Wholly hell, how is it that 2016 is already over? This year seemed like the slowest year, and yet I have no idea how it is already coming to an end. It’s so cliche, by time flies. 

Ladies of Birch - Year in Review

No we’re not expecting. The third stocking is Sully’s.

Well, let’s get to it. I’m going to be honest, this post is as much for me as it is for you. It’s really my way to remember the year, and try to hold my self accountable to my resolutions. That said, I love being able to share it with all of you. So, just like last year (and the year before), I’m going run through a few things. First, I’ll update you on how I did with my goals for 2016. Then, I’m going to briefly rush through everything else that happened in 2016. Finally, I’m going to end with my 2017 resolutions. You know, that ones that I am finally going to achieve. Alright, game on. 


How was 2016 for me? Well, you know….


First things first, it feels necessary to check in on the goals I set for myself this time last year. Thankfully, those are also on the interwebs (because I don’t remember them at all). So, a quick trip down memory lane… and we’re back! Apparently I decided that I was going to lose weight and learn to speak a bit of Spanish. Which, went pretty well.

Lose Weight

Ok, so I didn’t write down how much I weighed at the end of 2015, so it’s really hard to say if I achieved this nice little goal or not. Ladies and gentlemen, this is exactly why you need to measure yourself to see if you are, or are not, achieving your goals.

Ladies of Birch - Year in Review

Love. This. Swimsuit.

What I can tell you is that I did lose some weight over the summer, and then I gained it back. Sadly, I am not ending the year at weight that I am happy with, and if I remember correctly I think it’s safe to say I weight even more than I did this time last year. These ups and downs were generally a reflection of my choices. When I ate sugar and dairy (the things I tried to avoid), my weight went up. When I avoided them, my weight went down. When I skipped the gym in the morning, my weight went up. When I committed to getting to the gym, my weight went down. So, the good news is I knew what I needed to do. The bad news is that I didn’t always do those things. Frankly, I found 2016 to be an exhausting year and unfortunately, there was a cost to that.

Learn Conversational Spanish
Ladies of Birch - Year in Review

Just a typical Colombian wedding.

This one is probably a five year goal. I’ve learned a lot of Spanish, and am much more comfortable stumbling through a simple conversation. I can understand basic conversations as well, and my Spanish skills have improved so, so much. That said, all that really has done is teach me how much more I have to learn. It’s a work in progress, for sure, but I am happy with what I’ve accomplished.

Everything Else

So, 2016 was supposed to be the year we started trying to have a baby. It just was. We were going to dash off to Colombia with our friends and then dive into the world of fertility and family planning and all that joy. Of course, I didn’t want to say that out loud last year, since in case something happened.

Spoiler: Something happened. Zika happened. So, instead of pulling the goalie on our big vacation and letting nature take it’s course, we spent 2016 waiting.

Besides that, 2016 was just a grindy year. My husband lived in a different city, for work, so we spend our weeks apart and our weekends driving around the state. Things went well at my job, but it was just work. Certainly, we had a fun year and enjoyed living, at least part time, in Vail. And of course, we did take a fantastic trip to Cartagena and Playa Del Carmen, and a good part of the year was spent getting ready for that adventure. Other than that, it feels like 2016 was the year that just, was. I certainly wouldn’t say it was a bad year, but I am also rather excited to turn the page.

Best Nine Instagram Photos from 2016

Best Nine Instagram Photos from 2016

Oh, 2016. You were a gem , in your own way.


I’m not big on horoscopes, but I thought it would be funny to look back at my 2017 horoscope at the end of the year when I reflect back on everything I wrote here, so I’m throwing it in. According to the The AstroTwins, Refinery29’s official astrologers, my (as a Cancer) 2017 horoscope will bring:

With lucky Jupiter nesting in your domestic sector until October 10, you’re in your home-loving element this year. Family, finding (and decorating) the perfect apartment, and even learning how to cook like a pro will be a big focus. Have you gotten caught in the caretaker trap? Liberated Jupiter helps you take on a more independent role within your family and friend circles. Female friends will give you life in 2017, and you could widen your circle of besties — and even take an epic trip together before the fall! With Saturn in your structured sixth house until December 19, take everything you do one step at a time.

First, I already cook like a pro and I definitely don’t need a perfect apartment (#homeowners) so, I’m already not feeling confident in this little prediction. That said, obviously this is telling me that 2017 should be the year full of Netflix binges (home-loving = couch and sweats) and trips to IKEA (decorating + nesting). #sovague. Or, maybe what I’m getting from this is I probably won’t spend 2017 ignoring housework and being anti-social like I did in 2016? Meh. Can’t wait to find out.

The Next Steps

But really, what do I want to get out of 2017? Well, 2017 is going to be another one of these years where it’s hard to set goals. Will this be the pregnancy year? Maybe. Hopefully. I suppose we’ll see, but since we can’t really control that it really doesn’t make sense to try and turn it into a goal. Will my husband and I get to live together again? Maybe. Hopefully. I suppose we’ll see, but since we can’t control that it really doesn’t make sense to try and turn it into a goal.  2017 feels a lot like 2015 did – Will it bring changes? Will it bring more of the same? I have no fucking idea and that’s exhausting me – so this year I decided to think vaguely about the future and go from there. Regardless of the things in my life that could change, who do I want to be a year from now? This is what I came up with.

  • Exercise five days a week, which should include exercise at least once a weekend
  • Never sit on the couch, on a weeknight, for more than an hour without getting up and moving
  • Eat paleo 80% of the time, focusing on only eating when I am hungry
  • Practice Spanish for at least 20 minutes a week
  • Do not use my cell phone for entertainment for one full day each week

These goals are intended to help me develop habits that are, well, just less lazy. I feel like I find myself getting sucked into the TV and my cell phone and the couch, with cookies or ice cream, and I find that exhausting. 2017 is going to be the year that I start breaking those habits.

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