The last week of the year is going out like a lead balloon falling straight into the deepest part of the ocean. We have all been suffering from the most terrible cold and haven't set a foot outside of the house since Boxing Day. I find being ill very hard to deal with because I rarely am ever ill, neither are the children really. But I suppose being pregnant just makes it worse. So tonight will see me falling asleep by 9pm with a book on my chest, Cesar working late downtown, and hopefully a restful and peacefully healing night's sleep for our little ones!
Anyway, 2016 has been a strange, interesting, wonderful and terrible year altogether, better than some years in some senses, worse in others, but all in all full of changes, love, friendship and some sadness. Late last year we made the decision to leave our beloved NYC and move nearer my family in Northern California, a decision that still weighs heavy on us. While it's been wonderful to be close to my mum, sister and brother, living here isn't as easy as we had thought it would be, and both Cesar and I still miss NYC terribly. We also know that the move was the best thing for us as a family, so no regrets, just a little nostalgia, and a lot of thoughts towards the next few years and where we see ourselves then. So while the children are watching the Disney version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and we all cuddle in bed, coughing and sneezing up a storm, I will write my own little retrospective of the year, complete with my personal favorite blog posts...
This year two of my absolute favourite all-time artists passed away, amongst many other wonderful artists, some of which were a little expected due to age or illness, others whose death came as a sad surprise to us all. Losing David Bowie and Leonard Cohen sure felt like personal losses to me, and while I don’t blame 2016 for “killing” so many favourite icons I do believe that we were hit a little harder than other years, especially those of us who were kids in the early 80’s.
2016 was the year that our eldest turned two and finally started speaking. All of my worries in that department have disappeared as she now speaks as well as a three if not four year old. I shall have to write a follow up blog post to my previous speech-related one in the new year, especially now that our 16 month old has started talking and repeating everything we say. I started a high needs child series on the blog (Sleep is a Luxury, A Heart Warrior Mum's Account, Trust Your Instincts, Trust Your Child) that I hope to continue in 2017, because there are so many things that people don’t tell you when you are pregnant, and so many things that I feel women don’t talk about out of fear of being judged. While I still owe my blog a 15 month summary for my youngest, I’m pretty proud of the fact that I managed to continue her baby book/blog in the same way as I did her sister’s, because I will be taking all of the posts and photos and actually creating real books for them in the future. In other parenting news I blogged about tandem nursing, rambled about middle of the night and daytime thoughts, dreamt of the beach, discussed my vegetarianism, and talked about how we lead by example. And of course, not to forget, our newest news, that baby number three is on his or her way! And by the way, keeping with our tradition of not revealing the name until birth, this time around we will not be revealing the sex either.
One of my most proudest blog feats this year is gathering and publishing a collection of amazing immigration stories, and I hope to continue this series in the new year too (#IAmanImmigrant, The Ten Year Wait Part 1 & 2, Serial Immigrant, Henna from the Heart, In the Dead of the Night, They Are Coming For You, Female Janitors say Ya Basta). There were so many really awful things that happened in the world this year, civil wars spinning out of control with no end in sight, Brexit, US elections that made me want to leave and never come back (something that will happen once we get everything sorted, as we are a multi-nationality family that requires at least one person obtain a specific visa wherever we decide to move in the world), and horrific terrorist attacks leaving us all wondering if we will ever feel safe anywhere ever again. There were many, many other things that I wish I had taken the time to write about, but I’m spread so thin nowadays, between my work assignments, the girls and just trying to find quality time to do the things that I love that some things fall between the cracks. I did find time to continue my travel memoirs series though, and will continue to add stories over the next year (On Kibbutz Evron, One Night on a Felucca, Falling in Love with Barcelona, Working in the Kibbutz Dining Room, Memories of Poland, From Milan to Rome, via Venice and Florence).
When it comes to time, I feel like I haven’t taken the time to really work on my photography enough, and even the things I have worked on I am so behind on editing! So in the new year there will be collection of air show photos, some of Old Sacramento during the Gold Rush Days celebration, and quite a few autumn photos of the kids! In the meantime I have published quite a few albums, a retrospective of NYC street art that I shot and collected over the space of many years living there, the Western States Horse Expo, the California State Fair, the Chalk It Up festival, the Sacramento Mural Festival and the awesome Art Hotel 916, as well as a collection of photos taken in our local park during the summer months. All taken with Canon, FujuFilm and Nikon. I really want to work on more portraits as well as more horse show coverage this coming year, and possibly some sunrise/sunset photos on the delta too, but that will require some advance planning!
I’ve also had the opportunity over this past year to meet some wonderful, like-minded people via the internet, who have become my friends, and had the honour of having quite a few guest posts published. Ally on Life with my Little Duck published five (!) of my childhood stories, Jenny at Mamazou published my ramblings on tandem nursing, the words “fat” and “skinny”, and traditions, Vicki at The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum published my story on raising a multi-ethnic family, a letter to my little girls on Pabarilife, and my story of unmedicated birth in a hospital appeared on Womb n Wellness.
I also had the opportunity to post some wonderful guest posts and interview some amazing people for From the Inside over the past year: Fear is Four Letter Word, So is Bomb by Simay Yildiz, Raising a Heart Hero, and Raising CHD Awareness with Dara McBee, Ramblings with Charlie Romijn from Thought Forms, Interview with the Pechos Libros organization, Interview with Lynn Doak, Holistic Fertility Coach, A Chat with the Inspiring Jenny from Mamazou.
There were many other posts that have been published over the past 12 months, easily accessible via my Archive, and I aim to try to write more next year, at least until our third is born and then it will be a question of really finding the time! I have been blogging in some form or another since I created my LiveJournal account in 2003, and journaling and writing since I was 7 years old, and I love how far I have come in terms of finding my own voice, writing about things that are very important to me, and continuing to maintain my own little place on the web that will never be able to be categorized. I have some self-publishing plans for 2017, so hopefully they will work out and I can finally get some collections of poems, stories and essays out there! One step at a time.
I wish everyone near and far a very Happy New Year, much love, health and happiness in 2017, and to remember to feel blessed with what we have, and to reach out to those who need it, no matter where or who they are. I’m a little apprehensive about 2017, but at the same time very positive too. Come late June/early July we will have another little munchkin joining us, and while the world as it stands today is in complete turmoil, I hope that we can all stand up together to make some real changes. In the meantime, much love to everybody, and I hope that 2017 treats us all well.