about sarah, life

My Year in Review: 2015

If I were to describe my 2015 in only three words, I’d go with: happy, progress, and best.

It was a year with way more positives than negatives personally, with the only real hardship coming hearing about bad things happening around the world which tends to wear on my heart. (I think news stories, one month’s extra-strong bout of PMS, and commercials with sad dogs in them were the only things to make me cry in 2015. And I’m a crier, so that means the year was basically fantastic.)

I took a peek through the archives to remember my year, and I must point out that the months before I started this blog (January, February, March) were the most difficult to recall because I didn’t really have any details recorded. Blogging saves memories, y’all.

Here’s a month-by-month recap of what I was up to:

January: I binge watched The Fall and developed an awkward crush on the Jamie Dornan serial killer character (and Gillian Anderson’s Stella a bit too, because OMG she’s so awesome).

February: I made it through the application process with Automattic and was offered a trial to try out for the job that I really, really wanted (and now have!).

March: This month is a blur because I was on trial with Automattic (while working a full-time job as well). I frequently ate dinner at my desk and worked 60 hour weeks. It was exhausting/great, and ultimately TOTALLY WORTH IT.

April: I was hired as a Happiness Engineer at Automattic on the 7th and started on the 27th. LIFE CHANGED. This was the highlight of my year.


May: I had my head down this month focusing on figuring things out as a new HE at Automattic. Starting a new job at a fully remote company means diving into a lot of text-based communication & documentation to figure things out.

June: My BFF visited and I took her to my favorite pizza place, and we tried out a nearby bakery and found out it’s amazing.

July: Went to Portland and ate some delicious food.

August: Cry-read Between the World and Me and started recommending it to white people.

View of Street from a Boat in Ghent, Belgium

View of Street from a Boat in Ghent, Belgium

September: I went to Europe for 2.5 weeks to visit Dutch family (cute! nieces!) and my former/second home (Amsterdam), plus spent some time in Ghent and Rome, too. And I celebrated my sixth wedding anniversary.

October: This was a busy month! I spent an awesome week in Park City, Utah at my first Automattic Grand Meetup, and celebrated six months working full-time as a Happiness Engineer. I also went to Seattle with my BFF for Geek Girl Con, attended An Event Apart in Austin (plus shared session notes), and volunteered at WordCamp DFW.

November: My sister came to Dallas for Thanksgiving and we ate at our new dining table for the very first time. I made a quick trip to Houston for one night and back.


Our newly painted & updated fireplace

December: I visited Philly for the first time and went to WordCamp US, where I volunteered as the official Twitter & Instagram person for the event, and liveblogged Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word. I met my fellow DFW Automatticians for Christmas dinner with our families, and celebrated Christmas at home with filet mignon, video games, and lounging. We also painted our fireplace.

Places visited in 2015 (other than Dallas where I live):

  • Belgium – Ghent
  • Italy – Rome
  • The Netherlands – Amsterdam, Purmerend, Voorschoten, Hoorn
  • United States – Austin, Houston, Park City, Philadelphia, Portland, Seattle

2015 Annual Report

Screenshot from wordpress.com 2015 annual report for sarahblackstock.com

If you’re on WordPress.com (or connected to it via the Jetpack plugin) and meet the minimum requirements, you can add “/2015/annual-report/” to the end of your site’s address and see a nicely done report on your blog for the year.

I particularly like this Posting Patterns section, because when I started blogging here in April, I decided to post every single day and the green on every square (day) shows me that I did it! 😀 (The few posts before that are ones I imported over from another blog.)

Posting Patterns from sarahblackstock.com's 2015 annual report from wordpress.com

Pretty nice!

Top 3 Most Popular Posts in 2015

  1. Mullenweg, Y’all – I loved his explanation of why he says y’all and shared a story about why I like it too.
  2. Party Pics – The 10th anniversary party at Automattic’s Grand Meetup had a photo booth, so we might have taken some photos.
  3. My Trial at Automattic in GIFs – These GIFs very closely depict my emotional state during my trial.


I haven’t decided what my blogging goals are for this year quite yet. I think I’ll aim to hit 365 days on my streak, at least, and reassess then to decide if I want to keep going.

As for goals outside of blogging, who knows! I’ll make a list of things I plan to work on throughout the year soon. (If you’re looking to set some reading goals, I’m sharing a reading challenge tomorrow, so swing back by then.)

Enjoy your weekend!