1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Racquetball. I also picked up a regular gym habit which has been really enjoyable.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any (see above), mostly because after Christmas we're so freaking tired around here. Sometimes around March I'll start to think about healthfulness, being more patient and loving to the kiddos, and doing something remarkable. But as of now, no resolutions made, no resolutions broken.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My new friend Katherine gave birth to a gorgeous little girl in July. And my long-time friend (not my old friend) Lee gave birth to a gorgeous boy in September. I'm sure there were more of us, but frankly, it all kind of blurs into one big joy party. Who was born in 2010 versus 2011? I can't remember, but they're all gorgeous.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
One of my favorite pastors in the neighboring suburb died very suddenly in the spring while riding his bike. Someone asked me something random about him today, and I still felt like I was cracking inside. I should probably deal with that. Thankfully, no one else.
5. What countries did you visit?
None. Sigh. We're brainstorming ideas for 4 years from now for our 10th anniversary. The kiddos will be big enough that we might make it a family trip. I'm rooting for Istanbul right now, though I reserve the right to change my mind.
6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
Two potty-trained children. Also, I'd like to have started a Doctor of Ministry program. It's not necessary for my work (I already have a Masters), but I know I'd really enjoy some formal study and accountability. Also, lording another title over my brother.
7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
It was a pretty unremarkable year, which I appreciate. It had been kind of a crazy couple of years. I feel like we kind of found our footing as a family this year. Which probably means we'll end up undertaking some major changes this year.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I've really loved blogging, which I started midway through the year. I've met some really lovely people, and watched my card-making skills expand exponentially. Also, my kids are alive.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Thankfully my parenting failures are small enough that they don't seem to be inflicting any lasting damage, but it is definitely the area I feel is most important in my life and which I am most incompentant at. Also, dangling participles.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I discovered the limitations of my back in November. It was quite a bummer, and reminded me it's all one long slide into the grave. (Sorry - we're pretty practical around here, thanks to my husband's master's thesis on death)
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Technically, it was Ben who bought them, but we have Joffrey ballet season tickets again. We'd taken a few years off, but I really love the ballet. It also gives us a scheduled date night three times a year, which is awesome.
12. Where did most of your money go?
Childcare. And Costco. Ah, Costco.
13. What did you get really excited about?
My kids are continuing to develop and are turning out to be pretty fun. I've loved getting to a stage where I can converse with the boy child. The way his mind works is just fascinating.
14. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Sadly, the theme song to Mighty Machines tv show. The boy child sings his version of it which is really sweet. I tried to teach him the correct lyrics one day last month, and he informed me that he was singing it correctly. Then he sang it his way about 15 times during the 10 minute trip to the gym. I wonder where he gets that stubborn streak.
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder?
Probably about the same. Home stuff is going great. Church stuff has gotten more challenging, thanks to the realities of the economy. I wrote about that previously.
– thinner or fatter?
– richer or poorer?
Richer, probably. Ben's been writing like a fiend, and got employed 2/3rds time. We're never going to be rich, which I think it a good thing, but we can probably continue to live indoors and eat food.
16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Spent more time with friends. Having two small children gives me an excuse to give into my hermit sensibilities. But, I have some really awesome friends who I should see more. And send cards to more. I mean, seriously, I make them professionally.
17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Regretting being away from the kids. I feel guilty for working, even though I love it and am somewhat good at it. I know intellectually it's good for them to be in school/daycare and be with other kids, but regret seems to be one of my operating principles as a parent. I think it would be better if I just accepted that I need to work and it's okay for them that I do.
18. How did you spend Christmas?
In church. We had service in the morning. Before church we opened presents, and afterwards we flew out to my parents' place.
19. What was your favorite TV program?
Hmm, I'd have to go with Sons of Anarchy. I'll let you draw your own conclusions about why a suburban mother of two would like a motorcycle drama. Or you can just watch it :)
I also like Castle, NCS Miami, and Hawaii 5-O. My taste in TV runs to the blowin' stuff up variety. Mostly we watch stuff on Netflix that's older.
20. What were your favorite books of the year?
The Hunger Games, of course. I also devoured Game of Thrones. I'm hoping to read more this year.
21. What were your favorite films of the year?
I liked Crazy, Stupid Love and Bridesmaids. I also enjoyed Into Temptation, which I netflixed. I mostly watch TV, as my attention span is programmed to 44 minutes.
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
We had a great party which featured skinny jeans. I turned 33.
24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I would have enjoyed expanding our family, either with another bio kid or more foster kids, though I think it was the right decision to wait. We've found a nice equilibrium, which can be hard to find with 2 working parents and 2 kids under the age of 4.
25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Is "clean" a concept?
26. What kept you sane?
Friends, blogging/reading blogs, card-making, spell-check.
27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
Kids don't care about perfect. They care about present. The boy loves when I play whatever thing he's doing at the moment, and the girl just wants to do whatever I'm doing. It leads to quite the insanity if I'm trying to make dinner. They're only getting older, and the number of years in which I'll be the most important person (along with my husband) in their life is dwindling. It's helped me to not worry about the dishes or reading novels, but instead soak in their sweetness while it lasts.