January: the year started off well other than both of us getting the flu (and me getting it so badly I almost had to be hospitalized) but the month ended with rushing Sadie to the vet with seizures and having no real idea if we could get them to stop. At first we thought we had it under control, but then...
February: the very first day of the month, we had to put Sadie down. I feel about 80 different emotions about this but it was at that point the most horrible and devastating experience of my entire life. Thinking we were going to lose her, and then thinking we were going to be okay, and then realizing that we were indeed going to lose her was the absolute worst. Sometimes I almost wish it had been severe enough at the beginning that we had opted to put her down then. It would've been horrible, but I think ultimately less traumatic than to go through the emotional roller coaster that was thinking we had it under control, and then realizing that we didn't. I hate it. I miss her so much every single day.
We did get to go to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park with our friends Cees and Madison. That was a great weekend. The national parks are so special, and being able to be there when the park was so quiet and so empty was really amazing.
March: not really much to report on that front. Mostly just, being sad. I did go to the dentist for the first time in... probably 7-8 years. That was intense, but nice in the end.
April: after being told ALL SKI SEASON that I would have a job through the summer, I found out on the first that I in fact would not. That was a massive bummer, but it ultimately worked out okay as I've been extremely happy at Goal Zero.
We got Theodore Roosevelt and he has terrorized our lives every day since.
May: we went on our second national park trip of the year, this time with Teddy in tow. We went to Joshua Tree for three days, which was great, and then headed up to grandma and grandpa's house in Santa Ynez. Hanging out by the pool for almost a week is always a plus in my book. I FINALLY got to meet my Uncle Mike (well, I guess he's technically Brady's uncle but whatever) and he is the bomb. Mike and Jen are my favorite humans in the universe. On the way home from California we went through Death Valley, which was an experience. Our drive home was like 17-18 hours, but I'm glad we got to visit another park.
At the end of the month I started at Goal Zero, which so far has been really great. I've been really happy there, and I'm excited to explore my future there.
June: was fairly uneventful, just working and getting ready for our big Canada trip. We started Teddy on an obedience course which was great, but showed us that he is both too smart for his own good, and a massive turd.
July: the beginning of the month was relaxed, and the end of the month saw the start of our trip to Glacier and Canada. It was great to be able to have the dog with us even though he's like a freight train and is incapable of going a speed that isn't running hahaha. We finally got to drive the whole Going to the Sun Road, which was awesome, and we saw tons of bears.
August: started out with the continuation and end of our trip to Canada, which was awesome as always. Going all the way up to Jasper was so incredible and so worth it. Sometimes I cry just thinking about how insanely beautiful the Icefields Parkway is. I want to spend a whole week/month there so badly!
Then August ended with the singular coolest experience of my life - the solar eclipse. What an incredible thing that just cannot be put into words (so I won't even try, honestly).
September: another month that started out with a super awful and sudden pet death. We still don't know what happened, but we came home from our cabin trip for Labor Day (which was really fun) to Pippin being unable to stand and just yowling. As far as they could guess, he had a stroke (or several) and with the most inexpensive treatment option starting at $3,000, we were essentially forced to put him down. I can't even describe the sorrow of that experience. I don't even want to. I miss him every single day and it is absolutely the worst. I feel like a part of me is dead and I'll never get that part back. He was everything to me, and I had expected at LEAST another 10 years with him, but closer to 15. Devastated doesn't even begin to cover it. We did adopt our little Sequoia (Yaya), who has been a shining beacon of light and joy and love in my life, but I still miss my Momo with every fiber of my being.
On top of that, Labor Day kicked off 2+ months of absolute insanity at Goal Zero. It started with Hurricane Harvey but ballooned with Hurricane Irma and Maria. We had several weeks of back to back to back to back calls all day long with hold times in excess of 20 minutes, and our inbox flooded with 500+ emails every single day. To call it insanity was an understatement. I was averaging answering over 130 emails every single day, in addition to 50+ chats (often 10 or more at a time) and fielding countless phone calls. We did millions upon millions of dollars in sales in September and October, which was great for business, but exhausting from a customer service standpoint. I particularly enjoyed getting emails berating us for not being in the office on weekends.
October: more insanity at work, but otherwise quiet on the homefront. At the end of the month we went to a "Howloween" Party our dog trainers put on, which was a blast, and then our aunt Theresa threw the best damn Halloween Party of all time. She's the best, and we love her.
November: another mostly uneventful month, mostly just a month of being sad about the last year in America and our current political climate. We had Thanksgiving with Kurt, M'Lisa, Andrew, Michael, and Savannah, which was great. We love them! We also found out shortly before the end of the month that our landlord was evicting the downstairs tenants (aka the housemates from hell), and we ended up signing a lease for the whole house. That has been AWESOME. Being rid of the smoking and the yelling aside, it's been nice to have a bit more space, it's been great to have laundry inside the house, we've been able to park under the carport which is super awesome, and our power bill has shrunk considerably (which has been super vindicating, since our landlord NEVER believed that they were using more power than we were...). We have a roommate living downstairs named Autumn, and she's awesome. We didn't really need all of that space, and it's nice to have the help with rent every month. She has a super cute border collie named Shikara that I'm kind of obsessed with hahaha. She and Teddy are buds. We're looking forward to fencing the yard so we can let the two of them run around to their hearts' content.
December: we had a great December with an awesome and very successful Christmas. Settling in to having the whole house has been really awesome. We inherited a turntable from my Grandma (who sold their house earlier this year, which has also been kind of a strange experience for me. Saying goodbye to that house was super, super strange) so I got a TON of vinyls for Christmas. For Brady's birthday we went to the Foo Fighters show (on his ACTUAL BIRTHDAY, I lost my mind when I saw the tour dates and saw when they were coming to Salt Lake. We bought our tickets as early as possible and spent a pretty decent chunk of change on them- WORTH IT) which was a hundred levels of amazing. Dave Grohl is a damn god, y'all. Seriously, I love him, I love the Foo, and I wish I could see them live every month. hahahaha. They made a "Tour Exclusive" all-black vinyl of their most recent album (which is SO GOOD by the way) so of course I had to buy that. Waiting until Christmas to have it was torture.
I also managed to pull off a super epic surprise Space Center mission at a brand new simulator for Brady's birthday, which was a huge blast. We've made a few really amazing friends from Goal Zero (including Deven, who we do a Pathfinder campaign with which has fulfilled my greatest dream of playing tabletop EVERY SINGLE WEEK and it brings so much joy to my heart) who are all huge nerds, on top of our regular crew and a few additions. I'm really proud of myself, I brought together a bunch of Brady's friends from all walks of his life and it was so fun to do a mission and surprise him.
December was a great month, for sure, and I'm glad we were able to finish off the year with some positives. I'd still give anything to have Sadie and Pippin back, and I wish we could've gone to more than 4 national parks (I mean, technically we went to 9 including the Canada ones but those hardly count), but I'm hoping that 2018 will offer some redemption.