Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010: Checkpoint

Here we go again. (2009 here).

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

Oh man, stumped by the very first question. Watched my firstborn start real, honest to goodness, it counts school (OK it’s just kindergarten, but still, official). Met some truly amazing bloggers face to face and, hopefully, started some new, outside the computer friendships. Roasted a turkey all by myself.

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

I’m not so good at making specific resolutions because the quilt starts immediately, thus making failure a self-fulfilling prophecy. But I’m still working out, I’m taking more care selecting foods that are less processed and have more natural ingredients, and I floss, so that seems like a good run so far. I’d like to work on more patience and less yelling in the new year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

One of my bestest friends added a daughter, Kara, to her family in October. I love that our boys (who are 3 ½ months apart) both have little sisters.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No funerals this yea, thank heavens. Let’s keep it that way, please.

5. What places did you visit?

Same as last year. I’d say there wasn’t much adventure, but a 4 car caravan across the country is a bit daring, no?

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

Of course, more money would go a long way to making life a little less stressful, but that goes without saying. More creativity in instilling discipline in my kids, and a closer relationship with my Hub.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

June 6, my parents’ 40th anniversary and the day 14 of us took off on a cross-country road trip. August 23, the day I walked Sammy to his first day of kindergarten. March 21, the day it snowed on my birthday, the first day of spring.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

It bears repeating: survival, for myself and everyone living under the same roof with me. And continuing to push myself to run actual miles every single week.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not having enough wisdom in the moment, and losing my temper spectacularly as a result. Not having the words to communicate properly, and losing my temper spectacularly as a result. Bottling up my feelings, and losing my temper spectacularly as a result.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

My daughter does try to kill me on a regular basis, and I am currently sporting a gash across my neck from her ever-sharp fingernails. But other than another bout with strep throat, and maybe a cold here and there, I’ve done fairly well. I do believe I splayed myself rather fabulously by tripping over my own feet while running, but I managed to land in the grass, avoiding major injury to body and ego.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

The new air conditioner. Not that I wanted it, but when the old one goes out in the middle of July, you do what you have to so your children don’t melt. Got a heckuva deal though.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Sabrina celebrates herself every single day. Sammy deserves some accolades for always being happy to go to school, and for handling a whole lot of doctor visits and tests with grace beyond his years. The school district got doing everything they can to make Sammy’s learning experience fun and effective.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Parents who have to complain about teachers behind their backs instead of asking those teachers what’s going on. It’s petty and unnecessary.

14. Where did most of your money go?

The usual – house, food, van payments (soon to end!), bills. A new dishwasher. A new air conditioner. I think I got a little lax in the area of Miscellaneous, so I’ll be working on making better decisions there.

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

I really, really, really hope something merits this level of excitement in 2011, but I can’t think of anything in 2010.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?

I cannot get that Train song out of my head if I hear more than 2 notes.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Mostly the same, but for different reasons.
b) thinner or fatter? Also about the same, though I hope a little thinner shortly.
c) richer or poorer? Poorer, but hopefully I can mitigate that in the coming year.

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

Picking my battles more strategically.

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

Worrying. Procrastinating.

20. How did you spend Christmas in 2010?

Family traditions hold steady again this year. We celebrated with the Hub’s family out in the country the weekend before Christmas, went to my grandma’s church on Christmas Eve, and had a Santa-rific bacchanalia Christmas morning before heading over to my parents’ for even more merrymaking. You’d think that would be more than enough for me, but you’d be wrong. It’s a lot of work to make the season bright around here, and I want more time to enjoy the fruits of my labor. So crank up the carols!

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?

More with my kids every single day.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

I finally agreed to start watching The Big Bang Theory with the Hub this year, and I’m glad I did. I’m also a little creeped out by the many similarities I share with Sheldon.

23. What did you do for your birthday in 2010?

Wow, I really couldn’t remember at first. On my birthday eve, we went to my brother-in-law’s retirement party at a swanky steakhouse, which was a lot of fun. I could close my eyes and think that the festivities and fanciness were for me. We drove home through the snow. We woke up to the snow. I got annoyed by the snow (it’s spring now, I want warmth, dagnabbit). In the afternoon, we had the traditional get-together with the family for cake and singing. The Hub had a friend make a special cake for me.

24. What was the best book you read?

I hang my head in shame to admit I don’t believe I finished an entire book this year. Between keeping up with the handful of magazine subscriptions we have and the massive amount of paperwork Sammy brings home from school (not to mention all the talented writers out there in the internet), my book reading time is precariously low. Another thing to work on.

25. What did you want and get?

A new kitchen table that is so much easier to keep clean that the old, tiled table. A really awesome butcher block cutting board that I love so much, I gave out more as gifts.

26. What did you want and not get?

A really good method to help Sammy focus in school. And a huge pile of money. Sigh, maybe next year.

27. What was your favorite film of this year?

Toy Story 3. Not because it’s the only movie I saw in a theater this year, but because it was wonderfully written and brilliantly animated. For a full minute to pass in which animated toys can convey a whole slew of emotions without a single word, that’s amazing.

28. Did you make some new friends this year?

Yes! I got to meet Jennie, Kristie, Danielle, Natalie, and Erica in person this year, and I think it’s the start of a beautiful friendship. And I love Sammy’s kindergarten teacher, and so will be stalking her long after Sammy moves on up. That’s appropriate, right?

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Even more local friends. I’m on my way now.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Sadly, I’ve fallen deeper into Just Make Sure your Bra Straps and Panty Lines Aren’t Visible. I’m in a vortex of pathetic. I’m dangerously close to a visit from the What Not to Wear crew.

31. What kept you sane?

I’m not sure anything has succeeded, really. Writing, seeing my kids learn something new, hugs and kisses from the people I love.

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

No one really comes to mind.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

I’d love for someday that a visit to the doctor won’t blow my budget out of the water, and for someday to be soon.

34. Who did you miss?

Family that’s far away or gone too soon. Friends that live in other states that I don’t get too see nearly often enough, especially Sarah.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

Last year’s still rings true. Faith will get you through absolutely everything. Take a moment to see the plus side of your life. And I’ll add: just take a deep breath. Or 2. Or 15.

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