Monthly Archives: December 2016

2016 Year in Review – Worst Year EVER!

Photo Credit: GeekTyrant -Facebook

My previous years in review (posted here and linked) are upbeat and address my top blog posts. This year has been completely different and unlike any other year.  It has been, simply put, the WORST year I have had in my lifetime, and I know a lot of others can attest to this in their lives too.  If we could time travel, I’d come back to 2016 and change everything about it, or wipe it from our history altogether.

2016 wasn’t just about politics and the “alt”-election that will bring us into an unknown 2017 and with social issues, possibly launch us back into the 1950s.  2016 was about a lot of lives lost. The theme for 2016 was loss, loss, loss;  losses that some of us will never get over.   My husband and I personally know so many friends and family who have lost so many loved ones this year (from children, spouses to parents), so it’s not just about political loss.  This year, we didn’t just mourn political losses and the crazy Brexit decision, so many good celebrities, musicians, artists, and Americans lost their lives,  but I still love what my friend Richard Parker posted on Facebook after we all learned of the passing of 60-year old Carrie Fisher.   He said, “We’ve lost a lot of celebrities this year, and we did not like it. But some of us lost people we actually knew – family and friends. And I promise that losing those we once spoke to on the phone or hugged good-bye after a visit hurt a lot more than ‘losing’ the people we never ate breakfast with or whose wedding we attended. Yes, we mourn the loss of those great artists and heroes who inspired us and made their way into our hearts, but let’s not forget those who lost others who were a lot closer than pop stars or politicians for their hearts break far longer than a moment on social media.”  Well said, Richard!   I do believe, however, that people share their disappointments, fears and heartache through posting about or talking about known public entities lost, because most people find that common ground.  And celebrities are symbolic to most, representing our lives and people we know and love in reality.

The biggest loss my family experienced was my biggest celebrity and champion in life, my beautiful momma.  She meant the world to me, to my daughters, and so many others.  2016 took my mom.  I wrote this Mother’s Day post to her after she was diagnosed with cancer in March, and had surgery in April.  Despite chemotherapy and all other attempts, she succumbed to uterine sarcoma on December 4, 2016.  New Year’s Day will make four weeks since she left us, but I know in this lifetime, none of the people she left behind will ever get over it.   Her absence is being felt all over the world by loved ones. We miss her terribly and gladly bid 2016 good riddance!  I wish I could go back in time and change this entire year.  If I could, I’d have my mom back, for sure, and healthy.

The only theme for 2016 for our family and so, so many others is echoed in a John Oliver video made after the election about how horrible 2016 has been. If you want to view it, you can google “John Oliver F**! 2016 video.”  It is on you tube, and is excellent, but due to explicit language and gestures is not shared here.  I did share a shorter video John Oliver made for the same segment, which also represents how we feel about 2016.

The other great video is one on facebook from Friend Dog Studios, 2016: the movie. It’s quite good and who knows if the curse is over? From Brexit, exploding phones, the election and all the havoc in 2016, it captures the year well.

For my faithful readers, I do hope to post more in 2017.   This past year has been tough and I didn’t have time to post as much.  I wanted to spend as much time with my mom as I could, and of course, most of the time did not feel like posting at all.  No matter what you experienced in this shitty year of 2016, may you all have a fresh start in 2017 and experience health, love, and happiness, and here’s hoping (despite my pessimistic, realist outlook), 2017 goes okay for our government and nation as well.

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Black and … Clear

I recently experienced my first parenting fail moment and thought I’d reflect on it and share.  We attended the nutcracker ballet last weekend, as we do each year, and I promised both girls they could pick out a nutcracker to take along.  Target had them on sale, but I thought they were regular priced at $10.   Due to the sale, not much stock was left at our local target, so the kids had to pick from a limited selection of left over, picked over nutcrackers, most of the ones left were painted black or brown.

20161218_181600My oldest picked an angel nutcracker, as you can see from the picture and there was also one Clara nutcracker left, but my youngest really wanted a soldier.  She calmly and quietly said, “I want a soldier, but I want a clear faced one, not brown-faced.”  I couldn’t help but look around, considering I am and they are Indian-American.  At that moment, their mommy became a whopping mixture of both brown and red-faced.  No one heard, but I couldn’t help but wonder where I failed as a parent that my child wanted a white nutcracker; a child, mind you who was born a month after the Obamas entered the White House and hasn’t seen any other President yet in her short lifetime.

Then I realized as we talked more in detail that they are just not exposed to multi-cultures here in our homogeneous, yet firmly liberal city or town.  My daughter said when we go to the shows, no one performing is like us, nor look like this soldier (the one she opted to buy).  She said everyone on the shows we watch are also clear-faced so she wanted what she thought was most appropriate for the nutcracker.  I told her in larger towns, and at the the traveling DCPA productions, multi-cultures are indeed represented, and it’s just that the local productions we see are reflective of the population in our local Colorado.   From the mouth of babes, though, it helped me understand that I do need to take more steps to expose my children to more Indian activities, and Bollywood productions, and perhaps even different cultural events.   At the Nutcracker ballet, a sweet young boy came up to my daughter who was hiding her nutcracker at first, and exclaimed, “I have the same one but mine has a pink face.”   I was screaming on the inside considering how embarrassed my daughter was earlier.  But, I also noted that color was indeed noticed by children this little, and that this is the reality of our world and it’s our job to educate and mentor our children.  I replied, “oh great… this is a unique one and can do the same things yours can.  Isn’t that great?”  He smiled and took off, but this small event really did open my eyes.

obama-cover-750x1125It made me realize that no matter how innocent kids truly are, they perceive things through activities, shows and such, and what we expose them to.  The American girl episodes do not help either with its cast of characters, or the TV shows they watch from time to time.  Everyone is “clear-faced.”  Children certainly don’t intend to discriminate in the same illegal manner that adults may, but they distinguish attractiveness based on what they see and experience, and TV and movies are a huge part of this.  My sweet young daughter was embarrassed about what happened, so I don’t force the issue any longer, but when possible, try to show her things I think will help her self-image, and perception of the world around her.   Ironically, as we checked out at Target, the people magazine cover struck me and my daughter smiled too as I showed it to her, but she was indeed embarrassed about her innocent comment earlier.  Black or white, it does not matter, but I hope we can see past race some day in their lifetimes.  Judging from who was elected President recently, his appointees and what he proclaims to stand for, I say we have a long ways to go.

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Don’t miss Elf Training Camp at The Melting Pot, Littleton, Colorado*

mplogofullIf you enjoyed Fondue Fairytales, Superhero Sundays and fun-due Scarytales, then don’t miss out on Elf Training Camp at the Melting Pot, Littleton, Colorado!  Saturdays and Sundays (Dec 3, 4, 10, 11, 17th and 18th) are for fondue fun with the whole family. Enjoy food, drink and elf-themed training, and you can meet Santa’s head elf!

doubledippingfun1The melting pot is a great experience for kids and you can put those etiquette or cotillion classes into practice.  Hold on to your skewer, this is the only place adults and children can indeed double dip, love every minute of it, and no one will complain.  Adults pay $45, and children ages 4-12 are $25, with kids 3 and under free – this price includes the fun and food.   Reservations are required and space is limited, so call 303-794-5666 to reserve your spot, and dip, dip, dip away!  With four courses, each elf in your family, and the parents will leave here full and ready for holiday shopping.    The entire four-course meal and fun took about 2.5 hours, so be ready for some food and fun for the kids.  It’s so well-organized and paced just perfectly.

doubledippingfun2Finally, please remember to dress in layers as the activities are in the tents outside, but honestly, it was so warm in there with the heaters, we were all comfortable and toasty.  As you can see from the pictures, the kids had a great time, and it was nice to spend some uninterrupted time with them… okay, the elf interrupted a lot with a ton of activities for them but we thought it was good to keep the restless little ones busy and working.  All in all, kids and parents were super happy.

Disclaimer: My family and I were compensated in exchange for posts/social media coverage of this event.  We were compensated with free fondue for all of us.  The views expressed here are my own.  NOTE:  This post was delayed due to a family/life emergency.  

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