I was going to be annoyed at myself for not getting this post out at Christmas or New Year, but then I reasoned that, by putting this post out between New Year’s Day and Epiphany, I’m continuing the holiday season and postponing the grim dark of winter.
So happy holidays, everybody!
2017 was an interesting year. It’s been difficult to look back on it with a neutral eye to accurately sum up the year because the last month has been a struggle.
For those of you who haven’t heard, Grandma Tapahe passed away unexpectedly on Thanksgiving. And while it’s always wonderful to spend holidays with the family, her absence was keenly felt. Christmas was her favorite holiday, and she always did whatever she could to make sure the family had a good holiday.
The families all pulled together to provide Christmas for the younger Tapahe cousins in Grandma’s absence. For me, that made a big difference. Since I became a Tapahe, I feel like I’ve rediscovered the meaning of family, and especially this year.
In 2017, we also lost Great-grandma Tapahe. She passed away in April at the age of 107. That, at least, was not unexpected, but that didn’t make it less painful. It was incredibly inspiring to see how the family came together to honor her and celebrate her life, and it gave me a chance to visit the Navajo Reservation for the first time, which was a life-changing experience.
Because of these two tragic events, the last couple weeks of 2017 were rough, and I didn’t know if it would be worth it to do a newsletter or year in review. But the more I thought about it, the more I remembered that there were a lot of good things that happened this year.
- For Valentine’s Day, Dexter made a phenomenal dinner (filet mignon) and we watched Deadpool (which is fast becoming our Valentine’s tradition).
- In April, we saw Lion King at the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake to celebrate Dexter’s birthday.
- In May, we went to the Flogging Molly concert at the Complex. It was, without a doubt, the best show I have ever seen — and a lifetime dream come true!
- At the end of June, we took an Americana road trip and stopped at a handful of diners and roadside attractions. We camped on BLM land (for freeeee!) at the San Rafael Swell and saw a bunch of ancient petroglyphs and pictographs — another lifetime dream fulfilled!
- At the end of July, we visited Cedar Breaks National Monument. Although our camping trip got cut short because of rain, we had a great time. We discovered another cozy roadside diner, where we enjoyed delicious breakfast food.
- At… some point during the summer… we drove up to Logan and caught The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Utah Festival Opera. It was phenomenal!
- We visited Cedar City to attend SUU’s Homecoming game (and drove down to St. George so I could finally get my free meal from Honolulu Grill after carrying a punch card around since 2010).
- In mid-October, we attended a discount adoption day at the Best Friends Society and adopted a small black kitty. We named her Chainsaw, and she is amazing.
- On November 1, I got to meet my favorite author, Maggie Stiefvater, on her book tour for All the Crooked Saints (which I had received from Dexter as an anniversary present).
- November… happened? We spent Thanksgiving with the Tapahes and had a great time looking at old photo albums. It was such a blessing to all be together for dinner and to spend a fun day together.
- Christmas Eve brought tasty snacks and fun board games with my mom’s family, and Christmas Day was spent with the Sorensens and Tapahes and more good food.
- We spent New Year’s Eve playing games with my Grandma Jo and later with my mom and siblings.
All in all, this year has been a roller coaster, but I’m feeling all right. I think there’s a Beatles song in there somewhere.
Take care of yourselves, my friends. Hug your loved ones. Speak up for what you believe in. Love what and who you love.
2018 is here. Let’s kick its ass! (Instead of the other way around lol)