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Reflecting On The Year

Benjamin BaerI hope everyone had a merry Christmas, is enjoying a festive Chanukkah, and is gearing up for a happy New Year!

There are exactly three things I do at the end of every single year:

1. Review my current budget and plan the budget for the coming year.
2. Prepare a list of goals, both personal and professional, to accomplish during the coming year.
3. Take a minute to reflect on the past year and wonder about the coming year.

I’d like to focus on the third item — thinking about the past year’s highs and lows and wondering what the new year has in store.

Compared to the last few years, 2016 has been one of the more ordinary years for us. We didn’t start any new jobs, didn’t introduce any new family members, and didn’t move anywhere. All of which I’m happy about; we weren’t planning to change careers, weren’t trying for another child, and weren’t hoping to move. So I guess 2016 pretty much went as expected. We did start our flock and built a chicken coop, as documented here

, and the ladies are thriving, producing a daily stream of eggs. I couldn’t be more proud of them. And I did quite a bit of traveling, visiting the Southwest and camping in Yosemite. It was an awesome experience, one I daydream about quite often, and I can’t wait to go back. We introduced our daughter to the beach and she loved it, as you can see from her face below.

Photo Jul 07  4 02 14 PM

I feel like my daughter did more growing up this year than she did in the previous two years combined. I’m sure I’ll think that each subsequent year as well, but this year has really been a game-changer. She’s potty-trained, she can feed and clothe herself, you can actually have conversations with her and tell her to do something, and she’ll do it ... most of the time. She tells stories and has opinions; she will talk your ear off sometimes. And some of the things she says have me just cracking up!

Recently, I put on some funky sunglasses, so I pointed to my face and said, “Hey PKB, check it out!” And she looked at me and said, “What? Your big nose?” I guess she didn’t think the sunglasses where as cool as I did, and yes, I do have a pretty large nose.

Christmas night we were all eating dinner and, out of the blue, she said, “Excuse me, excuse me, I just want to thank you all for making this dinner.” I think our hearts instantly melted. We were definitely touched by the moment, and surprised by it.

Overall, it was a good year. No big surprises or major life events, but that’s okay. I don’t think I could handle those every year, and we had plenty of them from about 2010-2015. I expect 2017 to have a few significant changes up its sleeve for us. Nothing to report at this time, but I’m anticipating 2017 being a pretty big year for us. Time will tell ...