A Look Back: 2017

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: This year flew by quicker than a North American X-15 (that’s a really fast jet, btw.)

The beginning of a new year typically brings with it feelings of new beginnings and fresh starts. However, I think we sometimes forget to fondly say goodbye to the year we’re finishing up and don’t fully appreciate everything it brought us — and taught us.

So, with excitement and anticipation in my heart as I look forward to 2018 and the adventures it has in store — I’d like to take a moment to say “thank you” to 2017 and reflect on the best, the worst, and everything in-between.

In May, I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in journalism and mass communication. I can’t say enough wonderful things about my time at ISU and the amazing professors who made Hamilton Hall feel like home.
A few of my favorite ISU things:

  • Tailgating football games — especially ISU vs. Iowa
  • Starting Happy, Strong, and Healthy Magazine — where my love for magazine began
  • Falling in love with all of the Ames’ cafes — Diem, Milo, Arcadia… need I say more?
  • Beyer Hall and the ISU Weight Club — where I realized fitness was more than “skinny”
  • The lush green landscape of ISU’s campus — perfect on sunny days, snowy days, and every day in-between
  • Studying abroad in Australia — I can’t emphasize enough — IF YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT THIS COUNTRY DO NOT DELAY


2017 was full of long plane rides, longer car rides, and endless adventures. I hiked Zion National Park, laid under the scorching sun on island beaches, cried my way through one of the worst snow storms Wyoming has ever seen, and snuck down to Delaware for a brief lunch just to say I’d been there.

Since graduation I’ve visited:

  • Colorado
  • Chicago
  • Kansas
  • Utah
  • California
  • Nevada
  • Arizona
  • Wyoming
  • Minnesota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Delaware
  • Turks and Caicos

    After graduation and all of my cross-country adventures, I accepted a job with Principal Global Investors as a marketing associate in their downtown Des Moines office. What do I do you may ask? Well, I work with our global strategist and economists to produce thought capital that helps keep our institutional investors up-to-date and our sales people selling. Plus — I’m CONSTANTLY learning, which I absolutely love.


  • My floor has the best snacks
  • Going to Chicago for the Summit Series event
  • Starting to actually understand investing and the stock market99968502-8C8B-4DF7-B9C5-D62FF0B465BD.JPG

If you know me personally you know my family is massive, so there’s always lots going on. This year we were blessed with many opportunities and a plethora of growth. Each of my siblings has found success in their chosen fields (even if that’s school!) and everyone has had immaculate health. Nothing to complain about here!

Like every year, 2017 has its shares of ups & downs, new friendships, old friendships, breakups and make-ups, but I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. Thank you to everyone who helped make my 2017 exciting, adventurous, challenging, and worthwhile.
We late-night studied together, drove through half of the country, flew in a helicopter, read books side by side and downed shots side by side — we did it all. We fought, argued, cried, made up, laughed, grew, and made it through.



  • Adopted a spunky little cat named Oliver — we’ve become best buds. He loves playing fetch and hissing at dogs.
  • Moved to downtown Des Moines and live in a cute little loft apartment which is absolutely GORGEOUS and has direct access to everything I could ever wish for.
  • Started SideofKail.com and it’s been a wild ride — thanks so much for tagging along!
  • Re-vamped my addiction to reading. Books I highly recommend: You Are A Badass, The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*CK, Chasing Excellence, Half Broke Horses, and My Year With Eleanor
    Now for the most important part of 2017: all the dogs I met.


So THANK YOU 2017 for everything. And 2018 — I’m coming for you.

Positive Vibes,

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