2015: A Year in Review

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Happy New Year's Eve, y'all! 2015 was a whirlwind for us - so many big changes! It's pretty amazing to think back to this time last year and see how far we've come and how much has happened. Here's a look back on one of our biggest years yet:

We visited NYC twice - once with SD's parents to see "Lion King" on Broadway, and then again a few weeks later for the Chamber Music America conference. This was the first time I ever stayed overnight in the City and I actually felt like I knew my way around the Times Square area by the time we left!

2015: A Year in Review | Ashley Danyew

In February, we went cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing for the first time at a nearby park (rentals were only $3/person!). I started my dissertation research (eight weeks long) and we had the opportunity to see the St. Olaf Choir in concert - amazing!

2015: A Year in Review | Ashley Danyew

In March, we discovered the Lamberton Conservatory - a warm, tropical paradise right here in Rochester (the middle of winter was the perfect time to visit!).

We celebrated Easter with a very meaningful service at the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford. We started the service with singing bell to underscore the "reading from the tomb," which led into SD's "Arise and Sing" and "Christ the Lord is Risen Today." Listen to a recording here.

Aurora, NY | @ashleydanyew

We made a few trips to our favorite place - Aurora, NY - and enjoyed strolling up and down Main Street, watching the gorgeous sunsets over the lake, and making as many trips to Dorie's as we could.

We continued our house hunt and made our first offer on a home at the end of May (the day after it went on the market). Our offer was accepted and we closed mid-July! We feel so fortunate to own a 1920 Colonial on one of the most picture-perfect streets in the city.

In June, we made our annual trip to Lake Junaluska for Music and Worship Arts Week (I accompanied the Adult Choir this year) and enjoyed catching up with dear, sweet friends.

2015: A Year in Review | Ashley Danyew

In between a home inspection, packing, a seemingly endless pile of paperwork, and writing my dissertation, we attended an outdoor concert at the George Eastman Museum, went for several long walks around the city, had picnic dinners on the roof of our apartment building, and checked out a few new restaurants.

In August, I began a new position as Organist and Choir Accompanist at the United Church of Pittsford (and SD joined the choir!). I also was featured in David Cutler's new book, The Savvy Music Teacher!

2015: A Year in Review | Ashley Danyew

Between our closing date in mid-July and Labor Day weekend, we painted almost every room in the house. We've never been so sore in our lives. Also, we made too many trips to the hardware store to count. Lowe's and Home Depot are great, but the local hardware store down the street has free popcorn and a puppy!

2015: A Year in Review | Ashley Danyew

In September, we bought our dream piano - a 1922 Model O Steinway - and we've been playing it ever since! We also hosted my parents for a few days - our first house guests!

2015: A Year in Review | Ashley Danyew

This fall, we celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary and took a road trip to NH to celebrate the wedding of a dear friend from college and visited Skaneateles, NY for the first time. We also said goodbye to my Grampy. So grateful for the time we were able to spend with him over the last year-and-a-half and happy that he is now reunited with Grammy.

2015: A Year in Review | Ashley Danyew

In November (on my birthday!), I defended my dissertation and became Dr. Danyew! We hosted our first Thanksgiving with SD's parents and even decided to cook our first turkey at the last minute (it was delicious!).

2015: A Year in Review | Ashley Danyew

In December, we saw Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra in concert at Eastman, enjoyed strolling Park Ave. during the annual Holiday Open House, played (and sang) our first Christmas Eve service at our new church, and celebrated our first Christmas in our new home.

2015 – the year we bought a house, perfected our quiche recipe, and learned how to roast a turkey. The year I earned my PhD and got stung by a bee (for the first time ever!). The year we rediscovered speculoos, broke two vacuum cleaners, and bought a Steinway (and a new vacuum).

Cheers to 2016!