As cliche as it might sound, it really is hard to believe that 2016 is already drawing to an end. There are so many things that I wanted to accomplish that I never got around to doing, so here’s looking forward to a much more productive and successful 2017. Before we gather around to sing “Auld Lang Syne” and drink sparkling grape juice, let’s take one more tour of the web for the last speedlink of the year.

We start off with Eschelle Westwood from Mumfection reminding us of what to consider before getting a puppy. I’ve said this before and I’ll likely say it again. Choosing to add a dog to your family is not a decision to be taken lightly. It is literally a lifelong and life-changing decision for all parties involved.

While we are on the subject of family pets, Tyler Ingram has a much more manageable option to keep the kids occupied. He offers his review of a 10 gallon starter kit from TopFin. The plan is to house the family’s betta in there, perhaps along with a few other fish. The kit’s almost everything you need to get started aside from a bag of gravel.

We’ve flown with our daughter twice and it is an entirely different experience from flying with adults. Heather Van Mil offers some advice for traveling with toddlers. Remember to bring your own snacks and entertainment. In fact, food can be a game too.

You learn a lot not only about the craft but also about yourself whenever you start a new venture. Shannon Grochowski shares some of the lessons she has learned since she started blogging. It’s important to know why you’re doing it and what goals you are striving toward.

Many of us were quite surprised last month when Donald Trump was elected as the next President of the United States. Brent Almond thought carefully about how, as a gay dad, he could explain the election results to his son. He tried to assure his boy that there “are still good people in charge who will make sure Trump does the right thing.”

I’ve learned a lot in my 10+ years as a professional freelance writer and so has Sharon Hurley Hall. She looks back at the hits and misses of her career and how her experience can help others who are thinking about breaking out on their own too. Blogging is good. Writing communities are good. Undervaluing yourself is bad.

It’s absolutely true that the world of freelancing can look very different from the outside. As Carol Tice points out, you may be misled by some of the fairy tales of freelancing. There is no magic website with guaranteed high-paying jobs. And you still need to come up with your own great story ideas. Editors won’t do that for you.

Parents understand. Getting out the house and doing mundane, everyday things can be a remarkable challenge when you’ve got a little one in tow. Billy Kilgore learned that lesson awfully quickly, summing up five of the dumbest places he has taken his son. Waiting in line at the DMV with a cranky kid strapped to your chest is not exactly an ideal situation.

“You look great for your age.” Back-handed compliments can sting and criticisms masked in pleasantry can be just as bad. As a guest post on Dadsense points out, helpfulness is the new form of mommy shaming. This is when a fellow parent “helpfully” points out that something you’re doing is wrong and probably going to irreparably hurt your child. Because obviously you’re doing it wrong.

And finally, we turn to Christopher Cheung from The Tyee as he investigates the phenomenon of ethnoburbs. It may have once been the case that immigrants populated the inner cities and the Caucasian majority flocked to the suburbs with their white picket fences… but then we have examples like Richmond.

May your new year be glorious and bright.