Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year in Review: 2013

Last year I wrote that it was a quiet year. This year was...not quiet. Not one bit.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

Quit my job and became a stay-at-home mom. Bought a house. Gave birth to a baby without drugs. Had a child go through heart surgery.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn't do a great job of keeping my resolutions. Let's start with the last one - "Eat Less and Exercise More." I mentioned in my post on New Year's resolutions that I had started counting calories. I have no recollection of doing this. It ended up being a moo point anyway (hee), because I became pregnant with Christopher in January. So much for eating less and exercising more!

Resolution No. 3 was to organize my recipes. Nope.

Resolution No. 2: Get up when the alarm goes off instead of snoozing. Well, I don't wake up to an alarm anymore, and there is only one day a week that we have to be somewhere early.

Resolution No. 1. The biggie. Less screen time. I utterly failed at this. In November, though I did decide to stop looking at Facebook. I find I don't miss it at all! I went on again a week or so ago because I posted a picture via Instagram. The first post I saw was a former high school classmate bragging about her infant daughter (who is younger than Christopher) sleeping through the night. I promptly signed off again.

I don't have any specific resolutions in mind for this year, other than continuing my quest to be happy in my own life, without worrying about what everyone and their mother thinks about what I should or shouldn't be doing. Because, like a cow's opinion, most of their opinions don't matter.

(Okay, now I feel compelled to explain that the opinions of my family and friends do matter to me. I value their advice. See, I am out of control. I was worrying that people would be offended that I wrote that other people's opinions don't matter. Because they do. Except when they don't. Oh my God I am stopping now.)

3. Did anyone close to you have a child?

Yes. Chelsea had Blake. Katie had Ruby. Amanda had Maisy. Liz had Maggie. Jessica had Heidi. Am I forgetting someone? I feel like I am.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes, my grandpa passed away in April.

5. Where did you travel?

Nowhere, really. Unless you count driving between the Twin Cities and Evansville. Edited to add: I forgot about our trip to the Gunflint Trail and Grand Marais! That was fun.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

I would like to say that I want something fun, like more family outings or more time to read and cook. But really all I want is more sleep. Lots and lots of sleep.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory?

October 4, the day Christopher was born. October 25, the day Christopher had heart surgery.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Christopher. He is a joy. Also, starting to find my groove as a stay-at-home mom. Of course, that was all thrown out the window when Christopher was born, but aside from the aforementioned lack of sleep, we are still managing to do many of the things we did before. It is just more challenging to get out of the house, especially in winter.

9. Did you suffer illness or injury?


10. What was the best thing you bought?

Our house. It is not perfect, but I love the neighborhood. It is a great place to be a stay-at-home mom, and our neighbors are wonderful. I can see us staying in this house forever. Or, at least until we are ready to move into a retirement community.

11. Whose behavior merited celebration?

The wonderful, wonderful staff at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. My very supportive family and friends.

12. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Politicians who don't seem to realize that their job is to help people, and not just to please their big donors.

13. Where did most of your money go?

Mortgage and diapers. Does it ever end?

14. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Finding out I was pregnant and Christopher's birth. I was also pretty excited when we found our house.

15. What song will always remind you of 2013?

Bah. More Sesame Street songs. Also, the "Free to Be You and Me" album. (Have you heard it? It is a great album for kids.) Also: "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

16. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

Sadder, fatter and poorer. Wow, that sounds depressing, but it's all true.

17. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Had date nights with Ben when it was still easy to hire a babysitter. We haven't found a non-family member babysitter here, and with Christopher being so young it is hard to get away. Someday we will have date night again. I hope.

18. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Felt sorry for myself.

19. How did you spend Christmas?

See here.

20. What was your favorite TV program?

Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, Sleepy Hollow, Orange is the New Black, Justified, Gavin and Stacey (repeats), and, I'll admit it, Hart of Dixie. I know. I am super excited for the return of Downton Abbey and Sherlock this January.

22. What was the best book you read?

I came nowhere near my goal of reading 40 books this year, although in my defense when I set that goal I had no idea that I'd be moving and having another baby. Here is my top five from this year:

1. "The Forgotten Garden" by Kate Morton
2. "In the Woods" by Tana French
3. "Cutting for Stone" by Abraham Verghese
4. "The Girl You Left Behind" by JoJo Moyes
5. "Divergent" by Veronica Roth

23. What was your greatest musical discovery

Nothing really. Although Ben did buy me the new Arcade Fire and Avett Brothers albums for Christmas.

24. What did you want and get?

A new house and a new baby!

25. What did you want and not get?

Sleep. (Not to beat a dead horse.)

26. What was your favorite film of this year?

Well, I hardly saw any, so I guess I'll go with Gravity. That was freakin' awesome. And not just because I was out without my children.

27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Katie and Andrew made me macaroni and cheese and Ben and Clare made cupcakes. Christopher was only 12 days old, and we had just found out about his heart defect, so it wasn't the happiest of birthdays, but I will remember my failed attempts to blow out the candles. For some reason I just could not do it. Everyone found this to be hilarious. Oh, and I turned 34.

28. What one [or three] thing[s] would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

More time with friends. Even though I am back in the Cities, I don't see my friends nearly often enough. It is hard to coordinate around everyone and their children's schedules. I hope that as our kids get older, we'll find more time for get-togethers with and without the children.

29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Maternity wear for most of the year, and the last 2 plus months it has been anything with the least amount of spit up on it. I am very glamorous right now.

30. What kept you sane?

I don't know that I have kept sane, to be honest.

31. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. I want to be their BFF.

32. What political issue stirred you the most?

I was very happy when Minnesota legalized gay marriage. I was very unhappy that the government shutdown.

33. Who did you miss?

My SNB girls in Madison, And you too, Misty! (I was actually talking to Misty on Facebook in the middle of the night when I was in labor with Christopher.)

34. Who was the best new person you met?

My new stay-at-home mom friend Heather. Oh, and Christopher, of course.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

I am so much happier when I remember that I have a good life. Duh, right? But it is so easy to get caught up in comparing what I have or do to what everyone else has or does. I still compare, but I have gotten much better at focusing on what I have and not worrying about everyone else. This is something I am going to continue to work on this year.

Happy New Year, all!


  1. I am so happy that you're back in Minnesota, and look forward to more playdates and lunches in 2014 (maybe even a happy hour or two!).
    I want to live in your neighborhood, too. Everyone is so friendly!

  2. I have Free to Be You and Me and never listened to it - that changes this weekend! Thanks for the tip!

    I hope some of those favorite books of yours came from my reccommendations, because they look awfully familiar. :) And they're all great (except 4, I haven't read that) so you had a great year in reading!

    We WILL find more time as they get bigger. I imagine many things will get easier as the kids get bigger. As long as we don't overschedule them with sports and activities - we still need lives, too!

    I relate a lot to this post - more sleep, feeling antsy inside, balancing two kids, sometimes feeling down. Just know I'm here for you!

    (And awesome that you've joined me over here not having/looking at FB!)