A look back on 2016

Saturday, December 31, 2016

When I sat down to re-cap my year I thought, what the heck am I even going to talk about?! It has been such an interesting year. Not bad, just interesting. For me, this year was full change and emotion. All of which I never quite felt ready for. Don't get me wrong, so many great things took place this year. But it was also a year filled with growing pains. Just when you think you have it all figured out... Such is life!

As someone that has always welcomed and fully embraced change, this year was a challenge for me. Everything felt a little harder this year. Everything is changing around me and I couldn't catch up. My mom has had a lot of health complications that have given our family quite a few scares. Friendships taking a weird turn. All of our friends are starting families while Luke and I aren't. That's a whole other post, maybe... Frustration with my professional development. The election this past November. While this year was a little weird and felt off, it's all a part of the journey. We're never promised the easy route. I know that I'll look back on this year with fond memories, eventually :) I keep reminding myself that it's a marathon and not a sprint.

Now on to the recap, I promise it's more uplifting! Looking back on this year - month by month - it was a good year. I'm beyond lucky to have a great family, friends, a job I love, the ability to travel and so many other freedoms and luxuries. Luke and I work hard for what we have.

January //

We started off 2016 in Amsterdam! We ended our epic European vacation by spending a few days walking along the canals. We got to experience New Years Eve in the city, which totally freaked me out (think no regulations whatsoever on fireworks)! It really was the best way to kick off the year and an experience that we'll never forget. We really hope to be able to live here someday...

January is also the month that we *finally* finished our mini-kitchen remodel. Hello new gas stove! Seriously, it's such a luxury and I don't think I can go back to an electric stove, ever. #firstworldproblems, I know!

February //

Sometime in February (I think it was February...) Luke and I started using SunBasket meal delivery, almost every week. It has completely changed the way we cook at home! We waste less food and always eat healthy with SunBasket meals. It has even influenced us to make healthier meals at home. And a bonus we didn't expect... Date Night In! We love pouring a glass of wine, turning up the music and making dinner together. It's become such a great way to connect at home. 

March //

We left the rain and flew down to LA for a long weekend. Heather joined us, too! Taking trips with Luke and Heather are always the most fun and the most memorable. I love that we're able to meet in different places a few times throughout the year. 

April //

We visited Austin, Texas for the first time in the middle of April. Heather joined on this trip, too! Austin is seriously such a cool city. We landed on my birthday (hello 34!) and hit the ground running looking for the best restaurants and sights. We discovered breakfast tacos on this trip - two words: life changing.

May //

We saw Billy Joel in concert at Safeco Field in Seattle. I've wanted to see him live for so long and he didn't disappoint! Fun fact: my first ever cassette tape when I was little was a Billy Joel album. 

June //

We met up with Luke's parents in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for 5 days. We frequented the swim-up bar and took trips into town in search of guacamole and margaritas. It was a little tooooo much sun for me, but fun nonetheless. 

We walked in the Portland Pride Parade with some of our friends and a lot of people with my company. Nike has a huge presence in the parade (even our CEO attends!) and it was an all-around amazing day of showing support. #LoveWins

July //

We took a camping trip to Crate Lake (our first time there!) but sadly I ruined the trip when I fell down the stairs (okay, like a stair and a half) spraining my ankle the day prior. No hikes for us! It was still a great trip and Crater Lake is beyond beautiful. We'll definitely visit again and do some hiking next time. 

August //

My previous boss took us out on his boat (hello half-day summer Fridays!) and we were convinced we needed to buy a boat of our own. It was such a fun day going up and down the Willamette. We even met up with some friends out on their boat! Our dreams of being boat owners quickly faded when we started to add up how much it would cost us (cost of boat, insurance, storage, maintenance...) Oh well - it was a fun day!

We hosted the "Copeland Summer Bash" in our backyard. We had good food, drinks, music, friends and sunshine! It was beyond fun to have everyone at our house. We ended the evening chatting around the fire pit with a few beers and some new friends.

September //

We took a week off work and flew out to the east coast to visit family and road trip to a few new places. We flew to Boston and drove up to New Hampshire to stay with Lynn and Brian (dad's cousin) at their house on Lake Winnipesaukee. We had an incredible 3 days with the "Lake Family" (there was about 10-12 of us for the long weekend). We drank beers by the fire pit, made breakfast and drank many cups of coffee together, spent a day out on their boat (our boat dreams are coming back!), visited the local distilleries and meaderies, drank more beers, caught up with family and told many stories of past years. It was truly a weekend that I'll never forget. After the lake we drove over to Portland, Maine for a few days to drink blueberry beers and eat lobster rolls! We told everyone that we were from "the other Portland" but no one seemed to be impressed, haha! Our final stop was a drive down to the 'burbs of Boston to spend a few days with Al and Kathy (also dad's cousin). We had so much fun catching up, taking a day trip to "the cape" and Al even took us out on the Charles River one day. 

October //

It's October, so that means MLB playoffs! We all know Luke is a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan. If you follow baseball at all, you'd know that the Cubs won the World Series and how big of a deal it was. Happy times in Copeland house!

November //

Election Day took place early on in November. To say that the outcome was devastating to me is a total understatement. This month was filled with a lot of unanswered questions and sheer disappointment in my country. I can only hope for the best moving forward and try my absolute hardest to give back to my community and support the causes that I care about.

We spent Thanksgiving with my family up in Seattle with Heather. We ate too much food and drank a lot of wine - so in other words, it was a success! 

December //

We hosted Christmas Eve cocktails at our house and spent Christmas dinner with Holly and Randy (my aunt and uncle). The holidays were beyond relaxing and much needed for everyone.

This month I made the tough decision to sell all of my Canon camera equipment. Over the past 6+ years I've had a variety of Canon DSLR's and interchangeable lenses. It's been one of my biggest passions. I've fallen out of love with the process over the years and carting around my equipment just became a major pain for me. Gone are the days of photographing weddings (I did two!), engagements and family photos. I'm switching up my photography game and purchasing a much smaller, mirrorless camera. I'm excited to try something new and have high hopes of discovering a new love of photography in a much simpler way.

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If you made it this far, thank you for reading! Although I'm not into blogging like I have been in past years, it's still fun to pop in here and there to share what's going on. Coming up in March of 2017 Luke and I are headed to Ireland and Barcelona for a few weeks. We can't wait to see a few more countries and add some more stamps to our passports!

I hope you all have an incredible 2017 :)

Holls

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