‘2017 Year In Review’ in Reality

We finked out on Christmas cards this year due to sheer laziness. True story. But the internet is amazing and we’d still love to include you in on this year’s family highlights.

We both turned 40. Facing down increasing chin and ear hair has been exciting. The intimacy created while asking your spouse to “please come and check out this weird mole” has bonded us like never before. When Matt vowed til death do us part I’m not sure he knew about middle aged hormonal mood swings. Sorry ’bout your luck, buddy.

The varsity football team Matt helps coach went 5-5. So that was fun. The freshmen team Matt helps coach went 5-2 so that was funner. More funner. Funnest.

Emily got laid off. Then maybe not laid off. Then definitely laid off. Then told that her position might be available again. So who really knows?! She is, as always, thankful to be part of the most volatile sales industry in the universe.

We spent a large portion of the summer traveling. 3,000 miles to be exact. We traversed the Southeast torturing and traumatizing family and strangers alike. Sincere apologies to anyone who had to clean up under any table we ever ate at as a collective family. We heard four restaurants closed down immediately upon our departure.

We spent much of March through October taking kids to various orthodontia evaluation appointments. We’re super excited that our desire for their teeth to be straight will result in fights over popcorn, bubble gum and ultimately end with them playing video games at the office before their appointments. It’s truly win-win.

Emily redecorated the home. It’s amazing what can be done with copious amounts of dog hair. We know that using actual animal fur has been a divisive issue over the years but we’re sure that since this came off the dog in sheets without our effort, PETA will leave us alone. Or perhaps make us their poster children for the chic use of a safe animal byproduct. It is, in fact, a renewable resource, made evident by the fact that we have three fresh inches on the floor each morning. We have managed to use it on our flooring, countertops, every article of clothing and often a toothbrush.

Our cat died. Addressing death with kids is super odd and we are so sorry for every random postal worker, cafeteria employee and neighbor who had to hear the ‘death story’ from our three year old. Having a strange child (strange in the sense that they’re a stranger but also kind of strange in the ‘strange’ sense) telling you that “Kilmer ranned over a car” is likely unsettling. Our apologies.

We successfully finished our retirement and overall financial planning after the aforementioned 700 orthodontia trips. The good news is that we no longer have to decide how to contribute or diversify because all future funds will now go to a man who owns a lake home with a wing referred to simply as “Holweger West.” We are patting ourselves on the back for allowing the thumb sucking to continue all these years.

We also freed up quite a bit of time that would have normally been used to discuss college financial planning. (See note above.) New plan is for one kid to attend for four-ish years. Or each kid can attend for one year. Their choice.

The oven broke. Thank you, Kitchenaid for four great years.

We pushed through 2017 and didn’t buckle and buy the needed furnace. We are holding out. We’re excited for the night when the temperature drops to the lowest of the season and the furnace eventually poops out. The anticipation is killing us.

We successfully broke up three million siblings fights. Only 40% resulted in blood shed or hair loss. This is a 25% improvement over 2016. We’re excited for 2018.

Our disposable income increased by 90% once Thaddeus was potty trained at the beginning of the year. We were sad to see the Pampers brand suffer a significant profit loss. Oh, who are we kidding….that kid is the fourth and never wore a branded diaper in his life. More accurately Bill’s Bargain Brand Diaper Co. suffered huge profit loss. Regardless, we’re happy to have the increase in funds to transfer directly to the crooked teeth department.

We are happy to report that we are in the final stages of Bathroom Renovation 2015, 2016 and 2017. We’re convinced 2018 will be the year where we make plans for the 2020 completion.

The kids are doing well in school. We miss, on average, four assignments a week. I am thankful for a trusted group of mothers who answer my frantic Is there a Social Studies test tomorrow????? simply with answers and no judgement. I am super grateful when their responses include the same confusion and frenzy. Solidarity, trusted mommas. You know who you are.

The recorder came home with our fourth grader. Enough said. Except for maybe that another offspring unearthed my old recorder from elementary school and at times we have had dueling recorders. Now enough said.

Our 2003 mini van needs a new transmission. We are convinced that if we sell the bits of food and single shoes hidden under each car seat, we won’t even need to touch our savings.

Our dog is old and kind of senile. He often stands at the backdoor barking to be let outside. Once you get up from whatever comfortable position you have just assumed to let him out, he will turn around, stare at you and bark to be let back in. He is a joy.

My sister, known also as my best friend, moved to another continent. So that was fun. Her husband’s best efforts to keep me away have been thwarted as I’ve recently decided only one kid, the best behaving kid at the time, deserves straight teeth. So the extra money is gonna buy a one way ticket to Germany. Brace yourself, brother in law…..cause I’m coming to stay.

Kidding aside, it has been a wonderful year with lots of sweet memories. We feel fortunate to have crooked teeth to fix and old vans to take us around to our activities. Also for old dogs to love, crazy shedding and all. Jobs to have and enjoy and then not have and then maybe have and then not have again. We delight, most sincerely, in the promise of Christmas and a baby born two thousand years ago who changed everything. So we can laugh about the trivial and have joyful hope for the future.

Here’s year number three of our family of six stuffed into the same Christmas pajamas. Thaddeus’s inseam is screaming for mercy and I promise to buy them all new jammies before next year…….

but that likely means one less kid gets braces.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

4 thoughts on “‘2017 Year In Review’ in Reality

  1. Dearest Emily,

    The 2017 ‘reality’ you spoke of is you bringing joy and laughter to so many who need it!! Your trials, tribulations and woes of parenthood, wife, daughter and sister are truly are hysterically funny. Please keep sharing your life’s stories with us. We NEED and want your chaos!! Wishinga your sweet, precious family a wonderful Christmas and a healthy and psperous (at least braces for each needy child) 2018!

    Hugsaaalyn Barrett

  2. I look so forward to your posts. Just as you feel the love and solidarity with your homework Moms, I feel comfort in knowing we are not alone. The struggle is real. Wishing all you Holwegers a Happy Christmas, dog hair and all!

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