Last night I was reading through some old blog posts and remembering how much I liked to write about our ordinary days. It's really fun to go back and remember the little things about each kid that I've since forgotten. The writing itself was therapeutic for me, and I actually think some of what I wrote was pretty good.

I haven't done it in ages, though. To be honest, putting together a few coherent sentences is pretty much beyond my current abilities. It takes me so long to think of the right word, my spelling is so bad even spellcheck is confused and I have a broken finger so typing is not the fastest. Sleep deprivation is really bad for your brain. Top priority for 2017 is to address that and perhaps I will start blogging more again.

We faced many challenges this year. I learned a lot about accepting other people as they are and not who you wish they were. I also did a lot of reflecting on the importance of setting and holding  boundaries.

Highlights from this year? M kept running. He slogged his way through the brutal Eastern States 100 and finished in 13th place. (Perhaps I can convince him to post a race report, because it sounded adventurous in a I'm-sure-glad-that-didn't-kill-me kind of way.) He beat his time from last year in the Oil Creek 100 and finished 2nd in that one! We all went up for that race to cheer him on, which was really fun. I started riding my bike again and went on a 150 mile trip on the Great Allegheny Passage with my friend Prachi during peak fall leaf season in October. The views were outstanding and we stayed in some really cool Airbnb's that weekend.  As a family, we came up with the idea of "Running Club" and had a pretty successful summer season of it. It was fun to do something like that all together, and I look forward to future family collaborations. I organized a neighborhood clean-up and an ice cream social, and volunteered for Laurel's Girl Scout troop.

Max has brought us a lot of joy this year. He makes funny poses when someone takes his picture. He has a cute little crinkle-nose smile that makes him look so much like me as a baby, and he has an obsession with looking for people's belly buttons that makes us all laugh. His favorite activity is getting inside a box, but only if it's half-filled with toys or books or something. He loves going down the slides at the park.

Marko at age 3 always has something interesting to say. This morning he asked me, "how would you feel when you don't have what you don't want?" Very philosophical, indeed.  It's hard to imagine he was once a 2 year old who rarely spoke. He wears a tie pretty much every day. He's learning to write letters and numbers, although he still insists that his name is spelled MRKO. He loves Pokemon and he sleeps with a light shining directly into his eyes because, as he puts it, "that's the only way they will close." I don't really care since he's finally sleeping in his own bed.

Laurel started 1st grade, lost all her front teeth and when the new adult teeth came in, it totally transformed her face. She cut off 12 inches of her hair and donated it to Wigs for Kids, joined a Daisy Scout Troop, and did well in a few races. Her work as an artist is quite impressive. She can read independently, but still likes to hear us read a few chapters before bed.

Above all, I feel like our family unit really solidified this year. We have a pack mentality now, and have learned to function together somewhat. We are each other's favorite people and there is something really grounding and beautiful to love and to be loved that way.