2016!! Wait, really quick let me check to make sure nobody else has died and no more demagogues with rampant Twitter addictions have been elected. We're good? Ok.
I loved 2016. 2016 was my "year of yes," and 2016 kicked ass in so many ways as a result. On our flight home from San Francisco yesterday, my all-time favorite song came on my shuffle, and I found myself dancing in my seat a little bit despite the baby wailing behind me. Because I get profound at this time of year, it blew me away listening to some of the lyrics...words about frenemies, self-doubt, "this whole damn world" falling apart...seems like they somehow knew 2016 was coming from way back in 1998.
The chorus, though, is my favorite: "you've got the music in you." The music in you? This year, for me, that proved true in every way. As cheesy as it sounds, this has been a year of music, joy, and sheer magic in my life - traveling to new and exciting places. Spending the best times with my family. Laughing my ass off with old friends and making such quality new friends. Killing it at work, on my board, and in the Twin Cities social and philanthropic circles I've started to join. I've utterly loved almost every moment.
Without further ado, a recap:
Arizona, literally first thing in 2016. We landed only 2 hours into the New Year to attend the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix, and stuck around for sunshine, palm trees, and a Grand Canyon road trip. All said and done, an awesome way to start the year with some fantastic friends.
London in February for a busy week of work and teaching trainings, but also for beautiful weather, a weekend of solo exploring and theater, and lots of fun visiting old favorites. That city will always and forever be my favorite place in the world, and a home to me near or far.
Ohio, twice - once for a quick visit in April with my mama bear, and once for Jonathan's graduation! With zero Schwegsibs in the state anymore, I'm sad to be saying goodbye to Miami University and Cincinnati with all her charms in 2017.
Chicago, a whopping three times...with plenty more to come! From stops at Palmer House and Au Cheval this spring, to Laura's hilarity-and-frosé-soaked birthday weekend, and of course our "Hamilton"palooza in November, the Windy City is capturing my heart now more than ever. With Laura and Em both calling it home, there are sure to be many 2017 trips in my future!
Iceland with the fam for a few days of stunning exploration...geysers, waterfalls, hiking, lagoon-ing, and general awe at the beauty of the country.
Sweden, to immerse ourselves in Stockholm's historic charm and warm, open culture! Getting lost in Old Town Gamla Stan, trying the weirdest foods I've ever eaten in Normalm, scoping out sunken Viking ships and taking sailing trips...all with a liberal side helping of wine and my Schwegfam.
Norway, to fall in love with a country harder and faster than I ever have before. Between the enchantment of Oslo and the sheer unmitigated, wild beauty of the western fjords, I foresee Norway being a country I'll visit again for sure.
South Bend, for my first Notre Dame football game since 2013! With a motley cast of friends and family, I drank plenty of rosé, toasted to Knute Rockne at his grave, paid the Grotto a 2am visit, and celebrated a squeaker of a win over Miami. Love thee Notre Dame, always and forever!
Iowa and Fargo on a crazy weekend road trip with Hal and Matt...barbecue and beer in Decorah before Luther College Christmas, and losing my shit over Fargo's charm and surprising coolness with Michael. Best weekend of spontaneity ever.
California, for Christmas with my family in wine country. We explored San Francisco, took a Christmas Day walk in Muir Woods, and tasted wine to our hearts' content all over Napa and Sonoma.
My 27th birthday with a giant party at my old apartment, less than 24 hours after touching down from London. What does a newly-minted late-20s lady do when jet-lagged and trying to party? Double-fist wine and coffee with a healthy side of jello shots, duh. Bonus points to the lovely Erin for braving Minnesota cold to celebrate with us!
The Kentucky Derby and Labor Day with the Lakeville crew. Things never cease to get crazy with this group, and I've come to love it so much...despite the fairly brutal hangovers that occasionally ensue. Mint juleps and Team Kenya for LIFE.
Jonathan's graduation, on a frigid weekend in Oxford, OH! Bar-crawling and partying with his frat brothers, freezing our butts off at his commencement ceremony, and topping it all off with a celebratory dinner at Sotto in Cincinnati. So proud of the last of the Schwegman kids!!
Galas - innumerable galas. From the stunning Diamond Anniversary Ball at the Minnesota Orchestra and the Minnesota Opera's season opener, to benefits for Como Zoo and Feed My Starving Children, this year was black-tie mandatory for me and I loved it. Closing the year down tonight with the Orchestra's New Year's Gala, appropriately!
Weddings and showers and bachelorettes galore! Mollie and Kellen, Eva and Josh, and Erin and Josie provided ample opportunities to dress up, drink up and celebrate love and marriage. Can't wait for next year's busy wedding season to kick into high gear, starting in just over a month!
Moving in with Hal this May...while both of us are gone so much that our two-bedroom might as well be a one-bedroom, life when we're both around has been even more joyful than expected. Gossiping about work, life, and the future, listening to him sing, and cementing a stronger friendship has been a highlight of 2016.
Yoga! Never would have thought that I'd join the ranks of the Namaste brigade, but after a sunrise session with Hannah at Lake Harriet I've practiced happily (if sporadically). I'm already looking forward to taking classes more regularly as the year turns.
Bridesmaiding for the first time for Eva's wedding! Spending the better part of the last year planning events with Claire and Kyla was a delight...from the shower and the bachelorette, to shopping for dresses and of course spending the whole weekend of her wedding together, we had an absolute blast.
Another year immersed in the arts...with over 30 ticketed events in the 2016-2017 seasons, I've seen incredible orchestral performances, taken a dive into the opera world, and fallen in love with the Guthrie all over again. Highlights? Adele in July and, of course, "Hamilton" in November!
The Eurotrip was the undoubted highlight of the Schwegfam year this year - getting to plan a trip to places none of us had been was a challenge that paid off in spades. With perfect weather, stunning scenery, and an itinerary we carefully collaborated to create, traveling as a family of 5 for the first time since I was in high school created adult memories I'll treasure forever.
Similarly, the Calitrip we just returned from marked a departure from a traditional Christmas at home that we all loved. Refocusing on being present instead of giving each other presents added a completely different dimension to the holiday. Plus, all the wine didn't hurt!
Jonathan being home for a few extra months over the summer was so fun for my parents and me. We loved having him around to boat, hit up happy hour, and spend quality time together...even if it led to extensive dental repair work ;)
In other sibling news, we celebrated new jobs and new cities for both Emily and Jonathan! September found Emily relocating to Chicago for a role with a different design firm, and Jonathan made the move to Detroit to start his marketing career in November. I miss them both dearly but am so happy that they're each thriving in their new cities and career steps!
"You get what you give" truly is the best way to sum up this year. I gave 2016 everything I had...a true balls to the wall, no holding back, yes-to-everything approach...and what I got back was a year of unparalleled adventures and new experiences. Looking back on the chaos of this year for the world, I think I'll selfishly always remember that, though my life at times looked just as chaotic, this year was one in which I gave it my all, and got back a year for the record books.
For more highlights, press play (and giggle at my oh-so-topical song choice)!