So it’s been 6 months?  Wow.

I totally abandoned the youtube channel I last wrote about when I started working full-time again.

I still weigh about the same +/- a few pounds, so that’s not great –  but not the end of the world. I’m still stuffing myself into my clothes until I work up the energy to do something about it.

I briefly contemplated deleting the youtube stuff just now, but … what the hell?  Who knows where I’ll be in a few months?  Maybe I’ll feel like revisiting that idea.

2016 was bad.  There’s really no way around it and no way to put a positive spin on it.  I just scanned through my post at the end of 2015 and it’s really clear that this year was just … not as great.  It’s depressing to sit and look through happier times.

I said in that post that I wanted to eliminate some stress and stop doubting myself – and I’m fairly impressed that I’ve actually accomplished that – but it has come with a cost.

I haven’t been great about uploading pics throughout the past year, but let’s do this, anyway, so I can look back next year and hopefully feel better about an improved year:

What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?

Nothing, really.

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I’m pretty sure I said I wanted to work on managing stress and self-doubt.

I mostly did that.  I’m likely not managing stress in the BEST ways possible, but I took care of some things that had been bothering me for a while.

Example?  I fired the property management company that we’d hired 4 or so years ago to manage our rental house.  It was one of those things that I wasn’t sure I could manage properly (i.e., finding tenants if needed, dealing with leases, dealing with fixing things, etc.) given my limited free time/energy – but I was always SO frustrated when I dealt the company – mostly because I was frustrated with myself for doubting that I could deal with it on my own. I wanted more control over what was happening to/in my property/house and I didn’t like the way the leasing agent dealt with things – but I doubted I could deal with it, on many fronts (i.e., I hate dealing with money and taking it from people).

Our tenants moved out at the end of October and left the place in somewhat bad shape and I was PISSED.  I was also pissed at our agent’s response.  So?  I fired her and spent a few weeks doing some improvements (i.e., had the floors refinished and had the place cleaned, etc.) and wound up with fabulous tenants and all is well.

It sounds crazy, but I was SERIOUSLY agitated by this situation for YEARS and feel SO MUCH BETTER having taken control.  Also?  Between raising the rent and firing the leasing agent, I’m making $200 more per month – so that’s a definite plus.

So I guess this applies to #1?  I’m a landlord for the first time.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Some friends had babies.

Did anyone close to you die?


What countries did you visit?

Germany and Czech Republic!  This was a definite highlight of the year.  Jon had to go to Germany for work and it coincided with my spring break, so we added a few days and went to Prague.  I spent the week in Germany reading and writing while Jon worked and everyone thought I was crazy and worried that I was bored – but I seriously needed a week alone (most of the day) in a hotel room.  It was AWESOME.

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IMG_3515.JPG Easter market!

We also took Jon’s child #3 and MC to Florida – so not really a “country” – but I’m going to adapt this question to encompass all visits to different places.

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I went to San Diego with Jon for a work thing (for him).

upload Making sure I'm free of radioactive isotopes. 😜😜

I presented at a work/school conference in New Orleans and Jon was able to come with me.  (I actually went to New Orleans twice in 2016 for work/school stuff, but the second time was a quick trip for a conference where nothing fun happened, so I don’t really count it.)

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What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?

Little bit more happiness.

What moments from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Honestly, that rental house thing really bugged me for a long time (years!).  It was pretty liberating to take control of that situation.  A few other very similar situations happened, so I guess the conquering self-doubt stuff is what is etched.

I wanted to do it (stop doubting), I set it as a resolution/plan, I did it despite the fear, and I feel SO MUCH BETTER – in all situations. 

Imagine that.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

See above.

What was your biggest failure?

Weight gain/poor health.  I’m still 25-30 pounds higher than my ideal (for me) weight.  I didn’t really do anything to lose the weight I gained, but I stopped the gain – so I guess that’s good?

I feel like shit, though.  Worn down.  Health and fitness just had to take a back seat in 2016 to some other things that I really needed to deal with.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

No, just feel bad.  I’m eating poorly and I haven’t exercised in a couple months – which I don’t think has happened in a really long time – so I feel creaky and achy and my stomach hurts and blah.  It’s not good.

What was the best thing you bought?

I started to come out of a funk in late November/early December and felt like shopping and caring again – so I bought some clothes that make me happy.

Whose behavior merited celebration?

I don’t know?

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Eh.  I just don’t even want to get into the election because “appalled and depressed” doesn’t even begin to cover it.

I don’t know that I’ve ever been so shocked/confused/pissed.  It caused me to re-evaluate some relationships and my investment in them because I just can’t even deal any more.

Where did most of your money go?

Maintaining life and a household and pets and kids and all that.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Nothing, really.  I’m excited about some things to come, though.

What song will always remind you of 2016?

None.  I don’t really listen to music.  This has definitely been the year of politics and true crime podcasts, though. I’m obsessed.

Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Sadder, for sure.
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter, for sure.
c) richer or poorer? Richer, I think.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

More fun. More exercise.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Eh.  I don’t know. Maybe less sugar/reliance on food for comfort/coping/fun.

How did you spend Christmas?

Christmas with a 2.5 year old is AWESOME.  MC asked for drums, a light saber (this is totally the year of Stars Wars – he’s obsessed!) and a firetruck.  Santa brought all of those things.

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Jon cooked a big dinner on Christmas Eve and all of his kids and their partners came over for that. We had our traditional Chinese dinner on Christmas night with everyone, too. Jon’s mom came for a quick visit a week or so before. My mom is visiting this weekend. Jon’s work holiday party was fun (and gave me a reason to get my hair cut and fancied up). Etc.


The whole season has been a lot of fun.

Did you fall in love in 2016?

I’m always in love. I love my family.

What was your favorite TV program?

I didn’t watch much tv this year.  I can’t think of anything – at all.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I don’t hate people, generally.

What was the best book you read?

I don’t know.  I don’t remember reading anything but work/school related stuff.

What was your greatest musical discovery?

I discovered several true crime podcasts that I totally binged once I couldn’t take politics anymore.  I found My Favorite Murder early on and subsequently started listening to Last Podcast on the Left once I heard about it on MFM.  Now I’m on to binging on other random true crime ones that I’ve found via random searches.  Love.

What did you want and get?

I can’t think of anything I really wanted.

What did you want and not get?

A sane president.

What was your favorite film of this year?

I don’t think I saw a movie at all this year.

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

I turned 36. No memory of it and I have no pics for reference, so I’m guessing nothing.

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

A little more happiness.  Less difficulty transitioning back to work.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?

Non-existent.  I’m having fun buying clothes now, though – so maybe 2017 will be more fun.

What kept you sane?

Jon.  The stability, friendship and love that I know is always present.  He’s the best person I know and I’m so lucky to be doing this life with him.




Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I can’t think of anything off the top of my head. I really don’t care about this sort of thing.

What political issue stirred you the most?

I don’t have the energy to get into this.

Who did you miss?


Who was the best new person you met?

Not sure that I met anyone new that’s overly noteworthy.

This child, though?


I LOVE watching him develop into a person with his own ideas/opinions/etc.  I say this about every age, but 2.5 is the BEST age.  He talks non-stop and is just … a little person.  I really, really love it.



He is the best kid.  Seriously.  Super smart, sweet, kind.  I love that we can carry on full conversations and he just … gets things now. Like a person.



Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.

Just do whatever needs to be done.  Take control. Live life with confidence. Fuck politeness.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I really just don’t like music.


I’m glad I wrote all of this out and forced myself to look back a little at the year.  I’m not as depressed as I was when I started.  Some good things definitely happened.

It was just a crazy year.  I spent half of it in classes and half back at work – two completely different lives.  Health and fitness took a major hit, but I feel like I’m in a new phase of life.  I feel more confident, more ready to be DONE with BS, more capable of being ok with change and stress – and more flexible to adapt to all of it.

I needed to put my head down and plow through some hard things and I did and I think I see the light on the other side.

Some other noteworthy 2016 things: Jon and I celebrated our 10th anniversary (by doing nothing, which is our style, but still – TEN YEARS!).

Also, he cut part of a finger off and passed out and scared the shit out of me and then couldn’t run a half marathon he had trained for because the doctor told him not to get his blood pumping too much, because this would happen:


It was awful, but also kind of amazing to watch his body heal itself. The way he cut it off meant there was nothing to stitch or reattach – so it just had to heal. Crazy.


We have some fun things planned for 2017 and (despite the fear, dread and embarrassment I feel for our country) I’m super excited.

First up?  We’re buying a raggedy cabin (and 39 acres) out in the middle of nowhere in a nearby rural Appalachian community.  We’re set to close in a couple of weeks.


Maybe we’re crazy?


We’ve hired a contractor, so I’m hoping everything will be done by spring.  I’m planning to post here as we work on it so I can track the progress.  I am SO excited about renovating this place and spending weekends out there.


It’s been abandoned for several years, so there’s a lot of work to do – but it’s got good bones and a ton of potential.





Also?  I am graduating in 2017.  No doubt.  I’m just plowing through.  All of my free energy has gone to my dissertation lately.  I’m about halfway done and on track to graduate in the summer (fingers crossed).  It’s going to happen in 2017 because I am just DONE.

Did I ever mention that Jon is doing an MBA program?  Yeah.  He’s due to graduate in December 2017, so 2017 will be the year of FREEDOM.  THANK GOD.  Seriously. 

I am going to do something to celebrate when we’re both out of school and done with classes and papers.  FOREVER AND EVER. We’re too old for this shit.

We have some fun travel plans, too.

I am so excited right now – and so glad I sat down to write this post.

I am going to make 2017 a better year.

I’ll update later this weekend with resolutions – because I love that sort of thing – and because I clearly need to write here more often.  It helps so much.