2016 Year In Review

I love doing this post every year, even if I haven’t posted much on my blog throughout the year. It’s a chance for me to look back and to reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly of the year. 2016 was a pretty good year and I’m so looking forward to the adventures 2017 brings!


Jan 9: Jeff & Jamie’s Wedding: Our good friends Jeff and Jamie finally got hitched! The wedding was an absolute blast and we had so much fun with all of our friends!

IMG_1776Jan 18: Epic Trail Ride. There was really nothing special about this ride, except that it was one of the most beautiful days and I snapped one of my favorite pictures.

Jan 18: Glenn Frey dies. The Eagles were a pivotal part of my childhood and my musical education. They’re one of my favorite bands and have produced some amazing music. I was lucky enough to have seen them live in San Diego. The loss of Glenn Frey as a singer, songwriter, and performer is heartbreaking.


Feb 5: Tore ACL: My sister won tickets at work for a fun day in the snow. We headed out toIMG_0001 Squaw Valley and spent a little while on the slopes skiing. Then, disaster. I fell and instantly knew something was really wrong. Kati had to head down the slope to get ski patrol to come pick me up and sled me down to the clinic where the doctor told me I had torn my ACL. This began a long journey of rest, surgery, and recovery that I’m still working through today.

Feb 19-22: Bodega Bay Trip: Even with my knee braced, our annual Bodega Bay trip was a blast!


Mar 10: Listed House: We made the decision to sell our house in March. An opportunity came up for us to buy the ranch that my horse is currently stabled at and it was one that we couldn’t pass by. It would turn out to be a long process, but we got the house on the market.


Apr 6: Merle Haggard Dies: Mike and I were lucky enough to see him at the Opry last year. He was a wonderful musician!


Apr 21: Prince Dies: This one was another heart breaker – I had the opportunity to see Prince live and to see what an absolutely amazingly talented musician he was.

Apr 22: ACL Surgery: This was the beginning of the recovery process. The surgery went really well and I was able to begin exercises the very next day. It was a long, hard road to recovery, but well worth it. I’m so thankful for my wonderful family who took very good care of me in the weeks before and after when I couldn’t walk!


img_0518May 10: Broke Pinky Toe: While hobbling around at home trying to heal from ACL surgery, I tripped over my crutches and broke my damn pinky toe. That little sucker hurt!!!

May 17: The Dark Side of Surgery: I really hesitated over posting this one, but felt it was really important to share with people facing the same surgery or something similar. I was amazed at how my body reacted to tapering off the pain meds that were prescribed for post-op. I’m so happy that the addiction part was only physical for me – I could very easily see how it could get out of hand had the mental part been there! Please share this with anyone who faces addiction – if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone! If you or someone you know need help with prescription or other drugs, please visit http://www.na.org. Talk to your doctor, find a meeting, take action.

May 23: First Day Back In The Office: This was a huge milestone in my recovery – it felt so great to be back in the office and see all of my work friends!


Jun 3: Muhammad Ali Dies: “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”.

Jun 12: Pulse Nightclub Terror Attack: In what would be the second-worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, a single gunman walked into Pulse Nightclub in Florida and gunned down 49 people. My heart breaks for those killed and for those who live in fear because of the attack. In honor of the victims, I’m currently completing 49 random acts of kindness. #loveislove


IMG_0934Jul 3: Brady Visits Gracie & Tucker: In preparation for our August Lake Almanor trip, we decided to introduce Brady to my parents dogs, Gracie and Tucker. They had the most amazing time romping around the yard and swimming in the pool! Brady is a super mellow dog, so I knew he would have no problem at all getting along with both dogs – but he and Gracie became best buddies very quickly!


Aug 6: Roaring Camp Dinner: My parents and I went to Roaring Camp with my sister’s in-laws for a really fun mining camp dinner and gold panning.

Aug 18: Father George Thomas Dies: Fo400058_10150538260729421_77239242_nr those of you who were at our wedding, you’ll remember the priest who married us as a funny, witty man. An extended member of the family, Father George was a fixture at many a Blankenheim celebration.

Aug 20-27: Lake Almanor: Mike wasn’t able to get the time off, so I took Brady and headed out to my happy place img_8140with my parents – the cabin at Lake Almanor. It was such a relaxing, mellow week and I had the best time hanging out with my parents. I couldn’t waterski this year because of my knee, but we did a ton of fishing. Highlights of the trip were singing around the campfire, playing Mexican Train dominos, and watching the dogs swim – in fact, Brady swam multiple times every single day we were there!

Aug 29: Gene Wilder Dies: Rest in peace, Willie Wonka.


Sept 30 – Oct 1: Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity: I headed to Reno for the last NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity that will be held there. We had a blast!


Oct 14 – 18: 5th Anniversary “Road Trip”: This year we spent a img_8159weekend in Pecks Canyon with our friends Chris and Kassie – a cabin with no cell service, no internet, and only a generator for power. To make it even more fun, we got to ride in a helicopter to get there! It was such a blast!

Oct 22: Our 5th wedding anniversary!


14991790_10154747019419421_1891366681455060528_nNov 5: Kiwi Harvest: Our friends have a kiwi farm and every year invite us to help harvest. We haven’t made it in a long time (well, for Mike – ever for me). It was so beautiful and so much fun!

Nov 13: Tea Party: I was invited to Chloe’s tea party at her ballet studio – it featured all of the Nutcracker dancers and she had the best time talking to them and having tea!

Nov 24: Thanksgiving: We hosted Thanksgiving this year – it was a blast to have the whole family over!

Nov 29: Accepted Offer On House: After a long 9 months, we finally had an offer on the house! We accepted and if all goes well will be at the ranch in early 2017!


Dec 16: Rogue One: Work paid to send us all to the movies! Rogue One was seriously awesome!

Dec 24: Blankenheim Christmas: I went to Mass with my in-laws, but ended up with an epic cough attack (yay awful cold that I’ve had for 3 weeks). I did make it over for appies and presents.

Dec 25: Smithson Christmas: This year Kati and Nate hosted Christmas and it was wonderful as always. Watching the kids open their presents has to be the best thing ever!

RAK #16: Amanda Alvear

This is the sixteenth of 49 random acts of kindness (RAKs) that I’m doing to honor the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. Hopefully each small act puts a little bit of happiness back out in the world!

I may have gone a little overboard on this one. Our church does something called the Giving Tree – you take a tag with someone’s name and wishes and buy them gifts. I chose a nine year old little boy named Malachai. I had so much fun shopping for the things he needed (some clothes) as well as a lot of games (what he wanted). I hope he has a wonderful Christmas!

This RAK is in honor of Amanda Alvear. She could have made it out of the club, but went back for her friend Mercedes (who also died). She worked as a pharmacy technician and was in school for nursing. She was known as a joyous and loving person. Rest in peace, Amanda.


RAK #15: Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez

This is the fifteenth of 49 random acts of kindness (RAKs) that I’m doing to honor the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. Hopefully each small act puts a little bit of happiness back out in the world!

I had done my normal Sunday morning grocery shopping and was heading over to get gas when I noticed a homeless man near the grocery store. I popped back in, grabbed a gift card, and handed it to him as I left.

This RAK is in honor of Franky “Jimmy” Dejesus Velazquez. The oldest of the victims, he was known as someone who loved being with people and always helping them. Rest in peace, Jimmy.