Dear 2017,

Every year I write a letter reflecting the past year.
I try to write it around December 31, but we were in Lake Tahoe and today was the first time I opened my laptop in over a week. No blogging in the past week and a half, just soaking up Christmas, New Years & Family time.....the BEST!
To read the other yearly letters, click HERE.
Dear 2017,
When I look back on 2017,  I will think of you as a good year for our family.
There were good times & bad times. 
Laughter & tears.
A year of change.
I will look back at 2017 and smile. 
Here are some highlights:
My highlight of January is always Kate's birthday!
She turned 10 and we celebrated with an Ice Skating Party.
We went to an Ice Skating Rink and then we came back to our house for Pizza, Cake & a Hot Coco Bar.
It was a really fun party!
 Read the entire party post {HERE}

Kate also got her ears pierced on her 10th birthday. In our family you have to be double digits to get that done. 
She had been looking forward to this for years!


The highlight of February was all the skiing we did! Tahoe got so much snow this past winter & it was a blast.
 We got ski passes for the season & committed to skiing as a family. Kevin and I both grew up skiing & love it, so this past winter we taught the kids to ski. We didn't put them in lessons or ski school, we taught them ourselves & it was so fun!!!
 Praying we get snow this winter...there is none right now.

March was more skiing & a lot more snow!
 We actually got snowed in & stuck in Tahoe in March. I had to call my school and get a sub because we couldn't drive home since the freeway was closed. Love it.
 Check out how much snow we had...that is our 2nd story balcony that Claire is jumping off!

In March, we also had our school auction....it was a Kentucky Derby theme.
 I love a themed party!

April was amazing. The first week of April was Spring Break.
Kate was learning about all the California Missions since she was in 4th grade, so at the last minute, I decided to take the kids on a Spring Break Road Trip to check out some of the California Missions. Kevin had to work, so it was just me and the 3 kids.
We had a BLAST!!!!

We started here in the Bay Area and ended our trip in Santa Barbara.
We saw 10 California Missions on our road trip. Such memorable time with my kids.
You can read all about our Road Trip & time in Santa Barbara {HERE}

Another highlight in April was the day before Easter, the girls donated their hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.
They had been growing out their hair for 18 months & they each donated 8 inches.
So proud of them for donating their hair. I think they might do it again...April was the last time they got their hair cut, so they are halfway there...9 more months to go! LOL!

May is always a fun month because it's both mine & Kevin's birthday months!
 The first weekend in May, Kevin and I went to Chicago for 4 days of fun!
It was the first time either of us had been to Chicago & we absolutely fell in love with Chicago.
What a great city. We went to a Cubs game, tour of Wrigley Field, Architectural Boat Tour, Sears/Willis Tower, John Hancock building & more!
 All the details of our trip can be read {HERE}

Another weekend in May I went to Lake Tahoe for a Rodan + Fields Level 5 trip that I earned. It was my 3rd year going on this trip & it was a blast. This year we went to the Casinos one night & played some Blackjack! I won $100!

 Memorial Day Weekend was spent in Sonoma & Napa Wine Country with 4 girls from my personal Rodan + Fields Team. They met some amazing goals earlier in the year, so we celebrated with a trip to Wine Country.
 2 of the girls on my team are from Michigan, so they LOVED seeing California Wine Country for the first time! Angie on my team was a blog reader & joined my RF team 3 years ago.

 It was an amazing weekend, but then I got the call.
 The call that my Grammy had passed away at the age of 105 years old 7 months..to the day.

Losing Grammy was the hardest thing that happened to me in 2017.
Grammy died 3 days before my birthday, so I wasn't in the mood to do anything fun on my birthday.

You can read more about Grammy's life {HERE}


The highlights of June included going to see Hamilton with my mom & sisters. It as amazing!!!
 Another highlight in June was going to see Boys 2 Men, Paula Abdul & NKOTB!!!!
 The Warriors also won the NBA Championships!
 We headed to Tahoe for the week of Fathers Day.
  We had a great time enjoying our new stand up paddle boards.
The summer months are always fun in Tahoe!
Kevin also finished the outdoor kitchen/bar:
We ate lots of dinners outside at the bar during the summer months!


On July 1st, I had my 20 year High School Reunion. I was Senior Class Treasurer, so I helped plan the Reunion.
It was so fun!

Loved seeing friends who I haven't seen in years.
The kids and I headed to Tahoe again for more fun in the sun.

 The most exciting part of July was when we surprised the kids on the way to the airport and told them we were going to Hawaii!
 We had THE BEST time in Maui.
 Such great family time in paradise.
  It was a trip I will never forget!


August means the end of summer (Boo!) But it also means Luke's birthday & our Anniversary.

Luke turned 5 and we had a Superhero Pool Party.
Luke loves Superheros, especially Batman.
It was a fun party!
You can see the rest of the party details {HERE}

School started the week after Luke's Birthday. Luke started TK, Claire 3rd & Kate 5th grade.
This is the first and only year they will all 3 be at the same school.
 I started my 14th year of teaching! 

At the end of August, Kevin and I celebrated 15 years of marriage. We snuck away for a weekend away in Half Moon Bay. 


Some highlights of September were going to Tahoe Labor Day Weekend for one last Summer hurrah!
We had so much fun tubing with friends on the Lake.

On the 9th, Claire turned 9! We celebrated with a Hawaiian Pool Party Luau.

 This was a fun theme, especially since we had just gone to Hawaii.
See the rest of the party details {HERE}

September was the start of soccer season & I had so much fun being one of Claire's soccer coaches this season.

The biggest highlight of September was going to my nieces wedding. The kids were all in the wedding & it was truly a beautiful wedding.
I love weddings! 

Our outdoor bar & structure got finished up in October.
 Didn't Kevin do an amazing job?
 We can't wait to use this outdoor space this Spring & Summer when the weather warms up.
The biggest change in October is when Kevin started a new job!!!!!
He had been at his previous company for 14 years and a new opportunity came up & it has been awesome...way better work life family balance! Cheers to that!
We had Grammy's celebration of life on her birthday weekend. She would have been 106.
We are Grammy's 6 grandkids giving a Cranberry Vodka cheers to Grammy:
It was a Harry Potter Halloween...my kids are obsessed.

 We had our annual family photo shoot in November. I love how they turned out.
The highlight of November & possibly my year was our NYC trip over Thanksgiving Break & going to the Thanksgiving Day parade.

The trip was EPIC.
The trip was even better than  I thought it would be.
Take me back to NYC during Christmas!!!!! The BEST!
You can read about the whole NYC trip on these posts:

Day 1 HERE 
Day 2 HERE
Day 3 HERE
Day 4 HERE

It was a November to Remember.

Like always, December went by too fast.
Christmas Season...love this time of year.
We hosted an Ugly Sweater Party
Party details on THIS post.

I watched a ridiculous amount of Hallmark Christmas movies this December. 
I was also sick the entire month of December...fever, flu, bronchitis & then sinus infection. 
Hoping for health in 2018.  
We had a wonderful Christmas & then headed to my happy place...Lake Tahoe for 6 days to end the year & ring in 2018.

In 2017 I added 24 new recipes to the blog (11 of those new recipes are Instant Pot recipes!)
 In 2017, I fell in love with my Instant Pot!
 I've had it for over a year now & I am OBSESSED. 
You can check those out all those recipes in the Recipe Box tab.
In 2017 started a new blog series called Loving Lately & each month I picked a different color theme and shared what I was Loving Lately based on that color.
It was fun doing this each month.
 I might keep doing this in 2018 or maybe something else...stay tuned!

2017..... You were good to us & you have memorable.
Lots of good times, some sad times, more laughter than tears. 
2018, you have a lot to live up to. Thanks for the memories 2017.

I am thankful to God for the ways he worked in our family this year and for the ways that He will continue to work in us and through us.
Happy New Year, friends.
Thanks for reading my blog!
I appreciate all of you!
May your 2018 be filled with joy & hope no matter your circumstances!


  1. Here’s to 2018. May it be even better for you and your family.

  2. What a fun year y’all had!! Can’t wait to follow along with your sweet family in 2018!!

  3. Looks like you had a great 2017. Hope 2018 is just as fun and memorable!

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