A year in review: 2016

Here goes another year. It’s amazing how time speeds up the closer we get to the end of the year, isn’t it? I know, it’s all perception, but perception also is all we have.

2016 was a pretty good year for me personally, but of course, on a larger scale, 2016 was peppered with some rather unpleasant events around the world. Countless untimely deaths, a migrant crisis, war, terror attacks… I mean, I could have really done without all that. And then, to top it all of the election of he-who-should-not-be-named. Here’s a good article to sum up my feelings.

I know, lots of people on social media have been asking for 2016 to just go away, but you know, every year has good things and bad things and I am always, always trying to focus on the good (without ignoring or discounting the bad). All we can do is work towards making the future better than the past, right?

I created this little infographic to kind of summarize my year in a visual sense (hat tip to Alycia for the idea).




In Janurary, I chose a new word for the year. I shared a bit about our 2015 finances.



I talked about the books that I read in 2015. My blog got a little makeover. In my ‘Daily Life’ series, I shared 11 ways to save (some) money at the grocery store. I showed you the knitting project I was working on.


I made bread in the Dutch Oven. I talked about 10 things that I learned in my 30’s. I made a list of my travel essentials before heading off to Germany to celebrate my birthday with my family. I shared 16 apps that I use (almost) every day. I talked about Val Gardena and 8 fun Instagram accounts that I follow.



I checked back in with you in April. I shared 9 of our favorite weekly meals. I finally got around to writing down our red Thai Curry recipe. I recapped my time home by sharing a bit more about my hometown. I told you about my love for Ikea and about the wonderful week I spent skiing in Wolkenstein, South Tyrol with my family. At the end of April, I went down to Socal for a long weekend.



I looked forward to the month of May. I set a new goal. I recapped our time in Munich in March. I bought a KitchenAid! I shared some Awkward & Awesome things. I went kayaking for the first time with my friend Susi. I made my own granola. I participated in the Davis Pride Run for Equality 10k. I recapped our Memorial Day + Anniversary weekend.



I blogged about Global Running Day. I shared my love for my (almost) hometown Cologne. I talked about my half-marathon training. I shared my frustrations about the ongoing violent attacks that keep happening. I shared some of my quirks. I started a new blog series about things I bought at Trader Joe’s. I linked up for Tuesdays on the Run and talked about how often I run races.



I welcomed yet another new month. I shared how I pick the races that I sign up for. In my ‘Daily Life’ series, I told you about what my work week looks like. I also shared about that time when iron deficiency landed me in the hospital (don’t recommend). I ran the Davis Moo-nlight Run 10k. I baked twisted overnight spelt-rye rolls. I shared more things I bought at Trader Joe’s. I ran the San Francisco Half Marathon. My Mom had kidney surgery, which left me a bit worried.




In August, I finally gave you a little tour of our home. I made protein waffles.  I went to Colorado for the first time for a workshop. I talked about race memorabilia. I shared my love for National Parks in honor of the NPS’ 100th birthday. I blogged about the 13.1 lessons I learned from running a half marathon.


In September, I shared my Labor Day Weekend recap. I also reminisced about the fact that I came to California 15 years ago. I shared a recipe for broiled veggies and parsley rice. Because some people asked, I talked about how I experienced 9/11 as I had just arrived in the country as an exchange student. I blogged about the best running advice I have received. I met up with my long-time friend Cathy from Australia in Vegas. I also talked about meatless things to get from Trader Joe’s.



J and I celebrated our 15-year meet-aversary. I talked about what time I work out. I shared some thoughts on self-care and then lamented the fact that it’s hard to get back to a normal routine after your family leaves after a 2-week visit.



November marked the start of NaBloPoMo, which means I blogged a lot that month. I wrote some recaps of my parents’ visit. I shared five things people might not know about me. I posted my blueberry crumble muffins recipe. I was devastated by the election results. I blogged about 5 sports/activities I wish I had more time for, then shared more thoughts on the election. I cooked Rhineland Potato Soup. I shared more German idioms (because they’re so fun!). I talked about five favorite holiday foods. I told you how we prepare our Thanksgiving Chicken. I blogged about my official 1-year race-run-niversary. For Thanksgiving, I wrote about the things I am thankful for.  I shared my all-time favorite holiday movies. I shared my thoughts on lifelong friends. I made Bavarian potato salad and contemplated who I was (at the moment).


I welcomed the last month of the year. I recapped our quiet Thanksgiving weekend. I shared my wish list. I participated in a Holiday Ornament Exchange. I shared some more vacation recaps. I suggested 5 holiday gifts for athletes. I hosted a Secret Santa Mug Swap. I blogged about 5 holiday items I picked up at Trader Joe’s, posted a Christmas Survey, and recapped our quiet Christmas. I looked back at my year of running and shared my December favorites.

How was your year? Was it good, was it bad, or a mixed bag (like for everyone else)?

Happy New Year, friends. I hope 2017 will be good to you and all of us! 

  1. Happy New Year to you!
    My 2016 wasn’t as great as I had hoped in the beginning personally and on global scale so I am kinda glad its over. I am starting 2017 on much better terms and looking forward to all the changes I am planning. I also made a proclamation in my annual New Years Resolution post that I will join you in the NaBloMo so please remind me ahead of time ;-)
    Have a great start to 2017

    1. I am hoping 2017 will be a great year – personally and globally! :) And I will definitely remind you of NaBloPoMo ahead of time… yay! :)

  2. Globally, it has been a terrible year. There have been worse years in recorded history, so all things considered, it hasn’t been that bad. Personally, I can’t say one way or the other. I tend to gravitate toward the negative. I grew up in a very negative household and while I’ve taken great strides to change this about myself in my adult life, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Oh and the whole mental illness thing doesn’t help. However, I know good things have happened. I just struggle to remember. Perhaps it’s time I start a blog and actually stick with it. That’s the only way I can think of to track my life.

    1. I am sorry to hear you’re struggling with mental illness. I don’t think I knew that… but I know how hard this can make having a positive outlook on things. I am hoping that 2017 will be a good year in all regards. Oh, and personally, I’d love it if you started a blog… I’d love to follow along and get to know you better :) Just do it!

  3. 2016 was a really good year for me. It was a sad year for our country and the world in general as there were so many awful things that happened the broke my heart. But I feel like I was one of the few people who wasn’t feeling excited to kick the door closed on 2016. I went to a speaker this fall and she talked about how she had a really hard start to the year as she lost her mom after a brief fight with cancer. She said so many people commented about how she was probably ready for the year to just be over and behind her and she said she really tried not to have that perspective. Because then you close yourself off to great things that could still occur. She said to resist the urge to write off years of our life. That resonated with me because I definitely wanted to write off the year I spent in Charlotte and I was so ready for 2013 to come to an end as I had such a tough year. So I am going to try to take her advice to heart going forward and not ‘write off’ any part of a year, even when it’s been tough.

    All that said, 2016 was pretty great. I went on awesome trips, moved in with Phil (which has been sooo wonderful!), and got engaged!

    1. I am glad to hear that 2016 was good year for you personally… I also feel like that. We need to focus on the positive, because negative things are bound to happen every year (unfortunately).

  4. Awww, this is such a great year in so many ways! Hooray!


  5. What a wonderful year! I agree, it’s easy to focus on the negative — but there was a lot of good in 2016! P.S. Love Parenthood and adding that book to my to-read list!

    1. I always, always try to focus on the positive… it’s better for everyone :)

  6. Happy New Year, dear San!
    What an amazing roundup of your year! So many fun things happened!
    Did you pick a new word for 2017? I’d love to hear! Mine is grow, because I want to keep on growing!
    Hugs xxx

    1. Thank you friend! 2016 definitely wasn’t all bad :)
      I love the word you picked for the new year!

  7. happy new year! love your roundup of the year. 2016 definitely had its highs and lows.

    1. I feel like every year is a mixed bag, but we’re always trying to make the best of it :)

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