I want to start with the (probably overused and clichéd) lines from Seasons of Love. First, let me digress… this song is from the Broadway musical “Rent,” which I happened to see 10 years ago last November (in 2006!) as a senior at West Point, with my friend Meg. The best part: I had somehow scored 8th row seats, so close we saw the sweat glisten on the actors’ faces. Afterwards, we met the main characters:
525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes – how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. In 525,600 minutes – how do you measure a year in the life?
How about looooooove?
Well, certainly, coffee.
And miles (see my Running Year in Review post).
Indeed, plenty of love.
Lots of changes for our family…
Javi’s year in review (as best I could capture):
- 1 (big!) puppy. He convinced me to finally get a dog, and so, Luna is now part of our family.
- 1 New job, started in March, now works for an aerospace company in Winston-Salem
- 1 ½ classes. Started his MBA with Norwich University and is now 1.5 classes in. I’m already looking forward to graduation, not just for homework-free nights/weekends, but for some fresh Vermont air.
- 2 firearms. Got 2 new guns to add to his growing collection (a Spartan 380 and a shotgun)
- 4 projects. Completed 4 home improvement projects:
- Half bath on the first floor (new sink, mirror, lighting, paint, and wainscoting)
- Front room (our computer / reading room—paint and crown molding)
- Leveling and re-seeding the back yard
- Adding concrete to the front porch so we can sit outside comfortably
- 6 races. J did his fair share of running this year too! He ran the Popsicle 5K, St. Leo’s 10K, Raleigh Half, Beat the Heat 5K, Moonlight Madness 5K, and the Army 10 Miler! He supported me at every single race!!
- 1 change in grade. Graduation from pre-K in June, and started kindergarten in August.
- 2 races. The first was the Crazy Kids track meet in June, the other was at the Army Ten Miler (pic below).
- 2 Busrides per day, something he seems to enjoy. He feels like a big kid ☺
- 2 Major skills gained—riding a bike without training wheels, and swimming on his own!
- 3 Teeth lost, the most recent one on Christmas Eve. Also, the number of cavities he had in October, much to my dismay. So much for my diligent flossing and brushing each night!
- 5 Special classes he has per week (computer lab, art, music, library, and P.E.), with computer lab and P.E. as the faves.
- 5 years old in January…he’ll be 6 in two weeks (sniff, sniff. How is he SO big already?!)
- 100+ Words he can recognize now while reading—he loves “Little Blue Truck” and has memorized it.
- Turned 2 in May.
- 3 Major skills gained—can drink from a cup without spilling, can undress himself (except shirt), and can get his socks and shoes on himself. Also, got over his fear of dogs after we got Luna!
- 3 Successful attempts at peeing in the potty—yet still doesn’t want to participate in potty training.
- 4 Favorite songs on YouTube (yes, he’s 2 and can work the iPad better than some adults). “Baby Shark,” “Hot Dog” [from Mickey Mouse], “5 Little Monkeys jumping on the bed,” and “Daddy Fingers.” The kids loves to dance and sing, and seems to have really good rhythm!
- 4 Different kinds of objects/food held between his toes (magnetic shapes, Cheetos, bread, pretzels… kid loves his carbs) during a car ride.
- 50+ Cute/Hilarious phrases. Some of my favorites: “Luna ate my hot dog!” “Gabe, I love your new shirt, pookie!” “Turn up the bally [volume]!” “I’m naked… I’m bucket naked!” “Turn on my moobie!” [movie, when we get in the van] “Look at me Mommy, look at me!” (and once, immediately after I said it to him: “No looking, Mommy” in a dead serious kinda way)
- 365 Nights of good sleep. The opposite of big brother. Honestly, the kid *knock on wood* sleeps like a rock, and I’m sooooo grateful (especially after all the times his big bro has woken me up!)
And my year in review (which also includes family events):
- 1 New job, started at the end of June. Life’s too short to be unhappy in your job… it’s where you spend the majority of your waking hours, unfortunately.
- 1 new yearlong course, to be a health coach, with Integrative Nutrition. I graduate in September.
- 1 Triathlon completed. After taking a 4 year break, I qualified for age group nationals next year (!!) in Omaha, so I am planning on much more swim and bike training. Still contemplating if I want to travel to Omaha for nationals, but I do plan on at least doing some local races.
- 2 roommate meet-ups. After nearly a decade, I met up with HD and KH, 2 of my roomies from West Point! I also met up with lots of other friends during our trips, races, and football games.
- 2 Army wins. We *finally* blessedly witnessed Army beating Wake Forest, and Army beating NAVY!!
- 5 Business trips. I don’t seek these out (as I hate being away from my boys too long), but sometimes they’re necessary from the job. In February, we all traveled to Pittsburgh and got to see my family. In March, I had a course in Charlotte and the fam joined me the last day. I went to Pismo Beach, CA in April and got to see my old roomie, HD. Then with my new job, I went to Mexico for the first time (Torreon and Chihuahua), and lastly Los Angeles and Central Cali in Sept. On that trip, I got to do a quick hike/run in Yosemite National Park!
- 6 years of marriage. We celebrated by going to Lebron’s (brazilian steakhouse) again.
- 11 Family trips and at least 4,000 driving miles (too lazy to do the mapping/math). January—not a typical trip, Leesburg & Charlottesville, VA for my cousin Darcie’s funeral. Great Wolf Lodge for Gabe’s birthday. March—Asheville for Easter weekend. April—Raleigh for the races (on my 31st b-day weekend!) May—to Maryland to see my stepson. July—to PA and OH for family fun, including swimming at Lake Erie and picking up Luna! October—Washington, DC for the Army Ten Miler. November—Richmond for girls weekend and the half marathon; Jacksonville, FL for Thanksgiving. And December, FL for Christmas and PA for New Years. Whew!
- 14 Races (not including above triathlon). More about these in my year-in-review-running post.
- 41 Blue Apron recipes cooked. Most were rated 4 or 5 stars of 5 (in my humble opinion). Truly enjoyed learning new cooking skills, trying new foods, and spending more time in the kitchen. Javi says this is the most I’ve cooked in the 7+ years we’ve lived together. I am finally making cooking a priority because Blue Apron does the work I despise—planning the recipes and shopping for the ingredients. All I have to do is chop, prep, and cook—the fun part for me ☺
2016 was good to us. Both J & I got better paying jobs, and jobs we enjoy more. The boys are both thriving at daycare and at school. Luna joined us, to bring love, laughter, annoyance, and more exercise (tho we’ve been slacking at walking her regularly now that it’s winter). We improved our home. We made it thru a car accident without injury–praise the Lord.
I don’t have any big resolutions, but I have a few thoughts on how to improve my life.
This new year, I resolve to:
- Put my phone down more. While I enjoy “zoning out” to FB and Instagram, I find it’s mostly a big time-drain, when I should be paying attention to my family.
- Wake up early more often, so I can either walk/run with Luna, catch up on housework (or homework!), or just have quiet time to read, do yoga, or meditate.
- Plan meals! With J & I both working, we are the king & queen of throwing together dinner, but we want to have more high-quality dinners and less fast food. This will also help with our food budget, which tends to go over every month.
- Lastly, I am working on being calm, cool, and steady when my kids drive me nuts. Many evenings, I have a short fuse after waking up early, the hour commute, 8 hours of using the ol’ brain, and working out. Most often, I take it out on Gabe or Javi, and I don’t want to keep doing that. I need to take 10 seconds to breathe, and I also need to build in more “me” time so that my nerves aren’t so frayed at the end of each day.
What were the best parts of 2016 for you? What are your resolutions?