I've always loved the idea of Holiday cards, taking time once a year to get a nice family photo and typing up a little note to tell your friends and family the highlights from the last year. In my head it was this reflective, fun activity that I would always look forward to doing. Well.. We've been married for over 4 years and this is the first time I've been able to fit it into my holiday schedule. (Please note: I started writing this at 11:48 PM on December 22 and I still have at least one gift to buy and I have yet to wrap a single present.)
But some big things happened this year, so here it is, the first annual Laeger holiday card.
And in true Pat and Brittany fashion, I've decided to forgo the traditional paper method for a more.... techy version.
So what were the big events 2016? Well... It happened, this year Pat and I turned 30 — I can just hear a bunch of audible groans from those that are north of 30 — but hear me out. Life seems a little different this year. We've officially graduated out of our twenties and now life just feels little bit different and time seems to pass just a little bit faster. So I'm taking a few minutes to look back, to remember and document what happened in the last 365 days. So here goes:
(The Hipster Phase)
Sometime this year, Pat decided that he was done with his fluffy red haircut that he has been sporting for years (like 12 years) and cut his hair, which spiraled into what he calls his "third of life crisis", also known as dressing like a hipster. Pat's still working for Hubbard Broadcasting (9 years), but has moved off the radio team and is now producing videos for social media clients with Hubbard's Digital Department. He is still the Pastor of Tech and Media at Meadow Spring Church in Chaska and will be taking on more of the marketing and communications in 2017.
(The Busy Marketer Phase)
I have been working at StoryTeller Media + Communications (a content marketing & video production agency) since May of 2015, starting in Account Strategist Role. In 2016, I got a new job as the Marketing Manager. Christianna and I have continued to stay busy taking pictures and I am playing guitar and serving on the tech team at Meadow Spring.
I've also been helping a friend with her new weaving business, Andas Mer. Check out her website here.
January: Seattle Trip & Cooking Class
In January, I got the chance to visit Seattle with Pat's Mom (Sandy), Sister (Jessi) and our Niece (Macy). We stayed with JJ & Ross (Pat's Aunt and Uncle) and celebrated Beverly's (Pat's Grandma) 75th Birthday.
I loved the lush green, the ocean air, the new sites and a chance to connect with some of Pat's family that I hadn't met before. It was a great chance to recharge and take some photos of the pacific northwest. I can't wait to get another chance to go back.
Pat and I also took our first cooking class at Cooks of Crocus Hill, we learned to make Japanese Pub food, which was super fun and definitely delicious.
February: Moving Offices and Gemma
In February, my office moved from a pretty standard office building in Bloomington to a restored warehouse space in St. Louis Park. I've loved the transition to a more creative space with tons of natural light.
At the end of February we added a new fur baby to the family! Gemma Watson Laeger was adopted from Secondhand Hounds after being rescued from a home in Texas. She is a VERY shy Chow Chow German Shepherd mix, but she is sweet and gentle. She makes a great contrast to Oakley who is stubborn, friendly and full of energy. She learned how to jump the fence, which has been an exciting adventure. Pat got it on video, so check that out here.
May: The Restorations
In May, Pat decided to add to his nerdy repertoire by restoring his grandma's 1960's record player. He spent a couple of weeks tearing it apart, really cleaning it, replacing a few parts and then putting it back together. It was fun to watch the transformation!
June: Four and Thirty
June is always a busy month for us, but this year we celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary with dinner at Monello in Downtown Minneapolis! Pat also celebrated his 30th birthday and we hosted friends and family for a joint birthday party. We also helped Pat's parents moved from his childhood home in Shakopee to a new home in Cologne, MN.
At the end of June we went to the Minneapolis Food Truck fair, which is one of our favorite food events in the cities!
July: The Passing of Time
We started off July by taking the dogs for an adventure around Minnehaha Park.
Then we spent a few days in Big Lake at the Benkers house for the 4th of July with my dad's side of the family. We spent the weekend in the lake: tubing, paddle boarding, kayaking, playing games and hanging out.
The following week we spent several days in Outing, MN with the greater Laeger family with 25 people all in a big cabin. It was a great time to connect, explore and just relax all together.
My 30th birthday was one I will never forget, my grandpa Burt had been in the hospital a few days before, which wasn't really out of the ordinary, but that day we knew that he wasn't going to leave the hospital. My family and I got to spend my last birthday sitting around him eating birthday cupcakes one last time. It was a real reminder that life is short and that you should take advantage of every moment.
The next day, July 23rd, Grandpa Burt left this earth and while it was a hard time for my family, I know that he is no longer in pain. Thank you so much to everyone who poured out their love and support during that time. It was so inspiring to hear all the stories about how Grandpa spent his time here on earth. You can read his life story here.
August: Celebration of Life
In August, we had the celebration of life service for Grandpa. Many of our friends and relatives from all over the country came to remember his life.
This holiday season has been a big transition for my family and he is definitely missed. He always read the Christmas story at our celebrations. I miss his steady voice and his laugh.
September: Finished Basement
Our basement got flooded a few years ago and it's been torn up ever since. This year we had a friend stay with us for the month of September and it gave us the motivation we needed to finish up the basement. Pat spent lots of hours on the bathroom: installing new title, a toilet and a vanity. I did all the painting and decorating.
October: Family Traditions
Grandpa Burt had a timeshare at Breezy Point over the first weekend of October. This year Mom (Lisa), Chrishy, Pat and I went up with Grandma for the first time in years. We spent an afternoon in Nisswa, walked around and looked at the colorful leaves and relaxed in the hot tub. It was a great long weekend to recharge and reset.
November: Lefse Making Day
It's a family tradition to have homemade Lefse for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The last few years my family has gotten together for a lefse making day!
December: The Celebrations
This December we've had lots of great celebrations with work, family and friends. Probably the most notable was the Hubbard Holiday Party, Pat got a lot of attention for his PacMan suit!
Concerts! Concerts! Concerts!
- March: Rend Collective/Urban Rescue @ Northwestern College
- March: St. Paul Chamber Orchestra featuring Pekka Kuusisto @ Ordway
- April: Lukas Graham and Ingrid Michaelson @ Live95
- April: Paper Route and Mutemath @ First Avenue
- August: Matthew Mayfield @ The Turf Club
- September: Relient K/Switchfoot @ Myth
- October: All Sons & Daughters
- October: Pentatonix @ Xcel
- October: Parachute, Mat Kearney & Needtobreathe @ Roy Wilkins
- December: Gungor Acoustic Christmas @ First Evangelical Free Church
The New Year
It's been a FULL year. I love getting a chance to pause and remember everything we've done, how far we've come — what's been lost and what's been gained.
2017 holds a lot of exciting adventures. In June, Kyle and his fiancée, Evelyn, will be getting married in Littleton, CO. My dad and his fiancée, Jennifer, will be getting married in August. We are hoping to be able to take some time to travel next year.