2017 in a Nutshell

What is life without a little adventure! This past year was full of changes in our lives.


The year 2017 started with a bang celebrating New Year’s Eve with Katie and Ashley, Katie’s best friend in Nashville. After we returned to Salt Lake from our Southeastern vacation to Nashville and Florida, we began our house hunt in Salt Lake City.


In early February, we found the perfect house and put an offer on it within the hour. They accepted within 24 hours, and said it was because of our letter talking about our fur babies (they had 3 cats + 1 dog, and we have 2 cats + 1 dog). During the house hunt, I simultaneously pivoted in my career, and was hired by the CVB and started mid-February.


In March, we closed on the perfect house and moved from our little apartment in the cute Avenues neighborhood. Our new neighbors are very friendly, it’s in a great location, and the size is perfect for our little family.

Speaking of our little family, we also adopted Koda, a six-year-old golden retriever who is now our newest adventure buddy!


In April, we celebrated our first wedding anniversary with a home photo session in our new house (typical photographer move, right?) and a short trip to Moab where we drove a UTV 4×4 through the red rocks!

Right around our anniversary, I also took a work trip with my CVB coworkers to Tucson, Arizona and got to explore the desert.

My new coworker also introduced me to the Keto diet, which was extremely effective and unfortunately I fell off the bandwagon in late summer. Brighton and I will get back on after our move.

We also settled into homeownership by getting to know our neighborhood, trips to IKEA and Home Depot, and lots of walks with Koda.

I also visited the Tulip Festival with Kelli, which is one of my favorite spring events.


The weather started to warm up and the mountains welcomed adventure in May. We took some mini trips to Millcreek Canyon and Ogden. I also found out that my cholesterol dropped dramatically on the keto diet, which was a big health win for me.

We also planned a trip with our friends Rachel, Kelli, and Mariah (Kelli’s friend) to Zion to hike the Narrows for Memorial Day weekend.  That was an adventure I had wanted to do since moving to Utah, and it was an awesome trip! The Narrows are a classic “Utah” trip to experience, and I was so lucky to have done it with great friends.


Summer always seems to take forever to arrive, and when it does I always feel this mad rush to try to fit in all the weekend adventures as much as I can to soak it all up. We took advantage of the warmer weather to go paddle boarding in Causey Reservoir and camping with Rachel & Brandon.

We also celebrated Brighton’s birthday with keto birthday cake and Wonder Woman. Simple, sweet, and without much fuss — just the way Brighton likes to celebrate.


In my mind, July means hot weather = green mountains, blue alpine lakes, and colorful wildflowers. Itching to get out and explore, I found a great employee hotel discount over 4th of July weekend near Glacier National Park, and we took a great extended weekend trip. Glacier was one of my favorite parks that we could only see parts of a couple years ago, and I’ve been wanting to get back there again since our initial visit. Boy, was it worth it! We had a great hiking trip and it was just the way to celebrate holiday.

In the family and friends, Leo, our nephew, celebrated his first birthday. He’s becoming the cutest little boy! Watching Brighton play with him makes me think that he will be a great dad someday!

We also did a “birthday hike” with Hannah, our Seattle friend. I also found out my friend Courtney would be moving to Salt Lake at the end of July.

A couple local adventures:

In late summer, an unexpected opportunity presented itself to me to become a Group Sales Manager for my previous company, and I accepted the position and left the CVB.


Continuing to soak up as much summer as we can, we hiked some favorite trails like Desolation Trail in Millcreek and Mt. Timpanogos during wildflower season.

To celebrate Courtney’s arrival to the area and to introduce her to some of our SLC friends, we hosted an outdoor dinner party with carnitas tacos on our deck.

We also had tickets to Book of Mormon that was coming to the Eccles Theater, and had a day trip out to the theater when the show came through town.

Wannee also finally made a trip to Utah to come see me and my city! We hiked the Wasatch Front, explored Salt Lake, and road tripped to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. It was so nice to pick up where we left off and have some new adventures together.

Another 2017 special event was the Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017. The path of totality was just about 3 hours north of Salt Lake, but I didn’t plan the time off in advance. It was still fun to experience 91% of it and on TV/Facebook Live.


Being the weekend warriors that we are, Courtney and I took a girls trip to Escalante National Monument and Zion National Park for Labor Day Weekend. This year was a little different because I had some new adventures with old friends (Wannee, Courtney) and new SLC friends (Rachel, Kelli). While I love adventuring with Brighton, it’s always a great change of pace to travel with someone different too.

We also found out that we’d be long-term dog-sitting my brother-in-law, Chase’s dog, Mika. We ended up driving to Palm Springs in California to pick her up and squeezed in a quick trip to Joshua Tree National Park while we were there.

As September ended, we geared up for the Halloween season by going to the Nightmare on 13th haunted house with Kelli and some former coworkers.


October was the peak of fall family photo season, and I was crazy busy with photo sessions. The fall leaves are one of the coolest things I look forward to every year.

After a lack of seasons in Florida, the leaf show is very exciting for me. We also caught the tail end of Oktoberfest up at Snowbird.

The later half of October was pretty tough for us. We received disappointing and unexpected news that Brighton’s company performed massive layoffs, and he was suddenly let go after finishing a Star Wars VR experience. After that, Brighton spent most of his time applying and interviewing for jobs. Luckily, his skills were desired all over the country, and he had opportunities in San Diego, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Seattle.

Prior to the layoff, Kelli and I had planned a trip to Arizona and Southern Utah that we still followed through on. We got to see Goblin Valley, Antelope Canyon, Grand Canyon, and Sedona to name a few.

At work, I participated in a fun Sales Blitz for Halloween. We dressed up as Alice in Wonderland. I got to be the White Rabbit. What do you think of my costume?

I also wanted Koda to participate in the holiday, so she was the UPS delivery dog. Prior to the holiday (since it was on a weekday), we invited friends over to carve pumpkins.

For Halloween itself, we sat at home and passed out candy to the trick-or-treaters until we ran out.


As Brighton continued his job hunt, life moved on in it’s usual fashion.

We had tickets to a comedian, John Mulaney, in Denver for Veteran’s Day weekend. We also made a stop at Maroon Bells on our way back. it was an extremely quick trip since I didn’t want to take time off work.

For my birthday, we gathered our friends for dinner at Tsunami and game night at our house afterwards. On my actual birthday (day before Thanksgiving), we went to dinner at Copper Onion and got froyo at Yogurtland. We also got the news that Brighton got the offer from the company that he was hoping for — in Seattle!

For Thanksgiving, we hosted a non-traditional dinner at our house and Chase visited and took Mika home with him to NYC. We also started prepping for our move to Seattle.


This December has become focused on hosting the holidays and moving our lives further West to Seattle. We drove out to Seattle to look for our new housing and found a great townhouse in a cute little town outside the business of the city that has hiking and all our necessities nearby (aka Chipotle and Target). Brighton started his job and I worked remotely for the week. At the end of the week, we even got a hike in close to our new place called Rattlesnake Ledge (it was a recommendation by our friend Hannah). We had beautiful blue skies and perfect (abnormal) weather the entire week we were there.

We bought our first Christmas tree and placed it in our living room, and squeezed in a winter hike with Koda.

Now, we are enjoying hosting my parents for a *hopefully* White Christmas and New Years this year in our new home as we pack up our lives (again) and get ready for the big move.

I am remotely interviewing for jobs in our new home, finishing things up for my current job, and moving forward. I am bummed to be leaving the job I really love, but unfortunately that’s part of relocating. 🙁

Looking into 2018

We are so thankful for each other and our supportive family and friends during this stressful and exciting year! 2018 is looking like a year full of change as we both will begin new jobs, in a new home, in a new city. We are looking forward to new adventures in Seattle!

With Love,
Hilary & Brighton



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