. She looked beautiful, the flowers were out-of-this-world and it was just all very fancy! Our boss was there as well and it was great to hang out with her on a different level.  We stayed with Bill's brother and his partner.  The day after the wedding, we got an early lunch at Totto Ramen (delicious, btw) and then walked the High Line.  Neither Bill nor I had done that before, so it was a neat experience. Afterwards, we shopped at Chelsea Market.  We packed up and headed to our bus only to find out that I had the time wrong and it wasn't leaving for 2 more hours so we met back up with the Mikes for pizza.

Then, 3 days later, Trump was elected.  I don't want to get too into politics on this blog and I am nervous to so outwardly display my viewpoints, but this is something that I cannot stay silent on. The day started out so promisingly.  Bill and I voted together in the morning, our first time ever voting together, let alone as husband and wife!  Then that night, we were in utter shock and disbelief.  We were truly blindsided.  I guess it's a result of living in the bubble of DC, but I'm not kidding when I saw we were 100% gobsmacked. I woke up that morning so excited that Hillary was going to be the president.  I know she had it in the bag.  I thought there was no question. My friends were nervous and I told them not to worry, that there was no way she could lose.  I have never been so wrong.  This isn't the first time that my candidate has lost the election, but it's the first time I have felt like this.  I stayed up most of the  night watching the results. I remember going into the living room around 10pm to tell Bill that I knew in my heart that she was going to lose.  For the first time that night, I felt fear and doom. I dozed off around 2 and woke up to learn that she had just conceded. I woke up the next morning with a sick feeling in my stomach that didn't go away for days.  The city was solemn. So many people on the metro looked the way I felt.  How we could elect someone like him is just beyond me.  I am saddened by our country and for our country, as well as the world.  It's definitely a new era we are in now.  I cried in my office as I watched Hillary's concession speech.  It took me a long time to return to feeling normal.  I have a new perspective now.  I know that our country was built on principles so that something like this can't break us.  I also know that he lost the popular vote.  The people who spoke out in the days after the election restored my faith in humanity, people like Senator Cory Booker, celebrities like Connie Britton and Lin-Manuel Miranda, my little sister who has made me so proud during this election cycle, friends and acquaintances on Facebook and in personal conversations.  I know that we will come out of this on the other side and that we will be stronger than ever.  We just have to take action and fight for what we believe.  I haven't figured out what this means for me yet, but I will.

The election dampened the rest of the month for us, but we still had fun!

We moved on Veteran's Day to our new apartment.  It was initially very exciting but we quickly noticed a bad odor.  We are still working on coming up with a solution.

Hannah & I went to the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions.  It was ok, but not nearly as good as in 2012.  It was way more of them just half-heartedly dancing around on the floor than actual gymnastics.

Hannah & I went to Oyster Riot for the 4th year and I ate more oysters than ever!! One of my coworkers and her friends were there as well as BJ, so we all hung out in one big group.  We were all low-key from the election and I couldn't drink much because I had to head to the airport at 5am!

I flew to Columbus the next day for a weekend shopping trip with my mom, her sisters, my sister and girl cousins.  It was a whirlwind of a trip but I had a blast, especially with my sister and mom.  Kyle joined us in the evening on Sunday and it's always great to have him around.

The month ended with our very first Thanksgiving as a married couple! I prepared the whole meal and I must say, it was a success! I think I'll detail everything in a later post, but I made turkey, mashed potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce, crescent rolls, green bean casserole and candied carrots.  It was just the 2 of us. We ate on our new kitchen table and put the bittersweet my dad mailed me in the center.  It was low-key, private, and perfect.

I went Black Friday shopping the next day at Pentagon City and got an awesome fur coat.  The next day, we went to Leesburg Outlets with Johnny and found even better deals!


Finally, we made it to the last month of a long year!

I turned 31 on the 3rd.  A few days earlier, I noticed that Kip Moore was playing a concert on the 2nd in Silver Spring.  I mentioned it to Bill and he bought us tickets for my birthday!  It was an awesome show. He played all of my favorite songs and there was great energy.  Afterwards, Bill took me to Dave & Buster's for the first time.  Our dinner was terrible, but that's to be expected, I gather.  We went to buy our cards to play games and I looked to my left and who was standing there but Kip Moore himself!! I nudged Bill and couldn't believe my eyes.  Then he came over right next to me to buy his card and I couldn't help myself - I told him that I was trying to be cool, but just had to tell him how amazing his show was.  He immediately hugged me, said thank you and then introduced himself to us.  We left him after that and we crossed paths a few times during the night, but I didn't bug him anymore.  I was acting low key but on the inside, I was freaking out! WHAT A COOL WAY TO START MY 31ST YEAR, I MUST SAY!!!  When I got home, I got another great surprise, an Edible Arrangement and balloons from Amy! 

The next day was my actual birthday and I forced my friends to go to the pop-up Christmas bar, Miracle on 7th Street.  We waited about 2 hours to get in, but it was well worth the wait! There were 3 separate bars, decorated to the nines with Christmas regalia! The drinks were interesting and delicious - I tried a hot chocolate one, a pine drink and one called "Gretchen, Stop Trying to Make Fetch Happen." The next day, I got another surprise in the mail -- a new coat from my Mom!

That Monday, I had to travel to Columbia, SC for work.  I traveled with a colleague and we had a great time! We stayed at a cool inn and got 3 delicious Southern meals.

Back in DC, Bill and I met up with one of my former teachers from high school.  He now works for the Vatican embassy, which is awesome.  We had a great time catching up! I hope to meet up with him more regularly.  We also went to dinner with one of my old bosses from the dog daycare who recently moved back to town. 

We went to 2 Christmas parties, one at our friend Dalton's and one at BJ's, aka our old house. We had a great time at both, but it was so weird to be back in our old house! There was a brief moment where I was overwhelmed with nostalgia and missed it, but I got over it.

Right before the end of the year, Bill bought a new car for us!  He got a silver Subaru Forrester and I absolutely love it.  He originally wanted to get a pickup truck, so I was pleasantly surprised with his choice.  It has a lot of cool bells and whistles including a moon roof, backup camera, and heated seats. 

We decided to do Christmas separately with our own families this year.  Bill left early and I was in DC for a few days without him.  I used the time to finish our wedding thank-yous and Christmas cards.  It took hours upon hours over several days, but I finally finished them and it felt so freeing to finally get them out in the mail.

I headed home to Ohio a couple of days before Christmas. Dad picked me up from the airport and then took me to lunch to celebrate my birthday!  We had a great time.  He gave me a huge bag of presents and we played some Keno and ate at Rooster's.

While home, I worked a few days, helped take care of my brother who is recovering from ACL surgery, wrapped gifts and helped mom make some snacks for Christmas Eve.  On Friday, we had Christmas at Nanny's house.  I think that she liked all of my gifts! I got to see baby Zaiden.

On Christmas Eve, we had our traditional snack party and read the Polar Express as always.  I wrapped gifts until 3AM and then I literally could not fall asleep.  I laid in bed the entire night until I watched the sun come up.  The upshot of this is that I finally finished Nashville.  What a great show that is! I'm not sure how I feel about the current season, though...

Christmas Day was great.  Everyone loved my presents, and I loved mine! My top from each person were: from Mom, a tie between my Fitbit and mermaid blanket (that she knitted!), from Dad, a cool picture of my great-grandma and chocolate caramels, from Abbie, a cool Starbucks mug, and from Davey, a lap-counter for swimming.  My top gifts given, in my opinion, were: Mom, a coach purse, Dad, a silver flask with a golfer on it from 1983, Abbie, A Women's Place is in the House & Senate sweatshirt and Davey, an authentic Hawaiian shirt that Tom Selleck wore in Magnum, PI.  Bill and I also gave everyone pictures from the wedding and a really cool photobook to our parents.

I ventured out to the Bath & Body Works semi-annual sale and got 5 candles. Grocery shopped with mom.

On Friday, I met Amy for lunch at Fusian in Dayton!  It was SO tasty.  We went to Starbucks after and exchanged gifts.  We always get each other the perfect gifts! Bill arrived that night and it was so good to see him again after so long!!

Family friends arrived on NYE and we played games and had tasty snacks. Kyle came as well, as usual. We wrote up our resolutions and this time, Bill joined!  We burnt them in the fireplace as per tradition.  We spent a lot of time working on them this year, which I will tell you about soon!  The bad part of NYE is that I got a horrible migraine halfway through.  I spent most of the time laying in my parent's bed miserable, but it was great to be surrounded by friends and family.

Well, there you have it!  Our year in a (really large) nutshell.  2016 was certainly one for the record books and I'm looking forward to see what 2017 will bring us.

Note: the below collage contains a few more pics from the rest of the year that I found and wanted to include.

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