Somewhere Between Darn Good and Dumpster Fire

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice.” – T.S. Eliot

I’m currently sitting in the hospital waiting room for my youngest’s marathon MRI session to end. Rather than stew for hours in fear and anxiety, I’m opting to put together my annual year-end review post.

Honestly, in many ways 2016 has felt like a dumpster fire. Too many beloved people passing, too much prejudice, too much violence, too much hate, too many tears. Not to mention this wretched election. Too much…too much. It’s been really tough on my spirit.

But as I look over posts from last year, in spite of it all, 2016 has been so kind to me and my little family. We’ve seen a lot of change, had a lot of fun. So many reasons to smile. We are so fortunate.

We started the year with the Force.

boys

stormtrooper

And little signs of renewal.

purple-crocus

I got to see my son’s expression when he saw his hero.

drew

After which we saw the weirdest town in America.

chair

My aunt passed away, and I learned about my family through a gold mine of photos

pictures-with-note

…and found unexpected messages of love.

heart

A distracted runner became a distracted churchgoer.

shadows

Floral inspiration was everywhere, all year.

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I had my annual birthday adventure with my mom. It was so fun it needed to be split into Part I and Part II.

side-chapel fountain magic mom

One of several work trips brought some lovely sightings.

bench-wiht-blooms

I became a Big Sister to a little girl who was born rolled in glitter and swathed in tulle.

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Running was still important — and I ran a few races.

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We sat through other appointments.

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And found uncovered words of wisdom.

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My youngest graduated from college. 

Tanner

I took a quick trip to our Nation’s capital.

pair-with-ducks

laughing-panda

And a little further south.

couple

happy

Drew and I ran with Girls on the Run in spring, celebrating the “her” in hero.

bubbles

drew-and-louie

More adventures with Eva the Diva.

eva-sleep

I had two photos accepted into my first jurored art exhibit as an adult.

show

I ran the Hospital Hill half with the help and cheers of dear friends.

start-line

My boys said goodbye to the Rams.

rams

We said hello to the Cards.

kids

And saw Coldplay magic.

coldplay

Drew and I Rocked n Rolled in the Windy City.

me-and-drew start

I entered – and lost – my first baking contest, but my new standing mixer was a winner.

cupcakes

Celebrated the Fourth with the Freedom Four Miler. 

llittle-boy

More work adventures and more blessings. 

prayer

My Little painted the sky on our art adventure.

evapainting

I found a little quiet time.

crucifixion

bike

There were lots of trips to Laumeier, the Garden, and other places with floral finds.

yellow

climatron

My youngest flew the nest, taking us on a three-day adventure.

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kids-and-harry-potter

me-and-my-boy

There were moving tributes in Forest Park.

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And festivals in the Garden.

crowd

Eva and I went behind the scenes with the Big Cats.

eva-and-tiger

There were more signs of encouragement

inspire

…and beautiful walks

bridge

…preceding a very dark and challenging day.

pull

But life goes on and so must we, even when it hurts.

tutu

leaves

I went to a new Garden Glow with Eva the Diva and her mom.

 

glow

pool

I managed to post a new Day in the Life. Sort of.

sock

There was Christmas silliness. Some intentional.

grump

Some not.

violet-tree

MRIs still aren’t finished, but I’ve loved this trip down memory lane. I can wait this visit out with love and gratitude — and hope that the results are status quo.

With a little more than a week remaining, I’m ready to coast through to the close of 2016. I’m counting my blessings, and preparing for a new chapter in 2017. I have very little faith that my resulting grief and fear from external forces will be alleviated. On the contrary. But I will do everything I can to work on the internal and be a force for good.

peace

Until next year.

(2015 is here.  Other reviews: 2012 and 2010. 2013 is here and 2014 is here. Apparently I didn’t post a review in 2011.)

 

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