For a lot of people, including us sometimes, 2016 was a difficult year. But it was also one that we'll never forget.
In January we discovered that when you decide to do major reorganizing at home, it looks worse before it looks better. Like, way worse. We also spent a billion hours shopping for a trash can, decided not to find out the gender of the baby we were expecting (at least I didn't, Phillip wanted to know and kept it a secret) and got considered framing a written apology from the Department of Transportation.
When I wasn't driving my kids all over town, I was stuck inside with them because it was too cold to go out. I confirmed that we are not pet people with a frog named Kermit and I was on trend for the first time in my life because of a generous friend and some borrowed maternity clothes. Phillip and I continued the Great Home Reorganization and found a random Celine Dion CD in the basement that we both solemnly swear never belonged to either of us.
This was the month my little kids drew on EVERYTHING, including my portrait on the toilet seat. I blame third trimester exhaustion. With the warmer weather we started getting back out into nature and ruining the outdoors for everyone else, and I discovered a new favorite picture book. And I got a smartphone, which was an amazing development for someone who just figured out what Uber was.
In April I was huge, exhausted, huge, ready to have the baby, and huge. In fact, I took a lot of satisfaction in outweighing my husband (it was less thrilling to still weigh more than him after the baby was born, but I digress.) My 4th grader started playing the recorder at school. And after 2 years, I was finally able to write about my traumatic C-section experience with Baby #5.
May is the month where the heat really got turned up in our family. Phillip got a new job and we had a baby, and I didn't even miss a 7 Quick Takes post. I did take a little time off though, and some of the funniest bloggers I know guest posted for me. On my birthday, I turned 34 and got a new desk chair that is apparently not good for nudists (or so I'm told.)
We barely hung on through the last few weeks of the school year in June. We were literally holding it all together with safety pins and a prayer. Phillip and I celebrated our anniversary and I shared the 13 funniest moments from our 13 years of marriage. I also learned how to magically disappear poop stains from baby clothes. I'm almost as thrilled to know this trick as I am sad that I didn't know it for the first 12 years of having babies.
In July we flew the whole circus to Utah to see Phillip's family for a few weeks. We played with sparklers, had a family reunion, and went on a belated anniversary date to a hotel that may or may not have had snot in the hot tub. There were road races, birthday parties, and oh yeah, one of my kids peed on me at Phillip's boss's house.
I don't know what my family is going to give me a hard time about, now that I've finished these blasted stepping stones that I started making in 2013. We went to Six Flags, got slightly wet going camping, and had a good laugh over all the bizarre search terms that lead people to Unremarkable Files.
The kids started school again and thank goodness for the toddler to warn us when the bus is coming in the morning. I interviewed myself when the blog turned 2, and later that same month I was interviewed by a reporter like a normal person for the Toronto Star.
In October I inadvertently ruined my son's class photo on picture day, made it alive out of Wal-Mart, and worried over the fate of preschool arts and crafts when I bought tubeless toilet paper for the first time. We also took an ill-fated trip to the open house of the newly-built Mormon temple in Hartford, Connecticut.
Spurred on by a book I read, I went crazy and started de-junking the house in November. The kids' rooms looked like something out of an Ikea catalog for the rest of the month. I spent a day melting a giant block of ice in my refrigerator with a hair dryer and the cold weather gave the baby an eczema flare-up so terrible I started putting Crisco on him. And by popular request, I wrote a blog post on all the weird things moms find in the bathroom. Please say it isn't just me.
Things were still looking pretty pathetic in the snowfall department, as evidenced by the fact that my kids were making driveway angels in 1/8" of snow. Unremarkable Files' Facebook page hit 2,000 likes. And I discovered the secret to a stress-free Christmas season: get so sick you don't even care anymore. I can't say I'd recommend it, but it did work.
Unpacking an entire year in just one post like this makes me understand why I am so thoroughly exhausted. Life is good, and even when it's not, the annoying and disastrous parts usually make really good stories.