Hello friends! It’s time for another year in review (you can read my 2015 review here) – but this year will be a little different. Probably not surprising since most people have been begging for 2017 to come (and rightfully so) and so have I. 2016 has been the biggest mix of up and downs I think I’ve ever experienced! Personally, the most amazing life events took place, but globally, it’s hard to fathom everything that’s happened this year.
I GOT ENGAGED! Without a doubt, the most amazing part of 2016. My thoughtful, amazing fiancé surprised me on January 23, 2016 when we were taking blog photos while vacationing in California. I was posing with a giant glass of wine when he started walking up to me, ring in hand. As you can see from my top Instgram photos from 2016, you guys agree with how exciting this is. We have been hard at work planning our October 14, 2017 wedding and are getting close to having all of the major items checked off our list. We are currently working on save the dates and selecting a hotel, but everything from booking the church and venue to saying YES to the dress is all good and final!
- The Proposal (and the blog post we were “shooting”)
- How We Met
- Choosing a Venue
- Wedding Inspiration + Planning
- How I “Proposed” to My Bridesmaids
- Engagement Photos – Dressed Up
- Engagement Photos – Casual
So as you can see – the year started off really well. The love of my life asked me to marry him and by March, we had our church and venue booked for October 14, 2017!
If I look back at my resolutions for 2016 – I definitely kept up on at least a couple of them! One of them was to do more things that made me feel uncomfortable. I definitely said yes to attending more blogging events that really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I went to MN Fashion Week for the first time in four years and it was a bit intimidating. The blogging landscape in the Twin Cities has changed a lot, and a lot of my good blogger friends have moved to new states. But I met a few new people and reconnected with those I’ve met in the past. I want to continue pushing myself to do more of that in 2017.
Also, I guess I really meant travel, travel, travel in 2016 because travel I did! It started off with our trip to California, and throughout the year – both personally and for work I had the opportunity to travel to many places, both old and new. Traveling is one of the most important things to me, so I’m glad it was such an amazing year to explore new places! Here’s a recap of my 2016 travels:
- Silicon Valley/San Francisco, California – where we got engaged!
- Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin – celebrating our 5 year dating anniversary
- Dallas, Texas – visiting my bestie, who I asked to be my maid of honor
- Washington, D.C. – work conference! I took an extra day off to explore since I had never been to D.C. before
- Denver, Colorado – visiting my sister and brother-in-law plus celebrating my fiancé’s birthday and sister’s birthday (they are literally three days apart in age)
- Cincinnati, Ohio – visiting our friends and asking one of my best friends to be a bridesmaid!
- Copenhagen, Denmark – work trip
- Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska – blog trip
- Boston, Massachusetts – work trip – for Hubspot’s INBOUND conference
- Englewood, Florida – visiting our friends for Thanksgiving!
See more of my travels on Instagram – #rlbtravels!
Overall, I’ve had a wonderful year of spending time with my fiancé, my friends, my family…. so personally, I can really say this has been an amazing year!
I sadly pretty much failed every other resolution I had for 2016. I guess I shouldn’t say failed but instead that I moved onto different goals and needs. I didn’t gain weight, but I didn’t lose it. I didn’t lose blog followers, but I didn’t gain them. I guess for my resolutions it was a pretty mediocre year.
I didn’t make a single video on YouTube. I didn’t reach my health and fitness goals, though now I have probably one of the biggest motivations of my life to get that in order! I really wanted to do more to reach out and keep up with friends, but didn’t do as much as I hoped to do. At least we were able to visit quite a few friends throughout our travels this year! From California and Denver, to Ohio and Florida, we did spend time with some friends we hadn’t seen in years. So that definitely helps.
Career wise, I’m feeling a bit lost again. I’m almost 29, and have gone through this a couple other times in my 20s. Maybe I’ll just always feel this way from time to time. I don’t know! I just wish I was one of those people who knew exactly who they wanted to be or exactly what they wanted to do when they grew up. Maybe no one really knows and are just good at making it seem that way. I just know that yet again, I’m questioning everything. I think one day all of this will be for the better – but for now, I’m feeling a bit lost and confused.
The election. Need I say more? I shouldn’t but I need to. I am just still floored at how every single person I talked to felt the same way I did – not wanting to vote for either candidate or voting for the lesser of two evils. How did we end up with an election of two candidates that people hate?! I just don’t understand how it came to this? I was in Boston during the election, and I still remember the morning after. It wasn’t an actual hangover, it was the election hangover. Every single person looked completely lost. I guess at this point, I can only hope for the best and continue to try my best to get involved locally.
The Orlando shooting. WHY and how did this happen?! I don’t think there is a perfect answer for gun control but something obviously needs to change! We cannot have more innocent lives taken at the hands of people who can just walk into a gun shop and buy a gun without a blink of an eye. I am all about protecting yourself and having the right to bear arms, but I think we’ve outgrown our founding fathers’ words, at least in a literal sense. You can say guns don’t kill people, people kill people as many times as you want – but I will argue to say our gun laws are enabling killers to kill more easily, and that’s the real issue. 49 people died during the shooting. 49! Something, somewhere along the lines, needs to change.
And so many more ugly things happened this year – the Nice attack, Harambe killed at the zoo, the recent Berlin terrorist attack, Hurricane Matthew and here in Minnesota, the loss of Prince. And many, many more… I think we are all feeling the events of this year, and hopefully, it means we are all thinking a little bit more about our purpose and the impact we can make together. I know I don’t normally talk about these types of things on my blog, but get ready for a few more posts like this in 2017. At the very least, I want to be able to have a conversation with so many of the amazing people I’ve met through the blogging world about these things. Try to understand these things. And try to do something about these things. Because I think it’s really important to talk through it and see if we can come up with a solution together.
And, well. That’s it. I could go into much more detail, but again, I think many of you are feeling the same way I am and we can just leave it at that.
As always, thank you for another year of your incrediable support. Thanks to all of you, I have been logging into WordPress for more than five years and writing down my thoughts, sharing my personal style, gushing about my dog and trying to find the best deals for you! I love having something to look forward to at the end of a hard work day, and I wouldn’t still be doing this without you. I hope you will join me for another year of fashion, beauty, and travel here on Rachel’s Lookbook.
Wishing you a very Happy New Year – and hoping the best for you and your loved ones in 2017!
RachDecember 31, 2016 at 4:15 PM
2016 definitely had some uglies but overall I think you had a solid year! Getting engaged and getting out of your comfort zone is a big day! I think with career we all feel like that way. I’m still trying to figure that out! I wish you a happy new year!
KizzyDollJanuary 2, 2017 at 5:08 AM
Happy New Year lovely!! Those are a lot of great things that happened in the year…just focus on those…you can always keep going with the ones you didn’t reach. It’s all in good fun. I’m happy about the happy moments that happened for you in the Year though :)) The ugly ones we’ll have to brace ourselves for in this new year as it all becomes complete, craziness. But, no doubt it will be a magical year if we make it one!! Wish you lots of love, happiness and blessings x
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BrianneJanuary 4, 2017 at 9:57 AM
Hi Rachel! I am a Twin Cities-area blogger as well, and I am looking to connect with other bloggers in my area. I saw your paragraph regarding this very same thing and thought I’d reach out. Is there a Minnesota blogger society of sorts? How do you get invited to local events? I’m curious about attending MN Fashion Week …
Your blog was one of the first I followed when I relocated to MN. I find it interesting that you mentioned some bloggers have left, and I wonder why. Bitter cold winters aside, I have fallen in love with Minnesota and cannot wait to explore more of this state. Reading through your reflections of 2016 was both relatable and inspiring, and it is your honesty that keeps me coming back. Plus, I get good outfit ideas from you. 🙂 Happy New Year!
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