Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Unfiltered Kinnear Family Year in Review

This post is sponsored by the kind people at Plum Organics and their #ParentingUnfiltered campaign. After you’re done reading this post, please take a few minutes and make your own Unfiltered Holiday Newsletter by clicking here and then share it with your friends. Plum Organics helps Ask Your Dad keep the lights on, and they do it while letting me write about what I want to write about. That’s a win for me, a win for you, and a win for them. 


2015 was the length of a blink. My eyes got dry for a second in January so I closed them momentarily and watched a year of my kids’ life flash by on the backs of my eyelids. When I opened them again I had a three-year-old and a five-year-old decorating our Christmas tree, and by the end of the night I had super-glued four ornaments back together. While super-gluing Tinker Bell’s Wing back to her body, I had a minute to think about everything that has happened this year.

“You should write a year-in-review post,” I thought.

“Really? Some people hate those because you just end up sounding like you are bragging,” I continued to think, beginning a conversation with myself in my head… which is totally normal and not a sign of psychosis.

“We wouldn’t have to write it about just the accomplishments this year. We could talk about the rough times too.”

“This year was actually pretty smooth sailing. What rough times?”

“I don’t know. There had to be some messy parts. Like what about the time you super-glued yourself to Tinker Bell?”

“When did I do that? Oh… crap?”

So yeah… I took the long way around to get through the intro all so I say this. I could go month by month and tell you all about our big and little accomplishments. Or I could go month by month and tell you about our messier moments. Instead I am going to do both, one handed, with Tinker Bell glued to my index and middle finger. LET THE HUMBLE BRAG BEGIN!!!


Brag – Our house was clean and we ate healthy food for 13 days to start the year.

Messy – Somewhere around the 13th we had forgotten to go shopping and had a van with two hangry kids. We gave up on our plan to never eat fast food again, went to Mcdonald’s, then went home and didn’t clean the house. We watched football instead. It felt awesome.


Brag – Stevie and I care about our marriage and want to make time to acknowledge how much we love each other. We planned ahead and got an over-night sitter for Valentine’s Day. Marriage saved. Sexy time was imminent.

Messy – We put our pajama pants on at 7 and watched two hours of Daredevil on Netflix instead. But there was cuddling for a minute before we fell asleep and Stevie drooled on me.

Just before we put our PJ's on.

Brag – Nothing happened in March. We complained a lot about how cold it was and how it should be spring already.

Messy – I slipped on some ice in the drive way and fell like one of the Three Stooges because it is MARCH AND THERE SHOULDN’T BE ICE ON THE GROUND ANY MORE!


Brag – To stay in shape Stevie and I continued our training for the Ogden Marathon. We woke up early on Saturdays and went running. We took turns running in the evening.

Messy – On April 7th we realized that Duchess had a dance recital on the same day as the race and promptly gave up our training. We were so sad. (We weren’t really that sad.)

Messier – Somehow, in separate instances, both my kids found a way to fall on their faces.


Brag – To support Breast Cancer Research we signed the whole family up for the Komen Race for the Cure.

Messy – It was pouring rain on the day of the race. We walked to the starting line, turned around, and went back to the car.

We went and got pancakes instead.

Brag 2 – Duchess had her dance recital. She was amazing in a way only a four-year-old can be amazing. She was dressed as a puppy. I was dressed as a dad who cries when his daughter does tap dance in a puppy dog costume.


Brag – My oldest friend Ken got married to his fiancĂ© Jason. Watching them get married and thinking about how happy I was for them and for LGBT people around the country was one of the highlights of my year… no, not my year, my decade.

Messy – I took this awesome picture of Stevie being annoyed at me for catching her playing on her  computer, cell phone and eating curry chicken all at the same time.


Brag – One of my biggest regrets over the last few years has been not engaging with the people in my neighborhood more. So for the 4th of July I got up the courage to ask my neighbor to co-host a Barbeque and Firework night. It was fantastic. We had nearly fifty people show up and sit on blankets in our front yard while we lit off enough fireworks to invade a small country.

Messy – One of the mortar shells shot into our empty garage and exploded next to the two full gasoline cans I had in there. I didn’t blow up my house… but I almost did.

Bonus– My friends Barton and Lisa both wore the same outfit to work.

Oh, and… Stevie and I kept a tiny human alive and mostly happy for five years.


Brag – Duchess started Kindergarten. She walked into that room one of the most capable, confident and happy kids I have ever seen. I felt like I had concurred the galaxy. I cried again. I cry a lot.

Messy – I literally forgot my wife’s birthday. The first day of Kindergarten was also Stevie’s birthday. I am so, so sorry honey.



Brag – I got a promotion at work! BUT... more importantly, Captain hit the jackpot on the arcade machine and won 1000 tickets!!! (The promotion was really cool, but the Ninja Turtle Flashlight we bought with a thousand tickets was awesome.)

Messy – The Ninja Turtle flashlight broke two days later. I still have my job, but that didn’t make Captain any less sad about his flashlight.


Brag – My kids make the most adorable Butterfly and Dinosaur that have ever existed in the history of the universe.

Messy – In what can only be described as a moment of parental genius, Stevie and I brought the kids Halloween Candy downstairs to have a few pieces after they had gone to bed. Then we forgot to put it back… or throw the wrappers away. The next morning had some screaming, and then some more screaming.


Brag – I don’t know what we did right, but we did something. Duchess and Captain genuinely like each other. They have been inseparable all year. They play super heroes together. They play princesses together. I’m including this in November, because…

Messy – By the end of November my kids have tired of each other and now they just push each other until the other one cries. It was fun while it lasted.


And now we’re in December. Like I said, I blinked in early January and when I opened my eyes my kids were in the other room and I had Tinker Bell glued to my hand. It’s OK though. I think Stevie has some finger nail polish remover in the bathroom. In the meantime, I should thank all of you for reading my blog this year and for the last four years. It has been an amazing journey and I promise to keep writing about it as long as you keep reading.


John, Stevie, Duchess and Captain

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  1. That shot of Stevie in June is just great, lol. I can see she had some very serious Facebook business to attend to ;)

  2. May is my favorite, pancakes for the win!