We had a busy and fun holiday season, but we’re also starting to settle back into our normal routine. Both Caleb and Hadden went back to school yesterday. Hadden was ELATED to go back to preschool – he’d been asking to go back every day for about a week. Caleb was, well, a bit less enthusiastic, but I think he’s glad to have some new classes this quarter and get into the swing of things again.
I’ve been doing lots of reflecting over the past month, especially thinking about how our lives changed in 2015. In that vein, I thought I’d share some of my favorite things from 2015, both frivolous and serious. Here we go (in no particular order!):
Announcing the new addition coming to our family in 2016
We found out that Baby #2 was on its way in September (which, unsurprisingly, is the same point that my writing/blogging/commenting came to the screeching halt. Can you say morning sickness?!). While all three of us are excited about the baby, Hadden is over-the-moon with happiness. If you happen to ask about the baby, H will solemnly explain that the baby in mama’s belly is too little so it has to stay in until it gets big. It’s pretty cute. This week, while discussing baby names, he immediately told me that he wanted the baby to be named: “Mario Choo-Choo Train”.
(No fears. That’s NOT happening!)
Giving up eye make-up
This year I’ve stopped wearing eye make-up for all but the special-est occasions. It’s a small decision, but I’m so happy with it and it feels truer to myself. This year I also learned a neat trick to heat your eyelash curler with a hairdryer to keep your eyeslashes curled all day. It is THE BEST.
The Storied Life of A.K. Fikrey
One night in December, Caleb went to see a late showing of Star Wars. So, after I tucked Hadden in bed, I settled in for a quiet evening, complete with this book and a mug of hot tea. I adored the book and ended up reading the whole thing that evening. I’m already looking forward to reading it again.
New Hair Routine
I’ve always been firmly planted in the camp of people who wash their hair everyday. But after hearing my little sister talk about washing her hair every other day and then giving it a try myself for a couple week, I was an embarrassingly fast convert. My morning routine is SO much faster now that I don’t have to dry and straighten my hair every morning! I love that! My hair adjusted quickly to the change and the shampoo I’ve been using for a little over a year now (Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle) is still working great for me. I will confess to feeling a bit like an octogenarian when I had to buy a shower cap though!
The Good Wife
Once Caleb returned from deployment and we got settled again, we wanted a new show to watch together. Enter: The Good Wife. We. Love. It.
I downloaded my first podcast out of sheer desperation this summer. I had to do some in-depth cleaning and was dying for something new to listen to in order to make my work more interesting. After that I started listening to podcasts on my walks, then as I ran errands, and even around the house. It’s taken a bit of trial and error to find podcasts, but now I’m subscribed to about 10 or so that I really love. Caleb hasn’t been a big podcast listener, but as I’ve shared some of my favorites with him on road trips or around the house, he’s getting hooked too.
(After writing this I realized that the podcast I downloaded this summer was technically my SECOND podcast as I listened to Serial last winter. But this summer was when I got started on the podcast kick that has kept me occupied for over half of this year)
Surviving (and thriving) through our first Deployment!
Caleb deployed in January last year and came home the very end of July. We know that more deployments are inevitable in military life and that each one will bring unique challenges, but it feels good to have our first separation under our belts.
Living near my family
In Dayton we’re over three hours away from my family, but it’s the closest that we’ll ever be to them as long as Caleb’s in the Air Force. We’re really trying to soak that up by spending holidays there, going up for special occasions, or meeting halfway occasionally. It has been so fun to see Hadden’s relationship with his cousins blossom – he asks to go to their house almost every day! I’m especially grateful for the way that my family has embraced Caleb and Hadden (and the new baby too!) into our craziness.
Hamilton: The Musical
This was a last minute addition to my favorites list as my sister and brother-in-law introduced us to this musical over the holidays. But we haven’t stopped listening since we got it, so I think it makes the list! This is Lin-Manual Miranda’s new musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton. The music is not what you’d expect from a musical about the founding fathers (think: raps and Destiny’s Child themes!), which makes me love it even more. The music is captivating and the lyrics are witty and the story is compelling. By the time you listen to it a few times through, you’ll know more about Hamilton’s life than you ever wanted to know, but you’ll be hooked! 🙂
I can’t write about it without sharing a few favorite songs, although picking favorites is difficult because the entire musical is fantastic!
My Shot (language warning!) – Hamilton sings this near the beginning of the musical when he’s a young man and making connections that will last into his future
You’ll Be Back – King of England singing to the colonies. This one is fun!
Burn – Hamilton’s wife, Eliza, years into the marriage (If you don’t know the story of their lives, this might include some spoilers). This song is haunting.
(If you’re listening to this musical around kids, be advised that there are a few explicit songs and some sexual innuendos at times. I think that all the songs that include explicit words are marked that way though)
Seeing Brandi Carlile in concert
Swoon. It was fantastic. And it was made even better by the fact that I got to see it with two of my siblings. I am absolutely NOT a concert person, but I’m already excited about the next time I see her and the twins in concert.
This app has been such a positive addition to my life this year! Voxer is a bit hard to explain, but it is sort of like voice texting or using a walkie-talkie that saves your messages until you have time to listen. Since we moved away from some beloved friends this year, it has been a great way to stay in touch. Since we are exchanging quick voice messages (instead of texting) it is easier to do when your hands are busy. Until I started using Voxer, I didn’t realize how much I missed my friends’ voices. But now I can hear them talking, hear their inflections and we can even let our kiddos talk to each other. Try it out! (p.s. it’s easier to use if you find the “tap to talk” option in the settings!”
What has been one of your favorite things from 2015?