December 31st, 2016

cocked and loaded

RETROSPECTIVE

The last day of 2016, hurrah! Normally, I would be a bit sad about the end of the year, but I am really hoping that, despite the orange-frosted muffin going into office in my native country, things will get better *pastes bright smile into place* instead of getting worse. After all, things are going well for me and my family, so despite the debacle of the US election, and the loss of so many people I admired: Gene Wilder, Carrie Fisher, Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Harper Lee, Richard Adams, George Michael, Anton Yelchin, Prince,...(oof) among many many others, I am looking forward to a new year full of promise.

Family & Personal Highlights of 2016
  • Spending the mellandagarna and New Year's in Germany with John & Simone and the boys
  • Anders' long weekend skiing in Czech Republic
  • Getting started singing again, by joining Eslöv's pop choir
  • Collecting and creating a family recipe book
  • Being declared diabetes-free by January after losing as much as 15 kilos
  • Going to see Billy Elliot, Kinky Boots and Turandot at the Malmö Opera
  • Karin acting in a short film and an Axis product launch video
  • Martin passing his exams and graduating from IB and high school!
  • Hosting a big graduation party to celebrate Martin's Studenten
  • Karin finally getting her ears pierced
  • Finally getting rid of the fish tank (haha!)
  • A month-long trip to the US which included all kinds of family, celebrations and travel, including a day each in NYC and Boston
  • Liz's sister turning 50, mom turning 75 and grandma turning 100
  • A 3-day family reunion with 63 relatives
  • Martin's first 2 part-time paying jobs
  • Karin getting a job as a telemarketer
  • Martin's 7.5 week trip to Peru (with 9 days in Michigan at the end)
  • Long weekend trip to Berlin during fall break
  • Going to see Elton John in concert, with Karin
  • Getting back on the board of the AWC
I read at least 89 books this past year, according to GoodReads, but it doesn't seem to always count books that I read earlier and then read again, so I'm not sure the total is completely accurate.

Best Books of 2016 (in no particular order and not including re-reads)
  • Unquiet Land by Sharon Shinn
  • The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  • The Blood Curse by Emily Gee
  • A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
  • Maphead by Ken Jennings
  • At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier
  • Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
  • The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry
  • Grunt by Mary Roach
  • Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
  • At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen
  • The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson
  • A Grown-up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Goldenhand by Garth Nix
Movies I enjoyed this year? Rogue One, Kung Fu Panda 3, The Jungle Book, Arrival, Finding Dory, Zootropolis, Ghostbusters and Ex Machina. I'm sure there were more. And TV shows we watched and enjoyed? Bron/Broen, Historieätarna, Orphan Black, Westworld, Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Elementary.

It seems like I spent more time this year on Instagram, finding, admiring and following various artists, so that I didn't spend as much time on Spotify finding new music. I would make a list of Best Artist Discoveries but it would be twice as long as this post, I fear.

Best Musical Discoveries of 2016
  • King Floyd
  • Saint Motel
  • Laura Tesoro
  • Sheppard
Some manageable goals for 2017
  • Walk walk walk!
  • Continue with WW, get weight back down again
  • Encourage Martin in job hunting and college applications
  • Get both kids into driving school
  • Find and buy a new bed
  • Be more regular about posting here!
I have the rest of this afternoon to relax before we have to leave for dinner and New Year's celebrations with our good friends Barbara & Paul. Both kids are coming for dinner, but then leaving for their own parties with friends, which I am a little sad about...harbinger of an empty-nesting future trend that I am not looking forward to. But good food, company and fireworks on the agenda for tonight anyway, and tomorrow is the last day of vacation, so I plan to spend it being a total slug! Happy New Year!