5 January, 2016  |   11 Comments

2015 Recap, 2016 Resolvations

Goodbye 2015! You are done now!
It was a put your head down and push against the boulder year for me.
Was it like that for you?

Work trips and counter wipedowns.
Procrastination and avoidance.
Some really terrible phone interviews.

St. Helena's amazing pool

In 2015, I started exercising for real. Between my Tuesday and Thursday workout group and my three times a week barre class, I found strength I didn’t know I had. The first months of 2015 were filled with embarrassment as I willed this lumpy meatsack forward in the pool, in the barre class and on the track. Here’s to spending more of 2016 up in my body, taking advantage of this biological miracle.


Our bocce team Joanie Loves Bocce turns ten (!) this year and I can’t wait to see how we evolve. We ran yet another successful chili competition and I am so proud of all the lady winners.

This week, we're bringing the fixins with our meal plan

Meal planning continues. I shared our plans nearly every week last year, moving mostly to Instagram. We only stuck to the plan about 70% of the time, but that’s 70% better than the alternative. I look forward to sticking to the plan next year.

We made a pizza cake.

Professionally, I took my foot off the gas. It has been difficult to remind myself that my kids are a really fun age and I want to be around them more.

I did that, and I’ve loved the memories we’ve shared. But it’s been at the expense of a massive amount of professional confidence. I can’t wait to get some of that drive and satisfaction back in 2016.


But I get to spend time with these amazing kids. Watching them light up as they find their interests has been one of my favorite things about this year.

Cream pie fight!

It’s been capital F Fun with the kids. Tons of adventures, from parades to face painting, to cooking classes to homemade art camps. This Memorial Day, we even hosted a cream pie fight for the neighborhood kids.



We threw two fun kids’ parties, too, one 7 year old hosted a Jungle Breakfast and our new six year old had a hoot at Chuck E. Cheese!

My class of internet friends had big birthdays. I got to surprise Pamie for her party, and had a blast. Making new friends is something I haven’t done in WAY too long, and her people are some of the best.


Then I turned 40 and threw an Adventureparty for the record books. We celebrated all over town, dressed like campers and counselors, doing crafts and eating hot dogs. It was in the top 5 memories of the year.

No one cares about my body or opinion or looks anymore! I’m forty! I’m on my way to the promised land!





We had a fun Halloween before we hopped a plane so I could speak at Blog Her Food (what a great event!). I even won a cocktail competition. Then we visited my family in Wisconsin for the week, which was good and hard and complicated like so much of this life.


I am still madly in love with my amazing husband. He is my favorite person in the whole world and he keeps getting favoriter.


Speaking of resolutions, I had another list, a secret list of 100 goals for 2015. And I crossed off about 80% of it.
Well done, me.

Some of my list included:
No diet soda for the year (DONE!)
Run a 5K (I ran three!)
Make butterscotch pudding from scratch (DONE!)
And so on, for 97 more numbers.

Since I crossed so much off that secret 100 goal list, I made a new one for 2016.
Normally I’d share it, but my relationship with the Internet has evolved drastically over the past 3 years.
I’ll keep that list close to my heart.

I just looked at last year’s resolution post, and had resolved to right some inequalities, I haven’t done anything on that end.
I’m sorry. I’ll do better in 2016.

Can I blame the lice?
(No, Helen Jane, you cannot blame the lice.)

Because holy hell, 2015 was the year I became intimate with the human scalp. More than the dog’s emergency teeth cleaning, more than two months of broken washing machine, more than the daily indignities of my life as a working mother in these United States, lice was a big part of my 2015. From under-the-breath conversations with parents in town, unless they’re hermetically sealed, pretty much every child in Northern California gets it, has it or manages it.

It’s everywhere.

I bought all the sprays, the chemicals, the lice patrol visits. We now comb out the kids’ hair for bugs 3 or 4 times a week. Lice is just a thing we just manage now. Go 2015. Go evolution.


I can see you, sitting there, more disgusted with me than you used to be, I get it. I used to be disgusted by lice too. But since lice management stole so much of my 2015, disclosure is in the interest of transparency, really.

I pushed the lice boulder all year long.
Right out here on my rarely updated Mommyblog.
Take that, confident professionalism.


As I read through this post, I’m surprised about how, well, bummed, I sound about the year. Don’t get me wrong, I had some really lovely moments.

But I’m counting on the fact that 2016 is going to be wonderful. In this first month of January alone, I get to attend a wine conference, speak at Alt Summit, I get to visit some great friends and enjoy the heck out of my clean post-holiday home.

That said, my exuberance about the internet has been tampered by its evolution. I’ve finally developed a healthy sense of shame. I’m busy with kids and home and community, right here.

So for 2016, my public resolvations are to make more friends from different backgrounds, visit New York City more than once and make more art. Those feel right for the place I’m at.

Let me know if you want to be a part of any secret listmaking for 2016, I’ll help cheer you on.

11 thoughts on “2015 Recap, 2016 Resolvations

  1. 1
    mrsbodien says:

    Lice! Man oh man, it’s like the devil that will never go away. We have been fighting the good fight here as well. Miss one little nit and boom! — the whole process beings anew. I feel your pain.

  2. 2
    jen lc says:

    YES. the lice boulder. it’s a bitch.
    the only thing we’ve found to be reliable is the lice freee smothering treatment and then that ridiculously expensive fairy tales spray in between treatments. i’m thankful for dark hair at my house – i don’t know how you’d fight it on blondies.

    also, secret lists? genius. i’m in.

  3. 3
    Mere says:

    Happy New year!! Love reading your posts. 🙂 Sad I won’t be at Alt this year. I remember meeting you a few years ago and hearing you speak and it was definitely a highlight!

  4. 4

    Yes!!! To you, to the wonderful and brilliant and strong and learning and evolving and resilient and on-the-verge-of-even-more-awesome you. (And to visiting NYC more than once…hell YES to that too!)

  5. 5

    Happy new year, my friend. I love hearing what you’re up to.

  6. 6

    So many boulders in 2015 – totally empathizing with the lack of self confidence thing too. But we shall overcome cuz we are just too damn good at what we do! BlogHerFood was a real highlight for me and a good way to end the year! Re the lice – well – I just happened to watch the news last night and you need to check out nitzy lice removal – no scrubbing and all done in a salon with heat. Over and done in an hour and a half. Don’t know if they have a salon up your way but maybe that’s a new biz opportunity 🙂

  7. 7
    Heidi Swift says:

    Helen Jane: Still at it!! [[hearts]]

  8. 8
    Maggie Mason says:

    Congrats on your year, it sounds like you focused on the right stuff. I feel you on the professional confidence front, pbbbbbbbbt, but also on the babies-are-awesome front, and I am always game for secret lists.

  9. 9
    Jif says:

    Girrrrllll I hear you on the lice front. We actually went to this place called Advice on Lice that is set up like a doctor’s office and the “lice doctor” is this dude who looks like Doc from Back to the Future complete with Bermuda shorts and a white coat and the girls take turns sitting in like a dentist chair as he fine tooth combs the HAIL out of those curls and we’re sharing the room with a family whose cup overfloweth with bugs and it ranks right up there with the least favorite moments of 2015, actually the last decade. We are all about the tea tree shampoo and the Fairy Tales spray now. And I just got the dreaded email from the school nurse yesterday that there’s a case in my son’s class. Here’s to a hopefully lice free 2016!!!!! xx

  10. 10
    Alyson says:

    Your black bean soup is part of my own secret resolutions list. So far a success! I don’t know you at all, but j use your recipes all the time, and your white sangria recipe even when in the homemade cookbook I have as Christmas gifts this year. Thank you for sharing! Happy new year!

  11. 11

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