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These Are A Few of My Favorite (2016) Things

Dear 2016 Diary,

I've long held the belief that if you want to see change, be the change. While my efforts may be perceived as small ripples in the overwhelming vastness that is the sea of life, sometimes - those ripples can become waves. I do what I can with what I have, and in keeping with that, it is my hope that my 2016 send-off brings a smile to your face like it does mine.

Welcome to my review of the moments and things I loved in 2016:

1. I love this photograph:

This one was runner-up. I love his excitement.

Okay, this one too - my kids' unintentional take on the classic, American Gothic, which cracks me up! #murica

2. Book I love: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Further Reading: My Experience and "Marie Kondo and The Ruthless War on Stuff" (New York Times)

3. Top Blog Post, per my stats: The Mary Jane Twiliger Story

4. Most Loved DIY: Target Dollar Spot Hack: Tassel Clutch

5. Most Loved Road Trip/Vacation(s): our trek through Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota
(recap posts here, here and here); and SWEDEN (recaps here, here, here and here) and UP NORTH (recaps here, here, here, here and here)!

Kalmar, Sweden

Lumberjack Show, Hayward, WI

Mount Rushmore

6. Our largest renovation: INTERIOR PAINT

7. Favorite TV Shows of 2016: the three NCIS series, Hunting Hitler and The Curse Of Oak Island

8. Always and Forever a Contender on All of My Loves Lists: these 3
9. Favorite Restaurant: Fogo de Chao, Minneapolis

10. Most Loved Activities: swimming for Madelyn, lacrosse for Landen (here and here) and sitting sidelines at both.

11. I took on a personal challenge in 2016 - to wear less makeup, and use less product and heat styling on my hair. I likely wore make-up and styled my hair a mere handful of times in 2016. No one really knew I had taken this upon myself. (Spoiler alert: it's positively liberating.)

12. 2016 was also the year we successfully lived on one income. Though obviously challenging, it also freed us from a student loan payment and empowered us to save as much as possible. We traveled more, experienced more and cut the crap so we could focus on the things we wanted and needed instead of any unfavorable obligations. We didn't tell anyone about this, either.

13. In closing, here are a few more of my favorite photographs:

(Shooting apples out of an air cannon - Hastings, MN)

(The Minneapolis skyline)

(Climbing the steps to the observation deck/mouth of the World's Largest Fiberglass Muskie - Hayward, WI)

(Cotton candy skies)

What are your favorite or most loved things and highlights from 2016?
Post Idea Inspired by this blog and this.

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