Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Another Year

1) What did you do in 2016 that you have never done before?

- Visited St. Maarten.

- Began the process of KonMari-ing our home.

- Went away to Sparks camp with my daughter.

- Started a bonefide skin care regime. Finally.

- Became certified in First Aid / CPR.

- Took both kids to Hide'n'Seek Indoor Playground BY MYSELF...... But will never, ever do that on my own again, given that it was a parental nightmare trying to keep track of my toddler.

2) Where did you travel?

Cruised the Caribbean again, sailing out of Ft. Lauderdale and then visiting Haiti (2nd time), Puerto Rico (2nd time), St. Kitts (2nd time), and St. Maarten (1st time to both the Dutch and French sides).

Also attended a family wedding in Banff this summer.

3) What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Surviving four straight months where my husband was only home one weeknight a week, thus leaving me to handle all child- and home-care responsibilities on my own.

(Related: Single parents everywhere -- I salute you, as it sure ain't for the faint of heart.)

4) What was your biggest failure?

Everything about this year has been a constant struggle. I've spent the entire year just trying to keep my head above water to make it through one day at a time.

5) Did you suffer illness or injury?

Pneumonia wiped me out this fall. I was too busy taking care of everyone else, and something in me had to give.

6) What things / people disappointed you the most?

Same as always - just people in general, myself included.

And also the American citizens who voted for Trump.

7) Where did most of your money go?

- Mortgage
- Renovations
- Daycare / School

8) What did you really get excited about?

After several sessions with an Early Intervention Specialist, my boy is finally talking!

(And now it's nothing but non-stop talking and singing and repeating every little thing he hears.)

9) What song will always remind you of 2016?

Humble and Kind, by Tim McGraw

Burning House, by Cam

My Church, by Maren Morris

Honorable mention goes out to Eric Church. His entire album (Mr. Misunderstood) is fabulous. It's a mix of country-rock-blues, and I've been listening to it on repeat for hours while at work. Certainly worthy of all the awards and accolades it has received.

1) What do you wish you'd done more of?

Been more physically active.

11) What do you wish you'd done less of?

Obsessing over things I can't change.

12) Favourite film this year?

Don't really have a favourite film for this year, but my new favourite show is American Housewife.

13) What was the one thing that would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Good health for me and the people I care about, including my Zio and Zia, who are my mom's last remaining siblings.

My Zio is 87 and was admitted to hospital last month for various ailments. I took time off work and spent days with him there, in addition to going back in the evening. Mercifully, he's back at home now, but it breaks my heart to know that this may be the beginning of the end.

His older sister, my Zia, is 90 and was diagnosed with cancer in July. She's currently waiting for a bed to open up so she can receive palliative care.

The final days of life can be so cruel.

14) What kept you sane?

Re-creating some of my mom's best Italian recipes.

This is a photo of the final jar I had left of my mom's homemade sauce, made from the tomatoes that she and my Zio grew in the garden.

The realization that this was the end of that legacy completely broke me. And the thought of having my kids grow up not knowing the delicacies of their Italian heritage was disheartening.

So, with the help of An Italian-Canadian Life, which features some true Calabrian dishes, I embarked on a journey to re-create some of the meals my mom used to prepare for me each day.

I only wish I had started doing this alongside her when she was still alive.

15) Which celebrity / public figure did you fancy the most? Fancy the least?

Still respect everything that Michelle Obama and Andrew Ference represent.

And still loathe (with every passion of my being) everything that Donald Trump represents.

16) What news story fascinated you the most?

The only good thing to come out of the recent US Presidential Election was all the "Jobama" bromance memes between Obama and Biden.

I admit I laughed a little too long over this one.

17) What sports moment did you like the most? 

The fact that this was an Olympic year was enough in itself to make me happy.

18) Who do you miss?

My mom, still, and always.

19) What do you look forward to in 2017?

More sleep, less stress, and a happier household.

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