2016 In Review

I don't know if anyone had a good 2016, but it's over now and I'm as excited as ever for a new year. It's so interesting to look back at a year and reflect on its events. Obviously, you have a recency bias, so you remember everything that's been happening over the past few months pretty well, but man, I forgot that I was suffering through withdrawal symptoms back in January after I tried to taper off my migraine medication. However, I do fondly remember our 7 Continents celebration. It was our one-year anniversary of traveling the world, so we had a special meal featuring a dish from all the places we've visited. We are thinking of making this an annual tradition. :)
February was basically the month of donuts. We began our Donut Trail adventure and went to all the best places in Butler County. I also threw my back out for the first time ever, but that is a much less fun memory to look back on. :-P
On a much, much sadder note, last February was the last time I saw Aunt Jean. I'd learned that she was sick a little while before that, and we drove up to Chicago to visit her. I'm so glad we did. I had one last opportunity to see her while she was still her spirited, determined self.
Aunt Jean, Gram'ma, Me
My mom and brother came down for their first visit of the year in March.
Francisco and I also celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary! <3
My sister-in-law got married in April, with just a few months to spare before my niece was born!
In May and June, we spent a couple weeks traveling around the UK and Ireland.
At the end of June, my mom and brother came down for my birthday and their last visit of the year before my brother moved to Washington.  Although it wouldn't officially be the last time I would see him because...
we went home the following weekend when my sister-in-law had her baby! Isabella was born on the 4th of July - she's so flipping tiny here!
My friend Joe came down to visit later in the month, and we checked out a couple bars around town - 16-Bit (arcade bar) and The Rook OTR (board game bar). I enjoyed these places so much and talked them up to the point where Francisco was even excited to check out 16-Bit for his birthday!
In August, my Aunt Jean passed away, and my heart broke for my cousin who had stayed so incredibly strong through this painful ordeal. It was a quiet month otherwise, but we did actually make it out on the kayak for a single trip for the summer.
Francisco made it a fun month by leaving me mystery notes and various puzzles to solve.
And we definitely took the opportunity to make lots of batches of ice cream this summer using the ice cream maker I got Francisco for his birthday.
We took a mini trip to Metamora in September and later ate so much cheese at Cheese Fest.
We also went to Chicago to attend my Aunt Jean's memorial service. Admittedly, I ended up having too much to drink or had some Fireball hit me in the wrong way or something. In either case, I ended up making myself sick and was more intoxicated than I think I've ever been - to the point where I'm pretty sure my family now thinks I'm an alcoholic lol - well, at least the folks who don't spend much time with me or know me very well. I'm pretty sure the people I'm closest to know me better than that. :) While it was by no means a 'fun' occasion and it kind of ended abruptly for me, I very much valued spending time with the family as we all came together for the shared purpose of honoring Aunt Jean.
We took a trip to Asheville in October and just spent some time driving around the mountains.
In shocking news, Trump won the presidency in November.
We got some awesome photos of the supermoon.
We stayed home on Christmas Day this year, but prior to that, we were excited to have Francisco's family and my family down in mid-late December. It was Bella and Nick's first visit to the condo ever, and it had been well over a year since we'd had Jaz and Martha down. It had also been a year since my dad had visited.
We have a lot of ideas for the future, but so many are just vague notions at this point. I think we're going to kind of treat this as a test year, and see what our possibilities might be. I know we should be setting more specific goals in terms of saving money and things like that, but for now, we're just going to be mindful of things and try to be more frugal without compromising our current lifestyle too much.  Just kind of see where we end up. We're still figuring out the unknowns in life one day at a time!


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