Family Time | New Year’s Resolutions & Year-End Recap
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New Year’s Resolutions & Year-End Recap

New Year’s Resolutions & Year-End Recap

I’ve been doing a year-end recap every year since 2005 in this exact format on ye olde LiveJournal. Here’s a slightly edited-for-the-public version of this year’s.

First, the annual memes:

Year in meme: 2016
The method:
Copy and paste the first sentence of the first entry of every month this year into one fun-filled entry. (My LJ is long obsolete, and my blogs are also pretty scarce, so I’m going to FB and inserting the entire last post of the month aside from photos and shares.)

January: He’s crying because Uncle Doo, Auntie Brooke and Cousin Evie are coming over and he poured the salsa in a bowl and I ate some.
February: Henry couldn’t put words to it, but he was fighting bedtime hard, even though he was exhausted. We spent all day on the beach today. His love affair with the ocean is beautiful to see. Running all over with his “motor stick,” throwing sand in the air and making a wish, running away from the waves and searching for crabs. When I asked if he didn’t want to go to bed because it meant today would be over, he said yes. That he is going to miss Bobby and DeeDee, and Florida and vacation. I got weepy, and said I know exactly how you feel. Because I feel that way, too.
March: A hazard of the #homeoffice – drool on the checkbook.
April: Look at this happy boy! Finally, he can join us at the table.
May: Henry was humming this song because he heard it on Little Einsteins and so we looked it up. I asked him, “Do you know the name of the person who composed this song?” He said ,”Um, John Anthime Miller?”
June: Henry helped me make these #rawvegannotgross falafel, Laura Miller style with tahini sauce, wrapped in collard greens. Days like this I feel very smug sending him to school with leftovers.
July: This is not at all a flattering photo of either of us, but it was Erika being silly and picking me up; a fun moment during the wedding that I’m glad was captured.
August: I’m imagining a long horrible winter cooped up inside with Henry and Daniel bouncing off the walls. In a panic that we don’t have a basement or big playroom that they can run around in. At least once a day I tell Henry to stop jumping off the furniture and go run around outside to burn off some energy. And for Daniel’s November birthday, I’d love to do what we do for Henry, but an outside party with lots of guests is not an option, and the inside of our house is feeling smaller every day they grow bigger. How do you DO this, parents of energetic children? I’m feeling claustrophobic.
September: Ok, guys. I give in. Talk to me about LuLaRoe.
October: Happy Halloween from Tayo, Hana, Nuri and Gani!
November: I found this very moving. I was vegetarian until I became a mother who had a baby to nurse. The connection was a moment of enlightenment. I know there are kind, small time farmers in Washington County who don’t separate mother from baby right away. I’m glad of that. But the things she mentions in this video, the mom feelings in me; that’s why we don’t eat dairy in our family. With so many other great things to eat, it’s not hard.
December: What happens when you end up with two Tayos? Of course one of them is a bad clone from outer space.

2016 year-end recap

first, a survey.

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
Opened a downtown office. Was maid of honor in my sister’s wedding. Was mom to a kid in the school system. Met Raffi! Was approached about running for public office.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
See below.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My nephew Jace was born to my brother-in-law Andrew, and Brooke. My friends Laura and Justin had a new baby girl, Naomi. Stefanie and Sean had their little button, Riley.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
TR Remsen. My heart hurts every time I think of it. I wish I saw him one last time.

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you didn’t have in 2016?
A better sense of balance, to feel like I’m on top of it instead of scrambling to get out from under it. A better focus on environmentalism, and instilling qualities in my children that are going to make the world a better place. And uh, how about a better president???

7. What date(s) from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Florida trip with both boys, motor stick and Danny’s crazy rash (the first of many). Mason and Henry armwrestling at Marchival. Throwing ice and rocks onto frozen Moreau Lake, and the warm shed. Play dates with Imogen, Lily, Silas, Jesse and William. Reading the Little House series to Henry. Henry the time bomb in church for Easter. Evie’s baptism and the priest holding her up like the opening scene from Lion King. Genealogy with Cousin Ruthann. Theater camp for Henry. Dropping Danny off at daycare. TR’s calling hours and the long line outside, and his scrapbooks of every rejection and achievement, and the Snoopy he bought the boys. Daniel Tiger Live at Proctors with Henry. Meeting Raffi. So many sweet brother moments and sweet cousin moments. The Cambridge Balloon Festival and what a relief it was stumbling across the bookstore where the boys could play a while on the floor. Saying goodbye to DarkStar and hello to Divided Sky. Henry’s piano lessons. Meeting baby Jace. Evie’s epic first birthday party at the firehouse with the slip and slide. Meeting Marc Summers! Touring Logic Supply and realizing how awesome my sister is at her job. Erika’s bachelorette party, our ridiculous pyramid, the rude shoes, pizza in the kitchen, stumbling around Burlington. Erika’s bridal shower in Killington and helping Auntie frost the cupcakes. Henry marching around at Crandall Park to the GFSO music on the Fourth of July. Exploring in Killington with Henry; him caring about my childhood stories and old places I would play; us traipsing through the field by the library. Our annual visit to Carol Conklin’s and Danny eating all those blueberries. Erika’s wedding – getting our nails done, our hair done, seeing all the family the day before, getting her dressed, the beautiful wedding day, cleaning up at night, ending up in the tub. Visits to the Great Escape. Swooning when I discovered my new office. Moving in, and the first few meetings in there, and the ribbon cutting. Fort William Henry. Dermatologist with Danny’s insane rash. Henry’s birthday at Moreau Lake State Park and his backyard party with Daniel Tiger. Faerie Festival. Henry’s preschool graduation, and his first day of school. The Just-A-Buck fundraiser and all the planning that went into it. Lake George cruise with friends. The Avons moving; their yard sale. The WAIT House fundraiser, dancing with Morgan. Trees coming down in Exchange Street. Polar Express! Fairy tea. Voting. Hearing Trump won. Visit from Madeline and Donna. Visiting Nonnie in the nursing home after her fall. Hearing Poppy needed a pacemaker and then needed another surgery. Making hands with Henry. Making cookies without Mimi. Christmas Eve next door still, but hosted by Brooke and Andrew instead of Bob and Nancy.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finding the right office. Henry’s a good boy and a great big brother. Bought a new car. Finally assembled a good Advokate team, which feels like a hurdle cleared in the direction of growth.

10. Did you suffer any illness or injury?
No, just colds.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
The office. Morgan & Carol Barrett’s time. The car’s good.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Cory is a wonderful husband and dad AND personal assistant. He does it all, everything I don’t want to do or don’t even know he does. He holds this house together. The Avons are always there for us and for the kids. Mom and Dad have been coming up every single week to stay with us for two days and babysit, saving us a ton of money. And it’s really nice to have them around more. Henry and Daniel are amazing. Danny’s just adorable, and Henry is a very good big brother, and well behaved out in public, often thoughtful and sweet. My friend Jack came out as trans, and I’m really proud of him.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Aside from bills, friggin’ copays. We took on the office and a new car payment at the same time and haven’t really recovered from it yet.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Erika’s wedding. Meeting Raffi.

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?
Tayo Tayo, Tayo Tayo, he’s a friendly little bus. Speeding up, slowing down, Tayo’s always having fun…

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?: Happier
ii. thinner or fatter?: Thinner
iii. richer or poorer?: So much poorer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Being a good mom and wife; I spend a lot of time and energy at the office and there’s not a lot left for home. I always feel like I’m scrambling to do ten million things or just a total lump, crashed out. I wish that we saw TR and brought the kids to him when he hinted that he’d like to see them. I wish I had more money to donate to causes; the world is a scary place right now. I wish I spent more energy on Daniel. Poor kid.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
I guess it’s the same as last year: Snapping because I wanted things to go faster or more perfectly. Giving my energy to other people instead of to my family. Laying in bed on my phone. And I’ll add: Lashing out at Cory when I’m stressed. Poor guy.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
We went to Mimi and Poppy’s to do Christmas with them and Nonnie the week before Christmas. Erika and Rafae came to see us Christmas Eve morning. Brooke and Andrew hosted Christmas Eve dinner. We had my mom and dad overnight and they were here for Christmas morning at our house. Then to the Caseys’ for Christmas dinner.

22. Did you fall in love in 2016?
I stayed in love.

23. How many one-night stands?
Still zero, of course. After this many years I should rewrite this question with something more relevant.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Modern Family, Bob’s Burgers, Inside Amy, SNL, the Mindy Project

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I didn’t feel much about Trump this time last year. I’ve got all kinds of feelings now. Mostly in the realm of disgust and fear.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Tayo theme song? Hipster Christmas channel on Pandora?

28. What did you want and get?
A downtown office to call my own. Brothers who are sweet to one another. Plenty of business. Good health. $10 million to Downtown Glens Falls and acknowledgement of the creative economy!

30. What were your favorite films of this year?
I took Henry to the movies on his birthday to see the Secret Life of Pets. I think that’s the only movie I’ve seen this year.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 34 and I didn’t throw myself a birthday party for the first time in some 10 years because of Erika’s wedding.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Bernie Sanders winning the Presidency.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
LuLaRoe and Kathy Clarke hand-me-downs.

34. What kept you sane?

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Bernie Sanders. Raffi.

37. Who did you miss?
I miss Papa John more the older Henry gets. There are things I would have liked him to share with him. I try to do it myself, but of course it’s not the same. I miss my friends. The Skirts haven’t sang together in months and that makes me sad.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Henry’s teacher Mrs. Williams. I didn’t just meet her this year, but Morgan Panich and I became better friends this year. And Carol Barrett I’ve known a long time, but I’ve been so grateful to have her around so much. I hope we get her babysitting again when her hip heals up.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016:
Let it go and it’ll be fine. Maybe not exactly your way, but fine. Have to let go to move toward. (Mimi’s been telling me that for years, but it keeps being true.) Another one of Mimi’s — find Acceptable Compromise.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
I’m addicted to stress, that’s the way that I get things done, if I’m not under pressure then I sleep too long and hang around like a bum I think I’m going nowhere and that makes me nervous

41. What concerts/shows did you see?
ATF shows – Island Song, Everything in its Place, Home, Comedy of Manors. Also, Daniel Tiger Live. Raffi. Rockapella. Rocky Horror Picture Show. PlayFest.

Now, to check in on last year’s “i want” list:

In 2016 and henceforth, I want:
To be consistent in my parenting so that Henry and Daniel are comforted by routine and know where the boundaries are.
Definitely got better at this.

To get off my damn phone all the time.

To take good care of my parents and help them with the house and their health. 
Actually, they’re taking care of me, coming here every week. But I at least feel more in touch with them, and we play board games once a week, which is really nice. Without that kind of extended down time you don’t connect the same way, I don’t think.

To be a better wife and mom, doing things around the house and being unselfish.
I did not do this.

To get back to core in terms of supporting local, living green and making a difference.
Not as easy, juggling two kids and I’m having to accept that it won’t be like it was before, but I’m doing it in my way and raising the next generation.

To grow Advokate enough to be able to put money into retirement; I really need to start doing that!
I started putting money away as an automatic deposit each month. So that’s something!

To slow down and enjoy my kids because they won’t be little forever and they really need me now.
I should have done this better.

To make time for spirituality, exercise, nature and art.
Not at all.

To write books someday: Children’s book about spirituality, Idiotic Idioms, my memoir.
Not yet. Add to it: Henry the Vegan, children’s book with a message that says hey, you’re not the only vegan kid ever to exist.

To go to Italy with Mom.
No, but this summer, Erika is taking us to Montreal!

To go on trips and make memories and step outside of the daily routine.
I don’t think I did this.

To record my family history.
I did meet several times with my Cousin Ruthann about family history, so there were steps taken, but it’s such an overwhelming task. I’m so glad Mimi wrote her book. I’ve done some small amounts of collecting and at least lots of picture taking, so that’s something but there’s so much more to do.

To get rid of extra stuff around the house so Cory doesn’t lose his mind.

Someday, when the time is right, to start an arts center downtown, and to open an office downtown – though it may not be this year, because this year is for being a mom as top priority, and earning enough income to take care of the family as my second priority.
Well, turned out that it was the other way around for 2016, but at least I got something checked off!

In 2017 and henceforth, I want:

To pay more attention to Daniel. To take care of myself and exercise, eat, and meditate. To be aware of my own screen time and not be a hypocrite about it. To set an example, raising my boys to know how fortunate they are and to use those gifts to help those less fortunate, caring for others and for the environment, making their communities a better place. To get the F out of debt. To be peaceful and loving when I talk to Cory, and to find acceptable compromise for the division of household duties, and to take care of him. To make time and save energy for romance. To reconnect to nature and spirituality and art. To get together with friends. To get the Skirts back together. To write more. To enjoy my kids. To establish an Arts Trail in Downtown Glens Falls and get DTGF better marketing and branding. To get updated regularly. And the someday ones — To document my family history, to go to Italy with Mom, to write my books (Idiotic Idioms, memoir about depression, children’s book about spirituality, children’s book about veganism) and to be a foster parent.

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