2016 was a year of incredible highs and lows. We had some losses as a family, like the death of my grandfather. But we also had some surprise blessings, like finding out I’m pregnant with my first. We ran wild in Thailand for 3 unforgettable months, roamed the Idaho mountains all summer, and spent a week in Washington D.C. to top off the year. Today I’ve put together a little recap of 2016 to reminisce about all these experiences.
My entire extended family (consisting of probably around 30 people) rang in the new year on a four day cruise to Ensenada, Mexico. It was my first cruise, first time to mexico, and a crazy New Years that I’ll never forget.
I mostly spent the month of February hibernating from the cold and working on my art. I was honored to be announced as a finalist in Photographer’s Forum Best of College and High School Photography 2016. I was also busy finishing up a collage series to be published in Impossible Project Magazine. Other than traveling and my family, nothing fills me with more meaning and happiness than when I’m working on my art & photography. It’s something that has always came to me so intuitively and when my work gets acknowledgments like this it only reassures me that I’m doing what the universe created me to do.
In March we left for another 3 month long endeavor to Bangkok, Thailand. This time, my brother brought three of his friends with him. Together we ran wild…probably a little too wild. My family has had a connection to Bangkok for a while now. My dad has been located there for about 4 years due his work, so we make it a point to visit as often as we can. Bangkok has truly become like a second home to us. It was the first country I had ever visited, back when I was 18 years old. It’s the entire reason I started blogging on The Bohemian Lifestyle in the first place. I was so blown away by my experiences that I needed to share them with anyone who was willing to listen and hopefully in doing so, I could inspire people to get out there and see the world too.
Still roaming Bangkok, my cousin and his friend came out to visit us with one of his friends for about 3 weeks. We celebrated one of my favorite holidays – Songkran – the Thai New Year. Basically one giant water festival for three days straight, sometimes longer depending on which part of Thailand you’re in. People run rampant in the streets celebrating with giant water fights, rubbing clay on each other, enjoying good food, giving thanks to Buddha and their ancestors, and partying the night away.
Our time in Thailand was coming to a close. We had experienced enough to last a lifetime in those short three months. From the grimy nightlife of Bangkok, to the luxurious beaches of Phuket, to the humble island life on Koh Sichang. We created memories with each other that we will never forget and formed an unbreakable bond with the city that will always leave us with a nostalgic ache in our hearts for more.
June was a tough month for our family. We lost our papa to complications after surgery and laid him to rest. His surgery was a rollercoaster and his death was rather sudden and unexpected – everyone really thought he would pull through. It was especially hard on my mom and her siblings losing their dad. As if emotions weren’t high enough, I found out I was pregnant literally a week after his funeral. I tried to keep it a secret to give my mom some time to mourn, but I had such severe morning sickness that I couldn’t keep it a secret any longer than a few days. Talk about a complete emotional upheaval in only a matter of a few weeks!
Seeking healing, comfort, and strength that only nature can provide, I spent a lot of July in the mountains. Hiking, whitewater rafting, enjoying lakeside picnics, skinny dipping in glacial waters, and taking photos.
Before starting another semester of school, my mom, brother, and I set out for Montana. My mom was cast a role in a tv show that an old theater friend of her’s was filming there. It’s quirky and low budget, but some of the best films and tv shows have been created the same way and I cannot wait to see the pilot episode that’s coming out soon! It’s a story I’ll probably end up sharing with you guys on The Bohemian Lifestyle once the pilot is released.
Majority of my September was spent working on school. I also developed and scanned a lot of the film I had shot in Thailand, so I was re-living those memories as well. All the while, I was starting my second trimester and starting to prepare myself mentally for motherhood and labor. I hadn’t officially announced my pregnancy at this point because I wanted to wait until around the time we found out the gender.
The big announcement and gender reveal happened in October! We decided to announce our pregnancy in a humorous way rather than posting more serious, cutesy photos that you often see people share because we felt it just fit our personalities and the whole situation so much better. About a week later we found out that we were having a little girl! We topped off the announcements with a crazy gender reveal party. With pink and blue beer pong teams, a baby bottle beer chugging contest, and condoms with mini shots (aka baby making potion) as party favors. By the end of the night, my dad and I were the only sober ones in attendance, which was totally fine with me!
It was an unusually warm fall this year in Boise. We took advantage of the weather by going on hikes in the foothills during the weekends. By now I was definitely showing and starting to get my mama-glow. I was understandably nervous, yet growing excited to experience life through the eyes of my daughter and show her the world.
To top off the year, we spent 10 days in Washington D.C. visiting my dad while he was working there. Most of the time we ran around museums. We also ate at some amazing local restaurants and went to a Capitals hockey game! It was my first (and probably last time) flying while pregnant…at least while in my third trimester because of how uncomfortable and exhausting it was. I also did a photoshoot and giveaway with PinkBlush Maternity while we were there! We then returned home and did some last minute christmas shopping before spending the holidays with family. It was one of the most emotional and eventful years I’ve had in a long time…one I’ll always remember. I’m anxious to see what 2017 has in store and to meet my daughter for the first time!
Thanks to everyone who has been following my journey since the very beginning of The Bohemian Lifestyle and welcome to all the new readers that I’ve gained this year. I hope you all had an amazing holiday and that 2017 brings you happiness, many blessings, and amazing experiences!
Safe Travels & Happy New Year, xx