Think 2016 Sucked? Change Your Outlook

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yes, i know it’s the second day of 2017 but i just got done processing 2016. in my mind at least, the previous year doesn’t simply stop existing when you drink the last of the champagne at 12:01am (or day drink margaritas at 2pm and then go to bed at 8:37pm because #parenthood).

with that, i can’t get on the bandwagon of trashing 2016. i just can’t. yes, i have very strong feelings around our embarrassing/dangerous president-elect. yes, some quality celebrities passed away – but i did not personally know them (and nobody gets out alive anyway).

i’m going to throw some dumbledore at you with this quote, “happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.

so turn on the light party-people. it’s about our mindsets and what we choose to focus on. put together your “once impossible list” or your “accomplishment list for 2016” and focus on the positive of this year.

one of the ways that i am choosing to focus on the positive of this year (because it was a grand year for us), is choosing the top 16 photos from my life. my husband did his a few weeks ago, you can check out his pretty incredible ones HERE. i already knew i couldn’t put mine together until my sister and i saw each other at christmas and had our daughters play together for the very first time!

so here we go:

1) moving from portland to denver

we moved from portland, oregon at the beginning of 2016. crazy. i love this photo because while portland will always hold a special place for me, when we visited for our friends’ wedding – i knew we made the right decision to move to colorado. that felt amazing and relieving.

2) getting to officiate our best friends’ wedding!

we love them. i wrote all about how hard it is to find couples you both get along with and adore – alison and matt are these people for us! also a reminder – your wedding day should be what you want – and if that includes 6 people and a BBQ later with other friends, do it. 

3) my husband completing the ironman!

here’s the full recap – it’s a tear-jerker. still so proud of him (and he’s super lucky he married a hilarious woman).

4) birthing a human while feeling every single thing

because i created a human with my body and then brought it into this world. i mean, that’s pretty impressive. full birth story here.

cassie rosch photography

5) proud feminists, obviously. 

i am even more dedicated to the cause of feminism and empowering women to be empowered in themselves and their relationships. now i have a mini-side-kick!

6) this guy.

ravery has truly helped me so through deep and dark times this year as i continue to deal with postpartum depression. he’s an incredible father, amazing partner and successful speaker. i am so grateful i get to spend my life with him and that he is the father of atlas!

7) atlas’ first smile!

this was taken on october 2, at 3am and suddenly my love for her and parenting increased 10 fold!

8) becoming mothers at the same time as my sister! #sistermoms

getting to see my little sister being an excellent mom is so fun! my heart was so full meeting my first niece and for our little girls so play together. and by play – i mean suck on each other’s hands.

9) making our parents grandparents and grandparents great-grandparents!

it has been so so fun to see how much all of our parents are enjoying being grandparents to our girls! let the record show, though they are not pictured in this one below –  my stepdad is an amazing grandpop and papa loves being a great-grandpa!

10) my dad smiling big!

i haven’t seen such a happy face filled with joy on my dad in a while. that makes me happy!

11) my amazing in-laws!

they have been such a huge help in taking our sweet little one so we can get work done or simply go on a date together!

12) our first international trip with our daughter!

we ventured to toronoto canada (and elyse gave us so many grand recommendations)! this photo is 110 stories up on top of the revolving CN Tower!

13) sugar is still the best dog!

she really is the very best dog. she adores atlas and her tail wags faster and faster the closer she gets to her. she let’s her tug on her fur and gets extreme joy licking her hands, which makes atlas smile and it’s the cutest.

14) averytoday, inc. christmas party!

when my husband and i started our business together 4 years ago, we dreamed of someday being able to host a christmas party for all of our family members. this year was it and it filled us with such pride and gratitude!

15) we bought our first house!

we closed on our house on 12/6, ravery left for 2 days after and then we went to toronto for a week. that means we came home and immediately had to get ready for christmas guests (22 to be exact with 2 staying with us) and put our house in order. it was wild but worth it!

we adore our new home!

16) our “fireplace” 7 years ago vs. today

we have a real life fireplace! to me, this photo demonstrates the power of visualization. 7 years ago, we spent our first christmas alone in portland and to make me feel less depressed, i came home from grad school to find the faux-fireplace my husband made. note the three stockings – and then look at our three stockings on our new fireplace. pretty amazing!

with that, i now feel like i can better close out 2016 and start to sort out how i want my 2017 to look. thank you to each and every single person who reads, comments and shares my writing. i don’t take that likely and i sincerely appreciate you. cheers to a marvelous new year!


  1. Elyse@JustMurrayed

    January 2, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    You definitely had an amazing 2016, Chelsea! I am one of those people who isn’t hating on 2016 – lots of awful and personal things happened to me but it doesn’t negate the awesome year I’ve had.

    I’m sure you’ll have an amazing 2017, Chelsea!
    Elyse@JustMurrayed recently posted…January 2017 Goals

    • chelsea

      January 18, 2017 at 8:30 am

      glad to hear you didn’t completely trash 2016 either elyse. i hope 2017 is starting off fantastic for you!

  2. Vivien

    January 2, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Amazing photos! 2016 was one crazy year for better and for worse!
    Here’s looking forward to 2017!
    Vivien recently posted…Almost a Champ Again

    • chelsea

      January 18, 2017 at 8:31 am

      cheers to a great 2017 vivien!

  3. Rachel G

    January 2, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Love seeing your family photos! Glad there was so much good in 2016! I don’t hate the whole year, that’s unfair to the year…but for me, anyways, I don’t believe that a positive mindset is the cure-all, because some little tragedies stay tragic even if you’re generally a joyful, optimistic person. 2016 had a lot of grief and mourning for me…and I do hope 2017 doesn’t!
    Rachel G recently posted…Welcome to 2017: Goals and My Year’s Focus

    • chelsea

      January 18, 2017 at 8:32 am

      totally agree that a positive mindset is by no means a cure all but i can attest, as a recovering deeply pessimistic person, a positive outlook does make a difference (at least for me)! so sorry to hear of your loss, thinking of you. i hope your 2017 is off to a great start rachel!

  4. Chuck Mencke

    January 2, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Chelsa, what a beautiful blog post to share with all of us. Happy New Year to your beautiful family. 2017 is a blank slate, we’ll make it what we want.

    • chelsea

      January 18, 2017 at 8:32 am

      thank you chuck 🙂 right you are that 2017 is a blank slate so here we go!

  5. Paula Howley

    January 2, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    I so enjoyed that Chelsea. What a year for you! btw, it’s the CN Tower, not the CT Tower. lol
    Paula Howley recently posted…PIVOT

    • chelsea

      January 18, 2017 at 8:34 am

      hahah i just wanted it to be part of my initials 😉 changed! thank you paula!

  6. Penny

    January 2, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Wonderful pictures and great words of wisdom and thoughts that you shared with each picture. Thank you.

    • chelsea

      January 18, 2017 at 8:34 am

      thank you penny – appreciate you reading and your comment!

  7. Jennifer Haston

    January 3, 2017 at 1:12 am

    thank you for saying this! Lots of hating on 2016.. so much so that I feel a little defensive about talking about how awesome it was for us.. and then I remember I have no reason to be defensive. Thanks for sharing this.. I have shared with you privately but will post here as well. December 5, 2016. When Vivienne smiled at me, and REALLY knew it was me, oh man, it was like oxytocin overload and it made me really feel like.. yes, this is what they talk about when they say, “you will never know how much you can love someone till you have a child”.. Congratulations on an incredible year, I look forward to seeing what you and Ryan and Atlas and Sugar do this year! Hugs from the “threeth” of us!!

    • chelsea

      January 18, 2017 at 8:35 am

      thank you for sharing that jennifer 🙂 i appreciate that and so happy you filled with that great oxytocin because these kids’ smiles are pretty darn great! hugs to you!

  8. Audrey

    January 3, 2017 at 7:23 am

    I love that you highlighted (highlit?) your year!! I mean, how could 2016 NOT be great for you with a move closer to family, the arrival of Atlas, and a NEW house (which is adorable, by the way!)!!

    I hope you and Mr. WS and Atlas and Sug all have an amazing 2017! You guys most definitely deserve it! (And thank you for the kind words on my new job/K and my partnership!!)
    Audrey recently posted…Coffee & Chill

    • chelsea

      January 18, 2017 at 8:36 am

      thanks audrey! i hope you and k (and your pups) are having a fantastic 2017! big changes for you and so exciting! yay!!!

  9. Nina @ Hugs and Lattes

    January 3, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Your 2016 was absolutely amazing and so much fun to follow along! You had so many adventures that have brought you (and your faithful followers) a lot of joy to experience! Here’s to an even better 2017. Thoughts & prayers as you beat that post-partum!
    Nina @ Hugs and Lattes recently posted…The Best of 2016

    • chelsea

      January 18, 2017 at 8:37 am

      thanks for coming along with me nina and YAY YOU’RE A WIFE! woohoo! hope 2017 is rocking your world thus far!

  10. Julie Hood

    January 3, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    That triathalon/triathalete sign is SO funny!! I love it! And I’m so jealous you had a baby around the same time as your sister–how fun!!

    • chelsea

      January 18, 2017 at 8:38 am

      ha! glad you like the sign julie! i had a lot of funny responses to it! it’s been really fun to share this motherhood experience with my sister!