Wrap Up

Dancing Out of the Year – Looking Back on 2017

Happy New Year my lovely readers!

It has been a year since I looked back on 2016 and I thought it would be a good idea to look back on this last year as well. I’ll also be wrapping up my reading goals and touching on some of the blogging things throughout the year.

Personal

Last year I mainly talked here about my pregnancy and the first few months of being a mom. As you might remember that was quite hard on me and I started the new year with PPD and anti-depressants.

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January 2017

Now we are a year further and I do think things are quite different. I still strugged a lot with Merijn up until about 5,5 months or so. At that point Merijn started napping really well during the day and I felt like I was getting a breather.  I think what really helped me was that I choose to do only me things during his nap time. Which mainly turned out to be reading of course. It helped calm me.

I also had a volunteer that I could talk to and that taught me how to do yoga. It can really help to have someone from outside your normal circle to talk things through too, because they aren’t so in the situation with you without them having to be a professional.

And we also discovered that I am just not much of a baby person. I think baby’s are cute. Sort of. I like the baby twins of my friend because they are hers, you know. But other than that my interest is low. It always has been.

As Merijn grew older and started doing more things (sitting, standing, crawling, walking, eating normal food) things became easier for me. I am more drawn towards todlers and their development. Don’t get me wrong, todlers are difficult completely in their own way.  They are stuborn and want to do everything their own way. But I like that interaction more, even when it does exasperate me sometimes.

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July 2017

As I am doing better we halved my medication at the end of September. The physical symptoms of that were hard to get through with taking care of Merijn as well but I pulled through.

It is also weird. I’ve been a stay at home mom with Merijn for this whole year now. This was by choice but it feels weird sometimes. This is never what I had planned for myself or what I thought I would be doing. I’m also noticing that I’m not sure if I want to work again (though obviously this might not be a choice) or if I even want to return to my previous line of work. In that regard I have a lot to figure out this coming year. I think I will have space in my head again for that. I certainly didn’t have that this year, but as I continue to build myself up again, I hope I can make steps with that too.

In the mean time Merijn has turned 16 months. He can walk, he is starting to talk a bit, he completely eats along with us food wise and hasn’t had a bottle since he was 11 months or so. He is growing out to be a handful. He loves going outside, walking, exploring, getting dirty. It is weird because I am an indoors kind of person. But I try and go outside with him as much as possible. He just has a lot of energy that needs to get out.

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Look at this stud!

Moving away from that, I am glad that I am having more contact with other bloggers outisde of our own blogs. And I am just going to mention them here because I can.

First there is of course La La in the Library who has been a great friend since we started talking well over a year ago. I really appreciate all your support. ❤

Liesbet from Zwartraafje is just one of the kindest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and I am glad we got to meet in real life this Summer. I hope 2018 will bring you so many good (health) things.

I am very thankful to have been able to get to know Dina from Dinasoaur,  Jolien from The Fictional Reader, Inge and Aly from Of Wonderland, Maraia from Buechermonster, Ely from Tea & Titles and Alessandra from The Bookish Mind better. It has been wonderful chatting with you ladies. ❤

Kristen from Metaphors and Moonlight is also a lovely human being who is deserving of so much more attention in the blogging world. And thank you Jackie B.  from Death by Tsondoku for all the thoughtful and lengthy comments you always leave with questions too. ❤

Reading and Goals

For 2017 I was unsure of how much I’d be able to read. It is hard to predict how a year will go in general. And then with a kid and a depression, who even knows? So I just kept to my usual goals for the most part. Some of the goals were easy to complete. Others were not.

Striking of this year was how much I actually read on my e reader. I think this has to do with me requesting more of Netgalley. In previous years I kind of ignored Netgalley for a few months and then check, request maybe 2, read, give feedback and then ignore Netgalley for a few more months. That is not the case anymore. I check Netgalley every few weeks now. I try not to go overboard with requesting, but it does make for more ebooks to read for myself. Which is a good thing. I mean, I don’t have my e reader for nothing.

Another thing is that I did start reading more new releases this year. I had more pre orders coming in and of course more review copies mean more new releases. I haven’t gotten to them all, the 2017 releases in my possession, but I read quite a bit.

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The Reading Challenge – Read 60 books – Completed
141/60

Like I said, some goals I kept small. One of those certainly was the reading challenge. I did not expect to read more than this amount, or at least not much more. But instead, I read way past the number and more then doubled it to get to an amount I have never read before this year. How that happened I’ll get to later on this month. But I guess it was a good reading year.

Read 50 Backlist Books – Completed
73/50

I already talked about this one in my beat the backlist wrap up.

The TBR Challenge – Failed
Total unread books on shelf January 1st 2017 – 145
Goal – Under a 100
/ Halfway through the year changed to 130
183/130

Total and utter fail. Apparently I’m still as delusional as last year when I had a similar goal. How did I even think I was going to get below a 100??? I read a lot but clearly I purchased a lot as well. And since I read a bunch of ebooks too, that just did not work to get this number down. I also kept track of my ebooks this year but that number didn’t rise so high as I get to my ebooks rather quickly. There is no reason to make a goal for that. For now.

Read Books by Dutch Authors on the Shelf – Failed
Owned TBR books by Dutch authors at start of 2017 – 8
Goal – Read them all
3

Like I mentioned in my half year update for these goals, other books just grab my attention more than some of these books. And making myself read all of those on my shelf was just a wrong goal. It doesn’t work. Especially not when you keep adding away to them as well and the number keeps growing. Hopefully I’ll do a bit better next year. I did manage to read Invocatie by Jurgen Snoeren, De Klauw by Adrian Stone and Het Laatste Licht by Jen Minkman

Read 5 Classics
4/5

This is always my loose goal. Not one that I put a complete or a fail on really. It is more there to remind myself to pick up a classic every now and then. I did pick up three this year. Treasure Island, The Wizard of Oz and Frankenstein. All within a few days of each other too. Apparently I had a classic itch to scratch or something. I also picked up 1984 in December from the library, as a quick in between. And thinking of that, I did read I, Robot as well and if it counts as a classic I did complete this goal for a change. I’m hoping to pick up some more in 2018 though.

Blog

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When it comes down to a blogging schedule and scheduling ahead, I think I have a routine down that quite works for me. There is no rush to have to finish posts since I work well ahead. There are always about 3-4 posts going online every week. Sometimes even more, depending on what crosses my path.

The only downside to this is that there is perhaps less spontanous posting. No posts being written in response to things. Tags that are hot at the moment in the community I don’t fill in until later since I already have things scheduled and I don’t always want to move things around.

Annoying was the photobucket debacle this Summer where they started charging for linking images on external sites so most of my photos did not show anymore. I still haven’t gotten around to doing all the posts and replacing the links with flickr ones or just removing a picture all together. I’m hoping to finish that within the first few months of 2018 though when I’ll make a schedule for it.

Throughout the year I also wondered if maybe I should have a niche and become a fantasy book blog. I did listen to all your feedback and decided to just stay the way that I am. My focus does lay on fantasy but there is nothing wrong with reviewing and talking about other things every now and then. Choosing just fantasy would feel too restrictive.

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My Favorite Posts of 2017

14 Bloggers Share Their Christmas Reads // I, Robot – Would I Leave My Son in the Care of a Robot? // Five Reasons You Should Read The Language of Thorns // Characters I’d Invite to a Halloween Costume Party // Books and Cats – In Loving Memory // Fall Covers // Dear Authors Who Request Reviews Themselves // Obstacles to Romance – Guest Post by Molly Ringle // Books That Feature Characters That Go On a Trip // Reading With Merijn – The First Year // I Experienced Harry Potter… // Some Book Recommendations for Minion/Despicable Me Lovers // Reading Journal For My Son // Good Covers for Dutch Translated Books // Dancing Versus – A Monster Calls // Bookshelf Tour 2017 – Part 1 // Why You Should Become a Lunartic // Bookish Gift Ideas For the Non-Reading Father // Diverse Books I Recently Added to My Wishlist a.k.a Goodreads // Bookshelf Tour 2017- Playing the Number Games With My Shelves // Two Years of A Dancing with Books – Q&A // Balancing Act – Keeping the Blog Going // Illustrated Books // Books I Did Not Finish and Why // Favorite Photos From My Bookstagram in 2016 // Dancing Out of the Year -Looking Back on 2016

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26 thoughts on “Dancing Out of the Year – Looking Back on 2017

  1. I’m glad to know that I wasn’t the only photobucket victim haha. I still have a lot of work to do when it come to this. I’m now using my album but I’m not happy with that one. So I’ll need to figure this out. Something to do this year .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Photobucket, ugh. I used it since high school. I’ve been using flickr since for all the new photos to host and to replace all the others. It is just so much work, right? ._.

      Like

  2. Yes being a mom is hard sometimes. Babies don’t come with a warning and we just do our best! And I stopped hosting on photobucket too. You know you can link to your WP media account what you post on Goodreads. Your blog is a public site so it works.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad that things seem to be getting easier as your son gets older. It’s good that you found some me-time because everyone needs that, especially new mums. Congrats on the 141 books too!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Aw this is a lovely post!! Merijn is SO CUTE but I totally understand how hard it would be with the depression and raising a baby. I have a lot of sisters with kids and a lot of them struggle with depression too so like I totally feel for you. I’m glad things are looking up though and Merijn is sleeping better!!

    Eeep, and I just wanted to say I always enjoy reading your posts! I want to make a new year’s goal to read more blogs and more often because I miss so many good posts. ❤ And congrats on absolutely slaying those reading goals!🎉🎉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He certainly can be. 😉 It can feel like you are the only one so it is always good to hear others are struggling too. Not that I am glad your sisters are struggling of course (and I hope they are all doing well) but more that I am not alone.

      Aaaw thank you. ❤ ❤

      Like

  5. Oh you are so sweet! ❤

    I'm glad to hear things are getting better with your depression and Merijn now that he's getting to be a toddler. And you didn't do too bad with your bookish goals! I have, oddly enough, been wanting to read Frankenstein, despite disliking it when I first read it in high school. I just don't remember it though, and I guess I wonder if I might appreciate it more this time around… Prob not lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I initially started it two years ago but was like meh and stopped. Now I was able to power through it in one sitting and it really did absolutely nothing for me.

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  6. I’m so glad things are getting easier for you! It sounds like you’ve made an incredible amount of progress since Merijn was born. I’m honestly in awe of all mothers! What was your line of work before you had Merijn?

    I love our chat group! 💚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Aw, I am so very glad that things are getting better for you and Merijn. It is a challenge, that’s for sure. I found out that I *am* a baby person, but that I haven’t a clue what to do with actual human beings 😉 The stay-at-home-mom thing is an interesting dynamic too- I am in the midst of trying to figure out what the heck to do now (and in the midst of a divorce, which has like you said made being a SAHM not an option anymore!) so I feel you with those big choices- I wish you the very best, and I am so glad that you are doing more things for YOU now ♥♥ He is also a super cutie 😀

    Also, I am impressed that you only check Netgalley every few weeks- I check multiple times a day because clearly, I have problems 😉 Sorry about the Photobucket thing, they are such jerks for doing that to people! Hope you have a fabulous 2018!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Haha who even knows what to do with human beings? Not me. 😀 I’m sorry to hear you are in the middle of a divorce. That has to be so stressful. Hugs. I hope it all works out for the best though.

      Right? Sometimes I don’t even think about Netgalley for weeks, haha.

      Like

  8. Wow! You had one heck of a year! Thank you so much for being open and sharing all of these details. One of the reasons I love reading your blog so much has to do with these personal notes. I appreciate knowing you’re a real human with real-life problems. It makes our interactions so much more meaningful.

    I am glad things are improving in your life! You had so much transition this year– but it sounds like you’re finding balance. We are always our harshest critics; I’m certain your husband and Merijn think you’re being a wonderful partner and caregiver. Don’t forget to prioritize yourself. 😀 Do you have personal wellness goals for this year? Goals outside of your goals with Merijn, I mean.

    You did an AMAZING job with your blogging goals for this year! I’m really impressed. There are so many things you took on– I don’t know how you managed to even remember it all. I’m totally with you on smaller number goals. For this coming year, I think I’ll select fewer goals and try to focus. We’ll see how I actually end up doing. O_o This is how it always is, right?

    Finally, thank you for the shout out! It means a lot to me to be acknowledged like that. I always try. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. 🙂 And I agree. That is why I like sharing things about myself in here. In the end this blog is an extension of me.

      I would like to lose weight but then I’d also want to stuff my face with chocolate, so you know, trying to balance that out haha.

      We always start out meaning so well. And then when it goes well, we think we can add this and that and that haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ik vind het steeds zo fijn om jouw terugblik-blogposts te lezen. Af en toe doe ik dat met serieus wat vertraging nu ik niet meer probeer om alles steeds meteen te lezen. Die lieve vermelding ontdekte ik dan ook pas daarnet maar wat zou ik het leuk vinden mochten we een van onze gemeeschappelijke favoriete boeken kunnen omtoveren tot een Portkey. Stel je voor dat we dat boek maar hoeven aan te raken om bij elkaar in de woonkamer terrecht te komen en vervolgens offline te kunnen bijpraten. Gelukkig bestaat er ook zoiets als mailen en WhatsApp. Dat is uiteraard niet hetzelfde als bijpraten maar soms vind ik het nog steeds een beetje magisch dat je iemand meteen kan bereiken.

    Ik hoop echt dat 2018 een prachtjaar wordt voor zowel jou als je gezin. Wat leesuitdagingen betreft hadden we kunnen ruilen. Mijn Goodreads-challenge haalde ik immers niet maar die van jou was geen probleem geweest. Ook mijn voornemen om dat TBR-aantal omlaag te lezen liep in november een beetje mis. Toch ben ik dit jaar gewoon opnieuw begonnen, maar dan met een start-aantal dat ‘ietsje’ hoger ligt dan vorig jaar. (150 ipv 134) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ja het is wel heerlijk dat je zo via whatsapp met iemand kan praten en veel kan delen. Dat is dan toch een beetje zoals een portkey. 😉

      Ietsje maar? Haha. 😉 Die van mij is flink omhoog. Ach ja. Ooit komen we er wel toch?

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Again, congratulations on those reading stats, especially that backlist total! 📚📚📚📚

    The early mommyhood struggles are behind you and you weathered them like a champ! It will also get even better when Merijn can explain what he is feeling, but then also comes the… why? Why? Why? Why? 😂

    And thank you, you have been a great friend, reading buddy, and Facebook pallie; too! The photos and videos of Merijn always lessen my stress. Who can think of stressful things while looking at that cutie? Not me. 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh, I resonated so much with what you said. I never ever ever thought that I was going to be a stay at home mom too. I loved my job so much and even had a daycare facility picked out. But then I had a near death birth experience with my first and a few other extremely hard hurdles after that and I just couldn’t go back to work. It’s amazing how fast everything can change in the blink of an eye. But I’m so happy that you got to spend so much time with him and it’s a lot of fun watching all of their firsts. There’s just so much joy to be found when they become more mobile and independent and can figure things out for themselves. And I’m one of those who thinks they just get even more fun the older they get since you can do more stuff with them. So here’s to 2018 being wonderful to you and your family and here’s hoping you find lots of new books that you absolutely love. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So sorry to hear about your near death birth experience. That has to be so scary! I’d imagine that changes a lot.

      Oh I agree. I think that todlers are so much fun! It is amazing to see how his mind works.

      Same to you Jen. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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