Year in review: 2017

Amazing. Here we are in 2018. I still remember when we celebrated the new millennium and now almost 20 years have passed. Crazy-pants.

Like last year, I created this little infographic to kind of sum up my year in some numbers. But of course, there is so much more.

Overall, this year was a good year for me with very little downs and many ups in my personal world. Of course, nationally and globally we had a lot to digest in 2017 and it’s hard to imagine what’s in store for all of us in 2018. I just try to keep focusing on the good and on making a difference where I can, because I think that really is all each of us individually can do.


In January, I chose a new word for the year. I ranted about the postal service because my Mom’s Christmas package was returned to her empty and I have just had too many bad experiences over the years. We said goodbye to Obama as our president and I shared a bit about our 2016 finances. I also told you about my beloved Inkwell Press Planer.


In February, I talked the things I love about the gym. I told you about all the rain we were getting in California, almost a bit too much for our liking. I shared the eight (!) books I read in February and my monthly favorite things.


In March, I ran a virtual 10k in celebration of Yellowstone NP’s anniversary. I celebrated my birthday with a great dinner on the Delta King, an old steamboat in Downtown Sacramento. I gave a shoutout to all the amazing women I call my friends. I shared a recipe for a delicious turkey meatball + kale stew, which you have to give a try if you missed it.


In April, I re-introduced myself to new readers. I recapped our Easter weekend and I shared the recipe for our traditional sweet Easter bread, which is pretty much the same bread that I bake for New Year’s every year. I talked about 5 ways to pamper yourself, I finally got a haircut and colored my hair reddish , and spent a day with my friend Tanja in San Francisco.


In May, I spent two glorious weeks in Germany with my family to attend my niece’s first communion. I shared a “bucket list” before my departure and was able to check off most of the things on my list. I spent 24 hours at my BFF’s home in Bavaria

I also talked about my half marathon training and shared a new recipe for a one-pan dish, Farfalle with Italian sausage and ricotta cheese, which has become a staple in our home. I ran the 10k Davis Pride Run for equality and won first place in the female division. Such an unexpected surprise! J and I also celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary with a dinner at Tapa the World.



I shared my frustrations with the state of the world, but then also got some really good news about my Mom’s surgery, which was such a huge relief! We watched a lot of baseball in August, got our gutters replaced, and I got my first official raise under my new contract. I shared a review of our Berkey water filter system and a new recipe cooking with farro.


In September, I went on a road trip with my cousin and his girlfriend to visit a bunch of Utah National Parks and explore some more places in California. (I am still catching up on the recaps, so stay tuned for those!) It was amazing and I can’t wait to do it again. We also ran the Napa Half Marathon together, which was such a great experience.

I shared favorite things I purchased on Amazon. I almost saved a baby squirrel that I found on my run and shared my favorite post-run snacks and meals. I posted how I became a morning runner (even though I never thought that could happen!). I won two awesome runner’s giveaways on Instagram and was left speechless by all the hurricanes that were impacting other states.


October started off with some sad news. I got some bad news from my bff who’s been battling a brain tumor for the better part of a decade, which left me worried and sad. The Red Sox didn’t make it to the World Series and we had a huge wildfire burning in Napa and Sonoma counties.

Later in the month, we celebrated J’s birthday and went on a day trip to Apple Hill. I participated in the Sweet Progress Blog Swap and received a beautiful package from my blog friend Beth.


November was NaBloPoMo and I participated for the last decade, so I wasn’t going to break the streak now. I shared five random facts about me and a recipe for a delicious Thai salad with a Coconut-Curry dressing. I posted my first ever Day in the Life post to show you what an ordinary day looks like for me and then shared some Expat/Immigrant Q & As.

I wrote some letters to the universe, shared a one-pan gnocchi recipe (so good!) and one for a light and creamy turkey tortellini soup, and gave you some gift inspiration for the runner in your life.

I announced the second annual Secret Santa Mug Swap and also my annual Christmas Card Roll Call. I told you about 5 reasons to be thankful for running and shared 10 more German idioms with you (because idioms are fun!). 

For Thanksgiving, I talked about the things I am thankful for and my Runfessions Thanksgiving Style. I also posted a recap of our Thanksgiving weekend, which was low-key, but fun! I also shared the recipe for Vanillekipferl for the 2017 Holiday Cookie Swap hosted by Lecy.


In December, I shared my Christmas Wish List, which is always fun to put together. I suggested some not-so-commonly-known Christmas movies to watch this holiday season. I ran the virtual #funforVentura fundraiser 5k to support the area impacted by the Thomas Fire and lamented the fact that I couldn’t really get into the Christmas spirit.

I got to hug my dear friend Cathy from Sydney, Australia again, which was the most precious Christmas gift this year. I then caught a cold and was sidelined from running and celebrating Christmas for over a week, which definitely put a damper on the end of the year.

I revealed the mugs that were swapped for the Secret Santa Mug Swap 2017 and talked about my year of running 2017, which was overall a really good and exciting year for me.

And that’s a wrap. What a year! 2017 is over and we’re looking forward to a blank slate in 2018. Share some highlights of 2017 with me in the comments! And thanks for always reading and commenting here. Your support means the world to me.

Happy New Year, friends. I hope 2018 will be good to you and all of us!

Recaps from previous years:

2014, 20152016.

  1. I love how you laid out this post and the graphic at the top is great! happy new year!

    1. Happy New Year. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. That photo of you with your niece is SO CUTE.

    Happy New Year, San!!

    1. Thank you, Linda for the kind words and for stopping by! Happy New year to you!

  3. I love reading others recaps because it’s always amazing to see how much a person packs into one year! I didn’t do a recap post of my year, but the highlights were getting married, going to Maui for an amazing, relaxing honeymoon, finding out we were pregnant, going on our first camping trip in August, and going to Asheville together in October. It was a really wonderful year but I am always happy to turn the page to a new year as I love the fresh start of a new year!

    1. You definitely had a great year with lots of exciting happenings (minus the RA flares, I guess. I am sorry.)

  4. It looks like an overall pretty good year – here is to an even better 2018! Hope it will be all you are looking for (and deserve). Also, wouldn’t be mad to meet up again this year :)

    1. I wouldn’t be mad to meet up again. NOT AT ALL <3 Let's do it.

  5. Oh, I love that you recapped your whole year like this. What a great way to look back in the future! I think I’d have way too many posts for each month though…granted, I also want to focus more on writing about my real life on the blog in 2018 so I might have BETTER posts to recap at the end of the year. Happy New Year! I hope it’s a good one.


    1. I honestly didn’t link everything that I posted last year, just the more “substantial posts” :) I love looking back like this because it also gives new readers a way to catch up on my blog, if they haven’t been reading for a long time!

  6. I was thinking about how well I remember welcoming in 2000 and then it occurred to me that more of my life has been in the 2000s than in the 1990s and that felt…odd, I guess? It still seems so recent!

    I’m really glad I got back to blogging this year and started reading here again. I’d missed you!

    1. I know, the turn of the millenium seems “super-recent” to me… I can’t believe that was almost half my lifetime ago!

      I am so glad you’re blogging again and that we’ve been reconnecting more. I missed you too.

  7. As a newer reader, I had fun clicking on some of these posts you had linked so I could catch up! First of all, I would have NEVER guessed you were an NKOTB fan! Do you like NSYNC at all? They were my favs… although I am not a fan of Justin Timberlake now because whenever I see him interviewed he tries soooo hard to be funny and acts like his shit doesn’t stink.

    I clicked on your finance link. How do you track all your expenses so well? For instance, if I go to Aldi, I may get food AND personal care items. If I go get a haircut I may not get a receipt… How do you keep track so well!?

    I think I may do a reintroduction post of myself! I get new readers all the time, so maybe that is a good idea. I had no idea you had a fraternal twin! I have a brother who is 18 months older than me and we look A LOT alike. In fact, when my husband met my brother for the first time he said he was a “Hunkier version of Megan” lol. So a few qs about you that I thought of while reading this post… You love animals so why don’t you have a pet? Also, how old are you?

    1. Haha, I have mentioned it so often, but I still get people who are surprised to learn that I am a NKOTB fan… have been for close to 30 years :) I think I was too old for NSYNC… of course I know who they are, but I was never a huge fan (probably because they were a boyband that came after NKOTB!).

      I’ve been using a software called YNAB (You Need A Budget) for the last three years and it comes with an integrated app. I track every little expense when it happens and therefore have a pretty good idea of where our money went throughout the year. You can put in expenses manually (for when you don’t get a receipt) and split expenses (e.g. when you buy groceries and personal care items in one trip) and therefore keep track of every category. I love it.

      That is so funny that you mentioned that you have a brother who is 18 months older and that you’re always mistaken for twins! My niece and nephew are 18 months apart and people always think they are twins, too because they look so much alike and are so close in age! My sister and I, who are 2 minutes apart, look nothing alike though. Go figure LOL

      To answer your question: we don’t have a pet because up until we moved into our house, we couldn’t have pets in the apartments that we lived in…. and we haven’t gotten a pet in our house, because I am always afraid that we don’t have anybody to take care of it when we travel and such (we don’t have family near by)… but I hope one of these days we’ll get a cat!

      And your question about my age: I am 41. GASP. I can’t believe it.

      1. Okay so it makes sense that you were into NKOTB and not NSYNC. I was only in 2nd grade when NKOTB were popular. Now, I still had their tape, a pillow, and listened to their music! I was in HS when NSYNC was big.

        Traveling IS hard with pets! We have a girl come stay at our house when we are gone on vacation but I still hate leaving my kitties.

  8. I have loved getting to know you, San. I know I’m not commenting and such as much as I was, but I follow along and just think the world of you. Thank you for taking us on all of your journeys!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Susie, and for your kind words. That means a lot to me… and I am so glad I found on the Internet last year. <3

  9. What an incredible year it’s been for you, sweet friend! So glad to see this look back, all your delicious recipes, your running mikestones, life happenings, travel experiences, etc. this was a fun post!! 2017 was a good year overall, but I feel as I do at the beginning of a new one. Bring it on and let’s do this!!

    Keeping your friend in my thoughts and prayers and wishing your mom continued recovery and healing <3

    Xoxo and happy new year!

    1. Thanks so much, friend. It was a good year indeed, but I can’t wait to see what 2018 will bring :)

  10. I LOVE the info graphic at the beginning, that is so fun. And you have had a pretty great year aside from your friend’s illness. I’m praying for them. And I am SO glad we met through the Peaceful Posse this year and that we got to be swap buddies for the Fall swap. You’re a beautiful person inside and out and I’m happy we are friends. Here’s to a great 2018 my dear!

    1. Thanks so much, Beth. I am really hoping 2018 will be a year of healling for my friend and I appreciate your support. I’m also so happy to have met you through the Peaceful Posse. I always look forward to reading your blog posts and hearing about your life. You’re a wonderful person!

  11. 2017 was a really great year for you, minus your BFF’s health issues. Ugh. I hate when stuff like that happens that I have no control over. It really just sucks. :(

    I love that infographic wrapping up your year. Such a fun way to display everything you did over a year! Cheers to 2018!

  12. Loved reading this post! Hope you are having a great start to 2018!

  13. You had an amazing year! I really love the infographic image in the beginning of your post – it’s a great summary!

    Wishing you a fun-filled 2018!

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