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2016 Year in Review

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?

I went to visit a client in New Jersey.  It was not particularly exciting.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Last Year

(1) Lose Weight 

FitBit says I’m at the same weight now that I was last year.  However, I gained five pounds after the Hawaii vacation due to eating every fish burrito in sight.  I’m okay with that, though, because next year I’m going to lose a ton of weight.  Last May I started going to barre because I would get completely exhausted after a weekend with Ava, which is ridiculous.  Not only did I get my energy back, but I have serious muscles now and I’ve stopped throwing my back out every week.

Since starting barre last May, I had only thrown my back out once.  But with vacation and the holidays I went two weeks with only one class.  And guess what?  I threw my back out worse than it’s ever been.  And the thing that fixed it was going to more barre classes.  So I’m newly committed to going to barre three times a week.

(2) Avoid having to toss any produce from our CSA

I did a decent job of this.  I got a little obsessed with using all the produce, though, and instead of opening up new meals by giving me exotic produce, it wound up limiting me because I had to stick to using the produce instead of trying new recipes with ingredients that weren’t in the CSA.  The CSA was a bit too focused on including either collard greens or swiss chard every week, and there are only so many recipes in the world for collard greens and swiss chard.  I will say, though, that I can now add to my list of skills, the ability to consume six pounds of cabbage in a single week.

(3) Make time to get a personal trainer or take bootcamp classes

I didn’t do this at all, but barre is even more satisfying.  I wanted to find an exercise that was varied enough to keep me interested.  Barre is great because there are different instructors and each instructor changes the routine every 1-2 weeks.

Next Year

(1) Improve Health

(a) Lose Weight

I’d like to lose 20 pounds next year and I think that’s very doable.  I take three barre classes a week and I’m getting better with eating healthier foods.  As I get older, crappy foods make me sick.  One bite of cheap chocolate gives me a horrific headache.  So I make more foods at home, which means the food is much healthier.

(b) Develop More Muscles

Barre was great this year for helping me develop more stomach muscles.  After having Ava, I had ruined my abs so at the beginning of doing barre I couldn’t even do the exercises.  Eventually, I could do the exercises, but not very well.  This year my goal is to be able to do all the exercises while maintaining proper form.

(2) Get Control of My Work

I’ve spent the past year being constantly behind with my workload and I hate it.  Before I had Ava, I could fix it by working through a weekend and working more during the weekdays.  Now I have to fix the problem by refusing assignments, which is hard for me.

(3) Organize the House

I cook at a hobby.  As a result, my kitchen is a mess of spices and cookware.  I’m hoping this year that I can organize the kitchen and take back the countertops.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No.

5. What countries did you visit?

None.  We’re thinking of remedying that this year.  Ava did so amazing on the trip to Hawaii that I’m more open to flying with her.  She was so excited about being on the airplane.  On the trip out to Hawaii, we took a seven-hour flight from SLC to Honolulu and then a flight from Honolulu to Kauai.  After the second flight Ava asked if we were going on another airplane right.  The flights back were even better because the one from Honolulu to SLC was a red-eye and Ava slept almost the entire time.  I’m considering a trip to Vancouver for summer vacation.

Also, I like to track which parts of the country I went to, which was: Alexandria, VA; New Jersey; Palo Alto, CA; Portland, OR; and Hawaii.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?

I want everything to be less stressful.

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

November 8th was pretty memorable since I went from being confident about having the first female president, to worried, to so concerned that I went to bed hoping a miracle would happen overnight.  Since then I’ve been avoiding most political things on Facebook and trying to keep my news limited to mostly the Wall Street Journal and a little NY Times.  I skip over anything political on Twitter because that place is a cesspool of anxiety if you read the political tweets.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I have muscles in my arms that I’ve never had before.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Little things everyday that sometimes snowball into feeling like a complete failure.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nope.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I finally bought some comfortable lounge clothing.  Since I work from home, why not wear yoga pants and tunics?

12. Where did most of your money go?

The mortgage.

13. What did you get really excited about?

Ava’s progression has been amazing.  She went from knowing distinct words, to stringing together sentences, to providing detailed stories about her animals.

14. What songs will always remind you of 2016?

Masterpiece by Big Thief.  This is one of Ava’s favorite songs and she has excellent taste.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:


– happier or sadder? Happier.
– thinner or fatter? Thinner.
– richer or poorer? Richer.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?


Read.  I only read a few books last year and it’s a nice time for me to do exactly what I want.  But it’s always a competition between reading and sleep, and sleep has to win out.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Struggle.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

Nice relaxing day.

19. What was your favorite TV program?

Life in Pieces is hilarious.  Funny story, when we started watching it I pointed to one of the actors and told Jon, “He looks like he could be Tom Hanks’ son.”  Guess what?!  His name is Colin Hanks.  I was confused because I only knew about the racist son.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

I can’t actually recommend a lot of what I read last year because they were parenting books.  The two books I really enjoyed were:

(2) Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China by Fuchsia Dunlop.  I found that I really enjoy memoirs by chefs.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?


I really like Big Thief.  But mostly I spent the year listening to my playlist of music and music Spotify thought I might like.  I listened to a lot of Dinosaur Jr.  I’m trying to narrow down my playlist since it’s 1,800 songs.  I’m finally over my 90’s obsession.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?

I’m…not sure I watched a single movie this year.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was 36.  It wasn’t memorable.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I need to find an amazing life-changing book.  I’ve been reading decent books for the last year, but in 2015 I read books that changed me as a person.  I’d like to find that again.

25. What kept you sane?

Coffee.

 

 

 

One Response to “2016 Year in Review”

  1. Krister Eide says:

    Your photos of birds are beautiful. I am an art student in children’s book illustration. Would you allow me to use photos as reference? If so would there be a charge? I am thinking of making illustrations for various purposes like cards and stickers. I have photos of hummingbirds for instance, but they don’t have as good detail for reference.No problem if not. I just wanted to ask. Thanks, Krister