2017: Year in Review

Wow! Can you believe that today starts a new year? I certainly can’t. And while I feel like 2017 was an awful year for the world, we had some wonderful moments in the Rico Family. So take a trip back in time with me today before we look ahead to what will happen in 2018!

January

We started the New Year in Sergio’s hometown of Chihuahua, Mexico. New Year’s in Mexico is pretty different than what I grew up with — dinner starts at 10 or 11 and then after midnight “The Game” starts (think White Elephant on steroids).

Waiting for the clock to strike 12!

January is also a very busy time at work for me, so after we returned home it was full-speed ahead doing great work for The Company. One thing that ramped up a lot was my leadership facilitation, and I really enjoyed spending more time with the next generation of executives, helping them grow, change, and think differently.

The New Year also brings new goals for me, and one I started (but didn’t finish) in 2017 was working my way through the Kon-Mari method. I tackled books in January, giving away or donating more than 500+ of them!

Sort all the books!!!!!!!!1

February

I find the shortest month of the year to be a bit depressing, even though it holds Valentine’s Day and a holiday Monday to celebrate presidents. Also there was a lot of work to be done in February — facilitation, leading a team summit, and working with a variety of teams, plus picking up new coaching clients.

My Little Sister Ashly and I celebrated our one year “Match-i-versary” as Big Sister and Little Sister, and that was very special. We hang out about three times a month and try to do all sorts of different things together. We celebrated our one year with our favorite cupcakes (chocolate for me, red velvet for her).

1 year Matchiversary!

March

Did I forget to mention that we got married in September? I did! So wedding planning was in full-swing by March. I went shopping with Ashly and my Mom, and then finally Sergio, to track down the perfect dress.

We tried organic lace.

I never thought I would love dresses like these!

We tried Swarovski bling.

Those #triceps tho.

But ended up with something in the middle that felt right for a Hawai’ian wedding. And we kept the dress a secret! Sergio was the only other one who knew (until the very end, of course).

Excuse the bad lighting — but this was how well it fit with no alterations!

We also had a mega-trip abroad. I headed to Zurich for a work trip and Sergio accompanied me to explore the city. Afterwards we continued on to Berlin and then Edinburgh, two cities that we both loved. You can check out a lot more photos on Instagram at @ricofamily, but here are just a few of my favorites:

Exploring the tropical house at Zoo Zurich
Tapas in Berlin
Berliner Dom (Cathedral)
City walking in Edinburgh
Edinburgh’s Castle — in the rain, of course
Red Panda time at the Edinburg Zoo

April

I needed some serious introverting time at the beginning of the month. I got sick, so there were lots of naps with Astrix, who was thrilled that we were home.

Naps with cats are the best!

There was also a fair amount of work travel and the excitement that comes when you get a free upgrade!

Yes I’m very happy that they gave me a better room!
Mama (Sergio’s mom) came for a visit and we went out to Indian food!

Then the end of April into May brought our wedding planning trip to Maui. We hoped to get in a little bit of fun, but most of the time was spent meeting with vendors, checking out our wedding site, and tasting foods.

The Grand Wailea — our Maui home

We drove the road to Hana!

Black Sand Beach and making friends with ducks
Ululani’s Shave Ice — best on Maui!

May

We should probably call May a “Maintenance Month” in 2017. Sergio had surgery again on his nose. My anxiety flared up, so other than two work trips we stayed home. We also did a ton of wedding planning and I started some long-term planning tasks, like taking my hair back to blonde for the wedding.

Blondes DO have a lot of fun!

June

June is a magical month in the Northwest because the days are long and the rain (generally) takes a pause. June is when festival season is in full swing and you want to spend time in the hammock on the porch again. Some people might not love the different seasons, but I find them to be the best! I love that every few months things change.

Watching the world go by…

I also reached one of my fitness goals. I’ve been taking 1–1 barre lessons with my trainer, and she suggested that I could do the splits (which I laughed at). But two months later, here we are:

Front splits!

We also had a fun outing to visit our friends Shahms and Meghan at their new house on Vashon Island. We went to the Sheepdog Festival and then grilled at their house. A perfect way to spend a summer evening!

July

Well, technically our July vacation started in June, but for simplicity’s sake we’ll talk about Glacier National Park and Waterton here. This is our third year that we spent in a national park for the Fourth of July. In case you didn’t know, I don’t like fireworks — at all! And surprisingly the national parks are not as busy as you would think over the long holiday. We had never been to Glacier, so decided to check it out, and WOW! I’m not an outdoorsy girl and I still loved it!

We caught the Clydesdales in Whitefish, MT
Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier
Many Glacier (left) and Avalanche Lake (right)
Waterton National Park in Alberta, CA

We also celebrated Mom’s 65th birthday in July with lunch at the Space Needle.

August

In early August we went to Denver with my parents. We grew up taking summer vacations to the beach or Bend, OR — but because I think I’ll go insane if we do every vacation in the same spot. So we flew to Denver for a different vacation — including a trip to the Botanical Gardens, a drive up into the Rockies (which didn’t go so well), and lots of fantastic food.

16th Street Mall in Downtown Denver
BBQ and frightening drives into the mountains
He found Dole Whip at the Denver Zoo!

We spent some fun time introverting at home, knowing what September was going to bring…

Puzzles and cats — best ever!

I also took a trip to the Washington State Fair with Ashly and my mom, and the petting zoo we visited was the best ever. We also went to the Bellevue Art Museum to check out their summer exhibits. Since I knew I would be gone for most of September, I was thankful we got to spend time together in August!

Note: By agreement with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, I can’t post photos of my Little. So you just have see me and stuff we do :)

September

This was the month to end all months! We chose to get married on September 12th, a very special day in our family. My parents were married September 12th, 1970 on my dad’s 18th birthday. When I first met Sergio, I was amazed to find out that he shared Dad’s birthday. So when we picked a wedding date, it had to be September 12th (for luck, of course!). We debated many different options for our wedding, but decided on a small (parents, siblings, and nephew/niece only) wedding in Maui. We’re not crowd people and it would be hard to choose Seattle or Mexico knowing that it would be difficult for either family to travel en masse to the other location.

Our first two photos are candids, but the pro photos (below) are from Dmitri and Sandra. Dmitri was amazing and I can’t recommend him enough if you are lucky enough to get married in Maui!

Off we go, together.
The Ricos arrive! L to R: Angelica, Sandra, Andrea (baby) and me
I don’t actually know how to put this on!
Vows
Butterfly release!
Learning to hula — we had a hula show and there was some audience participation. You can see who really got into it!
Off into the sunset with you!

Since we’d already had a week in Hawai’i (and since we’re always traveling) we opted for a minimoon on O’ahu. Just a 45-minute plane ride away, it was such a different environment. We stayed just south of Honolulu and enjoyed the peace and quiet at the Kahala Resort.

We booked a Dolphin Lagoon view room. So quiet!
The Byodo-In Temple, a replica in O’ahu of a temple in Japan
Touring the USS Bowfin at Pearl Harbor
View over Honalulu at the Cemetery of the Pacific

October

We were happy to be home for most of October, spending time with one another, my family, and friends. We even took in a Husky Football Game at the best venue in college football!

Crushing victory over Cal from the “cheap” seats

We also celebrated my little brother’s 30th birthday!

Happy birthday Barry!

But October was largely defined by Astrix and her unfortunate kidney failure. Our best guess is that she consumed medication that I accidentally left on the counter. She started vomiting and wouldn’t eat and would only drink water. Sergio took her to the emergency vet, where she stayed for 5 days. There were two weeks there that were pretty difficult before she was given a clean bill of health. She’s on kidney-friendly food now, but my heart still hurts because it was my error that led us to this place!

Not eating and super-thirsty
In the Cone of Shame at the emergency vet
At home but still struggling

November

We needed a pick-me-up in November due to all of the cat drama. We started by going to a Paint Nite near home:

This was fun but pretty challenging for me.

A few days later — snow! Thankfully it didn’t prevent me from heading off to work via plane. I was very bummed to spend my birthday on the road for work, but there were homemade cupcakes courtesy of Sergio waiting for me at home!

Thankfully the airport was fully functional despite the snow!
My new birthday barre (left) and all of my homemade cupcakes!

We spent Thanksgiving with my parents and my brother and Sergio’s mom, and it was a time of lots of food, some games, music, and reading.

Everything ready for the feast! Homemade cranberry sauce (left) is the best!

And, of course, we kept a close eye on Miss Astrix to make sure she was healing well (so far, so good!). You can follow all of her escapades on Instagram at @miss_astrix.

Carry me, hooman!

November ended with some serious ukelele playing (Sergio) and a trip for The Company to Chicago.

Playing his new ukelele!
Chicago skyline!

December

I knew I had a work trip for The Company in mid-December to Zurich, so I convinced Sergio to come with me and we went to Italy first. Even though I loved the history and the sites in Rome and Florence, I don’t think Italy is really my jam. But it was certainly worth one trip!

And we’re starting to post these photos on our Instagram page, @rico.family. Check it out starting tomorrow for more!

Waiting for the Metro in Rome
Gorgeous (and touristy!) Trevi Fountain
The David
The Duomo in Florence

We got home with just a few days for cat snuggles before we headed to Mexico to visit Sergio’s family for Navidad (Christmas).

Meow chicka meow meow!
Christmas baking with our nephew
Mi familia Mexicana

And now what?

Now we’re back home and we had a very chill last few days. We’re celebrating the New Year by finally seeing Star Wars: Episode 8 (I didn’t want subtitles or dubbing in Mexico, so I decided it was worth the wait). Work starts again on January 2nd, and the travel follows not long after.

2016 was a year of a blogging break for a whole host of reasons, but one of my 2017 goals it to publish a post weekly, whether it be about family, friends, travels, mental health, our cat, or books — or whatever else comes to mind.

I’ll be back later this week to share some of my 2018 goals!

Joyfully,

Sarah

That hat, tho.
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