Reflections on 2016

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This has been quite a busy year. I had been trying to write my year goals down in early January and then see how I do for the year. Looking back at January – I think I forgot to find time and focus and write my goals down. But I can still reflect back at the year and see how I did.

This year brought a big change to the family. Isabella joined us in late February. I think she was the highlight of the year for the whole family. Will and Ben have both made a strong connection with her, and they still fight about who gets to hold her when they come home from school.

Some other positive memories (in no particular order):

  • Taking the boys to Europe for a family vacation. My dad and step mom, Barbara, met us in Copenhagen. After Copenhagen, the boys and I took a train to Sweden to meet up with Susanna and Isabella (and Susanna’s family).
  • Days of fun with a grumpy cat balloon. We would move it around at night and scare each other (it always was a startle to walk into the bathroom at night and come face to face with a grumpy cat balloon).
  • Hosting Thanksgiving at our house.
  • Will volunteering as a preschool helper at the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center. I’ve never seen him so tired as he was after a day of hard work hanging out with a bunch of little kids.
  • Watching Ben make a special bond with Isabella. He was the first one to get her to laugh and continues to be the one that can get her to laugh the hardest.
  • Travelling to Brazil, Australia and the Netherlands for work.
  • Having lots of visitors with the new baby.
  • Building a bed with Will.
  • Watching Will present a report on a paper he wrote about blue crabs in Long Island Sound from research he did over three weeks at Project Oceanology.
  • Working with Susanna on deconstructing a swimming pool and preparing a place for said swimming pool in our rocky/hilly almost impossible back yard.
  • Taking a street photography course in Australia.
  • Susanna cooking the microwave by running it empty for 5 minutes. Then taking the dead microwave apart with the boys to see how it is made.
  • Lots of hiking with Ben to get him in shape for his trip to the White Mountains with my dad.
  • Will complaining the entire second day of our trip to Europe.
  • Leaving my bag on the train car when switching trains trying to get to Sweden. Luckily I was able to run back and grab it.
  • Isabella falling asleep at her baptism in Sweden.
  • Taking a long bike tour around Copenhagen on the rented electric-assist bicycles.
  • Watching Ben do baseball for the first time. Watching Will run cross-country for the first time.
  • Watching Isabella do everything for the first time (roll over, stand up, eat real food, say words, laugh).
  • Jack up the front post of the garage with Susanna’s dad, Dan. The old posts on the garage are starting to rot and cause the garage to sag in sections.

Despite it being a busy year, there are some things I wished I did better:

  • Posting in Isabella’s blog. I had been trying to post a picture a day for a year of Isabella. I lost momentum on that after my trip to Australia. I have lots of pictures, and maybe I’ll take time to go back and post some more, but I don’t think I’ll get one a day.
  • Writing in my blog. Another thing that I lost momentum on after Australia.
  • Woodworking. I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped. I was probably more distracted in the shop than usual. But to be fair, we had a lot going on (guests/vacation/baby) and I did finish a few pieces of furniture (A bed with Will, cutting board with Will and Ben, shelves for Izzy’s room and a computer cabinet for the workshop).
  • Exercise. I got tendinitis in my right shoulder and have been working to get my shoulder pain resolved for the past four months. I think I’m finally on my way to pain-free, but that has slowed me down a bit.
  • Overall, I think I started too many things this year and had trouble finishing things.