2015 in review

Every year, I think about writing up a review of the past year, and this is the first year that I’ve actually done it!  2015 was a crazy year filled with lots of happiness and bouts of depression.  I looked at Facebook to get a good idea of what my year was like.  Facebook was full of probably 3-5 posts a week, but it only reflected the happy things in my life.  I tried to read through my journals from the past year, but I wasn’t ready to dredge up some stuff that I wasn’t quite emotionally ready to address.  I did go through all of my photos from the past year, and had a super fun time putting together a 9-photo collage for each month.  I still haven’t put together my year book for 2015 though but I’m hoping to do that later this week!


  • I fully paid off my car and bought new tires! A week after that, another car backed into me, but the damage wasn’t too bad.
  • I got moved to a new team after one project ended.
  • We had just moved into a new apartment, so all of my posts were about organizing — my closet, my jewelry, my scarves, etc.
  • We had a lot of friends who gave us a lot of cheese presents!  Craig sent over a fancy bottle of Madeira.
  • Mark and I went to a hockey game.
  • I got a little carried away with trading for nail polish, and I ended up with over 100 nail polishes.  I gave away bunch and traded away a bunch more and am hovering around 60.
  • Fancy holiday party for Asynchrony at a chocolate factory.  I rented a fancy dress.
  • I made a purple velvet cake for Mackenzie’s birthday.



  • Our friends James and Becca had a joint bachelor/bachelorette party that was a brewery tour.
  • Mark and I learned how to make a Dutch Baby — a breakfast treat, not an actual child!
  • I had bronchitis, I got a new drill, and a did a lot of puzzles.
  • Mark and I went to Nashville for a weekend.  I hadn’t been back to Nashville since my mom went to medical school there.  It’s a cool city!
  • We had a Cheesegiving party where he ad just as many cheeses as people.
  • Neiman Marcus doormats.  Need I say more?
  • There was a hardware hackathon at work!  My team created Fireproof which is a fire alarm that can be turned off with your phone.  Our video can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/118980176
  • Mark and I did Valentine’s day at Ruth’s Chris, and my chicken happened to be heart shaped.
  • I tried my hand at making lemon meringue pies for a friend’s birthday.
  • I started on a new team at work.  It was a Ruby on Rails team so I got to learn all about the lovely world of web development.



  • Three birthday parties in a week – John, Kartik, and Mark.  John got strawberry cheesecake, Mark got a homemade black forest cake, and Kartik had homemade baked Alaskas.
  • I threw Mark a laser tag birthday party!  I also painted him a new Magic the Gathering style birthday card
  • Mark and I had our two year anniversary.
  • Mark, Mackenzie, and I dressed up fancy to go see Phantom of the Opera
  • Mark and I got a dog… for a day.  His name is Ozymandias.  I ended up being severely allergic and we had to give him back.  🙁
  • We had a Chicago weekend with friends – Chicago style pizza, birthday celebration with Mark’s sister Bethany (they share the same birthday), and lots of sightseeing.



  • Mark and I saw Ok Go in concert, and it was way more awesome than expected.
  • James and Becca got married!  The wedding had BBQ!!
  • Mackenzie and I had a girl’s night on the town, and we had a fake proposal at the Carousel of Love.  A surprising number of people thought the two of us were getting married.
  • Mark and I got the company seats for the Cardinals game and it was a lot of fun.
  • My friend Nayani was in town and we had all of the best deep conversations.
  • I made a lot of mini pies and chocolate waffles!
  • We got a stuffed sheep and named it Ewe.
  • I gave a talk at STL Ruby on my path to becoming a software developer.
  • We saw a live-shooting of NPR’s Ask Me Another.  It was hilarious.



  • I went to Google I/O in San Francisco!  Thanks again to Women Techmakers at Google for making this possible.
  • Mark sent me flowers at work!
  • Mark and I visited Michigan.  His brother was in town, and I wanted to see my friends before they moved away from Michigan.
  • We got 65 books from a book fair in town and then got maybe just as many when we went to Michigan!  I need to stop buying more books and start reading all the ones I have.
  • I made this awesome strawberry trifle.  I’m craving it now.
  • Mark and I went with friends to the Microfest in St. Louis where everyone tried local beers.
  • Mark, Mackenzie, and I saw three shows in one week.  We saw Neil deGrasse Tyson speak at the Peabody Opera House.  I love him to pieces.  We saw The Rat Pack Is Back, and we were the youngest people in the crowd by far.  We also saw The Might Be Giants in concert.



  • Mark and I got engaged!!!  He had kept faking me out on the engagement so when he asked me to dress up that night, I actually refused.  I was so upset afterwards that I was wearing a normal dress and my hair was all crazy.  He took me to dinner at my favorite restaurant and then asked me at Ted Drewes (popular frozen custard place in St. Louis).  We had gone to Ted Drewes years before when we were just friends and talked about how we would be so good if we ended up together.
  • We went to a wedding for one of Mark’s cousins in Iowa.  We got to see Bethany, AJ, and Mark’s parents.  Iowa is the home of Blue Bunny so we got to go there as well.
  • Mark got me custom Coke bottles that say Share a Coke with Neem.  How awesome is that?!
  • Mackenzie and I took a cooking class called Wickedly Delicious Chocolate.  It was half good and half bad considering someone’s brownies overflowed in the oven and smoked up the entire place.  We had a fun girl’s night though.
  • Mark and I went to see Mae in concert.  We both liked the band 10 years ago in high school.
  • I got the amazing opportunity to teach a Software Carpentry class in Hawaii!  I got to see my friend Debbie after 20 years since I saw her last.  I went on a food tour and a photography tour of the island.  It was a phenomenal trip.  I stuffed my carry on with all of the Hawaiian food to bring back to share with my friends.



  • Mark got me an Eid present of mashup art of Up and Serenity.
  • A big group of friends and I went on a picnic and watched Clueless at Art Hill.
  • I lit fireworks for the first time at Rob’s house for the Fourth of July weekend.  On the actual day, Mark and I saw fireworks at Forest Park with Bethany, AJ, and AJ’s friends.
  • We hosted a fun board game night with some of our longtime friend as well as someone I met that day while volunteering and another person that I had never met but was Facebooks friends with because we have a lot of mutual friends.  It was an oddly awesome and fun night.
  • My lost driver’s license showed up in the mail!!  I love the kindness of strangers.
  • I started volunteering at the Roy Clay Senior Tech Impact program for most Saturdays that summer.
  • Mackenzie, Mark, and I went to GenCon!  We did a LARP together the first night.



  • Mark and I started classes again at the Improv Shop for level one.  We had previously finished level zero over a year before.
  • I taught a couple of classes for the Roy Clay Sr. Workshop.  I did one on elevator pitches, and everyone had the most badass, sassy pitches I’ve ever heard.  There was a graduation in the middle of August.  Everyone got a chance to showcase the awesome websites they created for local companies.
  • Mark got me surprise roses.  🙂
  • Mark, Mackenzie, and I hit the pool!  I got to show off my swimming abilities from all of those months of lessons.
  • Mark and Mackenzie threw me a birthday party.  Mackenzie made me a Coke cake and mango trifle.  There’s a great photo of me looking extra short.
  • I got so many nerdy birthday earrings – dice earrings from Helena, DNA earrings from Mark’s parents, and talent pipe earrings from Mark.
  • I finally finished my elk puzzle which took an embarrassingly long time to do.  I was shocked I hadn’t lost any pieces considering the number of people I had over.



  • Rob lead a Dungeon World campaign for Mark, Mackenzie, John, and I.  It was the most improv-like role playing game that I ever played in, and I loved it to pieces.
  • Improv shop had a homecoming-style dance party, and we got a photo in front of the Eiffel Tower.
  • I got a ticket to go to the Strangeloop conference which is in St. Louis.  One of my friends was the keynote speaker.  Idalin started the Roy Clay Sr. Tech Impact workshop.  I had goosebumps from her talk.  It was amazing.
  • Mark, Mackenzie, Rob, and I went to a Cardinals game.  The weather was gorgeous.
  • We went to a cake tasting at a big hotel and hated all of the cakes except for one cake that was a bundt cake.  The photo was before I tried the cakes and was sorely disappointed.
  • There’s usually a Balloon Glow at Forest Park the day before the balloon race.  I got a bunch of friends to get together to go and have a picnic there.  Unfortunately, when we go to the park, they cancelled the balloon glow because of winds.  We had a fun night anyway having a picnic in the park.
  • I went to Six Flags for the first time in two decades.  Asynchrony hosted a family day at Six Flags, and I screamed on all of the rides in front of all of my coworkers.
  • Mark got me awesome tickets to go see the Taylor Swift concert!  The surprise guest was Nelly and I lost my mind.  The whole thing was amazing.  I lost my voice in the end because I was fan-girling so hard.



  • Mark and I went to Minneapolis for Anya’s wedding!  We went to Mall of America and Mark’s favorite places in Minneapolis.
  • I went to the Grace Hopper conference in Houston!  It was awesome (and I just realized I still haven’t written a comprehensive blog post about it).  I got a ridiculous amount of swag, and I made a ton of good friends.
  • I visited my grandparents and got to meet my new cousin.  I hadn’t seen my grandparents in a while so it was a really great trip.
  • Mark’s parents visited us the day after I got back from Texas.  They did a lot of sightseeing, and we ate a lot of awesome food.
  • For the LaunchCode Mentor Center Launch, I soldered some wires and LED lights together with friends.  The launch itself was awesome, and I got to take a lot of fun photos with friends at the photo booth.
  • There were three days of Halloween — one for the kids at work, one the day before Halloween at work, and then on Halloween itself.  We hosted a Halloween party at my place.



  • We went to a Blues game!  We had tickets to another game, but it was one the same date as Chris and Colleen’s wedding so we went to the wedding instead.
  • Alison knit me a scarf as a wedding present.  It’s gorgeous!
  • I went to Chicago with Mackenzie to meet up with my other bridesmaids Cait and Bethany so we could pick bridesmaids dresses
  • Mackenzie and I got matching PJs!
  • I got myself a fancy new iPhone 6!
  • We went to Meremac Caverns after glowing recommendations from Mark’s parents
  • Mark and I got our engagement photos back and I’ve been having so much fun posting them slowly on Facebook.
  • We had Thanksgiving at Mackenzie’s apartment.  The mashed potatoes were ridiculous.



  • Last year, I felt like I ruined Christmas for Mark, so this year I got extra in the spirit by doing 25 days of presents.  Mark got in on the action and got me some Dutch shoes as well as other presents.
  • I hosted a couple of craft nights at my place — so many women doing a wide variety of crafts.
  • We went to see a comedy show with the stars of Whose Line is it Anyway
  • One of Mark’s presents was a fancy night to go and see Wicked in town.
  • I had rented an extra fancy dress so we went on a fancy dinner date.
  • We dressed up to see the new Star Wars movie!
  • I made dozens and dozens of chocolate covered pretzels and pumpkin breads for friends.
  • We went to Michigan to visit family.  While we were there, Mark’s family hosted a bridal shower for me.
  • I ended the year by getting super sick but it gave me a lot of time to reflect on the past year and do a lot of wedding planning.


That’s it!  I hope that I’ll do this next year, too.

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