2016 Chart Toppers and Lessons.


I think most of us are in agreement that 2016 was a rough year. Whether it be personal struggles or nationwide political division, this year has not been great. Most mornings I woke up avoiding the news knowing I wouldn’t hear anything positive…learning that the evil in humanity had struck again. I watched hate win, bigotry walk front and center, people die, and the world have no idea what to do with it.

However, I am a full believer that the world…and by default this year cannot be 100% all bad or good. I don’t live in a dichotomous world. So while things were hard, I had some great moments, good lessons, epic reads, and fulfilling days. So I hope you read my list and get inspired to try something on it. I hope it causes you to think about your year and how even the small good things…were still good things.

My top 3 books I read in 2016…because I am a true book nerd at heart.


  1. Rising Strong by Brene Brown if you hate being challenged…this is not the book for you. This book is a gut check in the best way. Wholehearted living at its finest.
  2. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas 5th book in the Throne of Glass series. Fantasy, magic, love, battles, an evil lord…classic.
  3.  Gender Outlaw by Kate Bornstein This book could not have been read at a better time in history. What better time to learn about and to better understand the transgender experience and history.


Top 3 Experiences of 2016:

  1. My husband and I hiked the Kalalau Trail and tried not to die. Kalalau: journey to another world.
  2. I got into therapy. It changed my life.
  3. Attending my dad’s retirement party at Rockmill Brewery. The whole family was there, we had good beer, and everyone was in a great mood (or at least acted like it)


Top 3 Movies of 2016: 

  1. Hunt for the Wilderpeople Seriously though, I laughed so hard.
  2. Arrival This movie was what you hope a movie will be…and if for some crazy reason you hate it…I bet you’d still love the music.
  3. What can I say…in addition to being a book nerd, I am also a sci-fi nerd. Therefore movie number 3 is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

3 Things I checked off my 2016 bucket list: 

  1. Went to Hawaii (as close as I got to another country)14718591_924690702043_7036936832592357276_n
  2. Hosted a murder mystery party…and I was not the murderer.
  3. Learned something new that I wasn’t that great at: needle felting.


3 TV shows that are a must see from 2016:

  1. Chef’s Table France on Netflix I just fell in love with food even more.
  2. Stranger Things on Netflix Okay who doesn’t love a good 80’s thriller? Yeah most people…but this one changed all our minds.
  3. This is Us on NBC and HULU its everything you want from a TV drama.

Sorry Gilmore Girls Revival. You didn’t make the cut. I had high hopes and then they died.

3 Bands/Artists/Songs I fell in love with this year:

  1. I re-fell in love with Alicia Keys. I don’t why…it’s just good stuff.
  2. Johnnyswim warms my mellow heart.
  3. I listened to “Road to Ensanada” by Lyle Lovett way more than I should have. It happened.

Lastly, 3 most important lessons from this year:

  1. I can be a giving, loving person and still have boundaries, self-care, say no, and personally not give a damn about other people’s drama.
  2. I am very capable of taking care of myself, asking for what I need, and keeping my world safe. I know I can find a way through. I don’t say that like God isn’t involved…more that he has equipped me and I will be okay.
  3. Reality, even if hard, is always better than my naive hopes and ideals. I can make decisions in reality.
  4. Bonus Lesson!!! Empathy does not have to equate to action. I am not here to solve the worlds problems. And that’s ok.
  5. Bonus Bonus Lesson: I only have to accept the feedback from people who are in the arena with me…who are doing their own work and dealing with their own problems. I have a list of people whose feedback matters to me…and most of the world is not on it. It’s freeing.


Smile!! We made it through 2016…even if barely. I hope you too found joyful moments in this chaos we call life. 2017 might not actually be better. But I hope, with naive, little girl hope, that we hold on to the small joys and people we love…that will pull us through.

Blessings in 2017.