Friday, January 13, 2017

2016 in Review

It's New Year's Eve and time to write my annual Year in Review post. 

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before? Met with a Psychologist and Psychiatrist regarding one of our children. (The Psychologist was somewhat helpful. I was not at all impressed with the Psychiatrist and did not feel good about the medication she prescribed so we're not going that route.)
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?  Some, yes. I will make two or three attainable goals. 
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No, not this year. 
4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes. My Paternal Grandfather, Mel Roberts, passed away on April 1, 2016. He had said several times that the only reason he was still around was to take care of my Grandma so it wasn't surprising that he died only six months after her. His health was not good. He was in an assisted care facility, temporarily, when he passed. My cousin, Britney, worked as a nurse there. She said he got up that morning and had oatmeal and did his physical therapy and seemed fine. Later that day, she was in his room with him and he started acting strangely. She said he started talking about how there were so many babies everywhere and then he said, "I'm dying" and he shut down. He had asked not to be resuscitated so the staff did not resuscitate him. I also want to note he told my sister, Lindsey, previously that he had had experiences since my Grandma's death where he spoke with her and she spoke to him. He didn't go into detail about it but I have no doubt that he did. I miss him but I'm glad he is no longer in pain and restricted by his aged, sick mortal body. I am glad he is with his wife and other family members who have gone on before him. He was a good man, one I admire and appreciate. One thing his Bishop said about him at his funeral is that he always expressed gratitude, even when he was in pain. I love that about my Grandpa. I try to be that way too. 
5. What countries did you visit? Maybe someday. 
6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016? A cleaner, more organized home (especially our bedroom). I really struggle to keep up with it with the demands of our children. I feel like I can only keep up with the basics. Our home isn't dirty and unkept but I feel like the movie Groundhog's Day where I do dishes, laundry, sweep, mop, vacuum and you can't even tell by the end of the day. It's frustrating living that way. Our kids do their contributions but it takes a lot of effort to make sure that gets done and takes away from me doing my jobs. 
7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory and why? December 7, 2016 (the day I found out I'm pregnant with our fourth child!!). 
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Being a good mom to three kids. It takes all I have. 
9. What was your biggest failure? Nothing big - just little frustrations - things I try to be better at and then let slip. 
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing serious. 
11. What was the best thing you bought? Synthetic grass for our backyard. This is what I asked for for Christmas. I want the backyard to be a nice place for the kids to play. We also got the kids a big trampoline and sandbox for Christmas and Wendel is still working on the clubhouse for them. I'm excited to see it all come together.   
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Eleanor continues to do well with the challenges she faces with her eye. She doesn't like patching but she does it, she doesn't like having her contact taken out and put in, but she willingly puts her arms down at her sides so I can sit over them when it's time, and she continues to have a happy, peaceful disposition. Josh has made big strides with potty training this year. In the past several months, he has gone from insisting on only going in his diaper to going pee on his little froggy potty and not wearing a diaper at night. He does fantastic with this and hardly ever has an accident (sometimes at night but not always). He is still working on overcoming his fear of going #2 in Froggy and extreme anxiety of sitting / going on a big toilet but I'm proud of the steps he has made so far. Oliver and I have been working a lot on controlling his emotions. I get a babysitter once a week and spend quality 1:1 time with him (we often go through his workbook "What to Do When Your Temper Flares" and play soccer or get frozen yogurt). I can see some improvement. It is nice to see him making efforts and gaining some confidence in this area. 
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? People I hear about on the news. Sad stories and disappointments in the human race. Still. Always. 
14. Where did most of your money go? The Casa Grande house Wendel is flipping, groceries, our backyard. 
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Finding out I am expecting our fourth child!! (Due August 13, 2017)
16. What song will always remind you of 2016? "Cheap Thrills" by Sia, "Can't Stop the Feeling" by Justin Timberlake, "Cake by the Ocean" by DNCE, "My House" by Flo Rida (these are from my dance class), Stressed Out by 21 Pilots, Ride by 21 Pilots and "Hallelujah" by Cinematic Pop (we went to this concert. I love this song). 
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Just as happy. 
b) thinner or fatter? A little fatter, probably, due to being pregnant. 
c) richer or poorer? Richer, both financially and by way of feeling blessed with our three beautiful children. 
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? My answer is always the same for this question. I always wish I had more time to work on family history - mostly our kids' books. It's very important to me and I want to make it a priority but can't keep up right now with even the basics. I'm just so exhausted. But I have no regrets about the amount of time I spend with our children. That takes priority. I also love that I'm able to keep up with their blogs, which is very important to me. I really want to print their blogs into books like year. 
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? No big regrets in this area. 
20. How did you spend Christmas? Christmas with our kids (and Wendel's sister, Bethaney, and her husband, Jonathan, who had our name for Christmas this year and wanted to watch us open their gift) in the morning and then we went to Wendel's parents' house in the evening. 
21. Did you fall in love in 2016? I will give the same answer as last year because I still feel the same: More in love with my family. Our kids our amazing, my husband is wonderful...I feel incredibly blessed. 
22. What was your favorite TV program? Wendel and I are enjoying "Once Upon a Time" right now. We don't watch much TV but this is a fun one. 
23. What was the best book you read? "Raising Your Spirited Child" by Mary Kurcinka. I liked this book because I felt like I wasn't alone. Other people have been down the road of raising a spirited child. I had a support group, even if only in a book. 
24. What was your greatest musical discovery? Cinematic Pop. Such amazing talent! Wendel and I went to high school with the writer and conductor, Rob Gardner, as well as some of the people in the group. 
25. What did you want and get? Synthetic grass in our backyard. Wendel is almost done installing it. Yay! 
26. What did you want and not get? Nothing comes to mind. 
27. What was your favorite film of this year? Nothing comes to mind. We don't go to see many movies. Life is busy. 
28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 37 this year. Birthdays are pretty low-key. I honestly don't remember much about it. I'm sure it was good but a lot has happened since then. Plus pregnancy brain. 
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I feel like having a clean and organized home + having time to spend on family history stuff would bring satisfaction, but on the other hand, I would have to give up other things to make those happen and I'm not sure the tradeoff would be worth it. I feel like I'm keeping the most important things as the most important things right now. 
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016? I look and dress like a mom most of the time. It's who I am. 
31. What kept you sane? My answer is the same as last year: Wendel. Always Wendel. We're in this crazy, survival time together. Also, my testimony keeps me grounded. I would be a different person without it, I think. 
32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? None, really.
33. What political issue stirred you the most? The election this year was agonizing. I didn't identify with any of the candidates and went back and forth for a long time on voting for Trump, just to vote against Hillary, or voting third party, because I couldn't stand to vote for either Trump or Hillary. I liked some things about Hillary: her views on immigration and empowering girls to follow their dreams. I did not agree with her liberal views of spending, her stance on gun control, and especially her view of abortion (supporting abortion at 36 weeks, which she says is due to the safety of the mother, but there are other ways to ensure her safety without aborting), among other things. I also felt she was not trustworthy. I just didn't feel good about her. The same goes for Trump. I couldn't trust him and was appalled by the way he  has treated women in the past. I don't agree with his stance on immigration (breaking up families to send people back to Mexico, including children) but I agree with several of his other policies. In the end, I voted third party. It felt like a lose / lose / lose situation. 
34. Who did you miss? Same as last year: I miss my sister, Lindsey, a lot. I love that we're closer since she had a baby. We're finally at the same place in life (we're nine years apart) and I love being able to relate with her. 
35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015: Just because something is difficult doesn't mean it isn't right. Similarly, just because something is right does not mean it's going to be easy. In fact, it usually isn't. I have seen this several times throughout my mission, being engaged to and marrying Wendel and the trial of my faith that went along with that, going to Graduate School while being pregnant and having our first child, moving to Arizona, and most recently, the decision to have a fourth child (we received such strong, undeniable promptings about having another child but it is definitely not easy being pregnant in my late 30s while taking care of three other active, demanding children). 
36. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: 
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy, never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise

[Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing by Robert Robinson] *My favorite hymn. 

I chose these lyrics because I feel my Heavenly Father did have to tune my heart to be in accordance to His will (regarding having another child) and I have definitely seen many streams of mercy throughout this past year. Tender mercies which definitely call for praise. Tender mercies with Eleanor's eye, her surgeries, Josh's hand surgery going well (and his accident not being more severe), getting through his anxiety (from the accident) with therapy, making strides with Oliver, being strengthened to meet the demands before us (with family, callings, Wendel's job), having the Spirit as our companions to guide us through this life, having good friends, support from family, being blessed by Wendel's job, and so many other things. It has certainly been a challenging year but it has been filled with too many blessings to count. 

37. What are your resolutions for 2017? I would like to set up a better system for backing up and streamlining the photos we take. Organization and family history are a given. 

1 comment:

Mel said...

Congratulations, Ashley, on your pregnancy! I'm so happy for you guys! Your family is adorable. You seem like such a great mom. In just a few short years, you will have a lot more time for family history and your own hobbies when your kids are in school. I'm not one of those people that would ever say "So enjoy this time while you can!" Ugh, most people are already striving to enjoy it, duh! And to be honest although I miss my sweet baby/toddler faces, this stage is pretty dang awesome! Love you to, friend.