With 2016 coming to a close, I thought I’d share another recap (like in 2015). It was way easier last time because I blogged so much last year, so at the very least, writing this post was a good reminder that I’d like to document my life more. Good thing I’m starting a Bullet Journal right now. 😉 And I solemnly swear to post here at least 48 times in 2017. (Can you tell I’m watching Harry Potter?) Read on for my monthly recap and a list of the places I visited this year.
Here’s a month-by-month recap of what I was up to (as far as I can remember):
January: I visited Phoenix for a work team meetup, plus spent a few days of roadtripping around the state, including to Sedona and the Grand Canyon, with two teammates.
February: We kicked off our master bathroom remodel. It got demolished (down to the studs and subfloor!), then slowly put back together. (See the before here.) I also wrote about the anxiety I was surprised to experience during the remodeling. I still owe final after pictures, but here’s a sneak peek. (And I promise to share some photos soon!) I also fell in love with Hamilton this month and then started a team rotation at work that lasted three months and enabled me to learn a ton about WordPress themes.
March: I worked at my local polling place for the Democratic party during the presidential primary, then I gave a talk about WordPress for the first time. I went to NTC’s WordPress Day in San Jose and spoke about social media and WordPress for nonprofits. (I shared slides and notes from my talk here.) Look! A sketchnote of my talk:
April: We got a new bed (since we ended up also remodeling our bedroom at the same time as the bathroom), and I love, love, love it. (I’ll blog a review of it soon, in case you’re looking for one.) I also wrote about seeing my grandma die seven years ago. And I celebrated my one year work anniversary at Automattic. Late in the month, our Dutch family came to visit (with two little nieces), and we spent a week in Orlando at Disney World.
May: My BFF and her boyfriend visited, and we finished up our new built-in living room bookcases. (The before is pretty awful, so you should click that link and see it.) Here’s a shot of the fireplace and a tiny bit of bookcase from right now in December:
June: I got Hulu just so I could keep watching The Mindy Project. Worth every penny. I probably did some other stuff, but who knows. That’s the problem with not blogging as much this year! :/ However, I do know that I watched the entire series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer at least twice in 2016, based on tweets.
One of the best moments of season 4 is when Buffy kicks Riley across the room. #BuffyOnALoop
— Sarah Blackstock🙄🤗 (@sarahblackstock) October 29, 2016
Willow’s fish are dead on a string and OMG ANGELUS IS SO RUDE. #BuffyOnALoop
— Sarah Blackstock🙄🤗 (@sarahblackstock) July 20, 2016
“Do you know what it means that he can’t hurt any living thing? He can’t even pick flowers!” 😂 Harmony & Spike. #BuffyOnALoop
— Sarah Blackstock🙄🤗 (@sarahblackstock) December 27, 2016
July: My mom and sister came to visit for a few days. I turned 34 on the 7th! I got a mani/pedi and ate my favorite burger. Sadly that night there was a mass shooting in my city, so I finished my birthday glued to the news waiting for updates. I also went to Long Beach to represent Automattic and WordPress.com at Wonder Women Tech. I made my heart happy by going to see Ghostbusters in the theater. I started physical therapy for a lingering foot and ankle issue, and finished the month visiting my dad.
Tell me about how the new Ghostbusters film ruined your childhood again? pic.twitter.com/nPHkIt8YFL
— Mel Gabor (@melgabored) November 1, 2016
August: A coworker/friend came to visit (and work from my house for a few days), and then I took a staycation to relax and work on things around the house the next week. I had my first ever all-over skin check at the dermatologist, which had some scary results, and led to several procedures and means I need to watch my skin closely and go back at least every six months (or when I spot something new/weird). I wear sunscreen religiously (and have for many years now), but I grew up in the ’80s and wasn’t always coated in it the way I should’ve been back then.
September: I celebrated seven years of marriage! <3 I wrote about Veronica Mars and feminism. I spent a week in Whistler in Canada for the annual Automattic Grand Meetup, where I got to see all my coworkers in person and lead a project. While there I gave my flash talk on reasons to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I helped run WordCamp DFW, a local WordPress conference, after months of organizing and planning. I finished the month with ankle surgery to repair an issue in my cartilage that was making my ankle unstable and wasn’t getting better with physical therapy.
October: This month is mostly a blur of recovering from my ankle surgery. I spent two weeks in bed on major pain pills, including the four days right after surgery when I had an allergic reaction to the first pills I got and had to switch. I live tweeted it using this hashtag: #blahstock. Once I got off the pain meds, I was still pretty limited in movement and energy, so I stayed home and did very little the whole month. Luckily I’m married to a great guy who took fantastic care of me and I’m a champion binge-watcher. I watched all of Zoo and The Last Ship this month. I was in a weird mood. I also watched the newest season of The Fall and I stand by my awkward serial killer crush. (Highly recommend the show!)
I forgot about my heroine’s dog for like 5 chapters. I hope he’s okay. 😉😬😂 #NaNoWriMo
— Sarah Blackstock🙄🤗 (@sarahblackstock) November 8, 2016
November: I wrote a novel in one month for NaNoWriMo and won! It’s a regency romance and I’m editing it now. I survived the presidential election. I went to Barcelona, Spain for a team meetup, and then my best friend and her boyfriend came to visit for Thanksgiving. She mostly came for the day after, which we called Gilmore Girls Friday, and we binged the new episodes on Netflix. We also had a small Paulie Shore marathon (Son in Law and Encino Man), watched Can’t Hardly Wait (a favorite from our teen years) and marathoned every Twilight movie because WHY NOT. 🙂
I can't even stress eat my election night cookies right now because my anxiety is making me feel too barfy.
— Sarah Blackstock🙄🤗 (@sarahblackstock) November 9, 2016
December: I went to Philly for WordCamp US, another WordPress conference I helped organize (and the biggest one in America). I live-tweeted the whole thing, including the State of the Word. My husband was in a car accident (his first ever!) on the way home from work, when a driver who was texting turned directly in front of him. He was okay (just bruised from the seat belt), but the car wasn’t. Post-election I spent a lot of time reading news, feeling anxious, and just plain… not great about things outside of my immediate personal life. :/ We stayed home for Christmas, which made it super relaxing, and had filet mignon and lots of cookies. 😀
Places visited in 2016 (other than Dallas where I live):
- Arizona, including Phoenix, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon
- San Jose, California
- Orlando, Florida for Disney World
- Long Beach, California
- Conroe area near Houston, Texas
- Whistler (near Vancouver) in Canada
- Barcelona, Spain
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Progress on the Home Remodel in 2016:
- Living room: finished it up! I’ll post a tour and more photos.
- Master bathroom remodel. (It’s fantastic. I’ll share a full recap soon.)
- Master bedroom re-do. New walls, new paint, new bed, new curtains, etc.
- Hallway update: walls, paint, trim. Just need to finish painting some trim.
- Dining room: converted the formal living room into a giant dining room. It’s done, minus the one wall we’re going to add a coffee bar (to do during the 2017 kitchen renovation).
Hope to see you around in 2017! 😀