2016: Joy in Review

My word for 2016 was joy. It’s a strange one to look back on right now. This was a hard year personally, in addition to all the global shit that happened. And yet, I did find joy in this year.

first 10k

first 10k

In January, we ran our first race together – LA’s Run to Remember honoring fallen first responders. It was an excellent event, particularly for a first year race, that let us run through Paramount Studios. It also got me excited for the year of running to come. We  took the time to visit the Museum of Natural History to check out the mummy exhibit, which reminded us both of how much we like exploring.

new car

new car

February brought with it our one year anniversary of moving to LA. It’s still hard to believe that it’s now been two years since we left the USAF and moved to SoCal. We took B’s car in for a brake job and walked out with a new car. I also finally painted our living room, though I still need to finish the touch ups.

vegas baby

vegas baby

In March we visited Vegas for B to run the Baker to Vegas relay. His team took third in their division. It was a quick trip, but we managed to squeeze in a Penn and Teller show amidst all the race activities. We also were finally able to have our concrete patio poured – something we had been working on since the previous November. It was nice to take the first step of turning our patio into usable space.

img_2941-1April saw us return to Vegas less than two weeks after our initial visit. We had originally planned to spend that weekend in San Francisco, but changed our minds last minute. This time we drove out to the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam. We also visited the Neon Museum and the Mob Museum. Instead of hitting any shows, we just wandered the Strip during the evenings.

img_3052In May we visited with B’s Dad and hiked up a hill that just the previous year had been painful for me. This time, even hungover and post a 5k run, it seemed easy. It was a great NSV for my fitness, to realize how much my overall health had improved since I started running. We spent most of the month at home though, staining the patio and taking on a lot of organizing projects. Slowly but surely we turned our house into our home. I took on the challenge of running at least a mile every day, and ended up only missing two days in the month – it was a great rejuvenation for me with running.

img_3221June was a most excellent month. My parents came out to visit for my birthday. It was the first time we got to host both of my parents and we had a great time. We took them (and Loki) to the dog beach at Huntington Beach, went hiking at Griffith Observatory, and puttered around Manhattan Beach. At the end of the month, we took a weekend trip to San Diego with B’s parents and enjoyed playing tourist.

img_3376July was a quieter month. Over the July 4th weekend we trekked up to see the Trail of Giants in the Sequoia National Forest. My cousin came down a bit later that month and we ventured to Laguna Beach. It was awesome to reconnect with her and for both of us to finally meet the other’s husband.

photo-aug-14-13-46-16 August was the month I had been dreading most this year. B left halfway through the month to do a month in Colorado for the USAF Reserves. Before he left, we made the most of him having extra time off. We went hiking in Palos Verdes with Loki, discovering some of my favorite trails around LA. On B’s birthday we headed into downtown LA and visited the Sky Experience at the US Bank building. We slid down a glass slide on the outside of the building that connected the 70th floor to the 69th floor. I also snuck in a visit to the San Francisco area to visit my brother in law and sister in law – we checked out Napa and wandered San Francisco in a packed three day trip.

img_3840September saw B come back home which made it the best month. We flew to TX for my Dad’s 70th birthday and I arranged professional family photos of our family. Our return to LA coincided with one of B’s childhood friends coming to visit. They attended a writing conference, where an agent asked for the full manuscript of their joint novel. We spent an excessively hot day out at Universal Studios. And, saving the best for last, we brought Thor home to expand our family.

img_3975October found us slogging our way through B working nights again. It was also the month of the puppy. Thor stole both of our hearts, not to mention he managed to worm his way into Loki’s heart too. It was a quiet month spent mostly at home thanks to having a puppy who couldn’t go off very far. I was sick with a cough for most of the month that seriously impeded my race training. To top it all off, I pulled a muscle in my side right at the end of the month.

img_4153In November we made our third, and final, trip of the year to Vegas. We ran the Run Rock N Roll 10k with B’s dad, brother, and sister in law. I was slower than I wanted to be, but considering my injury from October I was still happy with finishing. Thor continued to grow, though not as much as we first expected. He and Loki became inseparable buddies.


Which brings us to December. Thor is finally free and clear to be out and about so we spent a decent amount of the month going on walks and visiting the dog park. B’s work holiday party was a fun Saturday night out for the two of us. He was working the holidays, so I made a solo journey back to TX to see my family. I got to meet my brother’s significant other and I fell for her just as much as the rest of the family has.


In all, I think I did a good job of finding the joy in 2016. It hasn’t been the easiest year, but it has still been a good year. I’m looking forward to 2017 an all it has to offer.

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About texancountess

I find myself in the calming roar of the sea, floating gently on the foam of the breaking waves. Blue. Green. Gray. The colors of the sea mark the boundaries of my soul. The tumbled glass finds its polish under the relentless pounding of the waves upon the shore. Thus am I. Rough transitioning to polish, refinement ever a process, finding my niche in the storms of life.
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