The Year in Review

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Welcome to our 2016 Year in Review!

Although 2016 has been a tough year in the wider world, we’re counting our blessings here in Greater Binghamton. Sophie’s in seventh grade but not yet snarky. Charlotte’s still a sweetheart with an age in single digits. Eric and Rachel still love their work at Binghamton University. Rachel’s mom, aka Bubbe, moved to Binghamton this fall.

We started the year at Disney World, with a once-in-a-lifetime vacation that was pretty much perfect. (Especially if you don’t think too much about the temperatures, which were … let’s say unseasonably warm.) Rachel, a Disney skeptic, was won over completely. You would be, too, if you saw fireworks over Cinderella’s castle from a boat on your birthday! Eric was wowed by Expedition Everest. The girls loved meeting their favorite characters, collecting pins and riding Kali River Rapids over and over with their great-aunts, who joined us for the trip. Somehow we even enjoyed the 17-hour drive each way!

In the summer, we visited Montreal and Vermont with the extended Dickler family and had an adventure with Papa Paul, Uncle Jesse and Debbie as well as Uncle Ethan. We also took our first-ever camping trip as a family of four after Eric agreed to try “rustic cabins.” Life is good when you’re hanging out by a campfire with friends, and we were lucky to be traveling with two other families we love.

The fall was dominated by Sophie’s participation in the Vestal Marching Band. She was the only seventh-grader to join the high school band, playing her trumpet alongside kids who are much older and more experienced musicians. The season took the band (and the band parents and little sisters) all over central New York. It culminated in a performance at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, where Vestal won the state championship! When she’s not playing her trumpet, Sophie is practicing violin, reading the Hunger Games books and working on craft projects.

Charlotte, who has become an expert in U.S. presidential history, enjoyed learning to play the recorder last spring and began violin lessons this fall. She’s obsessed with Rick Riordan books and all things related to My Little Pony. Charlotte, always a movie buff, loved the Ghostbusters remake this year. She says she wants to be a photographer when she grows up.

Eric continues to write for — and edit — Inside Binghamton University. Some of his favorite 2016 graduating-student profiles included a nursing student who dropped out of high school in 10th grade and a teaching student who juggled college, working at a high school and being a single dad after his wife died of cancer. Eric also was able to do some interesting music-related freelance stories, such as interviewing and writing about KC (of KC and the Sunshine Band fame), Don Brewer (of Grand Funk Railroad) and Matt Baldoni, who plays Barry Gibb in the Australian Bee Gees’ Vegas show. That may as close as Eric ever gets to interviewing Barry!

Rachel spent a fair amount of time traveling for work this year, visiting Las Vegas for a trade show with one of Binghamton’s research centers, Milwaukee for a conference with other research communicators and Buffalo, where she spoke to a meeting of PR pros. She loves introducing the kids to her favorite places around New York City, too. One highlight in 2016 was seeing Finding Neverland on Broadway with Charlotte and her best friend. Rachel remains an avid reader, keeping up her pace of nearly a book per week. This year, she took on a big culinary project and learned how to make French macarons.

It’s safe to say that Sophie becoming a bat mitzvah will be one of the high points of 2017, but we’re eager to see what else the year has in store. Here’s hoping it’s better than we expect!

Sophie’s three favorite YouTubers of 2016:
1. LaurDIY
2. Rosanna Pansino
3. Hello Maphie

Three 2016 books Rachel recommends:
1. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
2. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
3. The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

Charlotte’s three favorite movies of 2016:
1. Ghostbusters 
2. Kubo and the Two Strings
3. Moana

Eric’s Top 10 Albums
1. Wild Feathers – “Lonely is a Lifetime” (Fave track: “Overnight”)
2. William Bell – “This is Where I Live” (Fave track: “Poison in the Well”)
3. The Head and the Heart – “Signs of Life” (Fave track: “All We Ever Knew”)
4. David Bowie – “Blackstar” (Fave track: “Lazarus”)
5. Brian Fallon – “Painkillers” (Fave track: “Among Other Foolish Things”)
6. Soundtrack – “Sing Street” (Fave track: “Drive It Like You Stole It”)
7. Saint Motel – “Saintmotelevision” (Fave track: “Move”)
8. Sturgell Simpson – “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth” (Fave track: “Welcome to Earth”)
9. Steven Page – “Heal Thyself Pt. 1: Instinct” (Fave track: “I Can See My House From Here”)
10. Monkees – “Good Times!” (Fave track: “You Bring the Summer”)

10 Great Songs Not From Eric’s Top 10 Albums
1. “Genghis Khan” by Miike Snow (THE SONG of 2016!)
2. “The Fighter” by Keith Urban
3. “High and Low” by Empire of the Sun
4. “We Don’t Have to Dance” by Andy Black
5. “Call Off Your Dogs” by Lake Street Dive
6. “Trailer” by Mudcrutch
7. “Cleopatra” by The Lumineers
8. “Burn” by Pet Shop Boys
9. “Tokyo” by Gerry Beckley
10. “Human” by Rag’n’Bone Man

The Comeback of 2016 (according to Eric)
Rick Astley for the album “50” and single “Angels By My Side”

You Didn’t Think He’d Forget to Mention …
Barry Gibb for the album “In the Now” – impossible to rank subjectively!!!

Rachel’s 2016 Playlist



9 thoughts on “The Year in Review

  1. Pingback: 2010: The Year in Review « The Coker Family

  2. Pingback: 2011: The Year in Review « The Coker Family

    • Another impressive review of the year! I’m current on the year’s films, but obviously I’m far behind on current albums and videos.

  3. Even though it did take me until Groundhog Day to read this: I LOVED IT! It’s such a pleasure to read such wonderful writing about such fun and interesting people. Can’t wait to see you up here in the Great North again soon….

  4. Pingback: Oh, what a year! « The Coker Family

  5. Pingback: Time flies! | The Coker Family

  6. Pingback: 2015: Our Year in Review | The Coker Family

  7. Love your year in review! Miss you! When are you coming to the Twin Cities? There has to be a higher ed conference here one of these days…

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