I wrote nine blog posts this year. NINE. I’ve fallen so far from my original goal of AT LEAST one blog post a week and I don’t even have a good excuse! I can’t blame the stress of having a baby (he’s SIX! 😩)… I can’t blame the lack of sleep (if I get less than 6-7 uninterrupted hours, it’s usually my own fault for drinking too much evening coffee)… and I can’t even blame Trump since that particular stress didn’t really start until November.
I know, I’ll blame the 5th grade homework! That shit takes up a LOT of time AND mental energy. After several pages of word problems involving fractions, division, bar graphs and so many tears (sometimes LO’s, sometimes mine) I simply don’t have any brain cells left for any other intellectual or creative endeavors. Blame the math!
But despite my lacksadaisical posting over the past 12 months, we did do a lot this year. So I wanted to take a look back and review the highlights.
JANUARY – the whole family went skiing in Vermont (and by “whole family,” I mean “almost everyone except for me and KJ”). It was a fantastic weekend… LO appreciated being one with nature on the mountaintop, the Nib turned it all into a winning game and declared himself “FIRST,” (although it’s as unclear with whom he was competing) and HD, well, he didn’t freak out about the ski boots. Success! LO is looking forward to several ski weekends with Aunt Lori this coming season… and also, the waffles they serve at Stratton Mountain.
FEBRUARY – we spent an action-packed week in Florida where the cousins all learned to skateboard over dangerous obstacles and then whipped and nay-nayed to a “professionally” choreographed dance (God bless that instructor and his patience). (The latter was easier to watch than the former.)
Oh and we all fell in love with Abe and Mary Todd, our local eagle residents. (As many of you know, this relationship ultimately resulted in extreme heartbreak when their eggs refused to hatch. We assume this also caused Abe and Mary Todd to split up and seek new partners. We’re eager to see who won the nest in the property settlement when we return in 2017. We’ll also have to come up with names for the new partners, which may be tricky, as something like “Abe and Lindsay” or “Justin and Mary Todd” don’t really roll off the tongue.)
Other February highlights…
LO performed in her first drama-class production…
And HD LOVED watching her…
MARCH – LOTS of exciting things happened in March… the kids met Grammy’s puppy, Molly, for the first time; LO got her braces off; new baby cousin Kyle was born AND HD became the first kid in our family to experience Chuck E. Cheese. HUGE month!
Other March highlights…
APRIL – When I look back to April on the calendar, I see that that’s the month that LO spent several hours a day for four days taking the SBACs (CT schools’ standardized test). It’s also the month my sister and I took the five kids to Mexico. Not sure which one of those would be classified as the more painful experience. I’M KIDDING. LO didn’t think the test was that bad. 😏
For real, that Mexico trip was so worth it for the lifetime of laughs it has given us. If you feel like YOU need to relive it, you can do so BY CLICKING RIGHT HERE.
MAY – Jazzfest or Bust! Or… Jazzfest… what a bust. Boo.
Other May highlights…
First official picture of the BAKER’S Dozen Cousins!
JUNE – June is always a jam-packed month full of end-of-the-school year celebratory events… parties, field day, concerts, graduations, etc. Last day of school, first days of camps, blah blah blah, summer begins!
JULY – Camp, camp, drama camp, camp, blissful all-day camp. And a Phish show! (To be clear, the camps were for the kids; the Phish show was for KJ and me.)
*Another thing to note from July is that I launched a new hobby for myself: brunching. And to more specific, brunching in New York City. After years of being envious of KJ’s hobbies that required his leaving the house for many hours at a time (golf, and sporting events) I finally found one of my own. Luckily, I have friends that have been so supportive of my new endeavor and in some cases, have picked it up as a weekend recreational activity of their own.
AUGUST – We packed up the whole family and traveled to Ireland to celebrate Aunt Lori’s birthday. Yup, we even let the Nib come. It was a great trip filled with family, fun and falcons.
LO and I also celebrated her 10th birthday with an awesome girls’ trip to Maine. That LO is one interesting kid and we both fell in love with Maine, so it was an awesome trip. The highlight for her was catching almost 100 fish during one excursion. The highlight for me was walking around Portland and hitting up all three Starbucks locations in one day. (KIDDING.) (Not really.)
SEPTEMBER – Back to school! We’ve got all three under one elementary roof this year in Kindergarten, 2nd grade and 5th grade. Which means, you can usually find me under that roof as well. Also, LO and the Nib started in the travel soccer program this fall and HD started his first year of rec soccer, which means we spend about 129 hours a week either on a soccer field or driving to/from a soccer field. (At least back in September, we still had high hopes for a great season. 🙄)
OCTOBER – Soccer, soccer, soccer, drama class, soccer, soccer, KJ’s birthday, Halloween.
NOVEMBER – HD turned SIX! Can’t stand it. He’s lost two teeth, now knows how to read and loves to lip sync songs while dancing hip hop. Like I said, I have no more babies. 😩
We celebrated the end of the longest soccer season in history, which as many of you know from my Facebook posts was an unbelievably dismal season for Team Jandora. Our final record (for the three kids’ teams combined) was 5-26-2. FIVE-TWENTY-SIX AND TWO! BAD. VERY BAD. 😩
Oh, that reminds me… also in November, the election. 😩
DECEMBER – The Nib turned EIGHT and declared himself the winner of birthdays. That kid didn’t become any less competitive this year, but he’s still a great big brother and a giant cuddler at bedtime so we’re going to keep him.
We celebrated Christmas with ALL the family and so much love and now, here we sit on New Year’s Eve, feeling happy and blessed, but ready to say goodbye to a year full of ups and downs (as all years tend to be).
I’m sure 2017 will have its down moments as well, because well, LIFE, but here’s hoping the laughs will outnumber the tears, the fun will outweigh the fear and that love will always, always win.
Happy New Year to all of you and your families!
PS. Our family created a Joy Jar this year – a physical jar where one could document a happy occasion, event or moment by jotting it down on a piece of paper and adding it to the jar. It was some sort of Christmas Miracle that I remembered to bring them to Florida (where we are now) so we could read them today, which was always the plan. We just finished reading them about 15 minutes ago and it was so awesome to remember some of our happy memories of the year… some big (“I loved our trip to Maine!”), some small (“play dates”) and some… well, I’ll let this one speak for itself:
Yeah, that was one of my happiest memories of the year, too.