Saturday, December 17, 2016

2016: The soundtrack of our year is unforgettable…

“There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” – Albert Schweitzer

We had some scary moments and sad times in 2016, but as the year comes to a close, we want to reflect, give thanks, and share with you the best parts of our year. While 2015 was a year of travel, changes, and growth, 2016 brought the opportunity to attend concerts by some of our favorite artists (plus a memorable road trip with our two cats!).

James kicked off the year with a new job, started on his birthday, as the Web and Digital Media Specialist for the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences. He has learned a lot about medical school and put his strengths in communication, design, social media, video, and Web development to good use. He has also learned how delicious the hospital cafeteria can be! And while Matthew’s job responsibilities didn’t change drastically, the loyalty program he manages with Maritz for General Motors grew to over 4 million members across the country and successfully launched version 4.0 of the platform.

In January, we traveled to Las Vegas to celebrate James’ birthday. In addition to seeing Céline Dion in concert (she shook Matthew’s hand as she passed him on the aisle!), we walked the entire Las Vegas strip, visiting the many hotels and casinos; took a day trip to Hoover Dam and enjoyed a dam tour, took some dam pictures, and bought a dam ornament; and went to sleep each night serenaded by the Bellagio fountains outside our hotel windows.

As the cold months continued, James returned to acting, playing gambling cowboy Clay Caldwell in the Toledo Swiss Singers’ winter murder-mystery, “Murder! At the Deadwood Saloon.” Matthew provided voice-over and sound assistance.

In the spring, Matthew coaxed a reluctant James to see Barry Manilow, who was coming to town on his final national tour. As Matthew predicted, James loved it and spent the rest of April singing songs from the unforgettable concert.


With James’ limited vacation time during his first year at UT, we weren’t able to travel as much as we did last year. But we did manage to sneak away in late July to spend 4 days in picturesque Charleston, South Carolina, a week at Hilton Head Island with Matthew’s parents and cousins, and 2 days in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Kitty and Sonoma joined us on the adventure and absolutely loved seeing the sights! Sonoma’s favorite part was hunting Palmetto Bugs at the villa in Hilton Head!


We also took advantage of our long Labor Day weekend by heading back to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Canada, seeing some phenomenal performances and touring the costume warehouse.


Our concert-going adventures kicked into high gear in the summer and fall with chances to see Dolly, Beyoncé, Adele, Sia, and Troye Sivan!

As 2016 draws to close, we anxiously await a year-end trip to Walt Disney World to ring in the New Year! 2017 brings milestone birthdays for both James and Matthew, and we will celebrate James’ with a first for us both – a Disney Cruise excursion to the Bahamas and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

  • Céline Dion – Céline Las Vegas – January 12, 2016 – Las Vegas, NV
  • Barry Manilow – One Last Time! – April 27, 2016 – Toledo, OH
  • Dolly Parton – Pure & Simple Tour – June 10, 2016 – Cleveland, OH
  • Beyoncé – The Formation World Tour – June 14, 2016 – Detroit, MI
  • Adele – Adele Live 2016 – September 6, 2016 – Auburn Hills, MI
  • Sia – Nostalgic for the Present – October 15, 2016 – Auburn Hills, MI
  • Troye Sivan – The Suburbia Tour – November 5, 2016 – Columbus, OH

More pictures from our year

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