1. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 28 this year! Some friends from church threw me a surprise party (first ever!) and it was awesome. I felt very loved.
2. What are your strongest memories from this year, and why?
Travel memories galore! Paris! New York! Chicago! Utah! California!
Unfortunately there are also some less pleasant memories from early in the year when I stood up for some things I believe in and got burned. The hurt runs deep but, fortunately, Paris and New York are pretty good at overshadowing the negative.
3. What did you do this year that you’d never done before?
Tried my hand at some french baking in preparation for our Paris trip! I made both macarons and croissants and it was lots of fun.
4. What did you want and get?
Diamond earrings. I mentioned to Aaron one day just in passing that I'd like diamond studs some day. A few weeks later he presented a little box to me as an early anniversary and Christmas present. I was blown away since I was thinking along the lines of 30th wedding anniversary, not 8th.
5. What did you want and not get?
I found this gorgeous leather jacket in Chicago that was 40% off (on sale for the low low price of $450) and Aaron practically had to drag me out of the store because I wouldn't stop snuggling it.
6. What would you like to have next year that you didn’t have this year?
A different house. As of this week that's actually looking like a real possibility. We're in the ballpark. Crossing fingers...
7. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't even remember what they were. Ha! My resolutions this year are pretty simple. I want to write more thank-you notes and be more organized in my use of time. I have some specifics I'm working on for that second one but it boils down to blocking out time for work rather than slowly plunking away on it throughout the day. My current method is ridiculously inefficient.
8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
Getting to work for Babble!
9. What was your biggest failure?
As always, my biggest failures are in my parenting. I literally tackled Stinky to the floor earlier this week and ripped the shoes from his feet because he wore dusty shoes on my newly mopped floors right before an agent was going to show our house. His feelings were so hurt. Not a proud moment for me.
10. What did you rely on when you were overwhelmed?
Food and melatonin (I sleep so well these days!). I also read a ton. Books have always been my greatest escape and comfort. Also, Aaron and I agreed that this year was the best our marriage has seen. When things got ugly for me earlier this year it was such a relief to have him on my side.
11. What are your strongest recommendations for entertainment from this year? (books, television, movies, music, etc)
I don't remember many of the movies I saw this year but I do remember some of the books I read. I loved Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions. I know there were more awesome ones but I can't remember. I've been terrible at updating GoodReads.
12. What song will remind you of this year?
Wrecking Ball. I listened to that song...a lot. #noshame
13. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year (not necessarily from the song that reminds you of the year).
I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
14. What was your most enjoyable purchase?
I'm a little embarrassed by how much crap I bought this year. Having my own solid paycheck coming in each month was awesome. I'd have to say my most enjoyable purchase, though, was Disneyland tickets. It was so magical getting to share that with my boys!
15. Did you travel? If so, where?
OH DID I MENTIONED THAT I TRAVELED THIS YEAR??
16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Running. We occasionally hit 4 times a week but more often it was like twice. It's fine but I feel better with 3-4.
17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Getting sucked into the internet and staying up late. And usually doing those things together. Also, I relaxed my eating standards a lot toward the end of the year and ate a TON of junk food. I wish I'd done less of that. Aaron and I have agreed to swing back toward healthy eating in the new year. Spinach pasta for everyone!
18. Compared to this time last year, how are you different?
Different hair color. Also, I've realized I'm an introvert in extrovert's clothing and that's why I dislike gatherings of 7+ people (I know, weirdly specific), among other things. But recognizing that has made my life so much better. I can plan accordingly and let myself off the hook when there's too many people and I feel overwhelmed instead of sociable.
19. Compared to this time last year, how are you the same?
MUCH changed this year but my heart is the same.
20. What’s a life lesson you learned this year?
A. It's up to me to work to maintain my relationships. I can't just wait for my phone to ring, I have to call and invite and reach out. It's hard for me (see: introvert in extrovert's clothing) but it has made a big difference.
B. It's ok to think and feel differently from the majority. People will judge and I've given myself permission to not care. Roar, indeed.