I started writing year-end reviews in 2020 and each year it blows my mind how quickly the next one comes around. As I’ve said before, no one has ever been so on point as the fellow parent who told us that the days are long and the years are short. So here we go – another year ends and a new one begins. Here are the highlights of 2023.
On September 7 I celebrated a milestone birthday – 40! – with a small group of friends and family members at Vines and Vail Winery which was low key and fun.
Earlier this month, Dan and I celebrated 10 years of Bite the Bullet on Radio Free Minturn! Cohosting the show with him over the last decade has been so much fun – especially when we do theme shows, host guests, and have Fleet in the studio chatting away into the microphone.
Zephyr turned 5, Fleet turned 4, and Sedona turned 15. ❤️ Oh, and Wookie turned 51 – just ask him! Haha.
I read 20 books this year!
Unguarded – Scottie Pippen | Talking To Goats – Jim Gray | This Is How It Always Is – Laurie Frankel | The Creative Act: A Way of Being – Rick Rubin | Eruption: Conversations With Eddie Van Halen – Brad Tolinksi and Chris Gill | Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow – Gabrielle Zevin | The Farewell Tour – Stephanie Clifford | The Final Revival of Opal & Nev – Dawnie Walton | Songs In Ursa Major – Emma Brodie | Perfect Tunes – Emily Gould | My Love Story – Tina Tuner | The Number Ones – Tom Breihan | Franny and Zooey – J.D. Salinger | Unlikely Animals – Annie Hartnett | Kind Of A Big Deal – Saul Austerlitz | The People We Keep – Allison Larkin | Long Road: Pearl Jam and the Soundtrack of a Generation – Steven Hyden | Class – Stephanie Land | Ninety Days In The 90s – Andy Frye | Welcome to the O.C. – Alan Sepinwall
Air – Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Viola Davis, and Jason Bateman reminded us that real stories about real people can be the most captivating.
Migration – A movie about family and adventure? Of course all three of us loved it! 2023 was the year we started taking Fleet to the movie theatre which has been a cool experience for multiple reasons including: a) He stands up most of the time while watching which is so funny. b) It’s the perfect activity for cold winter days.
Daisy Jones & The Six – Aurora | Foo Fighters – But Here We Are | Grace Potter – Mother Road | Dolly Parton – Rockstar
Songs I played on repeat:
Blackberry Smoke – “Dig A Hole” | Daisy Jones & The Six – “Look At Us Now,” “Regret Me,” “More Fun To Miss” | Jelly Roll – “Need A Favor” | Foo Fighters – “Nothing At All” | Guns N Roses – “Perhaps” | Grace Potter – “Ready Set Go” | Warren Zeiders – “Ride The Lightening” | Hardy + Lainey Wilson – “wait in the truck” | Fall Out Boy – “We Didn’t Start The Fire” | Lainey Wilson – “Wildflowers and Wild Horses”
Abbott Elementary – Initially I was hesitant about this one because I am not a fan of the mockumentary format where characters speak to the camera. But this show is the exception as the writing is beyond clever and funny and each character fills a very specific purpose while showing their deep compassion for teaching.
The Bear – Boasting some of the best writing on television, this show seamlessly injects humor within intense storylines. For an example of this, look no further than the epic “Seven Fishes” episode which perfectly encapsulates the chaotic holiday season, insane family dynamics, and how food brings people together. On a larger scale, watching the progression of Richie, Sydney, Marcus, and of course Carmy continues to be solid gold.
Daisy Jones & The Six – After reading the book in 2020, all I wanted to do was hear the songs and see them performed live. I got the chance to do just that in March when the 10-episode series was released on Amazon Prime. In addition to incredible acting and storylines that tugged every heartstring in my body, the series provided some of the best songs of the year to play on my radio show.
Fire Country – In addition to all the Northern California fire action, what sets this show apart is the complexity of the characters and the interwoven nature of the Leone family, the firehouse, and the fire program for the incarcerated.
Steph Curry: Underrated – This documentary reminded viewers that even the brightest stars (who make things look easy) have a tough road to stardom.
Ted Lasso – I think it’s safe to say that the world needed time to recover from the beloved show ending in June after three seasons. What an amazing story about friendship, bravery, love, and sports – all told through sharp writing, unforgettable comedic timing, and (in a time of endless reboots) a premise that was brand new for everyone.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – 20 years after I was supposed to see The Boss and his crew for the first time, it finally happened on March 2. I will never forget the almost three-hour rock and roll spectacle that lit up Denver’s Ball Arena that night.
Preservation Hall Band – So much New Orleans history and camaraderie was on display at the Vilar on March 10 and we were thrilled to be there.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler – Nothing like seeing two best friends on a comedy tour with your best friend.
Wookie Is Not His Real Name turned two and continues to garner press. Every time people mention, read, or write about my book it means the world to me.
My writing was published in seven magazines and one newspaper this year: Mountain Lifestyle, Vail Valley, ART Weekly, Covered Bridge, Beaver Creek, EAT, the VMS Alumni publication, and the Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle. I so enjoy telling stories about people, events, and activities all over Colorado.
In April I was asked to join the EagleARTS board. Working with Tara and Jennifer, and being part of an organization that prioritizes the arts, continues to be extremely rewarding.
Ft. Collins/Colorado Springs – We showed Fleet some Colorado gems during his April break (Cave of the Winds was a favorite) and loved Colorado Springs so much we’re going back in February 2024.
LA – Fleet and I took our first mama/son trip to visit Aunt Carly, Uncle Justin, and cousin Cecilia. We hiked Griffith Observatory, admired the Hollywood sign, visited legendary music venues The Rainbow and The Whisky, and enjoyed the sand and waves of Malibu.
San Diego – Our family trip to Wookie’s hometown was so memorable that Fleet is still talking about our walks on the beach (where we collected shells and sand dollars and saw dolphins), visiting Sea World, hanging out with the Mescon/Wilson family, fishing, and all the tropical birds.
Austin – It took 26 years to take this trip and six months to plan. Celebrating 40 with Carly and Shaina in such a cool town was one of this year’s highlights.
Here’s to a happy and healthy 2024! ❤️