Top moments of 2016

Happy New Year friends! I kind of disappeared for awhile there. Eric and I went to Kauai, Hawaii for Christmas and prior to that we were in Vancouver for a couple of days for a friends wedding. I meant to put up a post from Hawaii but I just never got around to it. There will be several Kauai recap posts coming in January though as well as a few of my best of 2016 posts – like best books I read!

In the meantime, I couldn’t finish off the year without doing my top moments post. Traditionally the number of moments has corresponded with the year. So last year I did the top 15 moments of 2015. However, in the interest of time and because I didn’t want to put huge pressure on myself to come up with 16 moments I think we will just do the top moments of 2016. And by “top” I don’t necessarily mean the best or most amazing – I just mean moments to be remembered.

Starting with my best nine according to Instagram. Best nine just means most liked photos, and I remember in 2015 this collage was not at all an accurate reflection of my year. But in 2016 it really was!


My top 9 moments according to Instagram likes from top left to right:

  1. Walking Chloe in a  beautiful and frosty winter wonderland and showing everyone that winter can be very beautiful! 
  2. Our last night in our townhouse after we loaded up our U-Haul with 5 years worth of possessions and memories.
  3. A thoughtful Christmas card from my dad before leaving on our trip to Kauai. 
  4. Aloha from the beach in Kauai and the sunrise on our first morning there. 
  5. Enjoying a beer tasting at Kauai Beer Company after a tough day of hiking. 
  6. Gilmore Girls night with my grandma and brother. We nailed the food! 
  7. Enjoying an October winter hike with Chloe in my favourite Live Love North fleece
  8. Heading camping in our new-to-us 12-foot trailer on my 28th birthday. 
  9. Our announcement about moving. I love that quote and read and re-read it many times during the tumultuous decision making process. 

Looking back on some top moments / milestones / a random bunch of thoughts about 2016…

1. Moving


If there is one thing that will define 2016 for us, it will be that it was the year we moved back to our hometown. Moving is such a small word and an insignificant word to describe what we went through. This was simultaneously the worst and hardest decision I’ve ever had to make and the best one for us in the end. It’s been good and bad all at once. We had spent eight years building this beautiful life and I really loved it. But an opportunity came a knocking and it was too good to pass up. But actually making the decision to take it – man. That was so hard. I can’t even fully describe the distraught and despair I felt during the 3 days we were trying to decide what to to do.

Then came all the logistical nightmares of moving. I spent a month working up north while still living down south, which meant I took 14 plane trips in 4 weeks. We had to pack up our townhouse – our first home that we had bought together, the home we came to after our marriage, the home we brought Chloe to, the home we’d hosted countless friends and family members in. With the tight timeline we decided to rent it out instead of sell it, which has been a great decision for us so far, but it was still so hard to let go of that home.

And then once we actually moved. We spent two months living at my grandmothers place (bless her heart!) before moving into our own place at the end of June. In that time frame we also traveled to Toronto with my brother and dad and Eric started not one, but two new jobs (one was a temporary contract).

So moving was not just one moment, but a multitude of them – millions of moments actually. And some of them were so hard. So damn hard. But others were so good, or so bittersweet. Like the incredible goodbye parties my running friends and my coworkers threw me. Like the truly special moments I had saying ‘see you later’ to some of my very best friends. When something big like this happens in your life it serves as a reminder of how lucky you are, and how surrounded by love you are. And that is the biggest moment and lesson I am taking away from our move.

2. Family

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Family is a big word for me in 2016. By moving back to our hometown we moved closer to a whole whack of family and it’s been an amazing thing. We are now close to Eric’s parents, his sister and our four nieces and our nephew. We live right next door to my grandma, who I am very close to. My dad and brother live about a 45 minute drive from us. My aunt and cousins live down the street. My other cousin and his family live 30 minutes away. My mom still lives in southern BC, and it was very hard to leave living so close to her, but I’ve managed to go back down three times since moving in May and it’s a different dynamic when we live so far apart because we really enjoy and make the most of our time together. Eric and I both also have a ton of extended family in the area as well.

Being so close to family has been a huge blessing for us this year and I am so grateful for it. So many moments with family make it into my top moments of 2016; our trip to Toronto with my dad and brother, going camping with my dad in Tumbler Ridge on my birthday weekend, sleepovers with little cousins and our nieces and nephew, Gilmore Girls night with my grandma and my brother. Also, on a tragic note, Eric’s sister-in-law passed away this summer and I am so grateful we were here for our niece and nephew and not 1,000 km away.

3. Travel & Adventure


I was determined to embrace Northern Living and embrace it I did. We camped and fished and hiked our way through the summer. When the snow hit October 1 we were out hiking in it. I got a pair of cross-country skis and went cross-country skiing in -30 C weather.

In addition to our local adventures we also traveled to Toronto with my dad and brother in June, which was a really fun trip. Just recently, Eric and I spent a week in Kauai just the two of us. It was amazing and the only really big trip we did in 2016. I’m so grateful we were able to get away and end the year on the high note of an amazing trip as our favourite thing to do together is travel. We already have a big trip booked for 2017 (England and Iceland!) and I can’t wait.

Our travel adventures both near and far from home are definitely some of the top moments of 2016.

A few other random miscellaneous moments to remember from 2016: Eric’s and my 17-hour road trip to Ikea, successfully finishing my first Whole 30, running (hiking?) my first race in Northern BC, our amazing weekend in a lakeside cabin, throwing Eric a fun and memorable 30th birthday party.


So I feel like this blog post was kind of all over the place. But honestly, 2016 was kind of like that for me as well. It had some high high’s and some very low low’s. One year ago today I never in a million years would have guessed that my life would look the way it does right now. It was like riding a roller coaster this last year with some turns and dips and climbs that never could have been predicted.

But I also know I needed that. I needed all that turmoil and pain and change. It changed me. It was such a growing year and now I feel like I’m more ready for 2017 than ever. At the end of 2015 I said “2016, I’m ready for you.” but I really wasn’t. I was not ready or prepared for all that would come.

I’m not ready for 2017 either. I have no idea what is in store for me.

But I am determined to go into 2017 with an open mind and an open heart

Happy New Year to all of my blog readers. Thank you for joining me on the whirlwind of the last year and for reading along. I wish you all nothing but the best in 2017! xoxo

What was your #1 top moment of 2016? 

6 Responses

  1. Kelly says:

    I love this post! Your year really WAS crazy and it’s amazing all you managed to accomplish (all the books, whole 30, starting a new job…) among all the chaos. You have really inspired me to try to embrace winter here (but ugh it’s so hard for me lol), yours is so much worse so if you can, i can!

  2. You guys had such a crazy year. Congrats on making it through all the turmoil and stress and coming through stronger as a result. I remember the agony of the decision you had to make. Having to make a life changing decision like that in such a short period of time is just awful. I kind of had a taste of that when I moved to Charlotte so I can understand how you felt. I hope that 2017 is far kinder to you guys and has more peace and less change! I mean I know change is inevitable, but you went through a lot of it last year!!

    The #1 moment of 2016 for me was getting engaged. 🙂

  3. Stephany says:

    What a year you have had, Amber. I can only imagine how heart-wrenching the decision to move was – and how difficult the actual move must have been. Change like that is AWFUL on my anxiety, so I’m pretty impressed by you. You made it through! I really hope 2017 is a kind year for you, and filled with more highs than lows.

    My top moment of 2017 was moving into my own apartment. I am so happy where I am living now. 🙂

  4. Travel Spot says:

    Wow, you have done a lot this year! I know that the move was not a light decision but it seems like you both handled it well and of course, having family there to help is such a nice bonus. I think moving and not knowing anyone in the area makes it ten times harder. When I used to work around the country and live out of a hotel it was always a little hard to figure out what to do with myself. That is when I started doing a lot more running and blogging though!

    Happy New Year to you and I can’t wait to hear all about your HI adventures (I saw the FB posts; it looks like you guys had a lot of fun)!!

  5. Abby Nastase says:

    You two had a huge year!! You are handling it all with such grace. Embracing many new BIG changes in life. It will make you two stronger. I don’t know about you – but I find that it’s all good in the midst of the training and then one day 3 months later I’ll have a mini melt down lol!!

    I bet they trip to Kauai was the perfect end to the year for you two to regroup and restore!!

    I love that you are embracing the new climate and brutal cold and environment so well. From the outside – it looks like you didn’t skip a beat!!

    Hoping 2017 is a little more calm and filled with happiness!!!

  6. Wow – what a year! That’s awesome that you were able to take off to Hawaii to end off 2016.

    Hmmm, my number 1 top moment of 2016 would have to be when my niece Remi was born 🙂

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