If 2016 Had A Michelle Hunt Newsletter

It's New Year's Eve Day at the Hunt household and right this minute it's quiet.
Emily is napping, Dave's playing a video game, Cami's playing on my phone and I'm browsing Facebook-I mean writing this blog.
2016 felt really hard. I don't mean hard in the way you are all thinking: lost celebrities, politics gone wrong, murder, crime or any of that.  I mean hard in the way that you are stretched thin and working so hard you feel like you are going to explode.  I didn't explode in 2016 so I say it's a win.
Even though it felt hard, 2016 wasn't all bad. It has a lot more family time and love. Isn't that more important than all that other stuff that the internet wants to tell you is important?
Here's what's important to me from 2016:
1. Cam-Balam is amazing.
For such a hard baby, she's made up for in everything these days.  She's crazy smart and she still has such a big heart.
I unintentionally signed her up for two pre-schools this year. One locally and one on-line.  She's rocking it at both.  Her teacher at the local pre-school says she's the best reader in class and I believe it. She reads better than I did in first grade. She reads books-real books with short form words.
Beyond smarts, she's a great sister to Emily.  The age difference may be evident in a lot of areas, but Cami loves to read to Emily and have her chase her around the house.

2. Hurricane Emily swirleth.
Speaking of the local storm-presence-Emily turned a year old.  She is our cuddly little crazy.
She loves cuddling more than almost anything.  She will take her "bankie" and snuggle up on your lap or next to you to watch a show, videos on your phone or read a story.  She doesn't hold back from hugs or kisses.
Along with cuddly, she is your standard toddler and loves to pull everything off the shelves and cubbies. Toy-carnage follows in her wake.
This year she picked up walking like a champ and runs more than walks. She also talks lot, only a few understandable words at this point-mostly animals and noises.
This year we weaned off the precious binky too. Dave and I loved her in her little binky and blanky cuddle kit, but it was time to grow a little and let it go before it became awful.  The first day was rough, but she took to naps and night-time okay. During the day she had a little attitude to remind us of her resentment.

3. Surgery
Emily was born with a decent tosis in her left eye.  Her eyelid drooped pretty bad. It was so bad we were a little nervous that it would affect her vision.
After a consult with an Ophthalmologist, who agreed surgery was a good idea to correct her tosis by pulling the eyelid tighter.
It was a rough surgery for baby girl, but we made it and the tosis is better. It's not perfect, but it looks better.
We also had a follow up last month, only this time the eye sight actually seemed to be affected in the tosis eye.
We've been doing "pirate baby" practices with eye bandages for a few hours every day to encourage her to use it.

4. Dave's Promoted.  
It's no secret that Dave works hard.  He's really good at his job and management notices.
He got a promotion this year working as a Help Desk Supervisor.  The hours didn't change too much, but he is doing great work with a good team of employees who know what they are doing and aren't too bad at it. ;)
Just a month or so, his department switched the schedule for two supervisors, including Dave. He finally has weekends off.
As long as we have been together, I can't think of more than a few weeks with both of us Mon-Fri. It's been both weird and awesome.
It's opened up so much more family time and even a few more date nights than usual.

5. Friends.
My favorite part of this year by far is my new, updated friends.
I've had a really hard time making friends since I had kids.  When you work full time with kids, it can either make it hard to meet up with other women, working moms or be hard to relate to stay-at-home moms.
I took some scary steps this year and reached out to some women.  It was terrifying and made me feel so stupid and vulnerable.  I'm so grateful that they met me half-way even though I'm kinda weird and made me feel valuable and cared about. My year was so much better from their love, advice and care.

6. Genetics is hard and rewarding.
It's my second year on the Genetics team at Myriad. Working with Genetic Counselors can be so hard sometimes.
The stress level at work is much higher and I took most of the year adjusting to the different personalities.
During this time, I feel like I've made some great working relationships with some of the providers.
I love my job a lot. It's nice to have great working relationships while I'm working at helping with cancer research.  Cancer touches everyone's lives in some way and I love being able to do something about it.

7. Active and stuff with Dave.
Last year I made a goal to just be more active. No race goals, weight goals or strength goals. It was a goal I felt is achievable.
Bam! This year was better than I expected. I have been doing T25 since April and I love Shaun T with all of my aching muscles and pumping heart.  The workouts are only 25 minutes (especially since I usually skip the cool-down-but don't tell anyone) and I can do it anywhere without day care or extra costs.
I've lost weight, clothing sizes or whatever, but that doesn't matter. To me, it's always about how I feel and strong feels good.
One super great thing about T25 in the last month Dave has been doing T25 too. Being a working parent, it's hard to find the time and the energy but he's been consistent about getting up and doing it even when he's sick. I love that we are becoming an active family.

8. Disneyland
We planned our Disneyland trip more last minute than most people plan it. In July we planned an October trip to Disneyland for Cami's 5th birthday.
Disneyland made me feel so crazy though. It is both one of the greatest places on earth and the most frustrating place on earth.
I could talk about it for ages, the pros and cons.
Cami loved it though and that's what matters. Every time she met a princess, she was in a literal Disney Land-a place where only happiness, princesses and villains exist.  It's a place where Jafar isn't a bad guy, he's the greatest and the favorite next to Rapunzel.
I think it was a prefect way to spend her birthday.

9.  Book Writing
Last year I really wanted to finish my book, but I didn't. Life happens.
In case your curious. I'm writing an urban fantasy book about super heroes and genetics. Like "Heroes" with less of a soap opera. (You don't need to give me a "nerd card", I've got a few already.) ;)
I did write a lot in 2016, more than I have in the last ten years.. I finished at least half of my first draft-2 1/2 full character points of view with only 1 1/2 full characters points of view left.

That's 2016 for me, as a person. I said in a previous post that 2016 may have seemed hard, but for me, the good far surpassed the bad. I love my family so much and I love what we became in 2016.  We loved more and laughed more. 2016 will be hard to beat.

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