2017 Year In Review

I started compiling data for my Year In Review way back in November because I knew this would happen. It happens every year. I want to post my Year In Review, but once January comes, I can’t find the time/motivation to sit down and do it.

This year, I finally decided to sit down and get it done during the last weekend of January. Yeah, that Sunday when there was a widespread cable outage in my metro area. *facepalm* So, I started writing and organizing in the text file I use for later blogging, saved on my Pusheen thumb drive. Then my son asked me to play Balloon Catch with him, then LEGO, in between the loads of laundry I still had to wash. So, the Year In Review didn’t happen on Sunday.

Monday was a sick day for both me and my son (at least I didn’t have his fever and wheezing cough), so it didn’t get done Monday.

Come Tuesday, though, I managed to squeeze in some time over lunch and in the evening to start gathering my data and making it presentable. Finally, this evening, I sat down after I got Connor all tucked in and finished everything up. I stayed up later than I probably should have, but it’s done, and I’m glad.

I’m not feeling the meta-reporting about my blog posts this year — instead, I’m focusing more on what actually happened during 2017. Even without the blog entry breakdown, though, this Year In Review will be chock-a-block with data you mostly didn’t care about in the first place.

Notable Happenings

cooking sous videMy husband bought me a sous vide appliance for Christmas 2016, so I experimented with it all throughout 2017. Come Fall, I signed up with ButcherBox, a subscription service delivering grass-fed meat. I’ve had more steaks in the past few months than I had in the past few years — and they were all perfectly medium rare, thanks to my Anova. (I now have a fancy vacuum sealer, too, so I don’t have to resort to using zip-top freezer bags for my sous vide.)

Too-short pillowcaseWe hosted our annual Memorial Day Weekend Shindig in May, and had a great turnout! At one point, the conversation turned to sewing, and my friend Sheryl offered to lend me a book about t-shirt quilting. That somehow rekindled my interest in sewing, mending, and making stuff. I haven’t made much yet — especially since my sewing machine lives out in the unheated sunroom — but I bought some new presser feet and other accessories for our inherited Singer off of eBay, and I have lots of ideas for basic projects… including t-shirt pillows.

Grandma, Jim, Connor, Grandpa, and meIn August, Connor and I took our second annual trip to Dayton to visit Grandpa and Grandma and my friend Amy. We met Grammy and Jim at Grandma’s house, but not before we enjoyed lunch at a great Bolivian joint down the road. Later in the weekend, Connor and I met up with Amy and the three of us took in the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, some pizza, and some frozen custard.

Me in eclipse glassesAlso in August, much of the United States got to witness a partial solar eclipse. I’d never seen any sort of solar eclipse before, so taking my afternoon break outdoors and watching the eerie not-quite-darkness fall was awesome. I left a pair of eclipse glasses at home for Aaron, and I even sent Connor to Pre-K with a pair, which he shared with his teachers and friends.

Wearing my Mer-Sea scarf at my mother's weddingWe took another road trip in October. This time, all three of us drove out to NE Ohio to see my mom get remarried!  Mom and Jim’s congregation is pretty much a bunch of senior citizens, so Connor got a little bored during the reception… but, before that, he got to be the ringbearer in the ceremony! Grammy gave him the ring pillow as a memento, and he still keeps it on his bed. 


Connor’s Firsts

Dad and (pre-k) Grad Connor and Dad in a coffee shopFirst Sprinkler!First day of schoolKids' section of the library

Pre-K graduation | First family coffee shop afternoon | First time running through the sprinkler | First day of kindergarten | First trip to the public library



CHIROPRACTOR 13 Once a month, forever
DENTIST 5 Three-month perio maintenance plus fillings
PODIATRIST 2 High arch = custom orthotics
ORTHODONTIST 1 One last bite check
URGENT CARE 1 Poison ivy on my face
BLOOD DRIVE 1 Never again
ENDOCRINOLOGIST 1 Ultrasound of my “non-toxic” thyroid mass
OBGYN 1 Annual


Exercise Habits

I’ve discovered that some things are more easily tracked in my personal bullet journal than using an app or website. My exercise log is one of those things. I can see at a glance when I briefly tried running again, and when the entirety of my activity was comprised of lunchtime walks.



I saved off my weight graph for 2017 somewhere earlier this month, and hell if I know where I put it. In lieu of my usual graph of my monthly average weight, then, here’s a graph of my official Weight Watchers weigh-ins, assumedly showing the final weight recorded in each month.

I gained some weight this year

Yeah, I put on some weight during the first half of the year. Combined with the weight I’d already put on from the previous holiday season, it amounts to about ten pounds total. And, no sir, I don’t like it.



I can deduce a few things from the below data (most of which I already knew). One: I like ethnic food: Vietnamese, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Indian. Two: Since I know these restaurants and when I usually dine at each, I can clearly see that I should really start offering to pay for lunch and/or dinner with my family on weekends. Three: I get a LOT of takeout from the restaurant downstairs from my work. Four: Trying to track the same thing three different ways just shows how much error can creep in with manual tracking methods.

Restaurants by Cuisine

Yelp Check-ins

Restaurants where I spent most often



I started bullet-journaling the movies I’d watched in 2017, but I apparently forgot to keep tracking come August. So, with partial data for the first half of 2017 in hand…

Documentaries watched at home with Aaron: 6
Documentaries watched at home alone: 2
Movies watched in the theater (date night!): 3
Movies watched at home with my son: 1

Total movies watched from January through August 2017: 12


Books Read

I started 12 books in 2017

I started reading 12 books over the course of 2017. The last one, The Price of the Phoenix, I didn’t finish until 2018. Of the dozen books I read, three were audiobooks, and six were ones I’d read before.



This will be the last year I track my arrival time to work, as it is now mainly dependent upon the school bus pickup schedule. I was curious whether I would see a shift to earlier arrivals once I had a hard deadline in the morning (getting Connor on the school bus), and my hypothesis was correct.

I show up to work a little late.


iPhone Addiction?

At some point during late 2017, I began to worry that my iPhone battery was losing its charge faster than it used to. I still had the Moment app installed, although I hadn’t used it to track my screen time and app usage for quite a while. So, I fired it up in App-Tracking mode for the month of November — mainly to try to identify any battery-sucking apps — and here’s what I found:

My notification screen is up quite a bit

The title of the graph is clearly incorrect: it should read “App Categories” instead of just “Apps,” but I’m honestly too lazy to correct it at this point.

I play a lot of Words With Friends (and I use the chat feature often), so that’s part of the Gaming category. Connor likes to watch YouTube Kids during breakfast or while we’re waiting for our food at restaurants, so that’s most of the Connor category. I was surprised at how much time I really spent on Twitter — more than Web Browsing or Texting. I was also surprised that I spent more time on Facebook than reading legit News apps (as legit as local news is, anyway).

Seeing this breakdown opened my eyes, and I started modifying my phone habits. I might have to do another month’s study to see if my habits have truly changed.


Other Stuff I Usually Track

I’ve been listening to Spotify in the car, since I finally figured out the trick to getting the Kia’s infotainment system to recognize it and not automatically start playing the music on my phone. I also have a playlist set up for Connor, and we have “dance parties” in the bathroom or in his bedroom before bed, so a good deal of my most-played songs are his songs. (We listened to the Trolls soundtrack so much that the algorithm now thinks I’d be interested in Justin Timberlake’s latest single.)

I still have my Fitbit data automatically saving daily to a Google Sheet, but aggregating my miles walked didn’t make the cut this year.

We hit up 24 garage sales total this summer. We actually bought something at five of those.



I’d say the biggest thing that happened in 2017 was my son starting kindergarten. That’s definitely had a huge impact on our family on a daily basis — schedules, responsibilities, etc. Apart from that, I’m not sure there was an overarching theme to the year. I should probably be grateful for that, since Connor starting school was quite enough of a sea change in and of itself.

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