Family Life

Being Brave and Showing Up in 2016

At the start of each new year, starting in 2014, I have chosen a quote to represent a kind of new year’s resolution for myself and our family. I have shared these before, but here are our past quotes again:



small things with great love


choices reflect your hopes


just show up 3

For 2016, as we started the new year in a new city in a new state on the other side of the country, we challenged ourselves to show up: to find new places, meet new people, and begin to make a new home for our family. And I think we did a pretty good job 🙂

Here are some ways that we Showed Up this year:

Diana Showed Up with a New Blog!

And here it is! Surprisingly Special! When I started this blog I was a stay-at-home-mom attempting to create and write about sensory play and play-to-learn experiences with my two surprisingly special toddlers. Now I am a working first grade teacher-mom trying to find balance on my yoga mat and in my life, and the boys are big pre-K preschoolers doing lots of big boy preschool things! Life is very different here at the end of 2016 compared with how the year began. But this blog, though there will be much less, if any, “Tot Play” from here on out, is still about our surprisingly special kiddos and our surprisingly special life. And as always, thank YOU for showing up and reading it!

Diana Showed Up for her New Teaching Job


Getting and starting a new job involved lots of being brave and showing up for me. Showing up for the job fair, showing up for school visits and interviews, not to mention showing up for my students day after day, even on the hard days. Especially on the hard days! And you know, my sweet students keep showing up to learn just like my coworkers and I keep showing up to teach them and they make all the hard work of teaching worth it.

James Showed Up for Cycling


James not only joined a local cycling coalition, he was actually elected to the board! They are working to make our city more bike-friendly by advocating for bicycle awareness and safety and promoting bike-friendly city planning (more bike lanes and things like that).

Calvin and Henry Showed Up for Pre-K


Our big boys went off to school this year! They are in two different pre-K programs in the public schools. Calvin’s is a regular ed 4-year-old pre-K class and Henry is in a special ed pre-K class for kids ages 3-5. They are both doing well. Their teachers tell us they are happy at school, and making progress with their therapists.

We All Showed Up for Church

After a bit of searching, we have found a church that feels like a really wonderful place for our family. It is a Unitarian Universalist church, which was a new kind of church for both James and me, and it is really exactly what we have been looking for. We are getting to know our new church community, learning more about UU’s, and enjoying the experience very much. It feels great to have found a church that we want to call home.


I think we did a pretty good job of living up to our quote for 2016. For the new year, there are some ways that I think we should work on “showing up.” I think we should find ways to show up for causes that are important to us. We did a little of that this year, but we could work on doing more. I also think we should show up for our local businesses and “shop small” more often. This was really on my mind when it came to holiday gift shopping and we did make an effort to buy most of our Christmas gifts locally. I want to keep showing up on my yoga mat and making time and space for myself to unplug and recharge. And as always, I want to keep showing up for fun and special experiences with our kids. With us both working now and the boys in school, there’s not as much time for trips to the museum or the park. But we still manage to do fun family stuff, and showing up for our kids also means just making time to be present with them in the in-between times and down times and little moments at home even on busy school nights. And I want to show up for this blog more often! I’m making my goal a post a week: on the weekends, at least once I want to get on here and post something, anything, and check in for comments and emails from you wonderful people who keep following this little blog 🙂

What about you? How did you “show up” in 2016? Any goals for showing up in 2017? Share in the comments, I’d love to read about it!





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