My year 2016 in review in twelve blog posts


Another year is about to end, in like, a few hours. Ready or not, 2017 is just around the corner. How was your 2016? Was it full of (hopefully) good surprises?

A couple of weeks ago at home, our house help blurted out, “It’s a lonely/sad Christmas!” maybe because she misses Christmas in her home country (which I can totally understand) but I told her, even if we’re having our own version of Christmas or New Year outside the Philippines, in a non-Christian country like the UAE, there are still so many things to be thankful for.

For me – as long as I wake up every day and not be in pain, my legs fine, my back not aching, my kids healthy and thriving, that is ENOUGH. I’ve had bouts of setbacks with my health this year from sciatica to herniated disc to plantar fascitiis that I learned to appreciate the little things more.

There are really so many things to make us sad, if we really look for it but as I turned 40 in 2016, I aim to see the ‘brighter’ side of things, for my sake.

So how did our year 2016 go here at Sandier Pastures?

January had me almost going mad to toilet train my son.

In February, just when the potty training phase was almost over, we had to face difficulty finding a school that will accept Benjamin. The crazy and borderline illogical assessments for kindergarten make me wish schools would rethink about kindergarten readiness. I cured by stress by buying plane tickets when Fly Dubai had a seat sale! Totally unplanned.

I discovered the wonderful world of Amazon India┬áin March and so happy I won’t be bankrupt buying overpriced books in Dubai again!

In April, I counted the reasons why I love travelling with my daughter.

The tickets I bought on February was for a flight to Prague in May, with the kids and my sister.

June came, and along with it, anxiety about being a single parent most of the time, like three months straight at a time (due to the husband’s work situation).

It’s the start of the kids’ school vacation in July and we travelled to the Philippines!

What’s a working mom’s biggest woe (ok, one of the biggest)? Your vacation days are not as lengthy as the school holidays!! I only had 2 weeks to stay and had to go back to Dubai for work. We decided to let the kids spend the whole school summer vacation (2 months) in the Philippines, at my parents’ place. That meant, I was alone for the whole month of August. I’m not sure if I would want to do it again!

It’s been a year since I went for a solo trip to Austria. In September, I recalled how I spent one week in Austria. I need to go back, because after a year has passed and you’re still thinking of something, that means it made a big impact on your life, and you have not moved on. Who wants to move on from travelling, to Austria?

After a few weeks of being back in Dubai, the husband has to go back to work again and be away for another three months so we made sure we have lots of family fun – we went to the beach at Ajman for the first time in October – it’s almost th end of summer and the beach was such a delight!

November came. I turned 40. The end.

Lastly, Pristine and I did another mother-daughter trip in December. This time, travelling to Jordan! I think we may make this all-girls-trip a tradition.

Whatever your 2016 was, I hope you’ll all have a better, more wonderful and prosperous New Year 2017!