1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
Moved into my parents’ basement. That “temporary” stay has extended into a *gulp* 10-month stay (and counting!) because the housing market is nuts. This spring the houses were selling within 24 hours of being listed; now it’s the Sahara Desert. (I think the same 20 homes have been on our search since this fall.) I have faith that the inventory will pick up this March. FINGERS CROSSED.
2. Did you keep your New Years resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yep – my brother’s girlfriend Ashley had my nephew Brayden in August. I am so in love with that little guy.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thankfully, but loved ones lost loved ones and it breaks my heart to see them hurting.
5. What countries did you visit?
Stayed put in the good ol’ USA
6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Prince’s death on 4/21/16. I didn’t think I would be as affected as I was … it somehow felt personal. Brayden’s arrival on 8/24/16. SO MUCH JOY! The election … for obvious reasons.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Staying positive in the midst of this gut-wrenching political environment.
9. What was your biggest failure?
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing memorable, thankfully.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
It wasn’t my purchase, but I love my parents’ Netflix account.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I got goosebumps during the Olympics when, during the 5,000-meter qualifying race in Rio, an American runner tripped and fell and a New Zealand runner—who also went down—helped the American back up and encouraged her to finish the race. (They finished together.) Good sportsmanship never gets old.
I also have mad respect for the Standing Rock protesters in North Dakota.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
14. Where did most of your money go?
Getting our house ready to sell ($7,000 later). It worked. It sold in 10 days.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Brayden! A long weekend at the Kalahari. Our annual summer trip to our friends’ cabin north of Green Bay. A weekend at Madden's. A kid-free getaway to Detroit Lakes, complete with golf, mountain biking, good food and drinks, and couples’ massages.
16. What song will always remind you of 2016?
“Unsteady” by the X Ambassadors (my love of this song was amplified after reading and watching Me Before You); “Closer” by the Chainsmokers; “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by JT (the Official Anthem of the Summer of 2016)
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Same
ii. thinner or fatter? Same, thanks to a YMCA membership. Running, how I had missed you. The kids swimming skills have improved tremendously since we joined in November. They can swim to one end of the lap pool and back, Adam can tread water with confidence, and Ben can swim in the deep end without a life jacket.
iii. richer or poorer? Slightly richer, thanks to ongoing freelance work
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
20. How did you spend Christmas?
December 16 was the Ugly Sweater party with my mom's side; Christmas Eve at my brother and SIL’s house; Christmas morning at my parents' house; Christmas Day at my MIL’s house; day-after Christmas in a small town in southern Minnesota, near Rochester, with Aaron’s extended family (we spent the night at the Holiday Inn, which was a lot of fun until someone pooped in the pool—SO GROSS!)
21. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?
Making a nice dinner at home with Aaron and the boys, my parents, brother, brother’s girlfriend, and nephew, playing board games, drinking wine and champagne, hoping we can stay up until midnight. (only slightly joking)
22. Did you fall in love in 2016?
I am madly and deeply in love with Aaron, and every year I think I couldn’t possibly love him more, and every year he proves that theory wrong.
23. How many one-night stands?
24. What was your favorite TV program(s)?
House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Last Man on Earth
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No. I don’t hate anyone. Rampant hate is what’s wrong with our world right now.
26. What was the best book you read?
The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey – I’m not typically into zombie fiction, but this was SO, SO, SO good.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Gnash; The Strumbellas
28. What did you want and get?
A weekend away without the kids.
29. What did you want and not get?
At the risk of sounding redundant, a HOUSE!
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Room was really good. (Nearly as good as the book, and it’s my favorite book, so that’s high praise.) I also loved Me Before You.
31. What did you do on your birthday?
Last year of the snowtubing tradition! I think we had chowmein hotdish on the actual day, and my girls took me out to dinner in Forest Lake a few weeks later. I felt very loved.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I try really hard not to get sucked into that mindset. I have to remind myself: “I don’t have everything I want, but I have everything I need.”
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
I love, love, love REI. If I was independently wealthy, I’d shop there all the time. I love that comfortable, classic, outdoorsy style.
34. What kept you sane?
Who said I’m sane?
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Patty Wetterling (RIP Jacob)
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Gay rights, women’s rights, the environment
37. Who did you miss?
My grandparents, Tonya
38. Who was the best new person you met?
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016:
“When pain knocks on the door—wise ones breathe deep and say: ‘Come in. Sit down with me. And don’t leave me until you’ve taught me what I need to know.’” – Glennon Doyle Melton
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“Mama I’m coming home.” ;)