Monday, January 01, 2024

2023 Recap

Oh, hey there. It's been awhile. I disappeared for a bit. Everyone's doing their 2023 year in review today, and I figured I'd just document it here instead of making an Instagram reel. 

2022 was a pretty rough year during which my marriage ended. The latter part of that year was not good, so I booked a solo trip to South America for December/January as a way of getting back to myself and the things I love. I signed up to hike the W trek in Torres del Paine and rang in the New Year 2023 in Buenos Aires. Had a rough start to the trip emotionally, but it's one of the best things I've ever done. 

I saw Perito Moreno Glacier and hiked up to the mountain that's the Patagonia logo (Fitzroy). 

La Boca, Buenos Aires

Came home to a leaky ceiling from all the snow that we got. Little did I know it'd take me nearly a year to fix it since I had to get a new roof (wah, wah). 


Cousin Daniel got married and we had a mini family reunion here in Utah. 

Taylor had a work thing in southern California, so I tagged along and helped take the kids on some fun adventures. I always need a break from winter weather in February, so this was a perfect quick trip away. Plus I got to see Mike and Kari Ann.  

Back home, so much snow this year. 

Book club retreat! I joined a book club that's been going for about 12 years. I feel so lucky to be welcomed into this crew of women, and despite only being an official member for a month, I came along on their first annual retreat. We rented a big house for the weekend, lounged, read books, did puzzles, hot tubbed and it was glorious. 


I finished up round two of a photography class. I'm definitely still very amateur but it's been fun to play around with an actual camera and learn all the things it can do. We went out to the Great Salt Lake as our final class project. 

Popped down to AZ to have a burial service for Grandpa Kleck and got in some good family time. 

The desert was in bloom. 

Grandma Williams broke her hip, but somehow was up and at 'em pretty quick. 

Convinced mom and dad to make the long-ish drive out ti Chiricahua National Monument, which I have wanted to see! Worth the drive. Also made my first ever stop in Tombstone. 


I left my job in Silicon Slopes and accepted a new one at a bank. Lots of volatility in the tech sector, and I couldn't take it anymore. Stability for the win! In between jobs, I hopped down to TX for about a week to get to know my newest little nephew. 

We did a day trip to Waco where I got to see all the Magnolia stuff (more impressive than I'd imagined) and the Dr Pepper museum. 

Mom and Dad drove down one night to surprise me and we hung out at the stockyards. 

These are some of my favorite spring flowers in my yard. I love when they bloom. 

Celebrated cousin Ryan's birthday a little early. We all miss him. 


Snuck in a quick girls trip to Memphis with Holly and Meghan, right before starting my new job. None of us had been here and it was mostly equidistant for all of us. Kinda random, but worth a weekend. 

Graceland - expensive and a logistical nightmare. But when in Memphis...

Did an historical homes tour in the Avenues of SLC. I love old homes. 

Obsessed with these trees. 

Views from the new office.

Memorial Day exploration


Started off summer concert season strong with Lord Huron, Duran Duran, and The Cure - three nights in a row. Then I hopped a plane to Pittsburgh for Taylor! I missed my twentieth college reunion this summer, but I got in a mini reunion with Jacinda. 

Our crew had Friday night tickets to Ms Swift - I had nosebleed seats and didn't care. Was just so happy to be there!

And a miracle, we snagged last night floor seats for Saturday night! So I went twice. She is an incredible human. 

Made a quick trip out to Falling Water while in PA. 

Came home and started some work on my backyard. I'm truly sad about the fact that all the grass got ripped out (cough, cough, I'm mad at someone) without a plan or money to fix it. Also the power company came and cut down my trees along the back fence. It'll be a slow process to make this the gathering spot I hope it can be. I need to restore lots of greenery and trees. I'm really sad when I look back at old photos of my backyard. I don't want to even be out there anymore, but hopefully I can make small steps to make this feel like mine. 

So tired of just look at dirt and weeds, maybe these little babies will help along the fence. 


I watched the kiddos for a weekend and forced them to go on adventures to boring museums. 

Book club book report month!

I finally bought a paddle board and used it alllll the time. 

Fun Fourth of July crew. Fun fact - only two people in this photo were born in the USA.

Went glamping at East Canyon after my Tony Grove reservation was cancelled because of too much snow (in July!)

Bluebird Cafe at Sundance. Wouldn't miss it. 

LA reunion!

Cousin Julie and Jesse also went all in on paddle boards, so we've got a crew!


Doesn't get much better than Ben Folds with the symphony at Deer Valley

Big paddle gang at Smith and Morehouse, my favorite place. 

Front row for Bon Iver at Ogden. Will forever love them. So much so that Naomi and I drove up two days later to see them in Boise. 

Fancy dinner at Kin in Boise. 

Exploring Idaho and finding gorgeous spots around Boise and Cascade. Also first time water rafting!

Julie, Jesse and I headed to Flaming Gorge for some water time. Bit off way more than we could chew in a day and almost had to live on an island there. 

Up the canyon with friends; amazing that I live so close to this. 

Swell Season toured again and came to Salt Lake! Miracle of joy. 


I had a camping spot reserved up in the Uintas, one of my favorite places. It was a cold, rainy weekend so we bailed after one night but at least we got in one good evening by the fire. 

Birthday celebrations with cousin Jesse and fam. 

Back up to the Uintas for a solo hike in better weather. 

To Glenwood Springs, CO for my birthday! It's a thing to take Amtrak there. Only thing is, it leaves SLC at 3am, and I said no thanks. We found a cheap one-way car rental to drive there, and then we trained home. Really fun, quick getaway. And the conductor had the whole viewing car sing happy birthday to me and posed for a photo. 


Incredible fall this year. I was a little late to get out to the leaves, but I hopped up Millcreek Canyon and Provo Canyon for some good solo drives. Not pictured, a night at the Slowdive show, one of my favorite concerts of the year. 

Splurged on an order from Carisa's cake shop. If you know, you know. 

Barbie mania! I loved the movie and loved that a whole street of neighbors created Barbieland. 

After work hikes before we lose the sun to winter. 

Hahaha, the Scottish festival with Kari. Quite fun!


Very quick trip to Orange County for Kari and Kevin and baby Lily. Driving down the 1 with the windows down will never get old. First time flying Allegiant out of Provo, and I think I like it. 

Supported my home state in victory over BYU! Finally ate a cougartail. Also not pictured, the same day I went to little niece's birthday party and a Depeche Mode show. And packed for a trip so I could hop a plane the next morning to....

Jordan! Where I ran into Jenna, who I hadn't seen in years. Truly my favorite thing to find friends abroad. 

I debated going on this trip after the war broke out. Back and forth for weeks and not sure what the right thing was. But I'm so glad I went. 

I made a video recapping my trip to Jordan:


I saw mom and dad super briefly the day after landing from Jordan. 

Book club holiday dinner! Truly the best group of women. 

Made my favorite Christmas cookies. 

Spent Christmas Eve at Taylor's house so I could do Christmas morning with the kiddos. 

Took my own tree down early because of this little guy. 

After nearly three years of not having baseboards, Lacey is an angel and came over with all her tools and we knocked it out over a few hours. First time with power tools, I can do this. 

It looks so much better. Now for new trim around windows and doors, resurfacing the plaster walls, and painting! 

New Years Eve with the kiddos. 

All in all, not a bad year. Feeling lighter and happier and hoping for more good things in 2024. 

1 comment:

llcall said...

So happy to read this update and all the great things you did in 2023 to "find yourself" again and heal. (So sorry 2022 was the worst!) You're still the person that I think of when I think about wrapping up the year on my blog or recording what books I've read (neither of which I have done yet). Sending love your way, LaurenHoya!!

2023 Recap

Oh, hey there. It's been awhile. I disappeared for a bit. Everyone's doing their 2023 year in review today, and I figured I'd ju...