1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
Became an aunt. Took two small children camping. (It was a success!) Had a child start preschool. (Maybe in the long run that won't seem like a big deal, but it felt momentous.)
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
No. Once again, I did not keep them. I said that I was going to stop yelling at other drivers while in the car because it scared Clare. Well, it doesn't scare her anymore, but every time I do it she says, "I am not going to tell you again. Stop talking to the other cars. They can't hear you." She is SO three. I also said I was going to start eating less sugar. And no. I didn't do that either. My track record on these things is not very good, so I think I may just skip them entirely this year. We'll see.
3. Did anyone close to you have a child?
YES! My sister had my beautiful niece Josephine. My friend Jessie had Evan, Suzy had Isla, Maggie had Rachel, and Mandy had Piper.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. Where did you travel?
We went to Pipestone, Minnesota, on our first family vacation in June. We also went to Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail. And of course, multiple trips to Evansville.
6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
A better fitness routine, including making sure I get to my weekly yoga class. I NEED to do this. I need to.
7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory?
January 5: Christopher's Baptism. February 1: My brother and sister-in-law's wedding. December 1: My niece's birthday.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
SLEEP!!! Last year all of my answers to this questionnaire seemed to involve wanting more sleep. Well, Christopher has been sleeping through the night for the majority of the year. SLEEP. Is that really an achievement, though? Maybe not. In all seriousness, I would say that my biggest accomplishment is finding my groove as a stay-at-home mom. It is nice feeling like I have this thing under control. (Note: this will probably go out the window when I start caring for my niece Josie this spring. DON'T WORRY KATIE IT WILL BE FINE.)
9. Did you suffer illness or injury?
A few colds and my usually litany of random weirdness.
10. What was the best thing you bought?
Hmmmm. I really like some sweaters I bought at Old Navy? I can't think of anything major or interesting.
11. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I read an article that stuck with me about doctors working to combat Ebola. I just really admire those people. They are doing such important work.
12. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Internet trolls. I have always known the internet was toxic, but it just seemed extra bad this year. I know I should just stay off of it, but I can't help myself. I always go back.
13. Where did most of your money go?
The usual: mortgage and diapers. Our budget can mostly be summed up as "Things for Children."
14. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
This may be lame, but I am really excited that I found a group of stay-at-home mom friends to hang out with during the week. We don't see each other everyday, but it means a lot knowing they are there.
15. What song will always remind you of 2013?
Everything on Elizabeth Mitchell's "Little Seed" album. I think I have listened to it almost every day this year. (Except for this month, when I issued a "Christmas music only" decree for car trips.)
16. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
Happier, maybe slightly thinner, and about the same financially.
17. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exercised. I always feel better when I do it, but I have such a hard time keeping to a routine.
18. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worried about things that are out of my control. I think I'll wish that every year. Also: obsessed about things that have already happened. (And are therefore out of my control.)
19. How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas Eve was spent at home with a sick 3-year-old. Luckily, she rallied for the main event and had a blast on Christmas Day. We had Christmas morning at home, complete with homemade gingerbread and a full English breakfast, and then had Christmas dinner at Ben's parents' house. We traveled to Evansville for the weekend following Christmas and had a nice visit there, filled with good food, good martinis, and good football. Also, a fun trip to see the lights at the Rotary Gardens in Janesville, which Clare really loves.
20. What was your favorite TV program?
Orange is the New Black, The Mindy Project, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Black-ish.
22. What was the best book you read?
I read a lot of books this year that just did not live up to their hype. The worst offender: "The Goldfinch." I did not enjoy that book. I did like a few, though.
1. "The Paying Guests," by Sarah Waters
2. "Me Before You," by Jojo Moyes
3. "The Fault in Our Stars," by John Green
4. "The Rosie Project," by Graeme Simsion
5. "Hyperbole and a Half," by Allie Brosh
23. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I mentioned that I have been listening to Elizabeth Mitchell every day, and I actually really like her. It is music for kids, but her voice is so pleasant, and the music so pretty, that it doesn't get on my nerves the way some other music does.
24. What did you want and get?
25. What did you want and not get?
A minivan. However, I will be getting one early next year. I have officially turned into an old person/mom.
26. What was your favorite film of this year?
I saw four, maybe five movies this year? And of those, two were in the theater. I really liked "Gone Girl," but I think I'll have to go with "Guardians of the Galaxy." That movie was just fun.
27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I went to a fundraiser where I met Al Franken, and then out to dinner at Red Cow with my sister. It was fun and delicious. I also had a little family party with the kiddos, and then a date night with Ben at Craftsman a few days later. It was nice. I turned 35. I guess I am officially in my mid-30s. GASP.
28. What one [or three] thing[s] would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More time doing things that are not related to children or child maintenance duties. This may not be possible when you have a 3- and 1-year-old and are also a stay-at-home mom, but it would be nice to have some time to myself or date nights or girls' nights or lunch out without kids or something!
Sort of related tangent: my friend Heather and I took our kids to Noodles for lunch recently. We turned our attention away from the three-year-olds for literally one minute to have a conversation, and we look back over and they are both waving their knives in the air. I asked Clare what the heck she was doing. "We're playing SUPER KNIVES!" she shrieked.
Yes. A lunch out without Super Knives would be absolutely lovely.
29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Any clothes that are mostly clean and kind of match. And Old Navy sweaters.
30. What kept you sane?
Ben. Friends. Family. Also: having a routine is HUGE for me.
31. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I started following Mindy Kaling on Instagram and Twitter, and I love her. She is hilarious.
32. What political issue stirred you the most?
Bah. That sums up how I feel about politics right now.
33. Who did you miss?
Rob and Andri.
34. Who was the best new person you met?
35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
On a small scale, I learned that if I keep my cool with Clare when she is acting up it really helps prevent the situation from escalating. Goal for 2015: learn how to keep my cool.
I've also spent a lot of time feeling grateful. Grateful that I live where I do, that I have the life I have. I know I am really lucky. That doesn't mean everyday is a good day, or that I don't have any problems, but remembering that helps a lot.
Happy New Year, all!
|Christmas morning chaos.|
|Silly goose, silly hat.|
|Working on the annual Christmas puzzle.|
|Baba Ralph with his sidekick for the weekend.|
|Clare enjoying the Christmas lights.|