Reflecting On My 2016 Word: Celebrate

I want to take a minute and reflect on my word from last year.  As typical for me, I started off great with my word and then fizzled out somewhere along the way. reflecting

The season which should have held the most celebration lacked it the most.  More about that later though.   In the spirit of local news shows, this post will be a month by month review as I share some of my favorite memories of last year.

Note: I’m going to be linking back to several of my posts from 2016.  Don’t feel the need to click on them all, I’m mainly doing it for my own reference to look back and enjoy the happy memories (a wonderful, benefit of a blog).

January 2016

The first thing I could celebrate about last January was getting back in the groove of posting on my blog!  I noticed I had a large gap from October to January in 2015 and while I don’t post on a serious schedule, I am glad to have managed to post at the very least once a week since then.

One of my favorite low-key celebrations (best kind, no?) from last year was making a bit of a feast to celebrate the Epiphany on January 6th with our small family and a friend of G’s who happened to be over here.


Our Three Kings Cake, J found the cashew I used in place of a dry bean

February 2016

My husband’s birthday is in February and we celebrated that, of course.

I don’t see any specific blog posts about a Valentine’s Day celebration but I do remember doing a fun science experiment with candy hearts so at least we had those at some point in February.


Valentine Science

Looking back, I can see we celebrated amazing spring-like weather in most of February!  Three cheers for that one!  I also had a fun time with my turn at hosting Bunco using a somewhat tropical menu plan.

March 2016

While our stove broke and we had a sick kid in March, neither turned out to be overly serious bumps in our year.  We were able to purchase a new stove and health returned readily to our son.


A new stove and oven that works!

We celebrated Easter by hosting our annual brunch.  The weather didn’t cooperate but our families still came and there was still good (I hope) food that all enjoyed.

April 2016


just hanging out on the roof

April was apparently a rather slow month in these parts.  Sometimes a break (especially after a break…what is that phrase, a vacation from the vacation?) is nice though…

May 2016

May is always a nice month around here with lots to celebrate!  This year was no different.

It’s the end of the school year!  Always cause for a celebration around here.  This year was extra special because it was the end of our elementary years.


Blue Frosting!

My oldest son turned 15.

I was able to help the preschool with their end of the year program and celebration.

June 2016

The official start of summer with quick outings and summer science experiments. 

My Easter day lilies bloomed for a second time!


We took a trip to see family in Oklahoma.

And celebrated Father’s Day with a cookout at my brother-in-law’s house.

July 2016

J and I enjoyed the outdoors with a week of walks around the block. 

America’s birthday did not disappoint me and we had a wonderful celebration at my nephew’s house.  It was also special since my brother came home from Texas to celebrate with us all as well. 

We added a new dishwasher to match our new stove from March.

August 2016

We went on our first (and if I get any input, our last) family camping trip!

Our boys started a new school year and J started a new adventure in middle school.  G got his learner’s permit right before the start of school!

We went to Oklahoma to celebrate the boys’ great grandpa’s 97th birthday!

My husband and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary in August as well.

A photo of an 18 year old photo from our wedding album

I joined a Harry Potter Book Club that I’ve very much enjoyed!

September 2016

I was able to double the fun and host Bunco twice in 2016! (We follow a 16 month calendar and I picked the last date available of one round followed by the first date available for the next one so I’m off of hosting duties for a while now).

We were able once again to go to the first band competition of the season and cheer on our favorite high school clarinet player in our favorite high school marching band.

near Bolivar, Missouri

October 2016

We were able to enjoy the beauty of a freshly emerged monarch butterfly on the evergreen tree one warm evening.

As much as I enjoy watching my son and marching band season, the end of the early morning rehearsals is always cause for celebration.

Another first this year: we stayed home and answered the door to the neighborhood trick or treat calls.  No outing in costume for either of my boys.

November 2016

Whether your candidate won or lost, I think we can all agree that the END of the political ads and phone calls were worth celebrating.

My youngest son turned 12! 

We celebrated Thanksgiving with family in Oklahoma.

December 2016

We attended 2 lovely winter Christmas concerts, one at the middle school and one at the high school.

My forty-something birthday!

A fun coffee date with a friend!

We had a nice Christmas weekend.

In the end, the elf remembered what really matters on Christmas.


I found more to celebrate earlier in the year than later.  I did start off the year and make it almost to mid-year with the sending out of actual paper birthday cards before fizzing out on it sometime in September.

I do think I did remember to stop and celebrate and enjoy the smaller moments this year although celebrate turned out to be a bit of a pressure word for me in the end.  I felt stress that I wasn’t doing enough to make each holiday special or I didn’t do anything to make the holidays (the little, the big, and the goofy in-between days) special and so felt guilty.

I could also blame a bit of family strife that occurred on my husband’s side in August as well.  It made our holiday season a bit more tangled than it really should have been.  However, I will be honest and say I’d probably long forgot my word by the time all of that happened.

Did you choose a word for 2016?  How did it work for you?  Are you like me stubbornly going to choose yet another word for 2017 and try it all again?

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