2017: A Year in Review

Happy New Year's Eve, friends!

It's become my NYE tradition to recap our year here on the blog - our travels, everyday adventures, things we learned, favorite memories, and all the little things in between.

2017 was a year of growth, adventure, change, and friendship. Here is a look back:

We traveled to Montana to ski with SD’s family at Big Sky Resort in February and it was so fun to see such a beautiful part of the country (and ski in some great powder!).

In March, I spent a weekend in Michigan, watching my friend in her role as Mrs. Potts in “Beauty and the Beast” and spending time with sweet friends. So good and so soul-filling. 

We took a little time to work on our businesses this spring with a brief working retreat. We rented a dog-friendly cabin in Naples, NY, packed our boots, our computers, and some good snacks, and spent a couple days cozied up by the wood stove dreaming, planning, and strategizing.

It’s so helpful to get a fresh perspective on creative projects sometimes and this felt like a jumpstart for the rest of our year.

We learned a lot about course development and video recording this year, as I developed and taught two online courses (+ four online workshops) for church musicians over the summer and SD started teaching a new music careers course at Eastman this Fall. He now has three classes total (two in-person and one online).

SD also wrote three new commissioned works and had a wind ensemble piece performed at the Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Conference (#lifegoals).

We took our first road trip together (to North Carolina) in June and enjoyed seeing picturesque parts of Virginia and West Virginia (also, Cafe Cimino is amazing, if you’re ever in the area!).

This was perhaps the longest road trip SD’s been on, so I enjoyed teaching him all the classic road trip games, like the Alphabet Game and the License Plate Game.

The summer months were full of picnics, slow nights on the patio, grilling, festivals, and after-dinner walks to get ice cream. We saw Shakespeare in the Park, toured a beautiful day lily garden, and saw Scott Patterson of SMITHRADIO (a.k.a. Luke Danes in Gilmore Girls) in concert at a local coffee shop.

We explored new parks, picked blueberries, baked cobbler, and stayed in a charming artist’s cottage on Lake Ontario in July. I loved how active the lake was and we enjoyed several days of playing, porch-sitting, and reading.

We planted seven(!) new trees in our yard, got our orchid to re-bloom (after two years!), and tended a vegetable garden (green beans, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, cilantro, basil, lettuce, and kale).

We took day trips to Skaneateles and Aurora and Chimney Bluffs, and watched Rory learn how to swim at the lake near our house. 

In addition to swimming, Rory also learned how to chase seagulls, bow, give kisses, and play off-leash. Her favorite walks are ones that end up at the bakery that also sells homemade dog treats (naturally).

As part of our neighborhood association, we helped organize an outdoor movie night, potluck block party, and caroling night. The block party included a chili cook-off and dessert contest and I was thrilled to win 2nd place with my Grammy’s carrot cake recipe! (The prize was a wrench set. 😂)

Toward the end of the summer, we enjoyed spending a few days with sweet friends from Westminster and seeing John Owen Jones (of Phantom fame in the Broadway production of Phantom of the Opera) in concert.

In September, my dad was diagnosed with stage 3-4 Lymphoma. The prognosis is good, though the disease is incurable. He’s had a few minor procedures done since then and three rounds of chemo so far and is feeling good, overall. We are grateful for your prayers as we journey through this season.

A few other favorite moments from this year: trying my hand at acrylic painting (and loving it), hosting friends and family throughout the year and being tourists in our own city, and visiting family in New Hampshire and Vermont this past week (fun fact: it was colder there than it was in Antarctica and Siberia!).

Thanks so much for following along this year, friends. Your support means so much! Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, and peaceful New Year. Here's to 2018!