- My dad passed away after his battle with pancreatic cancer in February.
- My (great) Uncle Steve passed away at 90 years old in November. I wasn't able to make it to his funeral. Obviously at 90 years old, it wasn't unexpected, but he was SUCH a cool person and was so pained by the loss of my father...I just wasn't ready to lose him.
- My brother-in-law Christopher passed away just two weeks ago, right before Christmas. He was so smart and kind - and full of life. And so very loved. There are no words.
Those three (four) losses alone are enough for me to want to say good riddance to 2015. Plus there is the difficulty of spending the holiday season planning and attending a funeral only to be followed by cleaning out Christopher's apartment before the end of the year. We inherited his two cats (adorable, sweet kittens) and our existing cat (also an adorable sweet thing) has not exactly welcomed them with open arms. It's getting better and now they are able be in the same room without hissing and mooing, but our couch was a casualty in the transitional turf war...and if you have any experience with cat urine, then you know that it's not an easy thing to come back from. Jess entered the new year unemployed (nothing dramatic, just the end of her contract and she has several promising leads for new employment, and we will be fine thanks to savings...but still, this employment gap is stress she does not need right now). And just to make sure 2015 kicked us in the ass on the way out the door, our washer leaked and flooded our basement. So. I'm very, very tempted to say a giant "Fuck you" to 2015...but I can't deny that it contained some immense joy and beauty as well.
- Outpouring of love and support - Throughout the year people have made a point of letting us know we are not alone. Phone calls, cards, food, texts, and general kindness have reminded us again and again that we are loved.
- Pops and Julian moved in - After Uncle Daniel moved out, we only had a few months as a household with only our nuclear family of four. Pops and Uncle Julian moved in in August and with them came their cat, Chica. This marked the beginning of us going from a zero-cat household to kitty city. As I've said before, living with family isn't always easy, but I really like sharing a roof with extended family.
- Leo started kindergarten - Leo started Kindergarten at a local public school and has really blossomed during his short time there. His teacher has over 35 years experience and he's enjoying every day and cultivating a love of school - which was my only hope for his first year of school.
- Zoe weaned - This one is bittersweet, but Zoe stopped nursing (with encouragement from me) in August. She still asks about it, but over all the weaning went smoothly. It's nice (and a little strange) to have my body back. Up until that point I was either nursing or pregnant (or both!) for six years!
- Mexico - The kids and I spent a month at my mother's house in Mexico this summer. We visited my cousin (the twin of the cousin that passed away last year) in Puebla, we climbed pyramids, visited ancient churches, ate delicious food, explored the continent's first public library, climbed a mountain, ate fresh trout, swam in a river, missed jb, got massages, hiked ravines, explored caves, and spent time with family.
- Started running - After my dad passed I knew I needed to make a change and I started running - one minute at a time, until I was able to finish my first 5k. (I have like three posts about this in drafts...but the urge to write has really been hard to muster.)
- Lost 50 lbs - hand in hand with running, I also made some changes to my eating habits after some major weight gain leading up to and following my father's death. The loss wasn't easy, and I'll likely never be thin...but I'm proud that my body feels like mine again and that I have kept it off for a few months despite major emotional rollercoaster-ing.
- Camping - We managed to pack in two camping trips over the summer including one beach trip.
- Zoe School - With Leo at kindergarten, Zoe has been at pre-school on her own. She was doing as many as four days/week earlier in the year, but we've taken her down to two days/week. While school has been great for Zoe, I really feel like this is my narrow window to really get some one-on-one time with her in. We've never really had that before this year and it's been great getting to know each other in some new ways. At the same time, she's loving preschool and really coming into her own now that she's not Leo's little sister at school.
- Teaching - I actually started teaching at the kids' preschool last year, but this year is my first full year as a teacher. I'm only there 1-2 days/week, so my experience is still fairly limited, but I've learned a lot and found some great joy in both the kids and my co-workers.
- Time to myself/with friends - With Leo in school five full days, and Zoe in school one morning (two for a couple of months there) without me, I find myself with a bit of time to myself each week. I use this time for running, yoga, coffee, seeing friends, or shopping in stores that are not kid friendly. It's not a ton of time, but it's made a big difference in my psyche. Plus, as always, jb makes herculean efforts so that I get time out with friends fairly regularly - and now that neither kid is nursing, bedtime is not as much of a restraint as it had been in the past.
- Fun Home - speaking of time to myself, I had the opportunity to go see Fun Home on broadway and it was amazing. Plus, a day in NYC with other adults? Yes please!
- Hosted Thanksgiving - we hosted a holiday for both sides of our families! It went really well and a good time was had by all. I look forward to doing it again, but this year will forever be special not only because it was the first one in our home, but it was also the first without my dad and the last one we shared with Christopher.
So, life has presented great sorrow and difficult challenges, but we've had our share of joy and beauty...I guess that's what life is. Still, 2016, I wouldn't mind if you could take it a little easy on us, please.