back to blogging

I have not been blogging much. Life with twin toddlers, homeschooling, and my job has really been a lot, and to be honest, I struggle with my mental health on an almost daily basis. The days that I’m home with the kids without my wife I find especially taxing. I often cry. I am so sensory defensive, that the constant noise and touch really puts me on edge. I also have a hard time with visual clutter, and I’m sure that you can imagine there is SO MUCH mess and clutter with four kids! We did clean out our garage and back patio to use as space, which was helpful, but it is also more space to clean up. It seems impossible to keep on top of everything.

I used to be the type of mom who prided myself on taking the girls on adventures, learning from exploring our local area as well as places farther away. It is just too much with all four. Even the trips we have taken have felt almost unbearable and miserable to me. I never dreamed I’d be the type of mother who finds mothering so painful. I might be getting old… I feel I’ve aged 10 years or more since the twins were born. My face in the mirror is one I hardly know. My energy is always low. I feel it’s hard to get up and get moving all day long. I’ve had labs done, and nothing physical has shown up. I’ve lost over 20 pounds, and I still don’t feel better. I have a job that for the most part I like, and find fulfilling enough. It’s not like it’s an amazing dream job, but it’s good enough that I’m content to stay there for a long time. I have a wonderful, happy marriage. I enjoy homeschooling, planning the curriculum, learning alongside the girls, and spending much more time with them than I would get to if they went to school.

But I struggle. I struggle so much. The mess, the screaming and shrieking, and the toddlers clawing or jumping on me really make me feel a sort of insanity. I often burst into tears when they make yet another huge mess. I feel knots in my stomach thinking of spending a whole day doing that. Do other twin moms (or any moms) also feel the same? Maybe we are all sitting in our homes, silently drowning. Maybe it would have been easier if my sister, friends, or other family members were around. Maybe I have developed more mental health problems than I had the first time I had a toddler. It’s hard to say.

I have stopped writing. I stopped blogging or journaling. I have stopped sharing myself much with the world, except for some facebook posts of events or shared instagrams about certain topics of interest. There just isn’t much to share. The same droning on and on, mindless venting and complaining about toddlers, messes, finances, and all of my parenting mistakes. I have stopped wanting to travel, or at least the thought of traveling with all the kids is a strong deterrent. There are some places in this country I’d like to see, but I no longer care if I go to other countries. This was such a huge desire for my whole life until recently, it feels shocking to write it, but also it is very true. I have stopped enjoying it when I do travel. I just want to go home and be done. I am unable to financially afford 6 plane tickets to anywhere, in any case, even to make it home to see family in Michigan. I have developed a fear of flying that I never used to have. I feel like avoiding it altogether. On my days off, I have started wanting to just… stay home. Not go to parks or museums or anywhere. Just stay home, and bear it. Everything feels much too hard.

I got a certain journal for Christmas that I wanted, and have yet to even open it. I can only rarely do things I like (read a book, do a puzzle, sit quietly in nature) so most of my “down time” is spent on screens. I sometimes want only one thing: to sleep. Sleep just a little more. I am often very homesick, but not for any home that exists anymore. I miss my grandma’s house, my grandparents, knowing that I could “go home” and they would be there. I miss lying in the comfortable saggy old bed in the parlour bedroom, listening to the news from the livingroom that my grandparents were watching, moonlight coming in through the window over our fields. I miss feeling that I was walking on the blades of grass, small stones and dirt paths, that my ancestors walked upon, and knowing I was in my place. I miss the smell of Midwestern rain, the crisp fall breeze, the damp grass in the morning, the silence of a snowy day. Sometimes it feels like I will never truly be home again. Certainly, the property being sold to people I don’t like, makes it impossible to even think of that place as home even by association.

Mostly, I miss feeling that I am a person of my own. That I have a self. It is hard to remember that feeling, even. Who was that person that loved to travel? That sang along passionately to favorite songs? Who liked to do things, got excited, had things to write about? I barely know.

This is perhaps just what it means to grow old. Maybe my grandmother felt the same sense of loss and distance from her younger self as her children got older. Maybe by the time they were grown she was someone else entirely. Maybe she wished she could get a little bit of the younger woman back, or maybe by the time she was my grandma, she no longer wanted to. I wish she was here to ask.

dreams of travel

I had originally started my trip to California with the goal of traveling most of the year, and spending summers at home in Michigan. It definitely didn’t turn out that way! Although I would still ideally love to be traveling much of the time, there were so many reasons that I changed my plans. Primarily, because I fell in love with an amazing person who stole my heart and even made me want to get married (something I swore I’d never do!). She couldn’t leave her town, so I more than willingly moved there.

But that wasn’t all… my daughter didn’t turn out to be the type to do well with full-time travel. While she loved trips, she wanted to “go home” more than anything after a week. When she realized we were staying in California, it set off years of “I miss Michigaaaaaan!” crying spells. She still tells me, 3 1/2 years later, that Michigan is still home. She has a lot of anxiety, and moving didn’t help that one bit. In fact, it set her back a lot in terms of hard behavior… so there was no way I could keep moving around with her. She’s my heart, my everything, and I’d do anything to give her the stability she needs to be happy. To this day, she still wants to go back to Michigan, but she also loves her home here. She’s a total homebody! Who knew?

Then there is work. I seriously cannot do travel nursing… I’m just not flexible enough to keep learning different systems, different rules, different places that things are kept. I only somewhat enjoy and get satisfaction from my job when I feel a sense of mastery and can move up in the hierarchy ladder. So when I went to Stanford, I decided that would be it for me. I’m staying until the bitter end. And it was 100% the right decision! I love my unit, I love all of the experience I’ve gotten, I love being part of committees and doing charge nurse. For the first time in a very long time, I like my job and feel invested in it.

So, I don’t travel around the world for now (well, no one is at this point, thanks to ‘rona). I do get to experience beaches, cliffs, forests, hills, and all of the varied ecosystems around the Bay Area! I’m also close to one of my favorite cities ever, San Francisco. And I make the best money a nurse can make, on top of it all. I don’t have a big old farmhouse withe nooks and crannies like I’d like, but I still have my lake cottage and I have big goals for it. It will be my dream escape as I redo it from top to bottom. We have taken lots of trips to national parks, Disney Land, and Washington (my wife’s home state), and once we can move around again, I’m sure we’ll travel farther out once more. (Hello, cheap flights to Hawaii from the West Coast!)

And lets be real… one day all four of our baby birds will fly the coop, and we can travel and do whatever we want. Hopefully with our grown up kiddos, too!

Local beauty… just a quick drive away, beautiful lush mountains

they’re here!

We have twinsies! We are beyond exhausted, running on only a few hours of sleep per night. Good god. The first 24 hours was the hardest, because the boys were starving and frantic for milk that hadn’t come in yet. We had to start snaking a little tube into their mouths while they nursed and feeding them. They are great breastfeeders, there just isn’t enough colostrum to fill their little tummies! So basically they were nursing and fussing around the clock, until we started supplementing. But my wife’s milk is coming in more and more, so we’re hoping for a great first weight check tomorrow!

The birth went smoothly, and we had only two small snags: Baby B, Basti, lost too much weight the first day (11%), and Lindsey fainted after her first shower. But everything went fine other than those things!

I missed M, my original baby, while at the hospital for 3 days. We’ve been delirious, hallucinating even, on so little sleep. People have sent food, and money, to help us, which is a godsend. My mom has helped by staying at home with the girls, making breakfast, doing laundry, and so many people have chipped in to provide transportation for the big girls’ school and other things. It honestly takes a village, and I haven’t been afraid to ask for help! We’ll take all the help we can get!

One funny thing that happened is that we got a good look at the placenta after, and it appears not to be a single placenta, as all the high-risk perinatologists thought! It is, instead, two placentas fused together. Incredibly rare! But this also means the boys could be fraternal, not identical! We’ll only know by doing a DNA test. The pathology of the placenta will also confirm that it was two placentas, not one.

From Minnesota Center for Twin and Family research:

Though fraternal twins have their own separate placentas, sometimes the two fertilized eggs implant close to each other in the uterus, which can result in their placentas fusing. The two fused placentas look like one placenta, causing them to be mistaken for identical twins.

This is a fairly common mistake; as many as twenty percent of all twin births are misidentified as identical or fraternal. This confusion is one reason why we take special steps, such as sometimes taking blood, to determine if twins are identical or fraternal.

So! They appear to not be mo-di twins at all, but fused di di twins! Crazy! Sometimes they look identical, and sometimes they don’t, so the jury is still out. Personality-wise, Mr. Joe is the stronger sucker, and usually more demanding as far as wanting to be held, or wanting to eat. Basti is more laid back, ok with lying flat in a bassinet to sleep while swaddled, and a sleepy feeder who sometimes needs lots of encouragement to finish a meal. They both weigh pretty much the same and were the same length. They have medium to light brown hair, and very dark blue eyes! They were both born with the same sacral dimple, no birth marks, and perfectly formed everything.

Over and out… struggling through the first stages of twin mom life, but happy to have them here!

Baby A (Mr. Joe) and Baby B (Basti)

bomb blast

My precious kitty, aged 16, was hit by a car a few nights ago. It feels like a bomb has gone off in my chest, the way grief does feel. She has been my friend, companion, and family member since I was 19 years old. She gave me such happiness just by being around. I’m tormented by thoughts of her lying on the side of the road, suffering and alone. I’m wracked with guilt that I didn’t keep her in at night (she would’ve hated it, but still). The cycle of grief, the fear of losing other pets and family members, the constant tears, the sensation of being irrevocably broken inside… it’s all there, just as it would have been if she were a person.

Finding out at work was terrible. I was forced to finish 2.5 hours of my shift while intermittently running to the break room to sob, and trying desperately to stop my tears while I cared for patients. (Google “how to stop yourself from crying for some tips and tricks.) Then I cried so hard in my car when I got out that I couldn’t drive at first.

It’s been so hard to do anything, let alone work on getting ready for the twins (due in 3 weeks!). Everything is just hard, when your heart is so broken.

California, what are you doing to me?

Yesterday we went to the beach. I walked to the edge of this continent and felt a sense of coming home. The incoming waves glided slowly toward me and kissed my feet before receding back with the tide. I felt the full intensity of the sun shining right through me. M and I ran across the sand, through the shallow pools, laughing and squealing, ageless. Hours passed and we felt not a single minute. The ocean breakers in the distance rose and fell and crashed, like the inhale and exhale of breath.

The other day I was driving back from East Bay, and somehow got routed down a rural road. We wove through the emerald hills, while the sun sank down and tinted them gold. I pulled over three or four times just to take photos, just to let my eyes absorb it all. Is this the same country I’ve always lived in? Has it always been so beautiful? Why do I love these hills in a way that only someone born there should?

Not to cheapen the poetry with finances, but my paychecks are now rolling in every week. I can afford to pay my bills. I can afford childcare. I can afford to send M to a Montessori through 8th grade. I can even save some money. A huge weight has lifted off of me… oh my god, I can be a single mom here and be ok. They pay nurses here what I feel like I actually deserve to earn most nights. 

I was not ok in Michigan. I was alone, I was broke and going into debt, I was worried about child care, about putting M in a school that wasn’t the best for her just because it was free. Nothing was coming together. Worse, it was all falling apart. I felt trapped, stuck, like being in a relationship you’ve long concluded was unhealthy, but were never able to repair no matter how you tried. And yet I’d known nothing else, so I thought surely it was better than any alternative. But I was wrong about that. Now that it feels like I’m standing in the clear light of day, I can see that I was so dangerously on the edge of sinking into complacency and old, fruitless patterns of thought and emotion. Thank you thank you to the universe, god, my inner self, all of it, for pushing through the fear and making the leap. It wasn’t easy to shed so much old skin, but I have not one single regret now. I have no desire to look back, because my forward seems so amazing.

I have a chance to begin again. I can be who I truly am, who I know I must be. Now I can breathe. I’m finally breathing. The ocean called to me and I came: now I know it’s all going to be ok. Whatever the future brings, I will never forget this chance I’ve been given, this freedom and weightlessness.

Lucky. Blessed. Gratitude. That’s all I feel right now.

still alive

I’m still alive, promise. Thanks to everyone who wondered! I did my week of classroom orientation, which was a great week. I met other travelers, did fun things with M, had play dates with other moms. Then reality hit- I had to actually work on the floor. My anxiety was so high, I just wanted to puke and cry the entire day, but once I was actually there it was a little better. The second night was a little better than the first. If only I could’ve brought my last unit and job with me on my back. Then my life would be perfect.

Tomorrow is my first night on my own, without a preceptor. Pray for a manageable assignment and friendly co-nurses on that night for me, please! I need it. I’m a ball of nerves in that place. It is so hard to be new again, and I’ve actually cried for my old job.

M is doing great in school and swimming. But my going back to work was definitely hard on her. She has gone back to crying that she wants to go home to Michigan. The mom guilt is hard. Being anxious and panicky again, for the first time in years, is hard. But I’m pulling out my old tricks and telling myself that if I hate this hospital, I can leave in 11 weeks. Telling myself it’s normal to feel this way. Surely I felt nervous when I became a new nurse? When I was new in ICU? I just really miss knowing what I’m doing. I took so much pride in myself as a nurse, and now I feel like I’m back at rookie level.

In other news, I’m in a great place to protest the incoming government! Women’s march on Saturday, should be big!

“one always begins to forgive a place as soon as it’s left behind”

Quote by Charles Dickens.

I read this today and it is so right on. I was getting so frustrated with Michigan, the long drives to everywhere, the lack of scenery, the awful weather, the same-o same-o. Now I’m not there I of course can begin to miss and appreciate the good things that were there. The familiarity and ease that comes with it.

I love the scenery here, every twist and turn reveals a new vista. There’s always something new to feast my eyes on. I love that and feel alive. But the price I pay is anxiety… just a low level buzzing that sometimes peaks. I feel it at home, too, sometimes but it’s a bit more pronounced in a new place. My daughter keeps me grounded, the adventures keep me going. My mom is very anxious and not enjoying herself at all, which makes me anxious. I want everyone to be ok. I empathically feed off of the anxiety of others, and I feel responsible for everyone’s happiness right now, not just my own.

I think I will feel a million times better this time next week when I have begun my job and it’s not all a mystery. I hope it’s an ok place and I’m not miserable. I hope the rain clears up and we aren’t stuck inside for another week. It makes it hard to feel cheery and hopeful when it’s still so gloomy.

I miss Mariah’s school, my one mom friend who shops organic with me, my co-workers and their dry morbid sense of humor, and the comfort of knowing what each day will bring. But I have a feeling I will miss the adventure even more than that once I’m back there!

big day in the city

I’m exhausted. Today we were up bright and early to get M to her new school. It seems like it will be a good fit, and it’s about 15 minutes away by car. I don’t mind driving in the city, but gosh, things that seem close miles-wise can take some time to get to! She did great on her first day, and even let me leave half-way through. They brought her out to the car at pick-up (our first experience in a “line”) and said she did great. She told me she had fun, most importantly. I know she misses her old school and her dear friends and teachers there, but she will be super excited to see them in April! I’m just relieved that we found something affordable that fit her needs. They had tons of spaces with lots of types of activities, indoor and out. It’s not Montessori, but it will do just fine.

After school, my friend Saba and her parents and kids came to check out our place. They were pretty impressed! Then we all headed out to Pier 39, because Saba’s dad is in the USA for the first time and hasn’t seen anything yet. The kids had tons of fun chasing pigeons, riding the carousel on the pier, spotting sea lions, and dancing to the busker music. I am so happy that I have so many great places to explore and friends to do things with every single week! Feels like a freakin’ dream come true. Going to work might suck and totally burst this happy bubble I feel like I’m living in… we’ll see.

Tomorrow M will have swim lessons here for the first time. I’ve got to do some cooking, grab a few things from thrift stores, and explore the neighborhood a bit. It’s going to be a nice day, I think, with no definite plans or time tables.

hello from the other side!

Well, we are here! After 9 states (counting our home state), 6 hotels, one stay with a relative, three time zones, and some amazing side trips (old plaza in Albuquerque, Grand Canyon, hiking in Sedona, the Mojave Desert, Highway 1 and Big Sur), we are happily settling into our San Francisco life. We arrived yesterday where it was pouring rain and gloomy as hell, but our spirits lifted when we got into the apartment and found it to be lovely and old-fashioned, with crown molding and beautiful french doors separating the rooms. No open floor plan (I hate those)! The kitchen is so large compared to what I’m used to at home, with a full table and four chairs. The living room is able to be closed off completely, so my mother is able to fold out a bed in there and have her own room. The bathroom has a separate room with the bath, and one with the toilet. The bathtub is a clawfoot tub, lovely for baths! We have a private patio which is enclosed with a locked gate, so M can go outside worry-free. She has her own playroom, too. We also have wifi, a full cable line up, and of course I don’t have to worry about any of the utilities because it’s all included!

The rental company is awesome. I had an issue with the TV (half the screen isn’t working) and they sent someone right away to fix or replace it. They also answer very quickly by email. We don’t have a washer or dryer, but there is a laundro-mat on the same block. My Nepali best friend lives about 40 minutes down the freeway, and we’re hanging at her house today and doing laundry here! M is thrilled to be back with her little buddy Mustafa (my friend’s oldest son, who is one year younger than M), and for the first time they aren’t fighting the whole time and are playing nicely together. I’m thrilled to have access to my friend and both of her parents who are living with her! They are coming to our house tomorrow to explore the city with us, and I’m super happy to show it to someone!

I had groceries delivered for the first time in my life. It only cost $15 more for the service and tip on top of the price of groceries. I probably won’t do delivery every time, but to stock up our kitchen I needed to do a big run, and it was so convenient! And all organic and gluten-free, too! M’s first day at preschool is tomorrow, and her first swimming lesson is Friday. In all of this, I almost forget I have to go to work. I plan to check out the hospital and stop by the ICU before I start, just to see what nurses are wearing and know where I’m going. I start orientation on Monday. Wouldn’t it be awesome if I could live this life and not have to work though? HA.

I will be keeping up with our adventures over on my travel blog Across the Never Sky, and also you can see photos of us enjoying our new life on my instagram (username rntravelmom).


goodbye 2016

Well I rang in the new year at the Grand Canyon, on an epic road trip across the US with my daughter, my mom, and my cat… so you know 2017 is gearing up to be an interesting one! As for 2016, well, it was a year of goodbyes, a year of endings. Thankfully I cannot see the future, for it was the year I’ve been dreading almost my entire life. I lost the rocks in my life, my grandparents, and along with them my childhood officially ended. I said goodbye to one of my soul mates, my grandma. Then I left my home and my job of 9 years to chase a dream. I went to Nepal on my own with a 3-year-old, as well as to Niagara Falls, Tennessee, and San Francisco. I had heart-changing adventures. I found and lost love in one breath. I held death in my arms. I cried more than I have since 2012, when I lost my baby. I lost faith in the goodness of my countrymen when the US voted in a bigoted, self-centered fascist. 2016 was one for the record books, for it was a year that changed me essentially, and also quite possibly changed the world forever.

So here’s this little survey borrowed once again from By the Brooke:
1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?

Solo globe-crossing by airplane with a preschooler, Nepal as a parent, lost one of my “parents” to death, grew brussels sprouts in my garden, arranged a funeral and created music videos for both grandparents’ lives.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Looking back to last year’s post, I actually had some great goals. I kept up with cooking more at home, making lots of new dishes as well as some old favorites, I played more with M, traveled more, and went back to Nepal, all last year’s goals. I didn’t play the piano much more (but more than 2015 since I played something at both my grandpa’s and grandma’s funerals). I wouldn’t say that I read more in front of M, so that was a fail, but we did read more together, so that was a success!
I made no progress on the money front.
Goals for 2017:
-Be successful at being a travel nurse, because I’m absolutely terrified right now of what I’m walking into- I’ve only ever worked at one place!
-Be more patient and understanding with my daughter… (my ongoing daily/monthly/forever goal)
-Pay off some debt, be it my car or credit cards or anything!
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
One of my best friends had her 2nd son in the spring.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Both of my grandparents, who (along with my mom and daughter) were the most important people in my life. It was the year I always dreaded. My soul was like a three-pronged chair, the three legs being my mom, my daughter, and my grandma. And now I’m without that 3rd leg. I’m wobbly and doing all I can to stay upright.
Also, my cat of 16 years, Cleo.
5. What countries did you visit?
Canada and Nepal, also Hong Kong for a minute, and cities in the US: San Francisco, Nashville, Louisville, St. Louis, Albequerque, and Flagstaff.
6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
Less death. More financial security. Love.
7. What dates from 2016 will remained etched upon your memory?
February 15, 2016- my grandfather passed away in his own bedroom at home. July 17, 2016 at 5:30 am, my grandma took her last breath in this world, in my arms.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Both of my grandparents died peacefully and naturally, under the care of hospice, surrounded by loved ones, without pain, after living out their old age in their own home. It was the greatest gift I could give them, and the only way I could repay them for the ways in which they saved me and devoted themselves to me my entire life.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Money. I cut back in so many ways, but I just couldn’t seem to make it work financially.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I was in a motorcycle accident for the first time ever, but thank god our injuries were very minor. I had a stomach bug twice during the year, but M did not catch it either time.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Christmas presents to make my little one super happy, a mermaid doll that thrilled her to death for months, a hotel room in Nagarkot, Nepal, and tuition for a Montessori class that my daughter thrived in.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My mom’s cousins, one of whom came to help while my grandpa was in hospice and then again to visit my grandma, and then again for my grandma’s funeral, and the other who stayed home with M the night my grandma passed, so that my mom and I could both be with her. My mom, for caring for my grandparents tirelessly, for my daughter, and even for me. Then cleaning out her parents’ house without any of my help because I couldn’t face it. Then willingly going on this crazy travel nurse adventure with me.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Everyone who voted for that wretched, awful man we now have to call president. And everyone who did not vote at all.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage, child care/preschool, groceries, and gas.
15. What did you get really excited about?
All of our travels.
16. What song will always remind you of 2016?
“Last of Days” by A Fine Frenzy, which was the closing song on my grandma’s memorial video.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? sadder, immensely.
– thinner or fatter?  unfortunately, the same. fortunately, not fatter, but fatter than two years ago for sure.
– richer or poorer?  Poorer.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exercise and ate better.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Yelling and acting out at M during times of frustration.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas morning with my mom and M, and then taking M to a movie.
21. Did you fall in love in 2016?
Uuuggghhhh. Was open to it, but it fell flat on its face.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Game of Thrones and Orange is the New Black.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I didn’t hate Trump last year, I didn’t know much about him or care about him. So yes.
24. What was the best book you read?
My favorite was Beneath the Surface by John Hargrove, because those killer whales just really got to me. Also, The Book of Night Women by Marlon James was truly excellent historical feminist fiction that I can’t believe I didn’t discover sooner. Honorable mentions to Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill (excellent  slavery historical fiction) and Under a Painted Sky (very entertaining California Gold Rush feminist historical fiction).
25. What was your favorite musical discovery?
Um yeah I don’t really discover music anymore.
26. What did you want and get?
My daughter to be healthy and happy, my grandparents to have a natural and peaceful end to their lives (as opposed to in an ICU hooked up to tubes and machines).
27. What did you want and not get?
Hillary Clinton for president.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I don’t watch many movies. But I finally saw Blackfish and OMG. Moana was an excellent Disney movie.


29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 32, and I believe there were Fourth of July fireworks over the lake that night. It was the last birthday I’d ever have with my grandma alive. My New Hampshire family was in town and my mom made my rhubarb pie (my grandma always used to make it) and M helped me blow out the candles.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying [besides your first baby being alive]?
Being able to pay bills and have money left over. I’m not going to say not having my grandparents die, because that’s obvious but also, everyone dies. I know it was their time.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
I couldn’t even say what a personal fashion concept is at this point.
32. What kept you sane?
Wine. SNL skits. Hilarious political tweets.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I liked Hillary Clinton an awful lot. And the Obamas.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Well, the election, and the great divide between the Left and the Right here in the US.
35. Who did you miss?
2016 will leave me forever missing my grandparents. I also missed friends who live far away.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
New friend I met through work (co-worker) who is also a lesbian single adoptive mom (well she’s not single, but her current girlfriend is not the mother of her daughter).
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
Don’t take time with your loved ones for granted.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

“Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.” by ???

And also:
“Be the girl that went for it.”