Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year in Review: 2013

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

Sold a house (we sold one before but just to a relo company so it was a different experience). Bonded immediately with a newborn. Had mastitis. Hosted a massive housewarming party.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions and will you make more this year?

Hmmm, be right back.

Ok, had to go check and see what they were! Considering I didn't consider them a single day after writing them, I didn't do too bad! About a 40% success rate which is pretty good with everything else that was going on.

Yes, I have a list in mind for this year but don't know if I'll get time to write them out today. Stay tuned.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes! Uh, me for a start. My BFF gave birth to one of my all-time favorite baby boys ever in March, and my sister delivered me another nephew (what, it was totally for me!) in November. I had a number of other cousins and friends have babies this year and each and every one made me smile widely.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My grandfather's wife, Vicki, passed away rather unexpectedly this past spring. I'm really sorry for the loss of her and the companionship I know my grandfather will miss. I am pleased that the two of them came to visit in 2011 so the older kids have some memories of her.

5. What countries did you visit?

Wow, what an optimistically-worded question. Didn't leave the country this year and don't plan to until at least 2015. Might make an exception if it includes hot sun and a sandy beach, though.

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

More time to connect with my husband. Regular access to a boat this summer. Time to myself and a chance to get away from the daily grind (which I will accomplish in a couple of weeks when I take Archer and go see my sister's family!)

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

The day we confirmed we were expecting a healthy baby boy to complete our family. The journey to that place was longer and more complicated than we had anticipated so it was especially gratifying.

The day we sold our house after 12 hours on the market.

The day we moved into our Forever Home (you know, unless we move).

The day Archer was born.

Seeing my grandfather holding newborn Archer was pretty special.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I'm going to go flippant on this one and say it was hosting a housewarming party of approximately 70 on a hot and humid day in July, two weeks before I was due to give birth. The cankles, they were EPIC.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Hmmm. For a year in which I had to reallllly lower my standards, I really don't feel like I truly failed at much. We survived a really tumultuous year (though mostly in great ways) and are coming to the end of it in a pretty good place.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had the flu (the real flu) in January. It was awful.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Our new house. Not only is it a truly wonderful family home, it came with a great, social neighborhood, committed community and great schools.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Moving expenses. Real estate transactions. Mortgages. Doctors and hospitals. Jeesh, it's been an expensive year.

13. What did you get really excited about? 

Giving birth for the LAST time.

It was a really eventful year in general, but much of it was tangled up in the anxiety of transition for me so I wasn't necessarily excited in advance.

14. What song will always remind you of 2013?

Probably Pink's Just Give Me a Reason. The two big kids sing the duet together and it is hilariously adorable.

15. Compared to this time last year are you:

Happier or Sadder? Happier, no question
Thinner or Fatter? Huh. Thinner, but no fitter unfortunately. Just not carrying a fetus.
Richer or Poorer? Poorer in cash (see: moving, giving birth) but richer in assets and long-term savings

16. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Spend time with friends. Read. Put down my phone and disconnect.

17. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Worrying about things I couldn't control. Yelling at my kids. Grouching at my husband.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

At home with my peeps. Low-key, the way I have grown to love it.

19. What was your favorite TV program this year?

Hm. Probably The Killing (I watched it this year)

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

The one that really stands out was Me Before You. I also loved The Storyteller, Wild and Eleanor & Park. It was sad to read Maeve Binchy's final book, A Week in Winter.

21. What was your favorite music of the year?

It was kind of a bomb, music-wise. I just don't get a chance to listen to it very often.

22. What were your favorite films of the year? 

I enjoyed Skyfall much more than I expected to. Several of the kids' movies were very watchable, and I truly enjoyed Frozen. Between pregnancy and having a new baby, I probably slept through 80% of the films I attempted to watch this year.

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

I turned 33. Archer was about five weeks old at the time and he and I took a two-hour nap together. I don't remember anything else about the day. Oh wait, we went out for dinner. That was nice too.

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

A house cleaner. I don't know why, but I let the state of my house stress me out a lot. Probably because I spend so much time in it. For the record, I keep a very tidy house, it's just not always spotlessly clean.

25. What kept you sane?

Texting with my sister. Zoloft (quite literally). The internet and my smartphone.

26. Share a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

Sometimes, Good Enough really, truly is good enough. The kids will survive, a strong marriage will survive, and life will go on even if all you can manage is Good Enough.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Things That Are Making Me Smile Today

My adorable five-month-old (!!!) who slept from 7 - 7 last night with one brief wake-up at 2:30. I feel AMAZING today.

My big kids who are currently upstairs in their bathroom bathing plastic animals and toy cars in the sinks. They can be total stinkers but they are incredibly good at entertaining themselves.

My husband, enjoying his first true vacation this year. He's spending it ice fishing in some tiny northern town in South (?) Dakota. It sounds truly awful to me, but is the one thing he does for fun that he finds truly relaxing. To each his own.

A babysitter coming in 15 minutes to watch the kids while I get a haircut. And go to the liquor store because I somehow managed to embark on a five-day solo parenting stint with no wine in the house. Poor planning.

My BFF and her kiddos coming tonight for dinner. Brighton spent a good 30 minutes using half a Costco pack of baby wipes to wipe down the leather living room furniture in anticipation. Rest assured, nothing is actually clean after all that effort.

Planning and shopping for our annual Boxing Day Extravaganza. Since Christmas is quiet for us, Boxing Day is our "big" celebration. We are up to four other families coming and it's going to be complete and utter merry chaos.

Feeling the urge to start blogging again. I have so many things that I want to share, so many amazing experiences I've had this year of change and transition. Here's hoping for some regular napping from the baby so I might have time to actually do it.