A year of firsts

Well, this is awkward.

I haven't blogged in almost two months. Surely this is a new record for me. Not only have I not written anything since November, I missed some of the year's most prime post topics: Christmas recap, a 2016 year in review, New Year's resolutions (or lack thereof).

My bad.

After such a busy fall, I pretty much hit my wall of commitments and responsibilities by Thanksgiving. I was less "Let's make plans!" and more "Wanna take a nap?"

I spent December with most of our Christmas decorations scattered on the floor of our spare bedroom. Every time I went in there to work out, I'd take a look at the festive mess that should have been proudly displayed in my living room and thought, "It's fine."

And it seems like my mental exhaustion about the holidays was in someway foreshadowing because Clayton's grandmother passed away in his parents' home on Christmas morning.

So no, not our best Christmas.

Even though it's mid-January and I feel like I've pretty much missed the boat on formally saying goodbye to 2016, it still might be worth recapping because for as difficult as it was for me on a personal note, I still got do a buttload of cool things. I think it's safe to say it was the busiest year I've ever had.

This year's theme was travel, for sure. Travel and veins. ha ha! There was so much going on that I boarded a plane to Las Vegas just 5 days after having surgery on my veins. Crazy, right!?

I still can't believe my doctor let me do that.

When I look over all of the photos I snapped the past twelve months, I see that there were a lot of firsts this year, too.

Last January I went to Disney World for the very first time and it was magical. Magical because I got to experience it with one of my closest friends and because it was a spontaneous, random trip for a two days in the middle of winter. We hopped on a plane with just a backpack and had a great time.

A week after I got back from Disney, I traveled alone for the first time in my life and flew to San Diego to spend time at one of our external companies. I still remember texting Clayton each time I hit a traveling milestone, bursting with way more pride than a 30 year-old adult should have because she managed to get on the right airport shuttle. It was also the very first time I dipped my toes in the Pacific Ocean.

In March we visited New York City for the first time and saw everything a first-time New York traveler could possibly dream of in only a few days.

September granted me the experience of my first surgery (and hopefully my last or at least one of very few in my lifetime) as well as my first trip to Las Vegas. I traveled to Sin City for a marketing conference where I learned more about my field, made new friends, and walked almost every underwhelming inch of the Vegas Strip.

I sadly spent a good chunk of October away from Indiana (I love being home in October), but I visited Dallas for the first time during our company's sale conference and had a lot of fun bonding with my co-workers while simultaneously putting in a lot of work. Then, just a few weeks later, we boarded a plane to fly to Arizona with Dan and Emily. I watched the sun disappear behind the south rim of the Grand Canyon and hiked down into it as the sun came back up. That is by far one of the best experiences of my life.

It's hard to look at all of these trips and experiences and not feel awesome. I recognize that I am extremely fortunate. My career is allowing me opportunities that just a few years ago never seemed possible. I work for an amazing companynot just because I get to do cool things, but because I work with such good people. I spend every day with people who care about each other and the patients we serve. This past year was challenging as I tried to carve out my role and find my footing, but I am filled with optimism and excitement about where I'm going simply because of where I already am.

I'm also thankful for the people in my life who value adventure and experience as much I do. There have been a few instances this year when a friend would start to ask, "Do you wanna go to" and we'd all say yes before the sentence was even finished. I'm grateful we made it happen.

And we've already booked a trip for this upcoming spring. ;)

You take the good with the bad. My body hurt for a lot of the past 12 months and I definitely felt some of my lowest emotional lows, but as evidenced above, the bright outweighed the dark.

Onto 2017!