2016 was a very particular year; it was full of changes, experiences, learnings, and also frustrations and disappointments.

2016 is the year I realized my kids were getting older; my daughter started her senior year of high school (and began to send college applications!), one of my sons started high school, and our youngest moved up to 4th grade. Anyone with kids finishing and starting high school will understand about all the happiness this brings as well as the many, many, many challenges.

2016 was the first year I took a trip with my two older kids, just the three of us. It was fun. We went to San Francisco, and while it rained every day, we had an amazing time together.

2016 was the year my dog Tokyo died unexpectedly. Tokyo was a very smart, charming but very stubborn two-year-old English Bulldog. Tokyo was unique; I got him as a gift for my 40th birthday. His name was a reminder of a trip I had planned to do to Tokyo, Japan when I turned 40 years old. My wife Felly thought it was clever to give me an English Bulldog and name him Tokyo, and it was.

2016 was the year I took my kids to New York City for the first time. They had wanted to go and the opportunity came up during our summer trip, as we also needed to visit New York University (NYU) so my daughter could do a tour and see what it is all about.

The trip to New York City was different; we decided to stay at an apartment in Brooklyn to get the full experience of living like a local. Also, it was during this trip that my kids (and myself) got a chance to meet Casey Neistat outside his office in NYC. Casey is a very famous YouTuber and filmmaker, and both of my teenage kids have watched his videos on YouTube for a while now.

2016 was the year my daughter reached 1,000 subscribers on her YouTube music channel; it was a big accomplishment, and we felt proud and happy for her. My daughter Jennifer loves to sing and play music; she started this YouTube channel in 2011, and she’s been posting videos of her singing and playing the ukulele, guitar and keyboard since then.

2016 was the year my son Ricardo made his first public pitch in front of an audience during a TED Youth event (TEDxyouth). My son was pitching an idea for an app that helps filmmakers gather all the tools and services they need to produce films in one place. If I remember correctly, he called it MovieBase. While he is still very much passionate about creating content and making videos and short films, I am not sure he is actively working on this idea.

2016 was the year Felly learned how to make pizza; it’s been a delicious, cheesy year.

2016 was the year my youngest son Mauricio got access to more tech and social media than ever before. We allowed him to follow his curiosity to make short videos about gaming, Minecraft, Pokemon, etc. Mauricio created his first YouTube channel, and his oldest brother taught him basic video editing skills and how to use YouTube to host his content.

2016 was the year my two teenage kids ran their first half marathon. According to them, they got inspired after watching my wife, and I ran a full marathon in 2015; we couldn’t felt prouder of them. Next year, they are both planning on running their first full marathon in February 2017 here in Austin, TX.

2016 was the year of presidential elections here in the United States. All of my kids and we learned a lot about the human nature and our country. That’s what it was for me, a learning experience that I hope will just help us make changes to be better, to be more understanding and accepting of people around us, and to be stronger and more united.

2016 was another year we visited my family in Mexico. We spent some days with my parents, brothers, sisters, their families, and extended families. We had a great time as always, and I am happy and very glad that my family in Mexico is healthy and doing great. I am very thankful for that.

2016 was the year my wife Felly, and I decided to renew our wedding vows in 2017, on our 20th wedding anniversary. Felly has been my life companion and friend for the past 20 years, and I couldn’t have chosen a better person to share my life. I love you Felly.

2016 was the year I started an experiment on YouTube, inspired by my kids. I created a 100% Spanish YouTube channel to show tech gadgets and do basic reviews on them. I haven’t been very consistent with it, but I am planning on adding more videos and be more consistent about it next year and the years to come.

2016 was the year I learned something about myself I didn’t like. This experience taught me a lesson on active listening and emotional intelligence that I believe has helped me be a better person.

Places I traveled in 2016

  • Guadalajara, Mexico
  • Monterrey, Mexico
  • San Francisco, California
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Washington, DC
  • New York City
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • Niagara Falls, NY
  • Ontario, Canada

What I didn’t do in 2016.

I failed to become more organized and to focus on fewer tasks at hand.
I failed to be more careful about our personal finances and didn’t meet some of my personal financial goals.
I failed to lose weight, again. I did lose some weight at the beginning of 2016 but added it back during the summer and couldn’t lose it again.
I failed to do more exercise consistently.
I failed to spend more quality time with my wife, alone, just the two of us.
I failed to spend more quality time with each one of my kids. This is something I am acting upon in 2017 and the years to come.
I failed to read two books a month. I read many books this year but not as many as I wish I had.
I failed to follow-up on a few ideas I had early this year.
I failed to learn from some of my mistakes this year, as I know I made the same mistakes a few times.

Time never stops, let’s do our best every day and let time do the rest.

Cheers to a great, fun, and healthy 2017!