Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: We're still standing, so far.

(Previous years: 2016201520142013201220112010200920082007 

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
Had a child hospitalized in a foreign country. Took my kids to get pedicures. Lived under a wannabe autocrat. Took my kids to Paris. Treated (including paying for) my dog for cancer. Read 200 books. Had a child get stitches. Went to Puerto Vallarta, Belgium, and the NetherlandsHad my kid's preschool shut down with no notice and make off with our money. Taught both kids to ride a bike without training wheels. Hit my goal weight. Called my Senator's office more times than I can count. Sent my kid to overnight camp.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I was pretty general last year, and just said "I want to keep a good thing going with our routine, and do some travel." We did both of those things--I feel like our routine has really hit a groove and things are going very well as a family unit. And we did a whole bunch of travel. I'll call that a win. For next year, hm. I'd like to make some progress toward financial recovery from quite a few large unexpected expenses that we incurred this year, and I'd like to be more on top of keeping my photos organized.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
One of my best friends from college.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?

Mexico, Germany, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Domestically, I visited Phoenix, Chicago, Virginia Beach, Durham (NC), Jacksonville, San Diego, Washington DC, and New Orleans.

6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?
A president who believes in the Constitution and cares about anyone other than himself.

7. What moments from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Most of the actual moments are negative (health-related), but the year itself was actually pretty good for us as a family. As far as specific moments: Getting a phone call from Annika's preschool that she had fallen and hit her head and the ambulance was on its way (she was fine, she just needed stitches, but they didn't do a great job conveying that). Callum being hospitalized in Germany and the doctor lecturing us that if we took him home on oxygen, we would be risking his life. Getting Montana's cancer diagnosis and having to tell Torsten about it, and watching him completely fall apart in response. More generally: Watching Torsten continue to step up to be there for our family and make sure all of us are in a good place. Taking an incredible family road trip where we drove more than 2,000 miles across Europe and the kids were absolute champs and it was an amazing family bonding experience. Watching our government take one atrocious action after another to harm vulnerable populations. Seeing how people and friends step up for each other and support each other in the face of terrible hardship.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I am far from a perfect parent, but I overall feel like my parenting this year was a win. I really managed to build on the work I did last year to be calmer, more intentional, and less yelling-prone. I've guided both my kids through some challenging shit, including some tough emotional stuff, and I really feel like I've succeeded at being there for them and supporting them. I also think we've managed to keep encouraging kindness and consideration and caring for others, which is especially important to us in the current political climate. There is a lot I could still improve, but I feel good about how far I've come.

9. What was your biggest failure?
This is a small thing, but I stopped keeping my five-year diary a few months ago, and I'm bummed about that and want to pick it back up. It was really good for me to take those couple minutes each night to process through what happened that day, and I'd like to get back to that.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I personally did not experience anything major, but it has been a tough (and expensive) medical year for the rest of the family. Callum was hospitalized for asthma, Annika got stitches in her forehead, Montana had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor and is now doing chemo, and Torsten had dental implants and an ER visit along with a couple ongoing chronic issues. Here's hoping for a healthier 2018 for all of us. 

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Plane tickets for the incredible travel we were able to do this year. Good health insurance. A couch, rug, and coffee table for our living room.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
On a micro level: Torsten's, like every year. He has done a ton of hard work and our whole family is benefitting. On a macro level: All the people who've stepped up to counter the appalling words and actions of our government by helping each other, supporting each other, protesting, donating, voting, and resisting.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My answer from last year still stands: People who are irrationally and unconsciously (or consciously, for that matter) motivated by white identity and perceived threat to their desired world order. This year I'll put a finer point on it: All the people who've seen Trump do every horrible thing we expected and then some, and continue to support him.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Same answer for the sixth straight year: our mortgage and childcare. This year I'll add health and dental expenses, both human and canine.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Our family. The November and December elections and the hope that the current administration might actually not last forever, and that we may eventually be able to reverse some of their terrible policies. 

16. What song will always remind you of 2017?

I don't think there is one this year. 

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

a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?
a) About the same
b) Thinner
c) Poorer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I'm gonna repeat last year's answer: Sleeping. Working out. Volunteering.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Reading books written by men, specifically white men.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
My parents came to stay with us. Torsten and I left the kids with them for a few days while we went to New Orleans. We came back the day before Christmas Eve and had a laid-back Christmas with the six of us at home. 

21. Did you fall in love in 2017?


22. What was your favorite TV program?

I watched very little TV this year, as I was very reading-focused. We did start watching Madam Secretary, which I like.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I'd say my hatred for evil, self-interested members of government has sharpened, if that counts.

24. What was the best book you read?

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Like pretty much every year: I'm not sure I made any.

26. What did you want and get?
A happy family with a solid, comfortable life routine. A lot of travel. 

27. What did you want and not get?

A government that believes in the republic and cares about the people it represents (or any people, for that matter).

28. What was your favorite film of this year?


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

It was low-key but pleasant. My parents were in town and I worked, then did errands to prepare for our trip to Mexico. We went out for dinner at my favorite restaurant and ate cake. I turned 33.

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

A healthier family. A trustworthy government. 

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?

Dresses in the summer and skinny jeans with sweaters in winter. Rothys and boots and flip flops.

32. What kept you sane?
Same as the last three years: My little family. My group of best friends.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I'm bad at this.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Last year's answer still applies. I wrapped it up by saying that I was extremely concerned that 2017 was going to be significantly worse than 2016, and that's exactly what happened. Right now my concern is largely around the most vulnerable people in this country, specifically immigrants, women, people of color, and people living in poverty. The class warfare and xenophobia happening right now are beyond comprehension, and I can only pray that the backlash is immediate and fierce. 

35. Who did you miss?
Similar answer to the past eight years: Most of my friends and family, since many of them live far away. 

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Hm. I don't think I made new friends this year. I'd say the best person is the director of Callum's soccer training program, who really understands him and has done incredible things for him (related to character development way more than soccer skills). 

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.
Hope is a form of resistance. It is our job to help each other, and we can do that even in the worst of circumstances, and even if it's just in small ways, it makes a big difference. 

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
As last year: I don't think there is one. There pretty much never is.

Happy New Year, everybody!


  1. Miss your blogging! So sorry to hear about all of the health issues this year. How Montana doing?

  2. Miss you! Loved this. Happy 2018 to you guys!