2016 In Review

I was happy to see that I actually did one of these for 2015 as well, but I also felt like I should really write in my blog more often, just so it’s easier to remember what we did all year when I write a “looking back” post!  Ah well, such grand plans.  I continually felt like there were not enough hours in the day to do all the things I wanted to do, this year.  For 2017, I’m working on balancing that out, or going through the painstaking process of choosing what to let go of.  That is hard for me.  I have so many interests, and have never wanted to shut myself off to any opportunities; but I am hearing a steady whisper this year and it is, focus.  Focus on what is important, prioritize, choose what you want to bring to a new level this year, and don’t worry about the rest.

So without further ado:  The Year in Review…


  • We really made the most of our winter this year and went up to our local ski mountain as often as we could.  Our “trusty” Suburban broke down a few times and left us wondering why we didn’t have a second vehicle that could carry all 6 of us; but alas, that is a problem for 2017.  All in all, we relished every bit of winter this year and kicked the normal seasonal blues to the curb.  I believe Kevin logged 30 total days on the mountain, each of the kids logged 26 days, and I logged 25.  Not bad!
  • Drew turned 13!  We officially have a teenager in the house.  Shoe size and appetite to match… sometimes attitude.  But he’s still a great kid.
  • One of our ski adventures ended with a trip to Ouray and the Hot Springs Pool there, via Montrose where we stopped and high-fived my cousin, Jason!  Hadn’t seen him in about 6 years, I believe.  It was a random and impulsive trip, my favorite kind, always one for the memory books, with dinner at True Grit in Ridgway, as per our usual.


  • Beau turned 11! It’s hard to remember that he’s 2 years younger than his brother since he surpassed him in height this year, and they pal around together with mutual friends often. Beau is as entertaining as always and (mostly) a delight to be around.  He’s developed quite the middle school affectations this year with constant noise making, and harassing his poor mother whenever he gets the chance.
  • Kevin and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary!  We took the whole family skiing for the day and then headed to Glenwood Springs for a lovely dinner at Zheng’s and a dip in the Hot Springs Pool.
  • We finished our 3rd year of home school.  This was a wonderful year, and much learning was achieved from the kids and myself as well.  I am always awed by how much the teacher learns every year; and thank goodness, because my math skills could use the update!
  • I decided, after many years of vacillation, to learn how to play bass guitar.  At first, I practiced almost every day for at least an hour. It took a whole month for the feeling to return to my fingers on my left hand, but I am quite pleased with my progress.


  • Summer started off with a bang!  We headed out-of-town to surprise my father-in-law for his birthday; a huge feat accomplished by his loving girlfriend! Somehow, Kevin, myself, his two uncles, our children and his girlfriend were able to keep from spilling the beans, and I think the surprise was a success!  It was great to see everyone and have a mini family reunion as well.
  • At the heaviest I have ever been, and not wanting to travel any further down that road, I decided to join a weight loss program at our local Metabolic Research Center. This was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but successful in many ways.
  • We went on many hikes this summer; mostly on the Tabaguache (pronounced Tob-a-watch) trails that are quite close to our home.  We did a few larger hikes this year as well including the Monument Trail and the Liberty Cap Trail; both completed with Kevin’s mom, Cherry, who is quite the hiking enthusiast herself! We also took ourselves to a hike right out of my childhood, the Thomas Lakes trail in Carbondale that goes right up Mount Sopris!  The kids really outdid themselves, as this was an almost 8 mile hike, with minimal complaining.  I was quite proud of them and brimming with nostalgia.  This was one of my most loved/hated trails my parents used to take us girls on, and also the site of my first steps as a baby!
  • In July, for Kevin’s birthday, we went on another hike, up Old Gordon’s Trail, just inside the Monument.  About a mile in, we found some giant rocks and began running up and down them, and climbing all around.  Rory was having a grand old time until she chose a spot on the rock that was a little too steep for running up, and fell down, unfortunately breaking her wrist.  She broke both bones, and they were quite displaced.  The hero of the day was Kevin, who somehow managed to very calmly talk to and distract Rory while carrying her on his shoulders the mile back out to our vehicle.  The rest of us were just trying desperately to hold it together.  Kevin and I dropped the three oldest off with his grandma, and then ended up spending the rest of the day in the ER with Rory. Thankfully, there was an excellent orthopedic surgeon on call that day, and he did a wonderful job resetting her arm.  As of now, she is quite healed- though it did take a while for her bones to stitch back together.  Last year, Kevin’s grandmother passed away on his birthday, so for 2017, we’re hoping the only thing that happens on that day is that Kevin turns one year older!
  • A few days later and with a totally unfazed Rory, her casted arm protected by a bag, we celebrated Selah’s 9th birthday at Highline Reservoir!  I cannot believe my baby girl is 9!  She has made wonderful strides this year with her reading and math and story-telling, as well as striving to become the top baker in the family!
  • For my birthday, another couple of days later, we headed up to Telluride, as is becoming tradition, and were as ever, delighted with the beauty of our favorite mountain town.
  • The kids also completed another round of swim lessons this year, and we closed out our summer with a visit to my cousin Julie’s, at her new home in Montrose!  It is so fun having her closer by now!
  • In August, Kevin asked me to sing vocals for one of the songs he was working on, and again for the next song.  A few songs later, I contributed not only vocals, but the lyrics as well.  It seems a secret dream of mine, to write music with my husband, was to unexpectedly come to fruition this year- and we worked on 8 songs together.  (Kevin worked on a total of 10!)  Looking forward to seeing where this new partnership takes us in 2017.


  • School in full swing and busier than ever.  Both boys and Rory are taking classes at the charter school that we home school out of, and Selah still has a reading tutor.  Mom’s taxi has taken on a whole new meaning.
  • On September 20th, I finally reached my weight loss goal!  I started out at 156 pounds and lost 25, putting me at 131.  Since then, I have hovered around 133-135, which I believe is my body’s “happy place.”  I’ll take it.  Have had fun and several laughs to straight up disbelief, buying new clothes.  Thought I would be able to fit back into my beloved Loki snow pants, and lo and behold, they are too big for me now!  What a problem to have, right?  #firstworldproblems
  • With finishing my weight loss program, I promptly switched over to a Ketogenic diet.  This has been a much better fit for what I like to eat, and has brought back some happiness, since I am one who enjoys food.  I don’t really miss sugar or grains, but enjoy drinking coffee again!
  • In October, Kevin and I went to our third show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver to see one of our all time favorite bands, Tears for Fears, perform!  It was yet another fun trip.  We got stuck in traffic on I-70 on the way there, just barely making it to the concert on time.  On the way home, we chose to go the Independence Pass route, which is longer and quite scenic.  This happened to be the better choice, because apparently the alternate route on I-70 was an ice-skating rink!  Thanks be to God for getting us home safely!
  • Later, we headed out to California for a week-long vacation, stopping in to say hello to Kevin’s dad and girlfriend on the way there.  We chose Pismo beach as our getaway this year, and it did not disappoint! I can only say that I wish we had more time to explore the coast. Such beautiful country!  We were also able to stop in and have dinner with my one remaining grandparent, my grandma Marfus!  She is hanging in there at the age of 93!  So glad we were able to see her!
  • Kevin finished my pottery shed!  It is just wonderful, and I am looking forward to warmer weather, when I can put my hands in water that isn’t 33 degrees!  Hoping to be much more productive on that front this year.
  • After MUCH deliberation, decided to go to Phoenix, to my sister, Hannah’s, for Thanksgiving again.  We were so glad to be there.  My parents were also in attendance, and we all enjoyed the extra warmth.  The boys got some lessons in shooting BB guns, and Beau got a very special welding lesson from Darin.  We enjoyed a lot of good food, lots of laughter and many games of Jenga.  The girls helped Hannah decorate her Christmas tree, and a good time was had by all.

Winter, again:

  • Already on the ski slopes again before the new year, and looking forward to more.  Hoping to beat our days on the slopes records for 2016.
  • Celebrated Christmas in Grand Junction.  We are always at church on Christmas Eve, as Kev has played with the band for several years now.  For Christmas Eve dinner, we went to Kevin’s grandparents and enjoyed low-key festivities with them.  On Christmas morning, we hung out at home, around our recently installed, and ever so nice, wood stove!  Yay for warmth!  Christmas evening saw us at my parents and my sister, Ariel’s, homes with several people from my sister’s side of the family as well.  It was “A Christmas to Remember.”
  • We spent the last day of the year with our besties, Adam and Mel, which has started to become a tradition as well.  Although this year, I dubbed it the “Lame-O New Years Eve Party, from 6 to 10”, because Kevin had to get up quite early to be at church to play again the next morning!

And that is our year…  or the highlights anyways.  In many ways, this was a difficult year, a learning year, and I am not sorry to see it go.  However, I felt it was important to look back and give thanks for all the good times, which were made so much sweeter and appreciated so much more because we needed them so desperately.  I believe that 2017 will still be a year of learning and change, but I am hopeful that it wont be as “heavy” as this last year.


My goals for 2017:  (in list form since this post is already half-way to becoming a novel)

  • Keep the weight off, get more toned, continue in my quest for balanced health
    • Drink a gallon of water every day.
    • Work out 5-6 times a week
    • Hike more
    • Bike more
  • Explore more
  • Acquire a camper
    • camp more
  • Spend more time creating art
  • Write more
  • Play bass daily
  • Sing daily
  • Write more songs with Kev!


Wishing you and yours a very blessed new year, with lots of fun and joy!  I hope that we are all able to give thanks for everything, but especially in the midst of the hard things- because that is what produces growth and positive change.  Much love to you all!