2018: A Q&A

Another year has come and gone, and as always, what a year it was!

This year I decided I’d do something a little different as I’ve seen a Question & Answer-style recap floating around the blog world. I actually started writing a “normal” review post but couldn’t gather all my thoughts efficiently, so I figured this would be the a good way to recap 2018.

For those who’d like to perhaps play along, here are the questions as compiled by @definitelyra on Instagram:

1. What did you do on your birthday?

My actual birthday fell on a workday, so Kyle took me out a couple days early to celebrate. We made reservations at a nice restaurant, and while we had intended on going to a movie, we ended up skipping that and went for a really nice walk because the weather was so good. While it was a pretty simple evening, it was perfect just to spend some time alone with him!

2. What are you strongest memories from this year, and why?

Having to make the decision to send Daphne over the Rainbow Bridge will always be a reminder of 2018 for me. After being a part of my life for nearly 14 years, letting her go was the toughest decision I had to make all year.

3. What did you do this year that you’d never done before?

Trail races! While it started out with the Foam Fest back in June, I ran two “true” trail races in September and loved them both! Road racing is great, but trails bring an extra element to running that’s a bit more exciting. Maybe it’s because you have to concentrate on not beefing it while you’re trying to keep pace?

4. What did you want and get?

This summer Kyle and I both wanted to be able to do more when he was on days off, and I think we managed to accomplish that fairly well. Between going to the lake, taking the girls to the waterslides and everything in between, we spent a lot of quality time together as a family and I’m happy about that.

5. What did you want and not get?

This is honestly a tough one to answer with a heartfelt response. I think I really “got” the most out of what I could this year, and I’m pretty content with the positive things that happened this year.

6. What would you like to have next year that you didn’t have this year?

I don’t think I can ever say “No” to more time together with Kyle and the girls, so we’ll go with that.

7. Did you make new year’s resolutions, and did you keep them? Will you make more for next year?

I sure did! I made a half-ass attempt as resolving to run three 5km races in 2018, and not only did I meet that goal, but I ended up running nine! I finished one 3km race, one 8km race, and seven 5km races. #humblebrag ;)

In 2019 I’m hoping to step up my game and complete longer distances, with my main goal being to finish a half-marathon distance by the end of the year. We’ll see how it goes!

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?

I think my biggest achievement can be seen when I look at my kids. Isla is excelling at school and Norah is such a feisty little force to be reckoned with … Knowing that I’m raising those two kids to be amazing human beings is something I’m pretty proud to achieve.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I don’t know if I had any true failures, per-say, but I think I’ve learned some lessons this year, like remembering to take time for myself and to not feel guilty about it, or being more present with Kyle and the kids – which means putting the my phone down and being more in the moment. I know it’s something that I can still work on, but it’s something I need to remind myself to do.

10. What did you rely on when you were overwhelmed?

In the final quarter of 2017 I was suffering from some serious jaw pain that was likely stress-induced. While I was prescribed a night guard in an attempt to stop my clenching, it was uncomfortable and didn’t really work. At the beginning of this year I started running 3x a week on the treadmill, and I noticed that not long afterwards my pain went away. So, running has definitely been a new-found way for me to decompress when life is getting to be too much.

11. What are your top recommendations for entertainment from this year? (books, television, movies, music, etc.)

That’s such a tough one because everyone’s tastes are different, but I’d highly recommend everyone watch Ali Wong’s Netflix special, Hard Knock Wife. (Watch Baby Cobra first, if you can!) I laughed so hard! I didn’t watch a lot of movies, but definitely read Crazy Rich Asians before watching the movie. (It’s way better, IMHO.) As far as music goes, I’m like a dinosaur so I’m not down with the hip beats, haha!

12. What song will remind you of this year?

Would you hate me if I said “Baby Shark”? (You’re welcome!)

13. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. (Not necessarily from the song that reminds you of the year)

Oh gosh, I really have no idea what song sums up this past year.

14. What was your most enjoyable purchase?

This is an odd question, but I would have to say the Joe Rogan comedy show tickets I bought for Kyle and I. It was a total spur of the moment decision in which I attacked Kyle with the question of going while he was still sleeping, but we bought the tickets and went and saw his show in August down in Abbotsford. (The show is now also on Netflix, just search Joe Rogan: Stranger Times, if you like crude but politically relevant jokes!) We managed to fit in a visit with our friends during that weekend as well, and it turned out to be an amazing time!

15. Did you travel? If so, where?

We didn’t do any serious travelling as Kyle and I went to Las Vegas late in 2017, but we did burn a few tanks of gas doing here and there in BC. There were a few trips to the lake, a visit to my dad’s, our Joe Rogan show in August … Like I said, nothing crazy!

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish I got out and ran outdoors more in the mornings. I didn’t “discover” the route outside my front door until late in the summer, and I wish I had sooner!

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Overindulging! I feel I used my new-found interest in running as an excuse to perhaps shove a lot of treats into my face … Oops.

18. Compared to this time last year, how are you different?

I think I’m more anxious that I was last year, after a few things happened that has created a bit of a heightened sense of awareness. I’m working on resolving it, but it’s taking time. Thankfully Kyle and I both have an amazing support system who have been wonderful in just listening, and even that helps.

19. Compared to this time last year, how are you the same?

Well, I’m still working to get my Administrative Assistant. I’m still doing my best ding-dang job to raise Isla and Norah to be respectable human beings. I’m still crazy about my husband.

20. What’s a life lesson you learned this year?

Take help when it’s offered to you. Don’t be afraid to say what’s on your mind and express your feelings. Communicate. You are loved.

Here’s to another year!

Feel free to answer 2 or 3 of these questions in the comments below, I’d love to hear your answers!

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Race Recap: Brennan’s Ugly Sweater Run

Remember that one time when I said that the Run 4 Donuts was going to be my last race of the year? I liiieeed …

I heard about Brennan’s Ugly Sweater Run back in September, I believe, but it took me a while to decide whether or not I wanted to participate. (I had no ugly Christmas sweater, after all!) After canvasing social media to see if someone wanted to join me, my mom said she’d come as long as she could walk, and I told her she could as long as she didn’t mind if I ran. She didn’t, so finally at the end of October we registered! Isla even decided to join in, so she walked/ran with my mom.

A little back story on the run itself: It’s a 5k Fun Run organized by a young lady (Payton) whose brother was killed by a drunk driver when he was 10 years old. He was a lover of all things Christmas, so in honour of him, Payton created Brennan’s Ugly Sweater Run, with 100% of the proceeds going towards the Boys & Girls Club Power Start Program.

Our “ugly” sweaters! A homage to John McClane and a sweet little llama!

We had been fortunate enough to have really nice weather so far, but alas, on Thursday we finally got a little dump of snow. Thankfully, the weather stayed relatively decent, so the trail/path we would be running on was mostly clear of snow and ice. The only downer was that on run day the wind had picked up and it was fairly chilly, but once we all got moving it wasn’t so bad. (Thank goodness I opted to squeeze a Santa hat on my head, or else my ears probably would’ve froze off.)

I’m so thankful that the ran was being hosted close to my house on a trail/path that I’ve ran before, so I knew what to expect! The hills were tougher in the cold, but manageable, although having to slide down a path to get to the trail wasn’t ideal. (No fault to the race organizer – Mother Nature doesn’t care about your plans!) I believe Isla slipped a couple of times, but she insisted on finishing the race, much to my mom’s dismay, haha. (The race was two 2.5k loops, so instead of stopping after 1 loop like many of the other walkers, Isla protested and said they HAVE to finish properly!)

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I finished with a time of about 35:15, which I’m pretty happy with considering the weather, course condition, and the fact that I made the silly decision to try out weight training the Friday before the race and exhausted every muscle in my body, haha.

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I’m looking forward to next year’s Ugly Sweater Run already and want to congratulate Payton on a job well done in honouring her brother! The support from the community for the race was unbelievable for it only being the second annual event, so it will be exciting to see where this goes in the future!

Now I’m done racing for the year ;)

Weekend Wrap-Up

Long weekends are wonderful, but even more so when it’s to honour those who served our country so we can enjoy our rights and freedoms as Canadians. Here’s what we got up do on this past Remembrance Day long weekend:

Friday:

It *just barely* snowed Friday morning, but it was definitely safe to say that winter has finally arrived. Isla’s school had their Remembrance Day ceremony and her class was performing a song, so I headed over to watch that at her request. After school Isla had a friend come over to play for a little bit, and then the rest of the afternoon was spent lounging and being relatively lazy.

Saturday:

We opted to tackle our grocery shopping in the morning as Kyle’s dad was coming by for a visit in the afternoon. He and Kyle ended up going to run some errands, so the girls and I bunkered down and rented Hotel Transylvania 3.

I also managed to score my mom and I tickets to see the Backstreet Boys in Vancouver next summer! I was a diehard fan back when they first hit the scene in 1996(?) and went to their first world tour concert in Vancouver all those years ago, so I’m super excited to be going again almost 20 years later!

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Sunday

A while ago I had bought Isla and I tickets to see the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker, so Sunday afternoon we finally got to go! It was a really wonderful performance and Isla loved every moment of it. The cool part was that local dance students were able to audition and be a part of the ballet, so Isla really enjoyed seeing some of her fellow dance-mates perform.

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Sunday evening we had friends visit for a couple of hours, so we had a battle of Catch Phrase and it was hilarious!

Monday

Norah spoiled me by sleeping in until 7 am! Normally she’s up around 6, so when I woke up ON MY OWN just before 7 I was pretty elated.

I had decided that yesterday was going to be the day that I took our Christmas card photos, so I got our stuff together for that and headed off to the location I figured would work best. I like to *try* and do something different every year, but I can only imagine this is going to become more and more challenging as years go on. Either way, the girls were pretty cooperative (partially due to some stern coaching/warning from me), and I managed to get a few decent shots to choose from for our cards.

After that was done, we went down and visited my mom for lunch/the afternoon. It was sunny enough to scooter/walk down to the school so the girls could play, so it was nice to get outside and enjoy some fresh air while we still could! Both Isla and Norah just rip on their scooters too – it’s pretty funny listening/watching Norah try to keep up with Isla.

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After we were done at the park the girls had some hot chocolate and built puzzles with my mom while I had a quick power nap on the couch, haha. Soon it was time to head home and make dinner so we could get ready to head back to our regular routine!

How was your weekend?!