Globally, 2016 was a terrible year. Just a piece of absolute garbage. But, personally (and professionally), I wound up having pretty much t...

A Year in Review: 2016

Globally, 2016 was a terrible year. Just a piece of absolute garbage. But, personally (and professionally), I wound up having pretty much the best year possible.

 Sure there were ups and downs, and it started in a pretty rough place. So there was no where to go but up. It didn't come without a lot, A LOT, of hard work. But in the end, I made every month of 2016 a success.


I made a goal, and I stuck to it. Like many people, I wanted to lose weight. Towards the end of 2015 I was the heaviest I have ever been, and I wasn't happy. 

 I actually started in December but kicked things into high gear in January. By April, I had lost just over 30 pounds. It's crazy for me to even think about that number.

 Also in January, we went to Taste of Soulard, and I met this dapper fellow named Andrew. I want a cat on a leash.


I realized that I had a decision to make. I was no longer challenged at my job. I could right it out for a few months, being comfortable with what I do. Or, I could do something about it.

I did not feel ready to make the jump to a new company, but I started looking at options. The more I looked, the more I realized that my job would not give me the types of opportunities that I wanted. If I wanted to advance, I needed to spend some of my own time on professional development.

 So I started volunteering with The Fit and Food Connection, and it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Volunteering has been so rewarding in so many ways. It also helped me learn, meet new people, get my dream job, and take a trip to Breckenridge, CO. More on all of that later.

 Also in February, Jim and I went winter camping. We took the best nap in the sun after setting up our tent, and we got some of the best sleep of the year.


At the beginning of the year, I set a yoga goal pose: forearm stand. Also known as Pincha, this pose has always been pretty high on my goal list ever since I mastered the headstand, years earlier. I was determined to learn how to do this pose without a wall, and I did it.

 In March, I held pincha for the first time. Granted, that first time was for less than a second, but I still counted it. If you don't count it, later that same day I held it for two seconds, and by the end of the month I was up to a steady 10 seconds. 

 Also in March, I ate pizzadillas like no one's business. If you haven't tried them yet, I blogged about them. They are heaven.


In April, Jim and I took our long-awaited trip to Mexico. What a great week it was, spending time with friends in the sun by the ocean. When the hotel staff begged us to upgrade our room to an ocean view room for almost double the price, Jim and I said no. We wound up with an ocean view in our cheap "standard" room, and that first night, we got the second best sleep of the year.

 We didn't do any excursions on the trip, but we didn't need to. Spending time in paradise was well worth it. And all I really cared about was doing yoga by the ocean (but not on the beach because there was too much wind blowing sand in your face).

 We dressed up for dinner every night, and afterwards we always went to our favorite ocean-side bar. The other people at the resort were missing out. The bar was never crowded after dinner, we always had more than enough seats for the 10 of us, and the evening breeze coming off of the waves felt amazing.

 Also in April, I started making home made chicken nuggets, and I have never gone back. Check out the recipe I snagged from Pinterest.


In May, big things were happening with The Fit and Food Connection. By this time, I had become head of the social media and website teams, and I helped to promote the organization's first ever Give STL Day.

 I began serving on the Board, as head of the Marketing Committee. Because I was so invested, I became very close with the one of the organization's Co-Director Joy.  She has been a tremendous resource for me, and I know she will be my lifelong friend.

 Starting in May, another volunteer and I also began teaching a weekly yoga class for those in need. It was held at St. Vincent's Community Center in St. Louis, and received such rave reviews that our original 6 week session was renewed multiple times, taking us all the way up to November 15th. 

 My class attendees loved coming to yoga every week, and I loved getting to know each of them. I was able to challenge them each week  This was the most rewarding experience that I have had volunteering so far. 

 Obviously, the most important thing to happen in May is my birthday. It was low-key this year, just like every year. That's just how I like it. But I got to see my family, friends, and spend time with my Jim.


In June, I started bullet journaling. If you don't know what that is, read this article, and jump on the bandwagon.

 My bullet journal turned my life around. I started tracking my goals, and that let me see how often I said, "I'll just order pizza" instead of eating my food at home. It allowed me to keep a running to-do list, so I stopped forgetting which nonprofit projects I still had left. 

 I've also loved the idea of having a diary. Even though I didn't write something too interesting every day, I really liked to spend at least 5 minutes each day writing down a daily gratitude. All of this hard work towards a good life is worth nothing if you don't take the time to appreciate it.

 At work, I was promoted the day before my one year anniversary at Spectrum Reach. I got a minimal raise which was not worth the double (actually triple due to growth in both of my regions) work I had been putting in for two months. It fueled the fire to leave. Now that I had the title, I really started hitting the job boards hard.

 Also in June, Jim and I tried acro yoga for the first time. Drunk acro yoga. We were terrible, and Jim called me a mashed potato queen. It was a hoot.


July was a tough month for me. I was on my third month of tripling my workload, and I was exhausted. I would get home and work on nonprofit work or teach yoga for the Fit and Food Connection. And I found myself with pretty much zero time to myself.

 I did wind up taking one day off of work to have a fun, three day weekend. Some friends, Jim, and I went to a concert on a Sunday night. A Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin concert. Not really my type of music anymore, but I used to be into that stuff in high school. We drank way-to-expensive cans of Bud Light Lime and had a darn good time. Except that I lost my favorite sunglasses in the lawn somewhere.

 Also in July, I cut off a little over six inches of my hair. I just started missing the length recently, but it's been looking pretty healthy.


I never eat out by myself, so I had gone almost a whole year without trying any of the food places near my apartment. In August, Jim and I discovered the best tacos in Maryland Heights (that's probably not saying much).

LA Taco Cantina became on of our go-to places, and I'm a little sad I don't still live in the neighborhood. It also serves the world renowned (lol) Maryland Heights Mule, of which we never partook. If you're ever in the neighborhood, this place is a must.

 We discovered O'Fallon Brewery's O'Bar much sooner, only a few months after I moved in. We frequented this place because it has fantastic beer selection, and in August, I had my first Pumpkin Beer of fall 2016. Yum.

 Also in August, one of my amazing Instagram followers painted a picture of me. It was so sweet, and I was so flattered.


With the weather cooling down a little - this is St. Louis, who am I kidding - in September, I managed to get outside more often.

Throughout the month I went on several bike rides and did yoga in the park almost every week. I found and started frequenting Creve Coeur Memorial Lake park, which is a beautiful park with a walking and biking path circling a lake where people go sail boating.

 Jim and I had a lot of fun in September after we discovered my favorite new digital media toy for 2016 - Bitmoji. This is a silly little app that allows you to make a cartoon avatar. It connects with Snapchat and you can send odd pictures of your Bitmoji through text too. Like an emoji, but better.

 Also in September, I became a brand ambassador for Altar Ego Apparel. They make some really nice yoga pants. Use code "kelsey_supreme" for 15% off.


Overworked and underpaid, I made huge a huge decision and career advancement in October. At the end of October, I started working at Paradigm New Media Group, a small digital firm in the Central West End.

 When I applied to the job, I wasn't sure if I would get it. It was pretty much the dream job. When I heard from the HR person the next very day, I got extremely excited. Then I met everyone there during my interview and fell even more in love with the role.

When offered the job, I took it almost immediately - but not without negotiating a little bit to make sure that the career advancement was substantial, if you catch my drift. 

 I have absolutely loved every minute of working at Paradigm so far. I have always dreamed of working in the small, agency environment, and it is everything that I hoped it would be. I am challenged every day, and no two days are alike. I am constantly learning, whether it's for a client requested project, or just catching up on industry news. When I come home each day, I feel accomplished. 

 Also in October, Jim rocked his Halloween costume, Fat Mac from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I drew his tattoo. My Sweet Dee was not as on point.


Life really started to get chaotic before the holidays hit. Jim and I started looking for a house, to rent, since his lease was up in January. We spent  full week and a half scouring the internet for places to live the Kirkwood area, but no dice - at least not in our budget.

 Finally, we wound up finding what looked to be an okay option in St. Charles. Jim wanted to get out of the St. Charles area, but I was perfectly okay moving out a little bit further. We met the landlord to see the house sort of last minute, and we immediately fell in love. Unlike the options we were seeing closer to the city, this house was newly renovated on the inside and had covered parking for both of our cars - plus enough driveway space to have over more friends than we have. More on this later.

We went camping right after going to see the house, and on the way there, the landlord called us and dropped the rent price. Sold.

 Also in November, I went back to Cape Girardeau to visit my dear friend Dawn. We went to the Yule Log Cabin for the third year in a row and spent the entire day looking at Christmas things. I spent way too much money - as usual - but I wound up with some Christmas decorations that I will treasure forever. Plus, I got to meet her cat, Houston, who is my long distance best friend.


December was the busiest month of the year. We had so much planned, and so little time to do it. But somehow, we managed.

 First up, we officially signed our lease to move into the new house on the 17th. Next, we had a trip to Breckenridge, CO scheduled from the 8th through the 14th. You can already see how little time we had to pack up each of our apartments. Finally, we had holiday things to deal with, just like everyone else. Two parties on the 17th right after spending the day moving, and we still both had to shop for Christmas gifts for our families and each other.

 Our trip to Breckenridge was absolutely a dream. The house we stayed in (for free, thanks to me and all of my hard work) was stunning. It was a legitimate mansion. Six bedrooms, six bathrooms, and three kitchens. What? I couldn't even comprehend. I would have been happy just spending time in that beautiful house staring at the amazing views and watching the snow fall.

 The house was right downtown though. We were able to walk to tons of little restaurants and shops, plus some of our friends walked to go skiing. Walking around in the snow was a whole lot of fun, and we weren't even cold most of the time. 

 Eventually, it was time to go home, and they were able to drag me to the airport somehow. When we got home, it was right back to work, packing our apartments. I didn't even unpack my suitcase - just threw it in the back of my car with all sorts of other boxes. The whole week before the move, my evenings were spent going back and forth between my apartment and the new house, bringing as many boxes as possible. 

 Then, the night before the big move, we had a perfectly timed ice storm. Jim and I had both planned to finish bringing all of our boxes to the new house, and get all of our furniture ready for the moving truck. After spending an hour and a half getting home from work - which was usually a 20 minute commute - I decided I wasn't risking it. Around 9, Jim decided to go for it. He spent his first night at the house, sleeping on the sleeping bags that we thankfully brought earlier in the week, because his car got stuck trying to leave.

 The day of the move, the ice had melted and we had no problems. We were done quickly, and everyone mostly went home instead of taking us up on the offer of pizza and beer. More weather was on it's way. We wound up skipping the holiday parties, and good thing! Our trouble in the new house started on the first night. Stay tuned for a blog post about our new house in the coming weeks.

 Also in December, I got to Skype with my sister Amanda, while she spent Christmas Eve in Thailand. Amanda and her husband are in the middle of a year-long travel spree, and this was the first time that we've Skyped since she's been gone! Of course, the quality was not the greatest, but it was nice to at least hear her voice.

Now on to 2017..

I hope to make this year just as great. Other than yoga pose goals, I don't have any set goals for 2017. I plan to live life as it takes me. I anticipate that it will be a year of learning - professionally with my new job, personally with the new living arrangement, and physically with my yoga practice.

I survived 2016. Let's see what you've got, 2017.

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