Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 In Review

Well, this has been quite the year!

I wouldn't say that this year was a roller coaster so much as a speeding train. It felt very full and very busy. We grew, we became more settled in our church and life in Tallahassee, just in time to pack up and move away from it for a year. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next year as we return and readjust. Will we pronounce all our "W's" as "V"? Time will tell!

I feel a little guilty for how our life probably looks on this blog. Oh of course you know we aren't perfect and that we don't just have fun, but I can totally see how it might look like that. We did a LOT of travelling this year. We did it as inexpensively as we could, and thankfully earlier in the year we had air miles to help us out and Carson got some conferences funded so I was able to tag along, but wow, what a year on the go. With the exception of June, I think we went somewhere every single month this year. 

We got to see some neat places in the US and got to spend quality time with some pretty fantastic people. It's good that we got those times in, because we moved to Germany in August and we no longer had the freedom to drive to see family over the weekend. Once there though, we did have the freedom to see new places. We visited a total of five countries (Germany, Austria, United Kingdom, Bulgaria and Spain) and quite a few cities in Germany (Frankfurt, Marburg, Heidelberg, Göttingen, Kassel, Rüdesheim, Wiesbaden, Mainz, Cologne, Dortmund, Hamburg, Düsseldorf).

We hope that 2017 is a great year also. I'm looking forward to seeing what's in store. I think we'll see some new cities and countries, and I think it will be another busy year. We've got our hopes up about what it will hold... can't wait to see!

For now though, here's a recap of what we did in 2016 with lots of links to specific posts!

We go to Taco Bell every New Year's Day as part of a weird pact we made in 2011
We rang in 2016 on our couch
We went to Maryland for MLK weekend and had a great (albeit freezing) time!
Carson was sick a lot and Lindsay worried about him getting pneumonia but he was stubborn about going to the doctor.


Tampa's Lowery Park zoo

Leap Day - I feel like since we get an extra day once every four years, it should really just go ahead and be a day that's free from work. Who's with me?
The Deer Cousins Birthday Weekend: We went to the zoo and IKEA in Tampa with Morgan, Caleb, Grayson and Sydney.

Governer's Palace in Williamsburg
Lindsay turned 27, which seems a lot closer to 30 than previously thought.
We went to Colonial Williamsburg for a conference
Even though Florida winters are mild, this month stated pretty chilly. Last March we went to the beach, but we had far fewer warm days.
We found out that Carson was awarded a Fulbright scholarship and we were moving to Germany!


Carabelle Beach
We went to the beach! Since we found out about Germany, we realized we needed to make the most of our Florida beaches!
I went to St. Petersburg/Clearwater to see Christina and Caleb
We went to a local art festival
We also spent a lot of time with Josh and Christina this month. We got together on Wednesdays as a community group, but the group sort of split up and it was just the Bays and the Kings, so we had an unofficial weekly standing date from mid-April until we were jerks and left for Germany.

Top of the Rock in New York City

We took an anniversary trip to New York City!
We celebrated six years of marriage. This apparently sounds like a very big number because it gets a "wow, SIX?" response from a lot of people.
Morgan, Grayson and Mom all visited
Carson aced his first comprehensive exam!
I refinished our dresser by myself and got Carson to update our coffee table

Lafayette Heritage Park 
We did our best to get more steps in this month! We took lots of walks and a few hikes
We celebrated Christina's 30th!
Carson passed his second comprehensive exam! 

Anastasia Beach in St. Augustine
Granddaddy and Grandmama's dock in Beaufort
July was a fun month! 
Went camping in St Augustine for the weekend of the 4th
Lindsay was part of the second annual "Writing Class Girls" reunion, in St Pete this year
Did our very best to do as much as we could with people while also packing and working
We packed up in Tallahassee and spent the last few days of the month in Beaufort

Far too many bags, but ready for adventure

Philosopher's Walk in Heidelberg

At the castle in Salzburg
Spent the first few days of the month in Beaufort and then in Atlanta with family!
We moved to Germany!
We spent most of August in Marburg, Germany for language classes but on the weekends, we definitely got to explore!
We traveled to Heidelberg for a day
We took a long weekend in Salzburg and in Werfen, Austria
We went to Frankfurt for Museumsuferfest
Carson took his final comprehensive exam and set a department record for speed! He is now officially a PhD Candidate and I'm so proud!


We went to Gottingen for a day
We went to the Kassel wasserspiele for a day
We took a boat ride on the Rhine and explored Rudesheim with the Fulbright
We explored Mainz und Wiesbaden
We moved to Münster, Germany for Carson's research under his Fulbright grant
Basically the second we moved to Munster the weather decided to stay cold for good. This was expected but I was still a little sad about that.

On the bank of the Rhine in Cologne
Tower of London
Hurricane Matthew hit the East Coast and knocked up Grandmama and Granddaddy's dock pretty badly. More than that, many lives were lost in Haiti and homes were destroyed in the Southeast.
We visited Ben in Cologne
Jordyn, Ben and Annelyse all came to stay with us in Munster for various reasons and it was fun seeing them!
We went to London, England as a short trip
We carved a white pumpkin for Halloween 

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia

Seven Rila Lakes in the Rila Mountains

Ben and Julianne came to explore Munster for the day
We traveled to Bulgaria for Thanksgiving weekend (Sofia, Plovdiv, Rila Mountains)

Park Guell in Barcelona
We explored Munster's Christmas Markets
Lindsay went to Hamburg (Day 1, Day 2)
We had four days in Spain (Barcelona, Montserrat, La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell)
Carson turned 30 in Spain and then we explored Dusseldorf!

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