Well... I'm no good at intros, but I'm taking a break from my normal "recaps" to do a bit of reflecting on what worked... and what didn't... this past year! I hope you'll join me for a bit of a ride!
~What was your biggest accomplishment this year?
Flying across the country with a young baby just for the sake of a reunion with my sister and her family is in my top five.
Also I would add giving birth to our sixth child, as that humbling accomplishment will be one I'm thankful and grateful for in a deep way for the rest of my life.
~What was your biggest regret?
I didn't share this (till now) but our girls quit Ballet this Fall. They are hoping to join a different company this Spring (or maybe next Fall?). That was hard for me, because the transition has been gradual. Their desire to be in the Nutcracker with an opposing company has finally trumped their desire to have a break from Ballet classes. Honestly, I'm still holding my breath and crossing my fingers because they all faced some serious burnout after their recital this past Spring. They have been involved in After School art instead. They have made tie dyed shirts, worked with felting, sculpting with clay, and learned all of the watercolor techniques one can possibly learn!
~What was your biggest obstacle to good health?
Imagine you are home with six kids, two of them are babies with constant needs and daily naps, four of them still need help finding shoes (and putting them on) and all of them need clean laundry everyday. Imagine that once you get them outside, they want to gather ten bikes and scooters, you still need to put two in the stroller, and you need to put one in the baby carrier. Can you imagine why we don't go for many walks? Add to that my husband who doesn't really care for outdoorsy stuff, and we are pretty much screwed on the weekends if we want to do something as a family (that doesn't involve TV, Nintendo, iPads, iPhones, or Kindle Fires). We are enjoying our backyard when we can (and when it isn't freezing!)
~What was the healthiest thing you did?
Anytime we did get outside was simply lovely. I have deemed myself "outdoorsy" because I do indeed have a passion for hiking, camping, and swimming/skiing/riding bikes. But the truth is, I don't do any of it much really at all. I walk. And sometime run-ish.
Seeing my sister and getting outside for long walks and hikes everyday around Seattle was so eye-opening for me. I realized how slothful I have become and I had a renewed appreciation for God's creation and his marvelous FRESH AIR and SUNSHINE and what a gift it is to his people.
~What was the hardest thing you did?
Yeah, it definitely goes without saying that pregnancy and laziness do not go hand in hand.
I had one of those, "moments you will never forget" this winter. I was having weird heart palpitations, so I told Stephen I thought I needed to get out and jog. The only time I could do it was when he was home, so I went out running, and I saw... wait for it.. a real bunny rabbit! And then, it starting pouring down rain and I was drenched (thankfully I had a good North Face on and I stayed dry *and* toasty. :)
~What "worked" for you in 2016?
-Definitely doing the stairs and as much time on the Riverwalk as I can muster!
-"Organizing" the dishes worked for me.... let me explain. When you have 6 kids, you have a lot of dishes! I sometimes run the dishwasher 2 times a day and load it 3 times. Instead of wasting all of that (Precious!) water, I figured out that I could fill an empty sink with soapy water, put all of the silverware in a soapy pan, sort the pans, and let the rest soak overnight. It isn't IDEAL and I don't do it every night.... but otherwise, believe me! Dishes are a nightmare. When I have a cold or I'm not feeling my best for personal reasons, "organizing" the dishes is a lifesaver.
~ What are your New Years' Resolutions?
-See this little guy as much as I can (that's my new nephew, Aiden Daniel.) He. is. stinking'. huge. He was 10 lbs at birth and now he's 8 months but looks and weighs as much as an 18 month old. No lie!
-Keep in touch with family, just in general!
-Continue our habit of keeping eating out to a minimum
-Doing my hair and make-up and looking "put together" as much as I can and as often as I can (just like my resolution for last year)
-Continue growing a following on instagram and stay engaged (without being addicted!)
-Staying organized--- using the happy planner again
-Keep a record of our family, I love this scrapbooking method-- Becky Higgins' Project 'Life'
-Improve my handwriting-- this youtube video on cursive is really helpful!
~ What was your favorite movie this past year?
Oh, definitely The Revenant, although I know we are behind a year on that. Stephen and I were captivated by the cinematography, so much so that we watched it twice before sending it back. Leonardo DiCaprio really redeemed himself in my eyes by traveling to the Canadian Rockies and enduring the freezing cold. The scenes of fire and ice took my breath away countless times. Snuggling up with a good movie and my husband (especially when great food and great wine are involved) is my favorite memory of 2017.
I also have to mention Stranger Things. (TV time) I love it. So creepy and so fantastic. Bob's character, played by Sean Astin was just delectable. Dustin cracked me up in each scene he played. I was among those who thought Eleven's storyline in Season 2 was fantastic... don't be a hater.
~ What was the most fun or creative thing you did this past year?
I needed a last hurrah before Conrad was born, so I went to Florida with my family. It was a lovely trip and just what I needed- swimming in the ocean and in a real pool. The best part? We brought our dear and sweet babysitter Mackenzie and she made it so relaxing on us.
~ What was your favorite book?
I read The Graveyard Book on our trip to Birmingham for Fall Break and I just fell in love with it. I've been on a creepy kick this year but really guys, you just have to read some Neil Gaiman for yourself to understand the charming British creepiness and fantastic pacing for what it is! You can hear (and see!) Neil Gaiman read the first chapter of th ebook, here, if the idea of a boy called "Bod" being raised by the dead of a graveyard, and learning about the history of the dead, intrigues you!
~ What was the best thing you ate this past year?
No doubt about it, the delicious spring rolls and pho with Kira in Seattle. Also, if you are in my area, I think the best restaurant in town (aside from Two Ten Jack) is Sitar for Indian cuisine. Ridiculously delicious. Try the stuffed naan and Lamb Biryani and tell them Tacy sent you> :)
~ What album did you listen to most this year?
Joseph: I'm Alone, No You're Not
~ What was the most expensive thing you "bought" this year?
Plane ticket to Seattle
~ What are you most proud of?
My sweet kiddos.... need I say more? ^^^^ No really, Molly with her obsessive Percy Jackson reading and (outgoing personality and) love for friends and family, Frances with her meticulous, slow and calculating gingerbread house skills (and many others!) and wit, Madeleine with her detail-oriented hysterical commentary and an eye for order, Anders and his jolly, happy soul and fiery determination and intelligence, Annabel with her sweet, sensitive spirit and love for singing and dancing.... and even little Conrad, who is already the sweetest baby alive.... I'm astounded at God's love that he would give me and Stephen these *gifts*.
~ What do you want to do better or differently in 2018?
I want to grow closer to God this year, but I am praying for *joy* and *peace* and merriment, despite trials, all the year through.
Soli deo gloria!
~ What is ONE way that you can make your life better (What's missing in your life?)
Definitely more time with my niece and nephew, Ivey and Grey. :0)
I need for the "hustle" and also the "bustle" to stop. I think more than anything else, deep and abiding peace is missing from my life. I'm too quick with the coffee and the tongue... I need to chill. out. and I'm not just talking take a chill pill. ha.
~ saint, posts, word:
My saint for the year is St Teresa of Avila-- which is apropos because I love her! :)
My favorite posts for the year were:
My word for the year is BRIGHT. I need sunshine like I need God. So much. This year I am devoted to doing more out of doors. For pushing myself out of my comfort zone. For extending myself and stretching myself in humbling ways.)
Outtakes from 2017....
Me with my dear friend, Libba at Ikea! 💕💗
My very handsome husband :) 💙
Molly Jane in her "Annabeth Chase" costume 🙏🌟
Sweet sisters before Ballet class
Siblings... brothers only 3 days after Conrad was born ⭐
Annabel going for a bike ride with Daddy 😘
Conrad Eugene in his brand new highchair 😍
What are your favorite things from 2016? Bee honest!
I'm linking up with Leigh Kramer for What I'm Into and Kelly for 7QT