ArchiTalks #16: New Year, New Adventures

Welcome to the 16th edition of the ArchiTalk Series. It is a series curated by Bob Borson over at Life of an Architect, where a whole bunch of architectural bloggers all blog about the same topic on the same day. This month’s topic: ‘New Year, New ________’. 2016 will certainly bring some exciting new things for many of us, and you should take a moment to read the other bloggers ‘New __________’- links are at the end of the post! Cheers to a Happy New Year!

It is said ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’. Or rather to change the phrase slightly for me: ‘An adventure of 2,953 miles (plus 26.2) begins with a single step… and a few stops along the way’. This year will be an exciting year of travel for me, and also a dream fulfilled. But let’s just begin with a single step, and the adventure that I’m most excited about every single year.

Adventure: The Art Wall
Distance: A single step (okay, maybe two steps)


At the beginning of every year, we clean off the art wall and start anew. Its my favorite part of our house, I enjoy it every day and it is quite literally two steps from where I’m sitting right now (the dinner table). We never know how its going to turn out in the end and we love seeing it evolve throughout the year. I love that it keeps a record of how my children have grown throughout the year, and it provides us endless entertainment of creating it, games of ‘I spy’, and a source of pride for both parents and children alike. My favorite steps each year are the ones I take with my children to hang their art on this wall. Here are the art walls from the past two years:


2015 Art Wall


2014 Art Wall


Adventure: The AIA National Convention in PHILADELPHIA, PA
Distance: 1,171 Miles

AIA Philly

In May I will be attending my first AIA National Convention, and I am thrilled that I’m doing so as a speaker. This fall I found out that the seminar/panel discussion we submitted, Establishing the Business Case For Women in Architecture, was accepted. I am ecstatic about the fantastic panelists: Emily Grandstaff-Rice, AIA (past president of the Boston Society of Architects), Kate Schwennsen, AIA (second female president of the AIA) , and Carole Wedge, AIA (president of Shepley Bulfinch). If you plan on attending the convention- I hope you’ll stop by and contribute to this engaging session!

Convention Summary

Adventure: Reykjavik, Iceland
Distance: 2,953 Miles


In August, my husband and I will be taking a ‘vacation’ (quotes here to be explained in the next section) of our dreams. We’ve both always wanted to visit the beautiful country of Iceland. (It also happens to be on Bob Borson’s bucket list!). My husband started law school in 2011 and graduated this past May. It wasn’t too long after he started law school that we knew our reward for completing law school was going to be a big trip (because yes, it took two committed parents (not to mention major help from our extended families) for him to finish law school- though I clearly had the better end of the deal). About two years ago we settled on Iceland- hot springs, geysers, glaciers- so much to explore! Oh, and there happens to be a marathon in the capital city that looks pretty interesting.

Adventure: The Reykjavik Marathon
Distance: 26.2 Miles
Iceland Marathon

Yes, that’s right- for our ‘vacation’ we are running the Reykjavik Marathon this year. I’ve run one marathon in the past (2 kids and 12 years ago), so its time. My husband is an avid and talented runner. This will be something like his 43rd marathon, and he is training for a 100-mile trail race this spring- so he is a constant inspiration to me (admittedly, I do question his sanity at running a 100-mile race though…). We decided that we wanted to run a big race when he was done with law school, and this one seemed both exotically located and intriguingly fun (hot springs after a marathon!?!? YES PLEASE!!).

So I’ve got some amazing adventures ahead of me, many of which I’ve not listed here. I’ve got some exciting stuff cooking with the Women in Architecture + Design- Twin Cities community group. And I can safely say that my kids provide me with a new adventure every day- an adventure that I cherish. There are certainly new adventures awaiting me at work as well. 2016 is full of excitement and anticipation and I can’t wait to tell you all about it as the year continues!

Enoch Sears – Business of Architecture (@businessofarch)
New Year, New Community on Business of Architecture

Bob Borson – Life of An Architect (@bobborson)

Matthew Stanfield – FiELD9: architecture (@FiELD9arch)
New Year, New CAD

Marica McKeel – Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
New Year, New Adventures

Lee Calisti, AIA – Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
new race new year new start

Mark R. LePage – Entrepreneur Architect (@EntreArchitect)
New Year. New Budget.

Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
New Year, New Goals

Collier Ward – One More Story (@BuildingContent)
New Year, New Business

Nicholas Renard – dig Architecture (@dig-arch)
New Year, A New Hope

Jeremiah Russell, AIA – ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
new year : new choices

Jes Stafford – Modus Operandi Design (@modarchitect)
New Year, New Gear

Cindy Black – Rick & Cindy Black Architects (*)
New Year, New Casita

Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
New Year, New Underwear

Rosa Sheng – Equity by Design (@EquityxDesign)
New Year, New Era

Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
“new year, new _____”

Meghana Joshi – IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
New Year, New Plan

Michael Riscica – Young Architect (@YoungArchitxPDX)
New Year, New Life!

Stephen Ramos – BUILDINGS ARE COOL (@sramos_BAC)
New Year, New Home

brady ernst – Soapbox Architect (@bradyernstAIA)
New Year, New·ly Adult Architect

Brian Paletz – The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
A Little Premature

Eric Wittman – intern[life] (@rico_w)
new year, new [engagement]

Sharon George – Architecture By George (@sharonraigeorge)
New Year, New Business

Brinn Miracle – Architangent (@simplybrinn)
New Year, New Perspective

Emily Grandstaff-Rice – Emily Grandstaff-Rice AIA (@egraia)
The New New

Jarod Hall – di’velept (@divelept)
New Year New Reality

Anthony Richardson – That Architecture Student (@anth_rich)
New Year New Desk

Drew Paul Bell – Drew Paul Bell (@DrewPaulBell)
New Year, New Appreciation

Greg Croft – Sage Leaf Group (@croft_gregory)
New Year, New Goals

Jeffrey A Pelletier – Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
New Year New Office

Aaron Bowman – Product & Process (@PP_Podcast)
New Year, More Change

Kyu Young Kim – Palo Alto Design Studio (@sokokyu)
New Year, New Office Space

Jared W. Smith – Architect OWL (@ArchitectOWL)
New Year, New Reflection

Rusty Long – Rusty Long, Architect (@rustylong)
New Year, New Direction


  1. matthew

    January 25, 2016

    Like the other commenters, the art wall really stands out to me as such a wonderful idea. We have always struggled with what to do with the abundance of art our children create. May have to look for a wall to turn into our own art wall.

    As far as running 100 miles, i to question the sanity of that. My wife and i started running about a year ago. We have done a 1/2 marathon, but nothing beyond that. Not sure i would want do more than that either. But maybe running in Iceland would be motivation to run a full marathon. Enjoy your trip, and your run.

  2. michele grace hottel

    January 12, 2016

    the art wall looks good, ours seems to get placed all around the house, lol. safe travels!

  3. Lora Teagarden

    January 12, 2016

    Love the art wall. Seems like such a strong parenting move to reward their effort at the different stages of life/ability.

    Ummm…Iceland?!? I’ve had that on my list for awhile – I might have to tag along in a suitcase 😉 I did the MDI Marathon back in 2010. Running in a beautiful place definitely helps – good luck with the marathon!

  4. Kyu

    January 11, 2016

    Question about your art wall: What kind of adhesive are you using? Just scotch tape? I want to do the same at home but have fears of the goo it will leave behind and/or possible damage to the wall… Thanks! Best of luck on your adventures in 2016!

    • archimom author

      January 11, 2016

      It’s just scotch tape- nothing fancy. It does sometimes leave a mark (but no goo or damage), but we just cover it up with more art! A lot of times it doesn’t stick- so we just add more tape:)

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