the New Year’s tag {2016-2017}

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This post is so long that I’m not going to put some big introduction up here, just dive straight into the questions. 🙂

What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?

Rode a bike, kept a diary for a whole year, and saw a Shakespeare play live.

Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make one this year?

The five things I wanted to do in 2016 were: Learn to ride a bike (see above), expand my bank robbery/hostage/western story (nope – tried it for a while, but my heart wasn’t in it), revise The Bounty Hunter (that’s a work in progress), spend less time online (definitely nailed that – except for emails and blogging, I’m not online as much as I used to be), and LIVE (not sure exactly what all I was thinking that would entail when I put it down, but I think I’ve succeeded).  Overall, I’m pretty happy with what I’ve accomplished this year.  

As for making a new New Years’ resolution, there are several things I’d like to do in the coming year, but there’s a section for those at the end of this tag, so I’ll just list them there.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes!  One of the ladies in our church had an adorable baby girl – Yael Ruth.  She had five boys before Yael, so we were all pretty excited + happy that there’s finally a girl in the family.  The baby shower we threw for her was a riot of pink, believe me.  We can’t stop fussing over her.

Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully, no, though I was saddened by the deaths of Harper Lee, Robert Vaughn, Bernard Fox, Carrie Fisher, and Debbie Reynolds.

What countries/states did you visit?

I stayed strictly in Ontario, Canada.  Which I don’t mind much, since I’m an introverted homebody and I don’t have any form of wanderlust whatsoever.  Well, except maybe to visit my friends in the States (and Belgium), which didn’t happen this year. *sigh*

What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?

A closer walk with God and a completed draft of The Bounty Hunter, among other things.

What date from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory?

Dates don’t tend to stick in my mind, so I had to look this one up in my diary, but June 16th is the one that comes most easily to mind.  That was the day I called on Jesus’ name and was born again, so that’s important to me for obvious reasons.  (Also, I quite liked my birthday.)

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Did you move anywhere?

Nope.  Really happy about that, since I think the house my family is in right now is pretty much perfect for us.

What was the best month?

2016 has been a year of ups and downs, so it’s difficult to pin-point a good month.  I had an amazing summer, though, what with becoming a part of God’s family and all the travelling I did with my grandparents, parents, and siblings.  That was also when I saw Macbeth live and really fell in love with Shakespeare.  Plus, I first read The Outsiders in the summer.  So, I’d say July/August was my favorite time of year.  There has been a lot of stress and strain throughout the second half of 2016, though…it’s probably been the hardest year of my life so far.  But God is so good to us in the hard times.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I learned how to ride a bike!  I tend to get frustrated very quickly when I can’t learn how to do something on the first or second try, but I was determined to learn how to ride a bike, no matter how long it took or how hard it was.  And my persistence paid off in the end, mostly thanks to my sister, Elisabeth, who stuck with me through all my spills and slip-ups. (And, in the end, a lot of prayer.)  I’m not perfectly proficient yet, but that’ll come in time.  Elisabeth and I have plans to cycle around the neighborhood pretending to be French resistance courier girls.  Should be lots of fun.

What was your biggest failure?

I’m wretched at completing to-do lists.  And I don’t trust God half as much as I should.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

Yes.  In March all my siblings and I came down with rounds of ear infections.  We never get ear infections, unlike lots of kids, so it hit us really hard.  Plus, my eardrum burst (it wasn’t painful or anything, but I lost pretty much all hearing in the infected ear until it healed) and there were a few days where I was so sick I couldn’t even write in my journal (except to say “Too sick to write…”).  I think it’s the sickest I’ve ever been.

As to injuries, when I was learning how to ride my bike, I took a turn too fast and smashed down a bumpy hill and ended up with a horribly scraped up knee.  It took weeks to heal properly and if I hadn’t been wearing my helmet, I think I’d have seriously injured my head – I still remember the jar it got when I crashed.

My bike looks quite a bit like this one.

What was the best thing you bought?

Feast your eyes.  And, just for the record, the best thing I was given this year was a beautiful brand-new, pale-turquoise-with-white-trimmings bicycle.  It’s gorgeously elegant.  I’ve named it Adele, after the heroine of Violins of Autumn.

Whose behavior merited celebration?

My whole family, but especially my dad, who’s been splendidly brave during his battle with cancer.  Mom’s really been amazing, too, and I’m so awe-struck with and proud of how she and Dad never let things get them down (at least not for very long), but instead just keep trusting in God and doing things for other people and not thinking of themselves at all.  Also, our family doctor organized a food drive for us and pretty much everyone else we know has given us TONS of food and other lovely gifts (not to mention their prayers).  It’s been amazing, seeing how God uses ordinary people to accomplish His purposes.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Um…my own? (At times.)  But most of all, the Democrats.  Trump won, people.  End of story.

Where did most of your money go?

Books, of course.  Books, books, and more books.  (I have purchased soooooo many amazing ones from thrift/used book stores.  It’s crazy, the deals I’ve gotten.)  I also spent a fair amount on gifts for family and friends.  But there were no big purchases like last year, when I bought Hymie (my laptop).

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Going to see Macbeth live.  Admittedly, I was also a little leery, but I knew it’d be awesome.  And it was.  Oh, and watching Captain America: Civil War was also a thrill.

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What was the best concert you’ve been to this year?

I don’t do concerts.  Sorry.

What song/album will always remind you of 2016?

Better Than I‘ from Dreamwork’s Joseph: King of Dreams.

Compared to this time last year, are you:

1. happier or sadder? About the same, though I’d say I’m more serious.
2. thinner or fatter? About the same. *sigh*
3. richer or poorer? About the same – practically nothing in my wallet.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Writing.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Crying?  Also, wasting time with dumb stuff.

What was your greatest musical discovery?

Blackapella.  Also Laura Bretan, Grace VanderWaal, and Sal Valentinetti.

How did you spend Christmas?

Christmas Eve, my family has a tradition where Dad and Mom give everyone a book, so that was lots of fun. (Because, you know, BOOKS.)  I was given a huge book full of reproductions of the New York Times’ front pages from 1851 to 2015.  Super awesome.  And then we all sat around with my grandparents and talked and ate pie and ice cream and drank lots of coffee. (We also had a big turkey dinner.)  And then on Christmas Day, we had church in our home, which was great.  My aunt came over and stayed for a while after all the church members left and I listened to Christmas music. ❤

How are you spending New Year’s?

We haven’t celebrated the new year yet, but I want to publish this post today, so I’ll just tell ya’ll what we’re planning to do, God willing.  My family gives gifts at New Year’s instead of Christmas, and we usually do that New Year’s Day, but since it falls on a Sunday this year (next year?) we’ll be exchanging gifts on New Year’s Eve instead.  We’ll be having chili dogs instead of a big turkey dinner, ’cause we had that on Christmas Eve.  And then we’re going to ring in the new year with Meet the Robinsons (it’s a tradition, people).

Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

I’m an introvert.  KEEP THE PHONE AS FAR AWAY FROM ME AS POSSIBLE.  So I really don’t know.

What was the best book you read?

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.  BECAUSE REASONS.  It’s a wonderful, wonderful book filled with emotion and and rich, deep characters and a message that’s just as important today as it was in 1967.

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Did you fall in love in 2016?

Hahahaha.  YES.  Duh.  But it was with fictional characters (John Anderton, Ponyboy Curtis, Johnny Cade, Spike Scarlotti, Lightning McQueen, Gus Pike, Rye Tyler…) and celebrities (mostly Tom Cruise and Ralph Macchio).  Nobody real – yet. (I know celebs are real people.  But you know what I mean.)

What was your favorite TV show?

I watched three new TV shows this year: Psych, Road to Avonlea, and Flashpoint. (I also sampled several other shows, including The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Bionic Woman, Sanford & Son and Murder, She Wrote.)  And the spot for favorite show is a toss-up between Psych and Flashpoint.  (RtA was good, but it wasn’t great like those two.)  Psych is awesome and hilarious and full of pop culture references.  And Flashpoint… I love the characters, I love that it’s Canadian, and I love the tense, emotional storylines.  HOW CAN I CHOOSE?  I can’t, really, especially since the two shows are so different.  I just can’t.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Nope.  In fact, there are people who I disliked last year who I like better now.  WIN.

What did you want and get?

A bike!  After I learned how to ride on my sister’s bike I wanted my own and I’m so happy Dad was able to buy one for me.

What did you want and not get?

Can’t think of anything right now.  I’m pretty content with what I have.

What were your favorite films of this year?

Minority Report (2002), Cars (2006), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), Back to the Future (1985), Megamind (2010), Brooklyn (2015), Lady and the Tramp (1955), Treasure Planet (2002), Titanic (1997), The Outsiders (1983), Holes (2003), and 3:10 to Yuma (1957).  To name a few.

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What were your favorite books of this year? (This question wasn’t in the original tag.  But I added it in anyway, because WHY NOT?)

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton, Shane by Jack Schaefer, To Tame a Land and Last Stand at Papago Wells by Louis L’Amour, The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall,  Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill, All Fall Down and See How They Run by Ally Carter.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?

I’ve never had a personal fashion concept.  I just wear whatever, as long as it’s clean and neat and looks okay on me.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was eighteen. (I’m still having trouble believing it myself.)  And according to my journal: “Went out for breakfast at Wimpy’s [where the staff sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to me because my grandpa told them it was my birthday + I got a piece of cheesecake + I got my picture taken with the wonderful, large poster of Casablanca they had hanging up], went to [a] bookstore, got lots of lovely presents.  Watched The Outsiders and started re-reading it.  Made cupcakes for church. :)”

What kept you sane?

God.  The Bible.  Prayer.  My parents.  Good books + movies + TV shows + music.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

*shrugs* I can’t really think of anything.  Of course, there are things I wish had/hadn’t happened, but I’m pretty satisfied with this year, overall.  Although if Dad was still perfectly healthy, that would be something that would have made 2016 a million times better.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Ralph Macchio.  ‘Cause he’s adorable.  And I did gain a great liking for Tom Cruise and a deeper appreciation for Harrison Ford.

What political issue stirred you the most?

Is this really even a question?  The US election.  Duh.  It’s the most I’ve ever gotten stirred up over politics, and I’m not even an American!  Dad and Mom stayed up until two in the morning on election night/day to hear the results and then Mom woke me up a few hours later with the news.  However, even though I got super interested (even excited + a little angry) over the election results, I wish people would stop talking about the whole thing now.  It’s over and done with, people.

Who did you miss?

All my internet friends who I’ve never met but still miss anyway.  Let’s meet this year, guys!

Who was the best new person you met?

I did have a lot of fun getting to know Jessica Prescott better.  She comments on just about every blog post I write, we’re friends on Goodreads, and we’ve exchanged a few emails.  She’s also recommended a few amazing books to me (To Tame a Land, Echo, and Salt to the Sea) which I’ve really enjoyed – that’s strengthened our friendship quite a bit.  It’s been great.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.

Trust in God.  Always, even (ESPECIALLY) when it’s hard.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Time goes by,
Time brings changes,
You change, too.

Nothing comes that you can’t handle,
So on you go… 
~’Our Town’ // Cars

Five things I want to do in 2017:

  • Pray more.
  • Write every day.
  • Lose weight.
  • Read at least fifteen new-to-me books.
  • Meet at least one internet friend.

2017, HERE WE COME!

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Eva

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12 thoughts on “the New Year’s tag {2016-2017}

  1. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, Eva . . . I’ve been really grateful to get to know you better this year, too!!!! *hugs you tightly* It’s SO sweet of you to mention me–I had no idea that was coming, and it really touched me. I’m not a crying person, but if I was, I’d have cried when I read that. For sure.

    (YES TO ALL THE BOOKS YOU MENTIONED. Rye Tyler is da best <3)

    (Speaking of book recommendations, you should try "In My Father's House," by Ann Rinaldi–I think you might really enjoy it. I just got a copy for Christmas and it's pretty awesome.)

    I'm so sorry about your dad's cancer–I've been praying for him, and I'll try to remember to continue that in the new year. I hope things are much, much better very soon!

    Congrats on learning to ride a bike!! That's always a lot of fun; and I love your idea about pretending to be in the Resistance 🙂

    My favorite books of 2016 were definitely "The Book Thief," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "Echo," and "Salt to the Sea." (My . . . it was a good year for books, wasn't it?) My favorite films this year were "Breakfast at Tiffany's," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," and "Rogue One."

    Next year, I want to a) get all A's in grad school again; b) make significant progress toward finishing my Holocaust novel, "Breaking Glass"; c) spend more time in prayer; d) get to know my friends–in-person and internet–better; e) get more sleep. (The last one is harder than it sounds, especially when you're a grad student 🙂 )

    We need to try to meet in real life. This needs to be a Thing that needs to happen. ❤

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    • I forgot to say: I’m really upset about Carrie Fisher dying, too. She’s been my princess, all my life; and I wasn’t ready for her to leave :’-(

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    • Well, it truly has been a privilege to get to know you. *hugs* I hope we can meet sometime, too!

      The Book Thief and To Kill a Mockingbird are both AMAZING, aren’t they? And I quite like Hunchback of Notre Dame (I assume you’re talking about the Disney version).

      Happy (belated) New Year!

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      • Happy New Year!

        Yes, I mean the Disney movie 🙂 (Isn’t it BEAUTIFUL? That soundtrack, though . . . *sigh*)

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  2. Waaa, what an amazing, big post! Loved reading this.

    Your bike is GORGEOUS and I love the name you gave it and kudos to you for mastering the art of driving it!
    Not a concert person either. Well, maybe I am, but I’ve never really been to a good one so I can’t say. 😛
    YOU MUST come over to Belgium. 🙂
    You’ve been amazing this year, Eva. Just saying.

    ~ N ❤

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    • YOU’VE been amazing this year. And I would love, love, love to meet you, but I think you would be the hardest one, of all my friends, to actually meet ’cause we’re on different continents. 😛 *sigh* But one can always hope (and pray)!

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    • I skimmed through most of your post AND YOUR CAT IS SO CUTE. I adore cats. ❤

      Yessss. You must watch Psych! And love it and obsess over it and get others obsessed over it. 😉

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