Unraveling – Goodbye to 2017

I want to start by saying that this is going to be a long post. These reflective posts are how I make sure to live my life intentionally. They matter to me and I love being able to look back on them in future years. I know that this might not be interesting to many (if not any) of you, so please feel free to skip it. If some of you find it interesting, all the better.

This particular exercise is following Susannah Conway’s Unraveling 2016 sheet. You can download it right here. I split the reflective questions looking back on 2016 in and the questions to help clarify goals/dreams for 2017 into two posts. This is part I, the 2017 post will show up here later this week. All questions are Susannah’s and are copyrighted to her.

Before we start unravelling 2018, let’s take a moment to look back over the last twelve months. Maybe there were lots of changes for you in 2017. Maybe it’s been a year of growing or nesting or exploring or letting go. Whatever’s happened this year it’s got you to this point, right now. Exactly where you’re meant to be. Pick up your pen and let’s do some digging.

  • First of all, did you have a word for 2017? Yes, it was shine.
  • If you did, how did your word help to guide you through the last 12 months? Can you think of any specific examples? Thanks to my weekly reflection posts, I thought of ways I shined each week. It helped guide me in the kind of person I wanted to be for my kids, for my friends, for my husband, and for myself. It helped me do things I wouldn’t have had the courage to do.
  • What did you embrace in 2017? exercise!
  • What did you let go of in 2017? One thing I let go of was not doing difficult trips. We decided to take a trip to Australia, and I was really worried about taking trips, especially ones that were this involved but the trip went swimmingly. We had a wonderful time and now I really want to take more big trips together.
  • What changed for you in 2017? My job changed a bit. Nathaniel started a new school so our routines changed. But most significantly, I started exercising every single week day.
  • What did you discover about yourself in 2017? That I can quit most of the foods I eat. That eating veggies+protein work fine for me, actually. I just have to do the work.
  • What were you most grateful for in 2017? This was a big year for gratitude for me. I am most grateful for Jake. He supported me and had my back all year. I’m also grateful for the incredible support of my parents. My manager. My friends. And of course my kids.
  • When did fear hold you back in 2017? I almost didn’t go for the promotion, twice. I still can’t ride a bike. I am still too scared to do many things.
  • Where did you practice bravery in 2017? I went for the promotion, twice. I showed up for my kids again and again.
  • What surprised you in 2017? My sister coming here for two-weeks. It was such a gift.
  • What made you smile in 2017? Family photos. I adore them.
  • What conclusions did you reach in 2017? That I am deeply, deeply grateful for my life. I am incredibly lucky. And feel full of wonder.
  • Let’s think about your ACCOMPLISHMENTS in 2017. List three things that went really well this year — personally or professionally, what are you most proud of? For each accomplishment, consider the following: What skills helped you make it happen? How has your life changed? What have you learned about yourself? How did you celebrate or acknowledge your accomplishment? (If you didn’t, how could you next time?)


    1. I got promoted.
    2. I helped Nathaniel get into a new school.
    3. I prioritized health for all of us: better lunches for the kids, exercise daily for me, generally more nutritious eating for me, too.

I learned that I am stronger than I think. I learned that persistence matters most. I learned that if you show up and do the work, things happen. I learned that I have a lot of people in my life who support me and want what’s best for me. I learned that I am lucky.

Life’s not very different for work but routines are very different because of the other two. I didn’t celebrate any of these enough. I have to do better with celebrations.


  • Now let’s look at your CHALLENGES. List three situations that have tested your limits and patience this year. The big or the small — whatever challenged you the most in 2017 (there may be more than three so go with whatever comes to mind first) For each challenge, consider the following: How did you deal with the challenge? Did you discover any new tools or allies that could help you again in the future? How has your life changed? What have you learned about yourself? (If you’re still working through a particular challenge, what outcome would feel good to you?)


    1. When I didn’t get the promotion the first time, it was pretty rough.
    2. Food continues to be challenging.
    3. Being patient and kind to the people I love the most also continues to be challenging.

I don’t deal with it well. I usually deal with it by beating myself up. I did discover a wonderful new friend who encouraged me to never give up. She was the biggest reason I tried again. Having some control over both 2 and 3 will feel good to me. I plan to read books for both so I can come up with some strategies.


  • Describe your favourite day, moment or occasion of 2017 in words and pictures. What did it taste like? Smell like? Sound like? Who was (or wasn’t) there? Where were you? What were you doing? What was awesome about it? And most importantly, how did you feel? Hmm this year, too, was full of wonderful days. But the one that’s coming to me in this moment is my birthday. Even though I was quite rude and cranky with Jake on that day, when I look back on it now, it was such a wonderful day. I got to be with my sister and I got to eat at this wonderful restaurant and be in the city. I got to be with two of my favorite people on the earth and have a lovely meal. I also loved Jake’s birthday which was also in the city and involved a lovely meal but that day also involved a shopping spree at Allbirds and Athleta which proved to be a bit lifechanging for me.



  • Gentleness alert! Did anything happen in 2017 that needs to be forgiven? Maybe it was something someone did or said to you. Maybe it was something you did or said to someone else — or to yourself? Maybe you feel you let yourself down in some way. Here’s the thing — we are all beautifully fallible human beings doing the best that we can with the tools that we have, so where can you give the gift of forgiveness to yourself or to another? Well the food was in such good control for a while so I was proud of myself but right now I’d say it’s easily the most frustrating thing on my mind. I also do still wish I were more on top of my schedule and life. I feel like I am doing too much but I am not willing to give up any one thing so I need to drill down deeper to each thing I do and understand the commitment, what I get out of it, what’s hard about it, etc. So I can be wiser in my choices.I did a tiny amount of this, this year and it helped identify things I decided to quit doing.
  • So we’ve dug into our accomplishments and challenges, remembered our favourite moments and considered who we need to forgive. Now I invite you to close your eyes for a moment and think about 2017 as a whole. As you cast your mind back over the last 365 days, consider the gifts that 2017 offered you on your life’s journey…What stands out the most? What really mattered? What stands out the most is overwhelming gratitude. This year has been a miracle. So many good things: promotion, new school, wonderful vacations, time with sister, deeper friendships, falling in love with my husband daily, incredibly supportive parents, the perfect manager. I am just so so grateful. Here are some things I did:




  1. I helped Nathaniel get into and transition to a new school.
  2. I helped prepare David for the SATs
  3. I continued to support many teams across Seattle and Sydney, I took three trips to Seattle and three trips to Sydney.
  4. I got promoted.
  5. As a family: we went to Tahoe, Los Angeles, Idaho, Cairns and Sydney
  6. David and his team won Outstanding Journal in the Tech Challenge.
  7. I mentored several women in my organization.
  8. I volunteered in the kids’ school with the Math Circle, Lit Club, and STEM Fair.
  9. I am taking a Calculus class with David and a Python class with Nathaniel.


    I exercised every week day starting in July.

  11. I changed the way I eat completely, quit soda, and started more self care.
  12. I go to bed 10pm and wake up 6am every week day.
  13. I read multiple college essays for multiple friends’ kids.


  14. I make hundreds of healthy lunches for my kids.

  15. I took many online classes including: OLW, glow, advent of light, 4 brene classes, wholehearted artist, mapmaker
  16. I read over 280 books.
  17. Spent two weeks with my sister visiting, ten days with my parents and three days with my nephew.
  18. I made over 240 pieces of art this year. (20 a month.)

It’s been a full year. I am deeply grateful.

  • Describe 2017 in 3 words: grateful, exercise, supported


  • If the events of 2017 were made into a film or a book, what would it be called? A Full Life.
  • Before we finish with 2017, take a few minutes to write out anything else you need to say to the old year in the box below. You might like to say some nal goodbyes and thank yous…Like last year, this was another year where I had a rich and layered life. I made some wonderful friends this year that I hope to keep for life. I deepend other friendships. I fell in love with my husband all over again. I worked and played with each of my kids. I supported my nephews in their college journeys. I worked really hard. I spent time exercising daily. I journaled. I took care of myself. I took care of others. I showed up. Again and again and again I showed up. I am so incredibly grateful for my life. Thank you 2017 for all your gifts. You’ve been an extraordinary year and I am deeply grateful for all your gifts.




December Daily – 23

Day 23 is about Wonder. Not as wonderful as the book, of course, but pretty darn close.


Weekly Reflection 2017 – 51


How I shone this week: This week I shone by getting a lot of personal work done. I shone by supporting my kids a lot and by supporting my friend and her kid as well. 

Things I wanted to get Done:

  • Work: i haven’t done the matching, but I will.
  • Personal: exercised once, did december daily and advent of light and made more 2018 plans. i have been doing my storytelling too. 
  • Family: we took photos. did a lot of math and some python and worked on essays a lot, too. No plan. bummer.

I celebrate: doing a lot of little things but not much of anything this week. I’ve been reading a lot and resting a lot.

I am grateful for: time off work.

I nourished myself by: hmm i’m going to say reading and doing a puzzle. 

Reflecting on my worries:  well we didn’t waste the week but we haven’t been doing anything special either. so i guess we ended up somewhere in the middle. 

I let go of: most everything this week. just cutting myself slack right and left.

Core Desire Check-in (bold, mindful, nourish, love): this week’s been about resting and being with my peeps.

What made me laugh this week: david and nathaniel and jake!

What I tolerated this week: all the voices in my head telling me i am wasting too much time. 

My mood this week was: slow.
I forgive myself for:  not getting enough done. and not having a super holiday spirited season.
What I love right now: having time off.

And here we are: the very last week of 2017. I am super grateful for this year.

December Daily – 22

Day 22 is about an average day in our life this week, we work hard, play lots and rest lots 🙂

Books I Read in 2017

In 2017, I read 305 books.
My favorite read of the year was: This is How it Always Is
My favorite YA read of the year was: Turtles All the Way Down
My favorite middle-grade read of the year was: Full Cicada Moon
My favorite non-fiction read of the year was:  Hunger
Here are my favorites, not in order, by genre: 
  • The Heart’s Invisible Furies
  • Bear Town
  • Lilian Boxfish Talks a Walk
  • The Impossible Fortress
  • The Weight of Ink
  • The Sun and Her Flowers
  • Stay with Me
  • The Ready-Made Thief
  • All Grown Up
  • Sycamore
  • Spoonbenders
  • Standard Deviation
  • Anything is Possible
  • The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
  • Setting Free the Kites
  • My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry
  • The Dry
  • Celine
  • Pachinko
  • Faithful
  • Six Wakes
  • The Lonely Hearts Hotel

Young Adult+Middle Grade

  • All the Crooked Saints
  • Full Cicada Moon
  • Letters from Rifka
  • The Golden Compass
  • We are Okay
  • A Million Junes
  • The Hate you Give
  • Strange the Dreamer
  • Scythe
  • Learning to Swear in America
  • Wolf by Wolf


  • The Power of Moments
  • A Mind At Home with Itself
  • The Four Tendencies
  • The Bright Hour
  • Radical Candor
  • Loving What Is
  • Mindshift
  • We Should All be Feminists
  • I’m Judging You
  • Shrill
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

And here’s the full list:

  1. wolf by wolf
  2. learning to swear in america
  3. small great things
  4. because of mr terupt
  5. salt sugar fat – partially
  6. organize today tomorrow
  7. flaws <not done>
  8. The Whole Town’s Talking
  9. The sleeper and the spindle
  10. Wolf in a White Van
  11. Messy (only 2 chapters)
  12. Still Life with Tornado
  13. browsing (partial)
  14. scythe
  15. the diviners
  16. the future of us
  17. the bear and the nightingale
  18. shrill
  19. in defense of food
  20. chasing secrets
  21. the subtle art of not giving a f*ck
  22. a gathering of shadows
  23. lilian boxfish takes a walk
  24. lab girl
  25. The achievement habit
  26. losing it
  27. the look of love
  28. man’s search for meaning
  29. carve the mark
  30. all our wrong todays
  31. the underneath
  32. a truck full of money
  33. this close to happy – halfway
  34. a separation
  35. the lonely hearts hotel
  36. lincoln in the bardo
  37. the three-body problem
  38. my not so perfect life
  39. six wakes
  40. the futures
  41. small admissions
  42. pachinko
  43. you will not have my hate
  44. the impossible fortress
  45. what light
  46. faithful
  47. gemina
  48. the menagerie
  49. version control
  50. exit west
  51. the roanoke girls
  52. i’m judging you
  53. edgar and lucy
  54. the stranger in the woods
  55. the rules do not apply
  56. ill will
  57. celine
  58. number the stars
  59. fuzzy mud
  60. stretch
  61. fear and other uninvited guests
  62. innocents and others
  63. the dry
  64. always
  65. we should all be feminists
  66. dear ijaewele, or a feminist manifesto in fifteen suggestions
  67. milk and honey
  68. my grandmother asked me to tell you she’s sorry
  69. the reader
  70. five dysfunctions of a team
  71. universal harvester
  72. the arrangement
  73. strange the dreamer
  74. solve for happy
  75. eggshells
  76. setting free the kites
  77. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
  78. The Dance of Intimacy
  79. What it Means when a Man Falls from the Sky
  80. Hallelujah Anyway
  81. The Things You Can See Only When you Slow Down
  82. a little more human
  83. this is how it always is****
  84. why won’t you apologize
  85. waking gods
  86. the animators
  87. lucky boy
  88. idaho
  89. perfect little world
  90. the wanderers
  91. hourglass – dani shapiro
  92. the book of polly
  93. the stars are fire
  94. south and west
  95. mindshift
  96. american war
  97. option B
  98. for the love
  99. anything is possible
  100. chasing slow
  101. the hate u give
  102. the upside of unrequited
  103. the one memory of flora banks
  104. the book of joy
  105. beartown
  106. ginny moon
  107. the leavers
  108. men without women
  109. garden of small beginnings
  110. eleanor oliphant is completely fine
  111. dance of anger
  112. the boy on the bridge
  113. The lights we lost
  114. Windfall
  115. new boy
  116. one day we will all be dead and none of this will matter
  117. loving what is
  118. house of names
  119. woman no 17
  120. startup
  121. one of the boys
  122. giant steps
  123. dinner party
  124. the best of adam sharp
  125. golden state
  126. tenth of december
  127. the first bad man
  128. the heirs
  129. trajectory
  130. ramona blue
  131. barrowfields
  132. radical candor
  133. chemistry
  134. craft a life you love
  135. no time like the present
  136. bodhisattva mind
  137. a million junes
  138. standard deviation
  139. touch
  140. overcoming the five dysfunctions of a team
  141. white fur
  142. the bright hour
  143. do not become alarmed
  144. The new old me
  145. The answers
  146. Midnight at the bright ideas bookstore
  147. You don’t look your age and other fairy tales
  148. Dear cyborgs
  149. The chalk artist
  150. A house among the trees
  151. Ministry of utmost happiness
  152. The shack
  153. void star
  154. the fifth season
  155. hungry
  156. fireworks
  157. f*ck feelings
  158. windfall
  159. body love
  160. stories of your life and others
  161. the end of men
  162. spoonbenders
  163. Making friends with your mind
  164. sycamore
  165. what we lose
  166. we are okay
  167. all grown up
  168. don’t bite the hook
  169. hello sunshine
  170. The reason you’re alive
  171. words in deep blue
  172. when dimple met rishi
  173. watch me disappear
  174. A Beautiful, Terrible Thing
  175. Normal
  176. Who is Rich
  177. made for love
  178. make your bed
  179. the turquoise table
  180. less
  181. rabbit cake
  182. after on
  183. spirit junkie
  184. the little things
  185. Rising Strong as a Spiritual practice
  186. Mrs. Fletcher
  187. the dying game
  188. the epiphany machine
  189. hunch
  190. becoming wise
  191. the readymade thief
  192. impossible views of the world
  193. the breakdown
  194. our chemical hearts
  195. perfect just as you are
  196. joy diet
  197. the driver
  198. the marriage pact
  199. The misadventures of awkward black girl
  200. of mess and moxie
  201. amanda wakes up
  202. the locals
  203. class mom
  204. reincarnation blues
  205. almost missed you
  206. home fire
  207. stress proof
  208. would everybody please stop
  209. stay with me
  210. 13 things mentally strong people don’t do – half
  211. the child
  212. a life of adventure and delight
  213. it’s not yet dark
  214. george and lizzie
  215. dinner at the center of the earth
  216. the how of happiness
  217. braving the wilderness
  218. little fires everywhere
  219. flesh and bone and water
  220. i liked my life
  221. the ninth hour
  222. since we fell
  223. new people
  224. conversations with friends
  225. the four tendencies
  226. letters from rifka
  227. they both die in the end
  228. warcross
  229. jane, unlimited
  230. a mind at home with itself
  231. unfuck yourself
  232. forest dark
  233. turtles all the way down
  234. no asshole rule
  235. the sun and her flowers
  236. sourdough
  237. the power of moments
  238. strengths switch
  239. everyone’s a aliebn when ur a alienbn too
  240. towers falling
  241. autonomous
  242. manhattan beach
  243. sing unburied sing
  244. the pema chodron audio collection
  245. the wisdom of sundays
  246. the rules of magic
  247. reset
  248. a short history of the girl next door
  249. dunbar
  250. almost sisters
  251. grit
  252. we need to talk
  253. lagom
  254. dear martin
  255. Heather, the totality
  256. The snow child
  257. I am not your perfect mexican daughter
  258. full cicada moon
  259. Permission to screw up
  260. The golden compass
  261. Real love
  262. Celebrations
  263. Bonfire
  264. Fierce kingdom
  265. The power
  266. Insight
  267. The Weight of Ink
  268. Long Way Down
  269. All the Crooked Saints
  270. Five Carat Soul (some of the stories)
  271. Future Home of the Living God
  272. The gentleman’s guide to vice and virtue
  273. Your best year 2018
  274. The heart’s invisible furies
  275. The Deal of a Lifetime
  276. Dear Fahrenheit 451
  277. Inherit the wind
  278. Rain Reign
  279. Seven days of us
  280. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
  281. The Uterus is a Feature not a Bug
  282. The story of Arthur truluv
  283. Invincible Summer
  284. Young Jane young
  285. Far from the Tree
  286. Solitude of Prime Numbers
  287. A hundred thousand worlds
  288. Why We Came to the City
  289. Artemis
  290. Miller’s Valley
  291. Flood Girls
  292. The Wangs vs The World
  293. Fishbowl
  294. The Hike
  295. The Last Black Unicorn
  296. Nourishing Intimacy
  297. Coming Closer to Ourselves 
  298. Stick with It
  299. Unlimited Power
  300. It Ends with Us
  301. Inventing Joy
  302. Motherest
  303. Improvement
  304. Britt-Marie was Here
  305. Food Freedom Forever
For 2018 I plan to use a sheet to track my reading. Here’s to another year of reading!

December Daily – 21

Day 21 is a story about our wrapping papers and our tree with gifts under it.

love this project!

2017 in Art

One of my goals for 2017 was to make 20 pieces of art each month. I had some ideas of what I wanted to do but I also knew that they would likely change as the year progressed. I wasn’t sure I would be able to pull off making 20 pieces of art each month. But I did! This post will be image heavy as it will show all of them. (Almost all.)

For January I made loving hearts:





For February, I made some quick sketches:

For March, I captured everyday magic:





For April, I played with fabric:



For May, I wrote about what shining means to me:



For June, I painted rocks:



For July, I played with paint:



For August, I made 10-minute art:



September was my travel journal.



For October, I made mantras:



For November, I made art boards:




And December, of course, was December Daily.

The best part is: I enjoyed every one of these projects a lot!

Not too shabby for a super-busy year. Here’s to hoping for more art in 2018!

December Daily – 20

Day 20 starts with this awesome photo of Nathaniel that i adore!!

And another one of him on the back.

And then it’s David’s card.

and the back

and then I moved the pocket page forward and wrote about our family photos and how we don’t send a holiday card.

love these photos

and finally actual page 20 is about how we went to see Star Wars.

love these photos

Books I Read This Week 2017 – 51





This was a big week for reading. I had a little extra time and I finished several books that I had started a while ago. 

I started with Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian’s Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life which sounded like a good idea and was cute but if anything it was too cute. Trying too hard to be cute. 

I read  Inherit the Wind  for our Lit Club with the middle graders. I had heard of it but never read it. I am glad I did. It’s funny!

Nathaniel was reading Rain Reign for his Lit Club so I read it alongside him to help with his understanding and homework discussions. It is a fantastic book if you have a 3-6th grader.

I had attempted Seven Days of Us unsuccessfully before but decided to tackle it this time and I liked it. It wasn’t pithy or amazing but it was still enjoyable. 

I had also attempted How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk  before but hadn’t managed to finish it. I finally did. Solid ideas but nothing super-new to me. If only I could actually implement these consistently.

I wasn’t sure if I would like A Uterus Is a Feature, Not a Bug but decided to give it a try and enjoyed it enough to keep going. Worthwhile for me.

The Story of Arthur Truluv  is Elizabeth Berg’s new novel and I love her. She did not disappoint. So sweet, this one.

I bought Invincible Summer on Audible months ago and hadn’t read it so I decided to finally read it. I was a sweet tale of 3 friends. It wasn’t the best book I read but it was okay.

Young Jane Young is by Gabrielle Zevin who wrote several books I’ve loved reading. So I’d bought this one on Audible too and finally read it. It was good but not great.

When I was at my YA Book Club earlier this week, my friend Angela recommended Far From the Tree which just won the National Book Award. She said she really liked it and I had just checked it out from the library so I decided to read it next. It was fabulous. 

Relatively good week of reading. Two more weeks left in this year. Here’s to more reading!

Books I Read this Week 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

Nourish Me – 51


  • I read: A lot of books this week. Finally tackling my audible pile.
  • I learned: Calculus and Python classes for the kids took up all my empty moments this week. Though I did sign up for a Machine Learning class, we’ll see if I can actually do it.
  • I watched:  No movies this week. Haven’t even turned on the TV in weeks.


  • Exercise: I exercised four days this week despite major sciatica pain.
    • Monday: Body Pump
    • Tuesday: Body Pump Express
    • Wednesday:  nothing
    • Thursday: Yoga 
    • Friday: Body Pump Express
  • Food: Food was so so. Still no soda. Too much coffee still and just overall not eating much or well.
  • Body Care: I’ve done nothing here still. Will use the holiday season to get back on track. 


  • I rested: A little better on sleep this week but still pretty deprived.
  • I connected: Spent some time with my friend Leslie and went to google party with Jake.
  • I journaled: I journaled a whole bunch more. Making plans for 2018.
  • I made art: December Daily baby!
  • Flowers: still filling my life and home with these and still loving it. 

Didn’t quit coffee, don’t know if I have it in me. Maybe I should quit chocolate instead?

Nourish Me Week 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

December Daily – 19

Day 19 is about the google holiday party. One of my favorite things about our parties is that there a ton of photo booths.

I added a little Journaling on the back of one of the photos.

And then lots of little embellishments behind each photobooth photo.

Love all of these. 

2017 Stories – 51 – Seventh Grade Culmination

David’s school has culminations that happen at the end of each major unit. The 7th grade culmination this year was about the World’s Fair where each of this kids studied a commodity and then wrote an Activism related paper on it, found its Chemical compound and features, wrote a creative story around it and made a piece of art.

David’s commodity was gold. On culmination night, they also had to sit on an expert panel on their commodity and answer questions about it.

The 8th graders did country studies so I had to capture this one on Turkey.

It’s always special to be a part of these evenings and see all of his work come together so wonderfully.

Stories from 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.