Thursday, December 29, 2016

My 2016 in a nutshell - Parts 1 and 2

What a year! 2016 has been a whirlwind to say the least. Though 2016 wasn't so kind to us politically and culturally, it is still important to reflect on your own personal accomplishments, landmarks, and growth throughout the year. So what happened in the winter and spring of 2016? Well, I finished my first year of teaching (score)! Chris moved to Chicago, and we moved in together (score)! My friendships here blossomed (score)!

Below is a month by month breakdown for the first 6 months of 2016.


I started off the year in the best way possible - with a trip to Disney World! I had never been, and Chris surprised me with a trip for Christmas. Disney World was just as magical (if not more magical) than everyone said it would be. Now, I can't stop thinking about when I can return!

A photo posted by Heather Otto (@xoheatherotto) on

A photo posted by Heather Otto (@xoheatherotto) on

A photo posted by Heather Otto (@xoheatherotto) on


I've never been one to put pressure on Valentine's Day, but Chris really made this one special. I love picnics, but February in the Midwest isn't a great time for a picnic. Chris arranged to have a gorgeous little picnic in the Franklin Park Conservatory so that I could enjoy an "outdoor" picnic in the winter. Swoon!

I also got really into boutique fitness studios in February of 2016. Classpass essentially changed my life, and now I can't go a week without hitting up a fitness class.

A photo posted by Heather Otto (@xoheatherotto) on


To me, March is one of the toughest months. It is right before teacher spring break and right after the high of the holidays. Plus, it is still frigid in the Midwest! The best thing about this month is that I had tons of friends visiting me and my friendships here in the city really blossomed.

A photo posted by Heather Otto (@xoheatherotto) on


Spring is here! But... Chicago spring doesn't always feel like spring. I'm finally getting antsy for my first year of teaching to wrap up, but there are still 3 months to go. This month was a true hodge podge of all sorts of things.

We spent a little bit too much time at this country bar...

A photo posted by Heather Otto (@xoheatherotto) on

I made a cooler! This puppy was the product of my blood, sweat, and tears. Yes, all 3 of those things were truly involved.

Finally, teacher spring break arrived! I spent an entire week in Columbus and attended Chris's last fraternity date function.

A photo posted by Heather Otto (@xoheatherotto) on


The weather in Chicago finally got nice! We got pretty into bike rides... Of course we never got tired halfway, docked the bites, got a drink, then got an Uber home. No, of course we never would do that. And by never,  I mean frequently. We frequently did that.

A photo posted by Heather Otto (@xoheatherotto) on

Chris moved to Chicago! Shortly after, he suggested we take "a quick 30 minute ride." Well, that ride wasn't a quick 30 minute ride at all. It ended up being 20 miles. I was sure that I was going to die.

A photo posted by Heather Otto (@xoheatherotto) on

The expiration date on our LDR (long distance relationship) was even sweeter than I imagined. We also started apartment searching for our first place together! We took this picture the day that we took a walk through of the place that we finally got to call our own.

A photo posted by Heather Otto (@xoheatherotto) on


And just like that, I made it through my first year of teaching. Teaching is the craziest whirlwind - deeply personal, totally exhausting, utterly rewarding. Teacher summers are so deserved, and my best friend and I wanted to start ours with a bang! We said bye bye to the kiddos on the last day, left the building with our suitcases, and boarded a plan to Vegas!

A photo posted by Heather Otto (@xoheatherotto) on

What was your favorite month of 2016? Share your personal biggest accomplishment or favorite memory below!

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