Big Sky // Big Sky is one of those places that we will visit over and over again. We met up with Whitney’s family for a weekend of skiing and quality hot tub time.
India // We headed back to the chaotically beautiful country of India, but this time completed the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra. We marveled at the Taj Mahal, took a boat ride along the Ganges River where we witnessed countless cremations, and ogled at the famous pink city. We also hit up some beaches in Goa.
San Diego // This was a first for the Shepard family: a destination family reunion. The 9 of us met up for a weekend of beach fun and Easter egg hunts.
Bonneville Salt Flats // This was a quick day trip purely out of spontaneity. The post night shift delirium hit us hard as we jammed out to music and drove out west.
Cuba // We spent a week driving around the picturesque country of Cuba. We admired the dancers at Buena Vista Social Club, drank plenty of mojitos, and learned how traditional Cuban cigars are made in Viñales.
Great Basin National Park // We spent a three-day weekend camping at this quiet park amid snakes and marmots. We enjoyed a few days hiking the area and cooking over a campfire.
Bear Lake // We may have spent an hour looking for a place to park so we could camp in the back of the jeep and we may have missed the fresh raspberries of the Raspberry Days Festival, but the crystal clear waters and raspberry shakes made up for it.
Caribbean Cruise // This was our very first cruise. We rode dune buggies in the Dominican Republic, toured the island of Curacao, and completed two dives in Aruba.
New York City // We had a girls’ weekend in NYC with Whitney’s mom, aunt, and cousin. We climbed to the top of the Statue of Liberty, perused the 9/11 Memorial, and paid our respects at the Stonewall Inn. A few Broadway shows were thrown in for good measure.
Telluride // We once again migrated back to Telluride to celebrate our anniversary and relive our perfect wedding day. The fall colors were out in full force exactly as we had hoped.
Thanksgiving in Texas // We are so thankful that we were able to spend four days at home for the holidays. My entire family slept under one roof, which made it even more fun. My favorite part was teaching my niece how to make pies.
New Orleans // We spent Christmas with the Haseman family in NOLA. We walked through the French Quarter, grabbed Hurricanes at Pat O’s, and listened to jazz on Frenchman Street. Of course, I ate way too many beignets at Cafe Du Monde.
Chicago // We spent the weekend with Whitney’s college roommate in the “Second City.” We admired the incredible architecture on a river boat tour, laughed our butts off at The Second City Comedy Club, and took the classic Bean picture.
Lava Hot Springs // We made a quick overnight trip to Idaho for my first hot springs encounter. The hot soaks and morning massage made for a perfect self-care weekend retreat.
Family Weekend // My mom came to visit for a weekend in April. We grabbed pastries for breakfast and spent the day at the Tulip Festival enjoying the Spring sun. Whitney’s family also came to visit later in the year. We went to see Book of Mormon and drove through the canyons.
2017 was a year of many firsts. I finally opened my Etsy shop and accepted my first commissioned watercolor pieces. We learned how to make Christmas wreaths from scavenged materials, as well as make beeswax candles and lavender soap.
Whitney taught me how to mountain bike this past summer, which was a total struggle on my part. I’m still trying to work through my fears. Between mountain biking and hiking, we got outside as much as possible in the Wasatch.
2017 was also the year I first experienced alpine wildflowers. Breathtaking doesn’t even come close to describing it.
This year we experienced a few monumental community moments. First, in January we participated in the Women’s March at the capital. Being surrounded by thousands of people standing up for women’s rights was incredibly empowering. In June, we celebrated PRIDE by walking in the PRIDE parade with our residency program.
This summer we continued to learn more about gardening, improved our plot design, and experimented with different growing techniques. Along with gardening, we picked fruit as part of the Green Urban Lunch Box program and continued on our waste free journey.
As always, I continued to fuel my bookworm desire of reading a book almost weekly. I read somewhere between 45 and 50 books in 2017.
2017 – you were one for the books. Countless highs, a good number of lows, and lots of moments in between. I will forever be grateful for the innumerable blessings in my life. Cheers to 2018!