Looking Back at 2016

Its hard to say if 2016 was or wasn’t the year I was expecting – we didn’t do a lot of the things I set out in my 2016 To Do List but then we were successful with other goals. Overall there were more highlights than low spots and if it wasn’t the most exciting year, it wasn’t an incredibly challenging year either. Here’s a few of our “bigger” moments:

Adventure

2016 wasn’t a huge year of travel for us but we still managed to get out to a few different places. We spent spring break in Fernie and took the long route for something new, I returned to Bamfield for another wonderful week of teaching outside the classroom, and I spent a weekend in Seattle with my sister and dad. Jon and I also went to Ontario for a week and then spent another week camping in BC. My new school schedule gave us more time in the summer to adventure but meant that we did’t get a break in the fall to travel.

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Around the House

Our biggest home achievement was finally finishing the garage! It’s insulated, drywalled and painted and we’ve been using it this winter to do other home repair projects and keep at least one vehicle warm. We also removed the last of the shrubbery from our house, had new windows cut, painted the master bedroom and our baby room, and installed a fan in the bathroom. Numerous smaller chores also got completed and while our list is HUGE, I feel like we’ve finally started to make progress.

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Health and Fitness

Not that I’ve been unhealthy this year, but for a few reasons my regular fitness routine got put on the back burner. I had some aches and pains at the beginning of the year which meant I didn’t run until March but did spend time on my trainer and in the pool. We did lots of biking in the spring and early summer but I let the incredible first trimester nausea get in the way of anything more than walking for the rest of the summer and the fall. I walk a lot – even now that I’ve got the energy for other things – and have slowly started to add back in biking, weights, cross-country skiing and (soon) swimming but (at least for me) working out while pregnant has been different than my pre-pregnancy workouts.

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My epic “bike to school day” in June

Outdoors

With the early start to spring/summer we had lots of time to fit in outdoor adventures. We started riding outside in early March and managed a total of 500 miles over the year. Our biggest outdoor adventures were our 75 km ride along the Sheep River Valley, our week of camping in the Shuswaps and a glorious long weekend of hiking in Skokie. We also fit in several day hikes, although not as many as 2015 because our summer travel plans were less hiking focused than last year. I’m happy that we got to camp and ride so much, but I am sad that we didn’t make a canoe trip a priority for another year in a row.

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Riding Highwood Pass

Personal

On a sad note, we had to say goodbye to Donnelly this spring which was heartbreaking. Losing a pet is not easy – the sight of a Christmas gift bag that he used to love sent me into a crying fit the other day even though it’s been months since we lost him.

On a happier note – I also switched jobs this year which has created lots of changes in our lives. My new school is much closer so we don’t have to get up as early but I’ve got a few more work demands and adjusting to a new place has taken quite a bit of my energy and time.

And probably our biggest personal moment this year was finding out that we’re adding a new member to our family in 2017! Even though he won’t be joining us for a few months yet, “Scotch’s” (definitely not going to be his real name) pending arrival definitely changed how we approached the last half of 2016. I suspect that life in 2017 is going to be very, very different from what we know.

Reading

I read 44 books in 2016 which isn’t the 52 I’d been hoping for but pretty good. One big change in my reading this year was that I joined a book club. It’s been really great to meet and chat about books and our selections have pushed my reading into some new areas. I read 14 books with more than 500 pages, with the biggest of all being the massive Infinite Jest – not just long but incredibly complex. I also picked away at the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge for 2016 and checked off the following (out of 24):

  1. Read a non-fiction book about science: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  2. A middle grade novel: The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B
  3. A dystopian or post-apocolyptic novel: Station Eleven and The Handmaid’s Tale
  4. A book originally published in the decade you were born: A Great Deliverance (1989(
  5. Listen to an AudioBook that has won an Audie Award: The Devil in the Grove
  6. A book over 500 pages: so many, but Infinite Jest was the longest
  7. A book that is set in the Middle East: The Red Tent
  8. A book of historical fiction set before 1900: Burial Rites
  9. A book with a main character that has a mental illness: The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B

All the Other Stuff

Have I mentioned lawn bowling? Although I didn’t blog about it, both Jon and I lawn bowled a lot in 2016. We played in a ton of provincial tournaments and Jon played in his first National event. I became certified as an National level umpire and honed my skills by umping at the Nationals event. We’ve already started planning our 2017 bowling season and it looks busy (assuming we can figure out how to make it work with Scotch).

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Patches! Patches turns 12 tomorrow and I can’t quite believe it. He’s definitely showing his age and I treasure the time we get to spend with him even more. He didn’t accompany us on as many of our adventures this year as he used to but his presence has been a steadying factor in what often seems to be a hectic and unpredictable schedule.

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So, that was 2016! I’m still working to wrap my head around what 2017 might even begin to look like but I’ll definitely be back in the new year with some goals!

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