It will come as no surprise to you that the last few months of 2016 have been tough for me (largely for the same reason that they've been tough for a lot of you). As the year comes to a close, I'm trying hard to focus on what was good this year. And for my family, there was so much to be happy about! I'm taking this time to look back and remember what was great about 2016.
* Reading Women: a bi-weekly show hosted by two women I "met" through Litsy who discuss books by or about women. They are so passionate about the books they talk about!
* Happier with Gretchen Rubin: filled with suggestions and plans to bring more happy into your life. I'm especially found of the quick tips in each episode.
* Radiolab: Jan Abumrad and Robert Krulwich tackle one big idea every week, ideas no one else is covering. For instance, did you know that there was not even a word for the color blue until, relatively speaking, not that long ago? There was an entire show about color and it was fascinating.
* Best of the Left: feeding the beast, to be sure, but the podcast really looks deeply into a wide variety of issues. I always feel so much smarter after I listen!
* Nerdette: how I missed these ladies while they were on hiatus. Sure they are nerds but the great thing is that they are female nerds interested in so many things that are traditionally thought of as more "guy" things.
* Attending the U. S. Swim Trials. Omaha has hosted the trials three times and we love going to see the future of the U.S. Olympic swim team.
* Watching those same swimmers succeed in the Olympics. Oh heck, watching all of the Olympics coverage. I'm an addict!
* Attending the College World Series. Oh lordy, was it ever hot but so much fun to watch the games and see the enthusiasm those young men bring to the sport.
* Watching my beloved Oakland Raiders clinch a spot in the NFL playoffs for the first time in 14 years. I've been a fan since the 1960's, the glory years. It's been a long time since we had something to really cheer about.
* All of the wonderful tributes to Nebraska punter Sam Foltz, who was killed in a car accident over the summer. From the opening game missing player formation, to the tribute on Senior Day, to all of the wonderful things competing teams have done in his memory, Sam has never been far from our minds.
Best Books of the Year
A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles
Miller's Valley by Anna Quindlen
Salvage The Bones by Jesmyn Ward
Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Everyone Brave Is Forgiven by Chris Cleve
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran
Behind The Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Butter: A Rich History by Elaine Khosrova
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day by Winifred Watson
And The Moutains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
The Absolutist by John Boynes
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
* Watching our greater family grow: one niece got married, one nephew got engaged, and another nephew and his wife welcomed The Princess, my parents' first great-grandchild.
* Our trip to Milwaukee, especially all of the time we spent on the shore of Lake Michigan.
* Miss H returning to college, finding her calling and making the Dean's List.
* Mini-me's terrific thesis art project and graduation with honors, as well as Miss S's hooding and graduation with her doctorate. So proud of both of them!
* THE highlight of the year was the engagement of Mini-me and Miss S. We couldn't be happier that they found each other and can't wait for their wedding in 2017.