A Year in Review: 2023

As per usual, I do a little round-up at the end of the year on my blog. It’s a nice way to reflect on a year, the highs and lows, and in-betweens. I know it’s already March. Better late than never.


In January, I welcomed the new year and did a little recap of 2022. I shared a list of things I wanted to do in 2022 and how that played out,  and a list of things I wanted to do in 2023

I decided to document my weekly workouts and link up for the Weekly Run Down. My aunt passed away in January. I participated in my fourth PeloFondo, another Power Zone Pack Challenge, and was knee-deep in training for my half marathon in February. We also started using laundry detergent sheets (and I  haven’t looked back!)


In February, I chose my word for the year, embrace.

I shared a list of small, inexpensive things that make my life better. I spent 7 days in the desert doing fieldwork, we got a new Miele vacuum cleaner (game changer!). I finally ditched my previous blog hosting service and switched to a new one with the help of an internet-savvy friend. My backend blogging skills are pretty good but I wanted to make sure I was doing it right. Later in the month, I met up with a bunch of my Streakers365 friends, we ran the Rock’n’Roll Las Vegas half marathon, and I got to spend extra time with Tanja in SoCal. 


In March, I reflected on the state of the world –  three years since the start of the pandemic. I  celebrated my birthday. I spent another 5 days in the desert for field work where I saw a full rainbow. I got some health stuff taken care of,  a double screening procedure – the (follow-up) upper endoscopy and a colonoscopy (yup, I am at that age) and both came back normal. What a relief! I started having issues with Feedly (ugh, remember that?)


In April, I finally traveled home to Germany to visit my family. I played tennis for the first time in years. And I got to go on a little “girls’ getaway” with my mom and sister (which hasn’t happened in years). 


In May, I got Covid again. My second time. It wasn’t bad at all and I wouldn’t have known that I had it if I hadn’t tested out of precaution (after travel and before returning to the office). I also got my outdoor bike tuned up because I was determined to ride my bike to the office during the summer months! I shared my frustration about our (broken) kitchen tiles, which turned into a whole ‘blog mini series’. Haha. Thanks again for commiserating with me for over 3 months. I perfected making “Bratkartoffeln” (fried potatoes) with some tips from my mom. Tr*mp was convicted as a se* offender and I felt an earthquake. I shared some demerits and gold stars and answered some random questions in an “Ask San Anything” post. I tried out a new bread recipe with buttermilk. I also got excited for the summer by setting up my patio and riding my bike to the Farmers Market. 


In June, I finally continued to share some highlights of my family’s travel adventures from the summer before – biking the Golden Gate Bridge. I kept having issues with Feedly, which was very frustrating. I participated in the SUMMIIT Stride event (the runner’s equivalent of the PeloFondo). I stood up for myself at work (which was one of my goals for 2023) and insisted on my allotted presenter time during a meeting even though the previous presenter went over their time and wanted me to cut my presentation short. I talked about a day in Santa Cruz with my family, and I shared some favorite things.


In July, I recapped the last Independence Day with my family. I did a little check-in on my list of things I wanted to do in 2023. I answered some more AMA questions, and gave another update on our ‘kitchen tile saga’. Jon and I participated in the Moo-nlight Run (5k Walk) again, which was so much fun. I spent a few days with my friend Susi in the Bay Area and also got to try out her Peloton tread. Dare I say, it was love at first run? While I was there, I also ran into Meike (who lives in the same area). What a small world. 


In August, I complained about the cost of things and my adventures in jam making. I continued to share recaps from my family vacation and could finally reveal our new kitchen floor: tile saga no more! Of course, I also couldn’t let the day of my two-year Peloversary slip by without talking about it! Especially, since Tanja and I also celebrated our “millennium ride” this month.  Right in line with my new endeavors in jam making, I pickled cucumbers for the first time. Delicious! I also shared some more favorite things.


In September, I got an unexpected small raise (a step increase, if you’re familiar with the federal pay scale). It’s not much but it’s pretty much the only raise I get (unless I get promoted), so I’ll take it. Jon’s dad had passed away in August and we traveled to SoCal for his ‘celebration of life’ service. It was good to be there with family and friends.

I wrote about the intricacies of living with two languages in my head and how sometimes things get “lost in translation”. I also commemorated the day of my 22nd California-versary.


In October, I ran my fastest half marathon to date and crushed my A goal. Jon and I celebrated our 22nd meet-aversary, we got Covid boosters, and I finally solved my Feedly issue. Jon and I visited a pumpkin patch, and I voiced my devastation about the war in Gaza. What’s been unfolding there since then is just horrific. I announced that it was time again for NaBloPoMo and was so thrilled to see that so many people were excited for it with me! We went down to SoCal to be with Jon’s Mom and celebrate this birthday (and I got to run on the beach!). I had to share that I got a new, favorite mug and that I bought an Apple Watch for Jon’s birthday and he loved it!


In November, many of you joined me for NaBloPoMo. We had the best turn out in years! I shared a little re-introduction and pictures from my annual Halloween neighborhood run. I got caught up on a few Ask San Anything rounds. I asked your thoughts on parental favoritism and shared a recipe for our favorite arugula-tuna-salad. I talked about my tendency for perfectionsim and was so excited when so many of you signed up for the 8th annual Secret SANta Swap! I also had the honor of hosting Elisabeth on my blog. I listed some things that I am grateful for, and confessed that I also got an Apple Watch (because FOMO). I skipped my annual Turkey Trot, but opted for a Turkey Burn Ride with my Peloton friends. I also shared a bit more about what I do as a geographer and what I miss most about Germany after 20 years in the US. Last but not least, I put together a holiday wish + gift list because those are always fun.


In December, I participated in the SUMMIIT Stride Event (which is the run version of PeloFondo). You pledge miles for you team that you run on a certain day. I shared some demerits and gold stars and also some races and other athletic achievements of the year. I did my annual Christmas Lights walk through the neighborhood, baked Christmas cookies, watched my first Christmas movies, and planned out on a new knitting project. I also took a lot of Peloton holiday classes. I was super excited when my gift for the Secret SANta Swap arrived. We traveled to SoCal to spend Christmas with my mother-in-law.

And that, my friends, wraps up my blogging year 2023.. As always, thanks for being here.


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  1. Wow! This is such an incredible recap, wonderful format and just plain fun to read and reminisce! You crushed SO MANY FITNESS THINGS THIS YEAR! Such an inspiration. And I’m so glad 2024 will include another trip to Germany <3

  2. Wow! It’s so fun to read the recap of your year! You did so many amazing things and I loved seeing all the photos. I think it’s a nice idea to sum up the year like that, and maybe I’ll give it a try.

  3. What an amazing recap! It must have taken a lot of time to compile- no wonder it didn’t get done until March. Thanks for sharing.

  4. what a fun way of recap the year! it seems that you are going to home again in April? that’s so nice to have a yearly trip to home. who are still back home?

  5. What a great recap, San! I hope you have a great trip!

  6. What a great year you’ve had! I love the layout- wonderful to turn back and appreciate the minutes and hours that has passed :)

  7. What a year of fun and adventures. It was nice to think back on some of the posts you wrote. Thank you.

  8. You had a great year overall but some hard losses with the loss of your aunt and FIL. I hope your MIL is doing ok and in remission. That is a tough series of events for Jon between losing his dad and watching his mom battle cancer.

    I’m so glad your year included an awesome PR! That is always so exciting!!

  9. I hope you are having a good time on your trip! This is a very fun way to recap the year and I feel like doing this really makes you look back and realize how many wonderful things you did do. You had some close people pass away this year and I am sure that was not easy, but I hope that all of the active and outdoor and other strong things you did (sticking up for yourself at work is huge) have counterbalanced some of the more sad things that happened.

  10. This is so fun. I learned a few more tidbits, since I just started reading your blog during NaBloPoMo. Great pictures! I agree, never too late to post a recap.

  11. Love this so much. And, we love reading it, no matter when you write it! You did a LOT last year -travel, running, Pelo-Fondo-ing… but it sounds like it also had its heavy moments. I do hope Jon’s mom is doing well. Losing two loved ones in a year is a lot. <3

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