Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Look Back at 2016

This was the fastest year of my life. Obviously, I haven't found a way to speed up how long it takes the Earth to revolve around the sun, but it was undeniably the fastest year yet.

Time is a perception, as well as a set, discernible measure. Two minutes in front of the microwave waiting for your food can seem like forever, while a two minute commercial break is not enough time to get done what you wanted to in the break. Hours with a friend pass so quickly, you wish they were longer, and 30 minutes stuck in traffic seems like hours.

I'm not positive what set this year on fast forward for me, but I have a few guesses. One hypothesis is that it has to do with the fact that naps met their end this year. Oh, how I miss naps. See, naps were my thirty minutes to an hour of MY time. Not keep kids happy while I do something time, not do something with the whole family, not even Blake and I time. All of those times can be good too... but they aren't MY time. My time to relax, and sit with a novel, that doesn't get interrupted fifty times for all the little things that kids need me for while they are playing "independently." Or my time to work on a family photo book of pictures from 2015... (which, by the way, didn't get done... now I'm behind a year). Or my time to try to make some money for the family, or write my great picture book... etc.

To be fair, Blake would have no problem with me doing these things at night, after the kids go to bed. He would even leave me alone to do it if I asked. But it typically doesn't happen because 1-I'm too tired and 2-I like watching shows or playing video games with him.

So, I literally lost some time this year, and I think that made me feel way more crunched into the time I did have.

The kids also started activities in earnest this year, between hockey/skating lessons, gymnastics, and baseball. Time driving them to activities, the activities themselves and the crunched nights after all their things definitely made the year feel faster, as every day zipped by.

Anyways, on to my annual photo of my jar of tickets. The bibs no longer live in the jar, but will continued to be featured as long as I still run races.

I actually cut down on my runs this year... but went way over what I had intended. Races, unfortunately, are not free. It takes a lot of people to make them happen, and someone needs to pay their salaries, so Blake and I had talked about my budget for races being cut down... i.e. run less.

Plus, I have a particular fondness in my heart for Ragnar races...which cost more... especially out of state (hotel, more gas, etc.). I had a ton of fun on my third Ragnar, this year in Arizona, and I know I will run another Ragnar again someday, but it was supposed to be my only race for the year.

Then, on the way back from the race I had a moment where I realized that I never run half marathons alone, I always ran them with somebody, except for my very first one. I was never working on improving my time, because I was always with someone else who typically slowed me down. So, I made a goal to improve my time, and try to get under a 2 hour half... and signed up for the O.C. Half. Okay, two races, not so bad...

I really intended to be good, and stick with those, and have my next race be in January of 2017. Except I am now seen as a runner, so during the summer I got asked again, and again, and again, "When is your next race?" I got asked that enough times that I finally broke down, and talked to Blake about it, and we decided to let me run both the Long Beach Half and Surf City in February because then when added with my O.C. Half, I can get a special medal for doing all three.

I would have stuck with that... except my sweet dad offered to sponsor my Disney Avengers Race, since he knows Disney races are my favorite (and way out of budget).
Good news for two of those three half marathons is that I did improve. So my best solo half marathon before this year was 2:14. My O.C. Half I got down to 2:06, and my Avengers race was 2:01:54 (yes those six seconds count). My Long beach half between them was a bad race- hot, slow, and miserable (2:15).

In 2016, so far, my race calendar just has the Surf City Half, but it seems that I will at least do a few more than that over the year, but I'll decide later what those will be. (And because I am a major slacker who let 1- busted toenails [you don't want to know] and 2- colds and 3- enjoying sleeping in, stop me from running, I am really not feeling great about breaking 2 hours on that race either).

Sports continue to feature in our family's life, with a bunch of Ducks games and some Angels games this year, and the kids are getting more fun to see the games with too. We hit up the classic, local theme parks for them, seeing Disneyland a few times, and Legoland and Knotts each once. We went to the Aquarium, and to a few movies this year with the kids too!

I got a few more musicals in than a typical year, which was really fun, and Blake and I even went to our first concert in years- Lindsey Stirling (and loved it). Blake and I also celebrated our 10 year anniversary this summer! The trip was fun, and special, and we look forward to our next trip.

Another big highlight of 2016 is that I became an aunt! Little Livvie arrived in March, and it has been so fun to see her grow up (though still snuggly and small, and I can't get enough of her). We also learned that we will become an aunt/uncle again in 2017, which is exciting, and approaching fast!

Remington started preschool, which is great, and heartbreaking all at the same time! I can't believe how fast he has grown, and it just doesn't seem right he is old enough for school now. Flip side is that I have had a few subbing days, which definitely pay better than my couple of random things I do for pay otherwise.

Coming up in 2017:
I will continue subbing when I can, writing when I can, and selling stuff on e-bay when I can. I will be flying out to be there (or as close to be there) as I can for my niece or nephew's birth in St. Louis. I will run my next half in February, and see where the year takes me as far as other races go.

Remington will continue to take skating/hockey lessons for now, but will be starting on a team sometime this year. He also is going to do another season of baseball, and was super excited to open his bat and ball and tee for Christmas. He will finish his first year of preschool, and start his second in September of 2017.

Grace starts a new crazy elite class in January in gymnastics (as in had to have coach referral, followed by two formal evaluations, but she made it). The website class description says

"This program is for those who have extraordinary talent and desire a more intense training"

 and her second evaluator, who also told me she thinks Grace would be good for the program, said that she sees that Grace has "raw potential." The biggest deal about this class is that it is on the "competitive track," in other words, grooming the kids in the class into gymnasts who are good enough to compete. She is not on a team yet. Of all the craziness, she is now trying to show the coaches that she is good enough for the next step- "pre-devo." (This is the step Grace is looking forward to on the short term, because it means she gets a matching leotard with the other girls). Then, if she does well enough in that, she gets bumped up to "devo" and girls good enough in "devo" get invited to join the team... that apparently wins state competitions. All of these steps are completely on Grace and her skills, not about age (except you have to be six to compete on the team, but that is several steps away anyways), so we will see where she is this time next year. 

 Overall, I hope that 2017 is a fun filled, happy year, with happy families! Happy New Year!

Here are some September photos... I was trying to go through more months, but it is late, and my computer isn't cooperating:


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