My favorite memory from 2016 is actually a three-way tie: #1. Chris and I bought our first home! It was a long process but we’re so proud. #2. Going to Puerto Rico for Christmas with my entire family. We lived there for a few years when I was younger, so getting to experience the island all over again was beyond magical. #3. Beyonce. I got to see Queen B this year and that was pretty much the highlight of my adult life.



2016 was a great year! One of my favorite memories was going to Music Midtown this past September with a huge group of my friends. One of the days it stormed pretty hard and the festival had to evacuate. We were all walking down a street and were a little sad because we didn’t know if we were going to miss any bands or if the festival would be canceled. Then we come upon a massive dance party in the middle of the street. There was silly string, a ton of rain, and everyone was singing along to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody”. I had the time of my life dancing with everyone until the festival reopened. Just a life lesson that when it storms, there is always a dance party around the corner.”  




My favorite memory was swimming in the Gulf of Mexico off the shore of Tulum’s Mayan ruins and watching the ocean ‘breathe’ through the coral, kelp, and beautiful fish. It was magical, warm, and definitely, something everyone should experience in life. 


Earlier this year the Crash team had a habit of hanging out together when we got off work because somehow after 40 hours in the same room together we hadn’t had enough of each other. One such night we had gone to dinner and then were walking to Southside to play some games when it started raining. By raining I mean pouring. We had already been laughing for whatever reason but somehow us trying to navigate puddles in this downpour had us hysterical and I distinctly remember leaning against a wall in the pouring rain to catch my breath because I couldn’t stop laughing. By the time we got there we looked like we had gone swimming which didn’t seem to put a damper on anyone’s night. Needless to say this past year with the Crash crew has been fun.


I really enjoyed my trip to CA and meeting Brett Young (a country artist) in the Vegas airport. 



This has been a great year, but if I had to pick a memory it would be about our second child, Evan.  It’s a bit sappy…Babies are really not my thing.  Sure, they are cute, but for the first 4 months they pretty much cry, sleep, and poop.  When you hold them, you feel like you might break them.  You talk to them, and they just don’t care.  All that said, one morning I was changing him, and, as I had done many many times before without any response, I tickled him.  Normally he would just give me a confused look, or start crying.  But, this morning was the first time he laughed.  Not just an “eh, that’s kind of funny” laugh, but a big belly laugh.  That was a pretty dang cool moment. 



I found a litter of kittens under my house this summer and have been raising one under the name of Goob.



So my 2016 has been amazing, and I just wanna be real with you readers: This story could get real mushy, but I’m okay with that. I got married in 2016, and that probably seems like it should be my favorite memory—and it kind of is, but I feel like my favorite memory is more of a feeling than a specific event. The wedding was part of it. But more than anything, when I think back on 2016, the thing that stands out most is just being so excited. Since we’ve been married, David (my husband) and I have gotten to go on some amazing trips—a honeymoon in Key Largo, a 30th bday trip to Colorado (which he SURPRISED me with, by the way, what a guy!), a weekend in Chicago (where I finally got to eat real Chicago-style pizza for the first time ever)—and don’t get me wrong, those things also rank pretty high in my “best moments of 2016 list.”But my favorite thing about all of this, and the point I’m really trying to make here is that I get to keep doing that. Forever. Maybe I won’t go on so many trips next year. Maybe I won’t get to eat Chicago-style pizza, (Man, I hope I do.) I know I won’t be going and doing all the time. But knowing that my PERSON is going to be there with me through it all, whatever it is, making more amazing memories (even if they’re not quite as extravagant) forever and ever amen? That’s my favorite thing of 2016. There it is. I know, it’s cheesy and mushy but it’s the truth. 



The best part of my year, though it is very cheesy, has been meeting and getting to know my boyfriend, Ryan. He lives in Knoxville for now but we talk on the phone every night and it never feels like we have any catching up to do. Career wise it’s been a rocky year but in the last two months things have been looking up and I’m happy where I am and look forward to where my experience takes me. School sucks, don’t go. I mean do go, but don’t.


Congrats to Jess on getting engaged over Christmas break!


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Brian Chaney

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