Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Year in Review

So, yep. I sort of dropped the cheese on just about everything I had set out to do this year especially in regards to keeping up appearances on this blog. I hardly wrote anything at all. I also wasn't as consistent with my resolutions as I would have liked to be. Let's review what I set out to do and how I did with accomplishing said goals, shall we? 


I am happy to report that with only a few minor snaffoos I am on track to finish the entire Bible this year (I am writing this on the 30th but I'm just so darn close, I don't imagine I'll mess this one up). So YAY! 


Ummmm, so yeah. I think I lasted about a week on that one and that lost count. I only wear dresses to work, except on Fridays, so it's safe to say that I do indeed wear dresses frequently, though perhaps not half the year. 


I got up to about 20 before losing count. There were a couple that have made it permanently to our cooking roster. Chicken Tikka Masala - from scratch not a jar. Homemade Buttermilk biscuits - that includes a super trick to getting the wonderful flakiness expectant of the biscuit. And more recently I made an entire traditional English fruitcake complete with homemade marzipan and royal icing. It was a feat, lemme tell ya. I was so super stressed making the marzipan and royal icing I'm pretty sure my husband thought I'd gone completely mental, especially for something that no one really wanted to eat (except me; I LOVE me some fruitcake). But it was so SO worth it and I'll definitely do it again next year ... though I may halve the recipe. 


This, ladies and gentlemen, is where I completely exceeded expectations. I read 36 books this year. Thirty-six!!! And man alive did it feel good! I have been lucky enough to have been part of a book club this year and it's been so wonderful discussing fantastic books and also rereading some of my favorites for myself as well as discovering new ones. I may publish a full list at some point but I want to mention just a couple that I absolutely adore and will read and reread and recommend to anyone who asks. First, kids books. I've always read aloud to my kids, waaaaay before they could talk or hold a book and so this wasn't really a new concept for me except now the girls get to pick some of the books that go in our nightly sessions. We alternate and because of that I've read some wonderful children's books. We read all of the Chronicles of Narnia together and listened to the dramatized version on Audible when we took our long road trip. These stories are just wonderful and I know we'll return to them again and again. Whenever anyone ask me for a good elementary level chapter book my first answer is always and resoundingly FRINDLE! Andrew Clements has written such a compelling and beautiful story in this book and this is another that I will return to again. For a little adventure look no further than The Green Ember Series the second installment was published this year through a Kickstarter campaign and recommend that when the 3rd comes out you all do the same ("my place beside you...."). We read loads of other books too but these ones really resonated. In addition I read a good mix of fiction and nonfiction. Finally read Till We Have Faces and just loved it (I'm pretty positive this will be my pick for my book choice in book club). A co-worker recommend Gilead which was so hauntingly beautiful I added it to my wish-list. And finally, you guys, I read The Hiding Place. Oh my stars. This book. THIS book. I returned my copy to the library and immediately purchased a copy because it is that important that we own this book. Corrie ten Boom's voice is so positive and so strong and despite all the hardships and difficulties she and her family faced remained so hopeful that I can hardly keep from tearing up even now. It was a great book year for me and I hope to continue this trend into 2017. 

The next 7 or so resolutions had to do with SEWING and sadly I did not do much in this area. I have almost completed two cross-stitch projects (almost) and I did almost finish a dress for myself (can't figure out the darn sleeves). But I severely lacked in the sewing department this year. 

Also I fell off the no SODA wagon but will try again. 


I did surprisingly well here and just placed an order for more prints to finish out the year. I'm pretty much completely caught up. Woot woot! (I totally raised the roof there, not gonna lie). 


I bought a desk which was really all that was entailed in the sewing space and I organized everything into a nice big pink bin when we moved so it looks good, even if I was a slacker and didn't do much with it. 


I don't think we did every week consistently, in fact I know we didn't do EVERY week, but we did put the technology and TV away a lot more and spent more quality time with each other playing games. This is also evident in our Christmas purchases to each other - we each got the other a chess set. I bought him a traditional wooden set and he got me Wizard chess (we got A LOT of much appreciated board games this year and have already played most nights since). This is one that I think we'll definitely continue and this year I'm going to beat him at chess! 

And finally MOVE. 

Yep. Definitely did that. In a big way. 

Wow, if you made it this far, you are super! So that was 2016 goals broken down. In addition to those goals a lot else happened. We all had birthdays. I got to travel home to the UK for a week. We all got to travel across the country and moved to a wonderful city. I received full-time employment (it was a bit touchy there). We all get to spend much more time with cousins and extended family. I read A LOT. We added Picket, an English Springer, to the family. And many bumps, bruises, and big smiles all year round. Thanks to you all for reading a little bit about me and my likes here. 

I don't yet have a concrete idea of what I want 2017 to look like. I've been intrigued by the one word year philosophies but I just don't think that's something I can do. I just love making resolutions and having a goal to work toward even if I don't end up doing half of them. Making a list is much more my style. I'll leave you with this cliff hanger and then we'll see where 2017 takes us - Shakespeare and Flannery O'Connor. 

Happy New Year! 

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