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So, I’m doing this a couple of days early, but better early than never.

2016 was a pretty good year for me.  Lots happened and if you follow this blog regularly, you’ve seen and heard about them over the course of the year.  As for this blog, this year was a big year – more visitors and views of the blog than the previous two years.  I also had my most read blog post ever this year – soon after the 2016 presidential election – almost 600 reads on a blog post I did arguing that pastors ought to be non-partisan.

2016 also brought about some great travel experiences for our family, finishing up my internship year, starting my last year of seminary, and being approved for ordination.  That’s the quick highlights.

Here’s how I did with my goals for 2016:

Running – complete two half marathons in 2016.  Failed.

Running – I will run 1000 miles this year.  Failed.

I failed because this was a terrible year for me physically.  I turned 40, which means that my body literally fell apart.  I suffered a pulled hamstring at the end of January.  It started to heal and a month later I pulled it again.  It was nasty and gross with internal bleeding and my using crutches for about 3 weeks.  It took many months of recovery and when I got back into running, left foot decided it was time to speak up – I had plantar fasciitis on my left heel.  It was painful and kept me from running even longer.  When I finally was healthy enough this year, it was November.  I ran a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving – a 5k and did well.  I was proud of my son who beat me by a couple of minutes too.  Maybe another runner in the family?  We’ll see.

Travel – I want to do some trips with the family.  Success.

Success here.  We didn’t have any international trips planned – wouldn’t have worked in our schedule anyway.  But we did take a trip to Pittsburgh, and we explored around Altoona, PA  – where we were serving out my internship year.  I was also able to go to NYC with my family and the youth group for a church trip.  I also went to Atlanta for the Festival of Homiletics – which included a few side trips.  In June our family did a family vacation to Raystown Lake for a week – lots of fun.  I was also able to spend a couple of days down in Baltimore with my supervisor and a mutual friend for a relaxing time.

Career/Calling – Get approved.  Success.

Not much more to add here.  I was greatly relieved and also excited to be approved for ordination.  Seminary is almost done!

Writing – Write a book on the challenges the church faces/things I’ve learned from my time in Finland.  Failed.

I didn’t succeed in this venture.  However, I have written a ton over the course of the year.  The form of the book has changed over the year.  And I’m not giving up on this goal yet. I actually have a few writing goals for 2017.

Financial – Have only student loan debt and a mortgage. Success.

I have no credit card debt, no car loans, no other types of debt.  Plenty of student loan debt and a mortgage, but hey, it’s a start – a big start.

Blogging – Keep writing a travel post and a post on theology/politics/current events each weekday.  Mostly a success.

I wrote 394 posts this year.  (I have a couple more through Saturday, including this one).  I didn’t post every single weekday though.  But many days I had multiple posts in a day.  I wrote travel posts very consistently and posts on theology, politics, and other random things pretty consistently too.

Family – I want to teach my children how to play six new games this year. ????

I honestly don’t know if I succeeded in this goal.  We played a ton of games over the course of the year, so I’m guessing that this was a success.

Overall, 2016 was a good year.  I’m looking forward to 2017.  I’ll have new goals posted either on Monday or Tuesday next week (after the kids go back to school).  Happy New Year!