Year in Review (2016)

I thought it would be fun as my last post for 2016 to recap some of the highlights of the year! I think everyone can agree there were a lot of not-so-great things about 2016… but I believe it’s incredibly important to focus on the good, so that’s what I’ll be doing today!

I’ll warn you ahead of time… this is a looong post. Better grab some coffee and get comfortable for this one. ;)

January

I purchased a Snapshop subscription! I had been dying to take this course and the timing had never been right before. Almost a year later, and I still haven’t finished it… ha. But I hope to make that a priority in 2017!

There was also some really beautiful snow and frost.

Year in Review (2016) on karendrakeblog.comAnd last, but most certainly not least, I became an auntie to the most beautiful baby boy! His mama wasn’t due for another 5 weeks, but little boy was ready to meet the world!

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February

We celebrated Levi’s birthday at the beginning of the month and on Valentine’s Day, we explored a giant ice castle! (I just realized never actually posted photos here on the blog. oops!)

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On Leap Day, I published one of my favourite posts I’ve written this year.

. . .

March

Three days into the month, I was approved for my Canadian work permit and once it arrived I was able to get Canadian ID, health care, and a social insurance number. It might sound like a silly thing to consider a highlight, but believe me it was exciting.

We went on a short hike at Elk Island… also maybe a strange thing to consider a highlight but when you’re cooped up inside most of the winter, it’s so refreshing and exciting to get outside for some exercise.

Year in Review (2016) on karendrakeblog.com

Two weeks into the month, I received an email saying I had been approved for permanent residency pending a final interview… a whole year ahead of schedule!! On March 31st, we went in for the interview and some final paperwork and at the end of it, I officially became a permanent resident of Canada. This was one of the most exciting days of the year!

Year in Review (2016) on karendrakeblog.com

. . .

April

I booked our anniversary getaway and Levi surprised me by coming home early (with a lovely bunch of tulips in hand) after being out of town for most of the month.

2016-04-19 photo-a-day project on karendrakeblog.com

I made a Snapchat account… which could be considered a silly thing to list here, but thanks to Snapchat I’ve reconnected with an old friend who I hadn’t talked to for a couple of years and our friendship has definitely been a highlight of this year.

We spent the last two days of the month in Canmore… the beginning of our anniversary getaway!

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May

Obviously, our extended weekend in Canmore was a huge highlight of May! We started the month with a beautiful hike in the mountains.

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We spent the day of our second anniversary relaxing at the hot springs in Banff and visiting Lake Louise!

Year in Review (2016) on karendrakeblog.comYear in Review (2016) on karendrakeblog.comYear in Review (2016) on karendrakeblog.comAnd on our drive back home we stopped by the Calgary Zoo! It was such a wonderful trip.

Year in Review (2016) on karendrakeblog.com We bought kayaks in May! It was so fun taking them out… something I’m hoping to do a lot more of in the coming year.

Year in Review (2016) on karendrakeblog.com

I also started a garden…

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…we did a lot of barbecuing…

Year in Review (2016) on karendrakeblog.com

…and we took a long overdue trip to BC to finally meet our nephew! It was so wonderful to spend time with Levi’s family and (finally!) get in some nephew snuggles.

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June

This month was fairly uneventful, but I aced my Alberta learners licence test… definitely a happy thing!

. . .

July

I harvested the first green beans from my garden! (I think I got about 3 meals worth out of my two bushes over the summer!)

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We bought our living room couch set in July and it was also the beginning of Weekly Goals! And believe it or not, PokemonGo was a favourite of mine this month. The game got a lot of hate from older generations, but personally I loved the time Levi and I spent running around outside playing it. We had so much fun and it was a really great way to spend an afternoon or evening.

. . .

August

In August, Levi’s parents and grandma came to visit for a weekend! Levi’s mom helped me can homemade blackberry jam and we also visited the Muttart Conservatory while they were here!

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September

September was crazy!! We started out the month in BC, camping with Levi’s family! It was my first camping trip and even though it was freezing and rainy, it was a wonderful weekend with the family. I can’t wait to do it again.

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Just a little over week after we got home, my mom came to visit!! It was so wonderful to have her up here and we showed her as much of Alberta as we could in the time she was here!

Edmonton of course…

Year in Review (2016) on karendrakeblog.com

…Drumheller…

Year in Review (2016) on karendrakeblog.com

…Jasper…

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…and Elk Island!

Year in Review (2016) on karendrakeblog.com

. . .

October

In October, Levi was out of town working on Thanksgiving Day, so we had our own little dinner once he was back. It ended up being perfect.

Year in Review (2016) on karendrakeblog.com

October also brought some really beautiful autumn leaves, our first snowfall of the year, and a visit from Levi’s cousin!

Year in Review (2016) on karendrakeblog.com

. . .

November

November brought a lot of snow!

Year in Review (2016) on karendrakeblog.com

We also bought our Christmas tree… and went to a Celtic Thunder concert! (a dream come true!)

Year in Review (2016) on karendrakeblog.com

. . .

December

There were so many wonderful things that happened in December!

I did a lot of Christmas shopping… which always brings me so much joy, finding the perfect gifts for people. We took some snowy, Christmasy photos at Islet Lake and I absolutely adore how they turned out.

Year in Review (2016) on karendrakeblog.com

This beauty was introduced to my kitchen and I’m completely in love!

Year in Review (2016) on karendrakeblog.com

I did a lot of Christmas baking, mailed a lot of packages, and did a lot of blog post prep by tree light.

Year in Review (2016) on karendrakeblog.com

I also met the grinch! And he tried to steal my toque. (this actually was a highlight of the year to me. I’m a weirdo. a grinch loving weirdo.)

Year in Review (2016) on karendrakeblog.com

A few final highlights of the year have been Facetiming with our nephew on Christmas Eve, hearing gasps of delight and watching the joyful reactions as our families opened their gifts from us (also over Facetime), this week’s “mini staycation” Levi has had at home, and completing my first 1SecondEveryday video project.

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations. ;)

Putting this post together took several hours… but they have been hours well spent. It was so wonderful looking back through all the posts and photos from this year and being reminded of all the amazing places I visited, the happy memories that were made, and the great times spent with the wonderful people in my life.

I’ll see you guys back here next year! 2017, I’m ready for you!

  • Kristi jasik - What a beautiful post…so many memories and all held such a special meaning to you! This needs to be a yearly post for sure! I especially liked the September post…lol. Thank you for sharing your year in review highlights…I loved it! Happy New year and talk to you next year! I just love saying that!ReplyCancel

    • Karen - it will be! I loved putting it together! And yes September was definitely a favourite of mine as well!ReplyCancel

  • Barb Drake - Spent most of my time trying to figure out what I should call myself😄😉…..Barb or Mom D or Barbara Sue or Mom or Levis Mom or…or…or…ridiculous.
    So I love ur post and though I never thought about it…I wholeheartedly concur with your theory re heating stores or not…..makes perfect sense.
    What an excellent way to take time to stop and appreciate the events in your life…to remember and smile again. Well done Karen…..well done indeed.
    You are such a very talented photographer….esp w nature and wildlife….I think you should apply to work for National Geographic.😉
    I am sorry I am negligent in posting on your blog …..I so enjoy reading and admiring….And appreciate all the effort you put in keeping it going and so I will endeavour to be more faithful in responding.
    So curious…who gifted you the beautiful blue mixer? Gorgeous color and good looking mixer.
    Love you and miss you
    Mom DReplyCancel

    • Karen - thanks for your comment! and don’t ever feel bad about not responding or a delayed response. I definitely appreciate every comment I receive, but it certainly isn’t mandatory… nor is there any sort of timeline for response. :) I have to say… a photographer position with National Geographic would be pretty incredible.
      the mixer is from a very generous “secret santa” from Florida… otherwise known as my mom, ha.
      love and miss you too! lots and lots!ReplyCancel

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