Saturday, December 31, 2016

Is It 2017 Yet?

Man oh man, I thought this year would never end!  I mean, I know we still have about 4 more hours-- and a lot can happen between now and then, but I am hoping 2017 comes in a quieter fashion than this year started for Jason and I.  We are not, by any means, 2016 haters-- a lot of great things have happened to us this year-- but, this has been a long, rough year for the world.  So, today I wanted to take the opportunity to look at some of our challenges and triumphs... because I think it's important to take time to look back so you can appreciate how far you've come.

New Year's Day 2016

On New Year's Day 2016, Jason and I were driving home from a holiday trip home to Oregon.  We left my parent's house in the Portland area early in the morning, and were making good time when we started the steep trek up the Siskiyou Pass-- about halfway between Portland and Sacramento.  We were nearly to the summit, when the car started rapidly slowing down, and the engine stopped...

It was dark, we were in the fast lane next to the skinny shoulder, and had to pull over quickly.  Freaked out and shaking-- we called for help-- then sat and waited.  The tow truck came, and pulled us to safety and eventually a mechanic.   When the employees couldn't help us, we walked across the parking lot to a hotel, and rented a room for the night.  Two unexpected days off from work, a dead car, a long day inside a dealership and a lot of money later-- we were back on the road to California in a brand new car.

It wasn't an ideal start to the year-- but the universe forced us to upgrade our POS car to a more reliable one, and for that I am thankful.

Covering Super Bowl 50 and Other Big Stories

After our rough start to the year, I hit the ground running at work.  CBS was broadcasting Super Bowl 50, and it was right down the road in San Francisco.  We were going all out with our coverage, and that meant a lot of work.

The week of the Super Bowl, we had several crews in San Francisco. And as the day got nearer, our anchors traveled west to host the show from the field.  The Friday night before the big game was one of my favorite shows to produce.  I wanted to try something different with our field anchors.  Instead of tossing back and forth between them and our in house anchor, I wanted them to do the whole show from the field.  It was risky, and a bit choppy because there was a delay and a fireworks show going off in the middle of the first block-- but I wouldn't changed how I put this show together.  It was such a cool moment to bring to the viewers on live TV, and I am proud of the hard work I put into preparing, and the beautiful coordination of my director, Frank.  You can watch the first part of the show above.

Jason and I also got a chance to go to San Francisco the week before the Super Bowl and participate in some of the events and activities scheduled around the big game.  I'm not a huge sports person, but I am glad I went-- despite the fact that I was getting over a terrible cold.  Who knows when a chance like that will come along again!

Some of the other newsworthy events I covered this year, and was proud of the job done by myself and my co-workers: the Brussels & Nice terror attacks, the arrest of Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva, Election Night 2016, the opening act at the Golden 1 Center, nearly every night in our November Ratings period, and the New Year's Day special I put together for tomorrow.

Adventures in Being Engaged

Holy crap!  I got engaged this year!  Also, I am only to March-- so this post might be just as long as this year has felt.

On a gorgeous March day, my incredibly sweet boyfriend (now fiance) took me to my favorite place in California, Point Reyes.  He got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him.  After eight wonderful, at times long, years together-- of course I said yes.  And even though I knew it was coming, I still cried!  You can read our engagement story here.

Since that day, we've been doing the things engaged folks do!  We set a date, picked a venue, registered for gifts, made a wedding website, chose our wedding party, interviewed vendors, and I started the daunting task of trying on wedding gowns.  We have quite a bit of time to go-- but we're having fun and trying to keep things laid back.

I am so excited to finally be husband and wife... but that will have to wait until 2018!  You can learn more about our wedding, by clicking on the tab with the same name above... or by clicking here.

An Emmy & a College Acceptance

I wish all of my topics were supported by photographs, but sadly they're not.

In June of 2016 Jason headed back to school to lay the ground work to earn his teaching credential.  And since then, he has been busting his butt to finish the first half of the program.  It's been an incredibly stressful time for him, and for our relationship-- dealing with grueling hours, a lack of sleep and not much time to spend together.  But it's also been incredible to watch him do something that he truly loves.  For a very long time, I have known Jason should teach.  He has this way of being able to talk to anyone... and I mean ANYONE... without judgement or attitude.  It's something special to experience, especially when you see him with kids or teenagers.  I am just glad he finally listened to me, and made the decision to go back to school :)

June of 2016 also meant BIG things for me...  I won my first Emmy!  I didn't go to the ceremony, because we had made other plans-- but this was such an exciting moment.  Jason and I were huddled around my phone when the announcement was made.  The show I won for was a difficult one.  I was producing our Noon and 4pm shows that day, because of vacations and staffing.  At 7am we learned Hometown Hero Spencer Stone had been stabbed.  From there it was a whirlwind of writing and news conferences and coordinating reporters.  It was stressful, and I remember going home and having a bottle of wine to myself.  But you know what?  My hard work paid off-- and this win really inspired me to continue working my butt off.

2016 challenged me professionally in ways I didn't know I could still be challenged.  I have grown so much in the last year-- I couldn't gush more about how lucky I am to be in a newsroom that believes in my abilities and encourages me to try new things and pushes me to be better!  I hope to continue learning and growing, and I am excited to see what 2017 throws my way!

The BEST Concert of My Life

Believe what you want, but I have been to A LOT of concerts in my time-- and this was by far the best.  I bought these tickets on a whim, because I knew Jason liked Macklemore.  I did too, but Jason was the true fan.   He would be in San Francisco during Memorial Day weekend, and I knew this would be one of our last times to spend time together before Jason went to school.  So I bought two tickets, we booked a hotel room, and we road the train into the city for a fun night out.  I didn't know I was in for musical fucking magic!  Words can't express just how great of a performer Macklemore was, and just how incredible his song line up was-- maybe it was the magic of San Francisco.  But I will say this... if he ever makes a stop near you, go!  You won't be sorry.

Macklemore's concert inspired us to be a bit more musical this year.  In September we drove to San Jose to re-live our high school years and see Blink 182 in concert.  Pure nostalgic fun, I tell ya!  I also went to a music festival with some co-workers and got to see Weezer in concert :)  I hope 2017 brings more concert opportunities-- I forgot how much fun it can be!

Friendships New & Old

Sometimes life puts amazing people in your path, and it's up to you to recognize the opportunities to invite those aforementioned amazing people into your world.  I am not very good at doing this.   It stems from a long line of trust, self-esteem, abandonment and depression issues-- all things I am working very hard with a therapist to learn how to cope with.  But, it makes it hard to build good, lasting relationships.

Despite all this, I have met some incredible people this year-- and though my personal struggles have kept me from being as open and friendly as I would like to be-- I have had some truly great moments with the people above.  They've invited me to celebrate their new families,  their milestone birthdays and the holidays.  They've allowed me to be a witness to their life-long commitment to each other.  We've gone to concerts, had Gilmore Girls Marathons and explored Northern California together.  It's been a true gift, and I hope that 2017 brings more love and friendship to my world.

Amazing, yet limited, Adventures

California continues to surprise me.  The beauty, the history, the shear size!  My last, almost three years here have been full of fun and exploration-- and though this year didn't see as much travel as I normally like to do, we still had some pretty incredible adventures.

We saw Yosemite for the first time.  After three hours in the car, pulling into Yosemite Valley was truly breathtaking.  If I could live in John Muir's little cabin for the rest of my life I would!  We hiked the Mist Trail, took in El Capitan and Yosemite Falls, and wished we had more than a day to spend in such an incredible place.  But don't worry Yosemite-- we'll be back.

2016 also took us to the beach a few times.  Point Reyes will always have a special place in my heart-- and especially now that Jason proposed there.  But we also made the long trek southwest to Carmel-by-the-Sea.  It was smoky when we went, because of a massive wildfire... and the Maserati festival was in town, so the streets were crowded.  But none of that kept me from falling in love with the place.  Khloe was allowed practically everywhere... and we got to eat at Doris Day's Hotel. #Amazing.

Voting for a Woman

I know we're all election-ed out, but bear with me.  Regardless of your take on the candidates, who you voted for, any of that partisan politics crap-- take a minute to revel in the fact that in 2016 our nation had the chance to vote for the first woman to clinch the nomination of a major party.  That's incredible!

I got emotional in the voting booth, filling in that circle for Hillary Clinton.  It was such an incredible moment to see a woman at the top of my ballot.  And though the results of the election didn't go the way I wanted, I feel an immense sense of pride in my country that we got this far.  Women got one step closer to being equal to men.  Revel in that fact America.  And keep fighting the good fight.

Harsh Realities

2016 wasn't without it's challenges for me.  I have mentioned a few of them above, and I want to take the time to list some of the significant ones below.

  • Gaining Weight.  It's been a struggle over the past 9, nearly 10 years.  And this year, I got big enough to almost need to buy 2 seats on a plane.
  • Watching Beloved Family Members Get Older.  It's something that's been in the back of my mind for years.  But this year, I got a sobering picture of my Grandmother's true age and limitations.  It's not terrible, it's just facts.
  • Depression and Anxiety.  They're still here.  And I'm still working on them.  Change is slow, painful, and a pain in the ass.

Those are my triumphs and challenges of 2016.  I am thankful for every one of them-- even though at times I have hated their existence.  And, while this year brought some harsh realities and tremendous loss in the celebrity world-- it wasn't the worst year I have ever lived through.  I don't know what the new year holds for me, but I do know the plans I have made for myself.  And I am excited to move forward and see what 2017 has to offer!

Thank you for sitting down to read my words.  I hope they inspire you to reflect on your past year and celebrate the good and the bad.  Cheers to 2017!

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