2016 favorites


loch ness

It’s so easy to just want to get past this year.  It has been a tough year for the world, and it seems to have been a tough year for a lot of people personally (including us).  So I’m trying to end it by looking at the good…and hoping for even better next year.

Also, I’m tempted to make even lists (5 or 10 of something), but I’m just going to go with my favorites…however many there are.

Favorite Memories of 2016:

  • Beach trip with Gerrit’s family.  It was such a great a relaxing week and something I wish (and hope) we could do more regularly.
  • The entire England/Scotland trip was worth remembering.  Even though there were aspects of taking that trip that contributed to our stress this year (see: selling/buying a house at the same time), it was an amazing experience.  Particular favorites were all of London, St. Andrew’s, standing on the pebble shores of Loch Ness, and driving through the Highlands.
  • Finding a perfect (almost) house.  We moved this year and although I miss our old house often, it is amazing to me that we found what we consider to be an almost perfect new house.  After seeing so many duds, walking into the house we bought was amazing because it had almost everything we wanted (which we didn’t think was possible).
  • Evelyn’s growth.  She has grown and learned so much and it is amazing to watch.  Everyday the new sentences coming out of her mouth just astound me.  She is so smart and so sweet and so funny.

food 2016

Favorite Food I Made in 2016:

  • Hazelnut Cake–one of my new go-to desserts.  It feels so fancy, but it not complicated at all to make.
  • Chicken Ramen Stir Fry–this has gone on our regular weekly dinner rotation.
  • Potato Frittata with Bacon, Scallions, and Feta–I made this for brunch, and have since decided I need to have more brunches in my life so that I can make this more often.  Or just make this for dinner.
  • Califlower Pasta Sauce–a basic pasta sauce that we all love (one of Evelyn’s favorites).  And the leftovers go in my freezer (after being frozen in mini muffin tins) and give us go-to meals on busy nights/nights when cooking is just not going to happen.

books 2016

Favorite Books I Read in 2016:

  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel–this was hands down my absolute favorite book I read this year.  Beautifully written, beautiful plot structure.
  • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert–I’m so grateful for Liz Gilbert and her thoughts on creativity.  Creativity is important for so many reasons, and it shouldn’t have pressure put on it.  This book reminds me to create because I love it, and not because of anything else.
  • Eligible by Curtis Sittenfield–A re-telling of Pride and Prejudice that is so witty and smart and fun.
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi–I hesitate to put this on my favorites list, because it was such a tough read (there were times I didn’t want to pick it up because of the subject matter).  But it belongs here because it is fantastically done and I find myself still thinking about the stories of this book.
  • The Story of  New Name by Elena Ferrante–the second book of the Neopolitan novels, and so far (I’m three in), my favorite.  Where the first and third once drag a bit in plot, this was one I didn’t want to put down, and the emotional insights and flowing writing style are still just as beautiful.
  • All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr–yes, I finally got around to it.  And yes, it is fantastic.
  • Commonwealth by Ann Patchett–I loved this quieter book about family relationships over several generations.

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