"Say what you have to say, and not what you ought."
~ Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Goodbye 2017!

As I look back on 2017 the first thought that comes to my mind is how quickly the year flew by. I know for many, including myself, it was a painful year due to the political climate. Excluding politics though, it was a great year marked by several milestone events, including birthdays, graduations, job changes, saying goodbye to dearly loved family members and joyfully welcoming new ones. 

Here's a recap of the year's highlights in photos. 

We welcomed 2017 with style, celebrating with our friends the Knightons at the beautiful Victoria Club in Riverside, CA. It was a great start to the new year! From there we traveled on to our happy place, San Diego, for some much needed R&R. 
The view from our beachside condo in Imperial Beach, CA.

The new year was also marked by sadness as I said goodbye to my grandpa, Charles Christiansen, who died on December 28, 2016. On January 5, 2017 he was laid to rest with full military honors next to his sweetheart, Gloria. 
My uncle Clayton Christiansen, a Vietnam War vet, was presented with grandpa's flag. 

The cold days of February were broken up by fun nights out in O-town and our traditional Valentine cookie making extravaganza. 
Kelly and I at a pre-Valentine's Day party at Ogden's Union Grill. 

Gillian joined the ranks of political protesters and marched with me in downtown Ogden to protest the president's proposed immigrant ban. 
March was mostly uneventful, other than one of our favorite events each year, the Eccles Art Auction. It's always a fun opportunity to get glam and spend an evening enjoying hundreds of pieces of great local artwork and socializing with friends. 
April brought sunshine and glimpses of summer along with more social events. We spent Easter in Dallas, TX with Kelly's oldest daughter and her then boyfriend, Simon. Kelly was thrilled when during our visit Simon asked him for permission to marry Cammi. The entire family is looking forward to their wedding next fall. The highlight of the month (actually the highlight of the year) was welcoming the newest member of our family, Leon Roberts Christiansen. My brother Jon and sister-in-law Sam surprised the family in January with news of his impending arrival. He joined big brother Atticus and immediately captured the hearts of family and friends across the country.  
Tessa and Keicha at the Junior League of Ogden Gala
Brady, Keicha and Kelly at the JLO Gala

May brought a whirlwind of activity. I spent hours happily digging in the dirt preparing my yard for summer. My heart was full of happiness and pride when I watched Gillian graduate from Ogden High School with an Honors Diploma on May 24. Three days later we were in Colorado to watch my nephew, Mason Hopfenspirger, graduate from Erie High. It was a fun-filled weekend full of family, laughter, love, and a few tears. On Memorial Day, May 29, I joined 50,000 others and my sister Amy to run (okay, I mostly walked) the Bolder Boulder for the second time. It was the perfect way to mark the 7th anniversary of the loss of our sister Julie. Kelly ran it too, but since he's in much better shape than me he left us in the dust shortly after we started. Amy's boyfriend Jewett was a good sport, joining us for his first ever Bolder Boulder. We had so much fun together on the race course that day!
Kelly riding in the Sunrise Canyon Bike Ride down Ogden Canyon
May 20, 2017

Mother's Day selfie with my girl

Summer was in full swing by June. My Easy Does It rose bush, planted in memory of Julie rewarded me this year with an abundance of beautiful blooms, as did my peony plants. I spent many moments of gratitude this year enjoying the golden light in the evenings and relaxing on my back patio. 

Kelly marked a birthday milestone in June, which we celebrated in style with a big shrimp boil bash in his backyard. 

The rest of the summer was filled with outdoor concerts, Raptors baseball games and another trip to Colorado in July to finally meet baby Leon. He didn't disappoint! July also marked the end of my 30-year career at the credit union. I enjoyed three weeks of vacation time and made the most of it relaxing in Kelly's pool as often as possible. On July 31 I started working as the executive director of Family Counseling Service of Northern Utah, a non-profit mental health clinic. It's been challenging, busy, exhausting and exhilarating so far. 

Family fun at the penny arcade at Manitou Springs, CO
Kelly was excited to find his favorite game at the arcade.

Gillian and her newest cousin, Leon.

The Shins concert with 7,000 other people!

Santana concert at Red Butte. 

Blues, Brews and BBQ at Snow Basin

Hope loves the Snow Basin concerts too.

One of my favorite views in Ogden - Lindquist Stadium 
The arrival of fall meant Utah Utes tailgate parties and football games, Kelly's annual Sigma Brothers golf tournament fundraiser, the Martini Bash, and Gillian's 19th birthday on October 6. We hosted our third Halloween party, which is always a fun-filled night! We celebrated Thanksgiving this year with friends and were happy to have Kelly's youngest daughter join us. 

Kelly and Kenzie at the Sigma Brothers Golf Tournament.
Gillian's 19th Birthday.

It's been a busy, eventful year with lots of happy memories made. Christmas was spent in Ogden with our daughters and Kelly's soon to be son-in-law. We'll bid farewell to 2017 and ring in 2018 in sunny Mesquite, Nevada away from Utah's polluted air and cold weather. 

Kelly, December 31, 2017
As I look forward to 2018 I'm reminded of this saying from a friend's Christmas card this year. This is my wish for myself and everyone I love and cherish. I hope 2018 is a year of peace for all of us. 

Peace: Not the absence of noise, trouble or hard work, but to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.