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I'm a 30-something wife and mom. My boys are my pride and joy. Together, we are navigating being a forever family post international adoption.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Best of 2016

I can't believe another year is already drawing to and end. As I thought about writing this post, I didn't know if I would have a top 10 moments of 2016 captured and thought I may need to cut it back to a top 5. But as I went through my pictures of the last year, I realized there were SO many good bits, and I actually needed to make a few hard cuts.

So, without further ado, my top 10 moments of 2016 (in no particular order):

Buddy's 1st Science Fair:

Growing up, I OWNED every school science fair. I was top of my class, grade and region every year, competed nationally, and was a coveted after lab partner. But more than that, I loved science. I still do. This year, Buddy was forced to participate in his 1st ever science fair. He chose not to compete (not the move I would have made, but I accepted his decision), but I still had so much fun sharing my love of the scientific process with my Sweet Boy.

Turning 35:

In 2016, I turned 35. I am now no longer in the 18-34 "box" and it was scary for me. But I actually didn't struggle with 35 as much as I thought I would. I am a working wife and mom, trying to balance everything and often failing terribly. But that's OK, because my family loves me for who I am. I had a very chill birthday, hanging out with my family at my Mom's house.

Work Travels:

My job was a big part of my life in 2016. I started the year working 12 hour days, 6-7 days a week. I have learned a lot about personal balance this year, thanks in big part to my boss and mentor as well as my second-in-command and mentee. Through all the hard work and long hours, I have grown so much and found a great deal of satisfaction in what I do. I have also been lucky enough to have traveled to some remote areas of Canada to visit Indigenous communities and learn from their People. For that, I am truly grateful.

Buddy Tries Baseball:

Over the summer, Buddy decided he didn't want to play soccer but instead wanted to give baseball a try. Honestly, we couldn't care less what (if any) sport Buddy plays. It was just so cool to see him ask to try something new and voluntarily put himself outside of his comfort zone. He started out the season as the weakest player on his team, but he worked hard and didn't give up By the playoffs, he was one of the teams pitchers! We were so proud of him - not for excelling at the game but for being so brave.


Around the same time as my birthday, we took a week-long trip to Phoenix, Arizona. It was a nice break from the long Canadian winter we had been experiencing. We got to meet one of my internet adoptive-Mom friends, along with her husband and three lovely (adopted) daughters, in person. We hiked, explored and went to Target. A great family vacation!


This year was our 4th Christmas as a family. I can hardly believe it - it feels like yesterday Hubby & I were trying to figure out how to celebrate Christmas with a tween who only knew the western definition of the holiday from Home Alone. We have our traditions and routines firmly in place now and have learned how to navigate what can be a difficult season as a team. And yes, we watch Home Alone every year.


This was our first big family holiday with just the 3 of us. I hadn't been to Mexico since high school, Hubby since University. Buddy was so eager to go somewhere with clear blue water, and Cozumel was the perfect place. We had so much fun relaxing on the beach, snorkeling, driving around the island, and eating mango-coconut swirl ice cream until we were stuffed. The staff at our hotel (the Occidental) was so friendly and wonderful, too. We were so sad to leave and are already dreaming of our next get-away.

Canada Day:

This was the first year we all dressed in red and white and really got into Canada Day. We spend a lot of time honouring Buddy's home country, which is also where Hubby and I have family roots. But we rarely celebrate the country we live in. I am proud to live in a place where we are actually free to pray, speak, dress, and love however is natural to us. And it is wonderful to be able to pass those values down to our son.


This year, my Mom got a new dog. Daisy is a 7 year old pug and she is SO cute. She is silly and noisy and enjoys watching TV. Seriously - this dog watches TV. She seems to like cooking shows, and does not like anything staring animals. She has been a good sidekick for my Mom, who's last dog died over a year ago. Welcome to the family, Daisy!

Metric and Death Cab for Cutie:

Metric and Death Cab for Cutie are two of my favorite bands. This year, they went on tour together and all three of us went to their concert when they were in town. I used to go to shows every weekend, and sometimes during the week, when I was in my 20's. Now that I'm in my 30's, not so much. It was nice to get out and listen to live music with my boys, even if I was exhausted and my ears were ringing afterwards.

Honourable mention:

This is my favorite photo of 2016. I was home with Buddy, who was playing in the front yard of our new house. I looked out the window and saw Buddy impossibly high up our tree. And, being mother of the year, I grabbed my camera and snapped a picture of him looking toward the sky, trying to figure out how to climb a few feet higher. Then, I asked him to come down. After a neighbour gave me a funny look. I love my sweet boy's bravery!

2016 was a good year for me and my family, and we are looking forward to seeing what 2017 brings. All the best to you and yours and Happy New Year!

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