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Chris and Michelle's 2016 Year In Review

Hello friends and family!

2016. Um, What a year? If you watch the pop culture media, it was a crappy year filled with mass shootings, beloved celebrity deaths, and a shocking election. But for us personally, it was just another year of good times and happy living with our family, friends, and doggies. Lots to be thankful for and no sorrowful news that hit too close to home. Here's some pictures to review our favorite moments of the year.

More Birds!

In January, Michelle enhanced her chicken-keeping hobby by adopting four wee baby chicks and nurturing them into productive members of our egg-laying society. Their names are Soupy, Soupy Jr., Black Bean, and Achilles.

Weekenders

In February, we spent Valentine's Day at a nice hotel in Monterey. It was dog-friendly too! So we brought the pups and gave them lots of running around time on the beach!

In March, it was time to get a head start on camping season. We skillfully picked a perfect warm-weather weekend and traveled a whole 40 minutes from home to Mount Madonna State Park. It was our first real camping excursion in the new trailer we got last year. We like the new trailer cuz it's got a bunch of amenities the old one didn't have. But it's the biggest one our little SUV can tow, and it's still too small for us. The dreams of the giant 30-40 foot RV still live on, at least in Chris's mind (Chelle plays along).
And in April, if was off to Morro Bay. Chris took the below picture of Morro Rock from the very spot where the Point Motel once stood. The Point Motel was an icon of Chris's childhood as it was a frequent destination for him with his parents and their friends in the 1970's. Ahh, the memories!

We were joined on both of these trips by our good friends Blaze & Cheryl and Helga & Axel. Good times!

Pool Time!

Pool season also started around March. Well, at least for Chris it did. Not so much for Chelle. It's a tough life being a slave to a swimming pool. Since you spend so much and work so hard to maintain the thing, you feel like you have to use it as much as possible. So we did! Our visiting friends from Seattle would not let a cold rainy night block their swim time, and neither would Chris.

Pool Time, for realz!

In the summertime, the pool heated up to 80 degrees and, we got a solar pool heating system installed which brought it up to 85 and almost 90. Now it was REALLY pool season, even for Chelle! Almost every weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day included some sort of pool party/BBQ with any and all friends who would join us. As I said, it's a very tough life owning a pool!

Road Trip Time!

Every year, we go camping in Oregon in the summer where we meet our friends the Terry's (also from Seattle). This year one of the highlights was a bonfire on Cape Lookout State Beach.
After Oregon, we headed south again through North-Eastern California and stopped at Lassen National Park, where Chelle enjoyed the thermal features that reminded her of her favorite national park, Yellowstone. Then it was on to Lake Tahoe for some nice hikes and a swim in the frigid lake. We finished off with a couple days in Markleeville to support Chris's cousin-in-law doing the "Death Ride" (5 Sierra Summits...over 100 miles...in one day...on a bike!).

Date Nights!

When Friday night rolls around, after working from home all week, we typically like to head to bustling Downtown Morgan Hill and frequent our favorite restaurants. They also have a cute little corner park where Chris got to sit in a "big boy" chair and teach Chelle to play chess (she's doing it wrong!). In the summer, Morgan Hill has a music concert series which was fun to enjoy with our neighbors.

Fitness

Are we staying fit? Well, kinda. We walk the dogs and were able to explore some more trails in our new home town this year. It really is a beautiful valley around Morgan Hill! We also signed up, trained for, and completed a short organized bike ride and 5K on the same weekend in October. So anyone who can do TWO sport races in one weekend must be fit, right? (We won't mention what position we placed).

Careers

Chris is working on his twelfth year keeping Aplia alive for Cengage Learning. This year around the holidays his team had a big successful release and to celebrate he got to take the team to see the Cirque Du Soleil Luzia show in San Francisco. So fun! That same week, Michelle's company had their holiday party at the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco. Michelle is working on her 9th year at Ensenta.

Family Time

We're fortunate to have Michelle's family living locally, so we see them often. For every birthday and many days in-between. A couple of our more interesting birthday events this year included Go-Kart Racing and an Escape Room. While Go-karting, Chris crashed head-on at full speed into the side of another racer who had spun out in front of him. It was a scary taste of what a real car crash would feel like, but luckily everyone was ok this time.
Michelle also got to spend some quality time with her family doing crafts and venturing to Safari West to help them carry their photography gear while they all shot giraffs with their ginormous cameras.
Well, there you have our favorite parts of 2016 in pictures. Thanks for visiting and we hope all our friends and family also had an enjoyable year 2016!

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