2016 is being touted as a pretty shitty year. I love a good complain fest (I’m a Jewish girl from the East Coast, after all) but I thought back on my year and honestly, it was kind of okay! Was it the best? Nah, that was probably year one. Zero responsibilities and I was cute AF. But it certainly wasn’t the worst. Why? I’ll tell you. Here are 10 reasons (in no particular order) why 2016 was a solid year in my book.

I Became an (unofficial) Aunt!

Some of my best friends popped children out this year. I used to be anti-kids, but now I’m just anti-my-own kids (don’t freak out family, I mean at the moment). But little munchkins who weirdly look like the person you used to get wasted with? That’s kinda cool. Meeting them, awkwardly cradling them, and whispering “you can always come to LA if your mom pisses you off,” was the start of many great future friendships.

The US Women’s Olympic Team Took Home the Gold

Wait, can we talk about gymnastics? Something I never said before 2016. Turns out, it’s super entertaining. The United States Women’s Gymnastics Team — Simone, Aly, Madison, Laurie, and Gabby — is the pubescent-stunted crew I never knew I wanted to hang out with. What I would do to have a gathering at the home of Aly Raisman (hosted by her parents, of course), or to chill with Simone and her adorable grandparent/parents? I can’t even.

Carpool Karaoke

I’m not one to stay up and watch late-night talk shows on account of my self-induced narcolepsy, but thanks to James Corden and the inter-web, there is now a segment that is readily available at all hours of the day — carpool karaoke! From Adele (damn, she’s funny too?!) to the newest, Bruno Mars (I want to throw that cutie in my pocket) it’s so fun to watch. Not to brag, but I’ve actually been doing this for years. Just ask my mom about the time we got stuck in terrible NYC traffic and I kept her (me) sane by pulling up karaoke lyrics on my phone and blasting music as we waited for the tunnel. Corden will be hearing from my lawyers.

I Fell in Love

Ew. I know. I can’t believe I wrote that. So cheesy, right? But it’s true. While I was never a fan of online dating, I realized once you meet and can stop using it, the results are pretty great. And in this town filled with narcissistic-Peter-Pan-syndromed-pervs it was a real shock to meet a quality human being.

The One-Who-Got-Away Came Back, For One Night Only

I am still on the fence about the responsibilities of owning a dog, so in the meantime, I occasionally dog-sit. Two years ago I sat for the most amazing dog who shall not be named so that his owner doesn’t think I’m a creep, but anyone who has met me probably knows his name. I considered dognapping until I realized the dog owner knows where I live and I was too lazy to pack up and run off with him. This dog though — friendly, the best cuddler, self-sufficient, and a real looker. Well, a few months ago, I was asked to sit for him again. Reunited and it felt so good.

I Did Standup Comedy

I faced a fear! That’s huge. Who actually likes standing up and talking in front of a crowd (besides for actual comedians or actors, I suppose)? It’s not really my thing. However, I felt the need to go outside my comfort zone and I’m so happy I did. Dare I say, I actually had fun. I was at first hesitant to share the video from my show, but my parents said I was really funny and they’re totally unbiased so here it is. (PS I apologize to any friends, vegans, moms, my own mom, or anyone else who may have been used as material in this performance.) FYI the class I took was called Pretty, Funny Women and it was awesome. Sign up for an upcoming class and tell them I referred you!

We Almost Had a Female President

I get it; this didn’t turn out the way many of us had hoped, but hey, in my world, almost DOES count. Because I sound way more impressive when almost counts. Did you know I almost won “Life of the Party” in my high school yearbook? And I almost worked for one of the biggest stars in Hollywood? This election season was a great time to be a woman. We felt strong, powerful, and even given the outcome, ready to fight on! Besides, when you think about it, the Donald is really more of a 2017 problem.

I saw Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel in Concert

If I had a hall pass, it’d be a toss-up between these two crooners. I was born in New York, and seeing Billy reminded me how good it felt to be a in a NY state of mind even in LA. Growing up in New Jersey, I had a certain pride watching Bruce dance like 17,000 people were watching. The Boss is all of us. To me, this is all I need to know about classic rock. So consider that course passed.

I Rode a Hot Air Balloon 

Bucket list item, checked! The BF and I spent Labor Day in Temecula, which some may say is the Tuscany of the States. Some being me. It was an adorable town a few hours outside of Los Angeles, with a ton of wineries. The land was full of vineyards and the air was full of hot air balloons. I was slightly nervous as we got in our baskets and then it slowly started to go higher, and higher… and then somehow I ended up chanting exactly that. The ride was amazing, soaring through the sky, in a basket that held way more people than I had expected (there were 17 of us!). When we landed, we ended our trip with champagne at the “world’s only chocolatier/petting zoo.” Yes, this is what we were told. Nothing like flying through the air followed by petting an alpaca and eating some homemade truffles.

Pitbull’s Song “Green Light” featuring Flo Rida and LunchMoney Lewis Came Out

I’m sorry, but how catchy is this song?! Red light, green light, everybody take a shot. While those are definitely not words to live by, in fact, they’re likely illegal, I can’t stop singing them. And someone named LunchMoney Lewis exists? Hilarious. So, I’d say I did enjoy 2016 but bring on 2017 because as Pitfall preaches, I’m ready to go, oh, oh, oh, wee-oh, wee-oh, wee-oh, wee-oh, oh, oh!

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