Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye, 2015

This year was full of ups and downs, surprises and life changes. We adjusted to life on a tiny island, we traveled to Alaska for a surprise wedding (our own), we climbed mountains and kayaked lakes, we adopted a new fur baby, and we lived our lives the best we could. Now, as it all grows to a close, we look back fondly and begin to look ahead to 2016.  So, without further adieu, here are the highlights from 2015.

In January, we struggled to stay warm as the temperatures plummeted into the -20's and remained there for quite some time.  Luckily, new snowshoes brought about a new winter hobby that kept us busy and adventurous.

February remained bitterly cold and Lake Michigan became a solid sheet of ice.  We walked our way towards to the surrounding islands on the lake, which gave us some seriously spectacular views.  The sun seemed to shine every day.

March was the month of blue ice.  Lake Michigan began to form ice caves, which shone a bright blue.  We explored these little caverns and traversed the uneven ground of the frozen lake.  It was a very cool thing to witness.

April was the month of the surprise wedding.  Cody and I spent spring break in Alaska, which we had been missing dearly.  The weeks that followed were spent eating good food with friends, climbing mountains, hiking, and finally...getting married in our XtraTuff boots in the shadow of Mendenhall Glacier.

We finally warmed up in May! This was our first month of marriage, and it brought about a whole new type of adventure.  Our favorite hiking trails were suddenly no longer buried in snow.  Many weekends were spent either cooking out or hiking with our friends.

June was the month that we packed our bags and said goodbye to the island.  We had intentions of moving back to Alaska, but instead we spent the summer hanging out with our families in southern Michigan and Illinois.

 July and August were a whirlwind of visiting family and friends. We loved the summer weather that the Midwest gave to us and we hiked all over the place.  Much of our time was spent on Lake Michigan.  We kayaked, fished, and swam non-stop.

September brought about changes.  Beaver Island School had contacted me and told me that they were in a bind after losing two of the three elementary teachers on the island.  I agreed to come back to the school, so we repacked our bags and moved back to the island.  We also adopted a new puppy from the Little Traverse Bay Humane Society!

 In October we moved into a new house and began to truly settle into life on the island.  It was an adjustment to move back, but it's been an overall successful experience.

November was the month of feeling thankful.  Family visited the island, the dogs were content, my students wrote me sweet notes, and all was right with the world.

Finally, December showed up.  It's been an oddly warm month and we only just started getting snow and winter weather within the last week.  Christmas Break came at a perfect time and I am feeling rejuvenated and ready to start back to work. All is well in our little corner of the world.

Your turn...What were a few of your yearly highlights?
Currently listening to...24 Frames - Jason Isbell


  1. Congrats on your new marriage!
    Some of my highlights are always traveling ... I went to LA for a blogging conference, Atlanta to visit a friend, and Sandusky quite a few times for a film fest + Cedar Point. Also Ft. Lauderdale for Yelp Spring break :). And yes, it's been an oddly warm December (or was, I guess? Weird that it's Jan. 2016 already, gah!), I'm hoping that trend continues but I bet it will not. :(

    1. Thank you! Traveling is always one of my main highlights too...the more I travel, the better :) Sounds like you had a very nice year!

  2. It looks like 2015 was good to you. I love the wedding photos in your boots. Congrats on getting married!

    My 2016 highlights include vacationing in Miami Beach, exploring Boston for the first time during the Women in Travel Summit, taking a solo road trip to Lexington and Nashville, a girls' getaway in Mexico, boating and backyard camping with friends in the Irish Hills for July 4, eating and drinking my way around Chicago, volunteering in Peru, ziplining through a canyon, visiting a floating island on Lake Titicaca, seeing Machu Picchu, wine tasting in Northern Virginia with my DC friends, attending two weddings of close friends, attending two big blogging conferences (TBEX and BlogHer Food), and, of course, launching my luxury travel blog for the culinary explorer,!

    1. Thank you! The boots are pretty much an Alaskan fashion staple. Lots of couple get married in them there :)

      It sounds like you had a beautiful year! Seeing Machu Picchu is one of my all-time destination goals. What was your favorite part about visiting there?

  3. Your island life seems like a dream to me. I love your little house! So cute with lots of land. Congrats on your marriage.

    My highlight was going to Guatemala for a week long mission trip. It was life changing!

    1. Thank you! Guatemala must have been an incredible trip? Did you do a blog post of it? I'd be very interested in reading about it!

  4. great pictures in this post. Like your snow shoes though I'm not fond enough of snow to want to use them myself. Best wishes for a great 2016 to you and your family!

    1. Thanks! I'm a bit of a snow lover, so winter sports are one of my favorite hobbies. Happy New Year!

  5. What a wonderful blog post. Your words and photos are beautiful. Wishing you all the best in 2016.


Leave me a comment :)