1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before? I joined a running group. I know how silly that sounds, but it was something that scared me TO DEATH. I joined a 5K training group with other people – some of whom were, like, RUNNERS – and I stuck with the program until I graduated in May. And then I did another one. I made a group of friends that I would meet a few mornings a week and we’d get all sweaty while we ran and talked about life. I miss it so much that I’m tearing up typing this. I was so proud of me. Still am. Can’t wait to get back.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Last year, I made a To-Do list for the year, which meant it wasn’t something I had to keep up with on a day-to-day basis, and that worked a LOT better for me. I crossed off more than half, and the other half kind of got hampered by the surprise pregnancy. I think it was a pretty productive year, and I’ll do the same for next year, most likely.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? It was a busy year for babies! Lots of my internet ladies gave birth this year. Lots of chubby baby cheeks for me to drool over.
4. Did anyone close to you die? We had a fortunate year this year and didn’t lose anyone.
5. What countries did you visit? Like I travel. HA.
6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012? A little more room to grow. I had to take this insanely stupid “Adjustment to Student Life” course last semester, but one thing that I learned is that you have to schedule in wiggle room. It kind of struck me sideways because I NEVER do that. I don’t schedule room to fail.. or to grow. I’d like to allow myself a little room to grow in the next year. I’m really, really hard on myself, and I need to relax from time to time and remember that no one is perfect the first time through.
7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? The Color Run in Atlanta was a great family memory for us, even though we had a lot of emotional swirl happening at the time. Bryan, Tony, and I took a lot of overnight adventures as our schedule would allow, and those were all a lot of fun. Gee and Dude had a gorgeous ceremony in August and FINALLY stopped living in sin. October 3rd, I woke up and took a pregnancy test.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I had several, actually. On the work front, I was recognized as someone who was accruing cost savings for our contract due to my hard work and cat-herding skills, and that’s one of the places I need to allow myself room to grow in the coming year. I also got back in school – another massive anxiety-ridden fear of mine – and got all As my first semester. I love the look on people’s faces when they see me at work until 7 p.m. and then hear that I’m also in school full-time.
9. What was your biggest failure? Remember my great cat-herding skills? Man, they are STELLAR. Like, not even kidding – they are the stuff of legend. However, they consume pretty much every single iota of patience that resides within my body. So when I get home, I am tired of herding cats and just want everything to happen seamlessly. As a result, I have often failed with patience at home. Specifically in my role as a stepparent – I’ve had to just wave the white flag and say that if my opinion isn’t valued, please don’t involve me further. And that sucks, but damn if I don’t hate running my head into a brick wall. Repeatedly.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Actually, even though I started running 6-10 miles a week through most of the year, I was pretty injury free. Until I got knocked up, that is. My hips and tailbone seem to be in cahoots to ruin my life.
11. What was the best thing you bought? This sounds so ridiculous, but we bought two things that we literally gush over all the time: the Shark Vacuum and the Haan Steam Mop. Those two things have seriously changed our house. Yes, I may have OCD tendencies, but even those who don’t would love these two appliances. Seriously. I swear by them. We use the vacuum at least twice a week and the steamer twice a month and they still behave as if they were new out of the box.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Mine. Look, most years, I really do try and find someone who has earned this recognition and I try and praise them and say how awesome they are, but y’all. It was a ROUGH year. If nothing else, I was kind of a saint during a trying election year (you try being the only democrat in your office)(and by democrat, I mean non-republican), a rough football season (I’M SORRY THE SEC IS SO MUCH BETTER, GUYS), and a season of gun control politics.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? I’ve watched 2012 become a very divisive year for folks. Even really good friends – sometimes even family – have taken very black and white stances on issues where there simple is none. I don’t understand why we can’t all acknowledge the very valid shades of gray, you know? (Also, I HATE THAT THE STUPID TRILOGY HAS TAKEN THE PHRASE AWAY.)
14. Where did most of your money go? “Mortgage and daycare. Daycare is such a rapist.” – 2009. “SURPRISE, 2010 WAS THE SAME!” – 2010. “SAME HERE” – 2011. Surprisingly – we paid off a LOT of bills this year. Looming unemployment will do that to a person.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? You know? More than anything else, I got excited about our night-away adventures. I loved EVERY minute of those. Just being on the road with our little family, and not knowing where we might wind up? I loved that. (And now I’m all sad because we won’t have that luxury for another five years or so.)
16. What song will always remind you of 2012?“Being Alive” from Sondheim’s “Company”. Jenni was in a local production of it, and that song.. man, that song. It will always just wreck me to the core and then rebuild me before it’s over. (Miss you, Shoo-ah.)
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter? (I’m .. pregnant..er?)
c) richer or poorer?
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Community involvement. I’ve just recently started getting heavily engaged with our community in various ways, and man, is that just some soul-feeding stuff. I am LOVING it, and wondering why I’ve waited this long to get started. (So let me be your nudge – go see where you can help YOUR community!)
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Providing fish. Lemme ‘splain. My one mantra at work is that I aim to teach the men to fish. It’s become pretty painfully obvious over the last month or so that, instead, I’ve been gutting, scaling, and filleting the damn thing for them. I need to get back to my roots of teaching people how to be productive on their own .. especially knowing that I will be taking a two-month hiatus mid-2013.
20. How did you spend Christmas? The last two years, I’ve answered this question huffing about custody issues, but this year, that was not the case and it was SO WONDERFUL. We had a RELAXING Christmas, with very little time spent in a car. We woke up and did Christmas at our house until noon, when Bryan went to retrieve Jack, and then we headed over for Christmas dinner at my parents’ house. It was perfect.
21. Did you fall in love in 2011? Every year, man.
22. What was your favorite TV program? While I answered this question in 2011 with Real Housewives of Wherever, I have not watched a SINGLE episode of that this year. My time has really become so precious that I can’t stand watching overprivileged women catfighting about petty crap. This year, it’s been mostly light-hearted comedies - Modern Family, The Office, Parks & Rec mostly fill our DVR. We have also LOVED Shark Tank, and I get irrationally excited when someone says they watch that show too because we treat it like a gameshow in our house. You know how you can watch three episodes of Top Chef and suddenly feel like you can tackle fois gras? Yeah, we are AMAZING investors.
23. This question has been deleted (2010).
24. What was the best book you read? I read so little this year, it’s pathetic. So I did read one book that I loved: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I have most of his other books on my Kindle, and I’m about halfway through The Unidentified Redhead and then I should probably get around to Gone Girl since everyone talks about it. When I’m in school, any time I have to read is usually dedicated to scholarly pursuits.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery? I am so stoked that folk is kind of back. Mumford & Sons own me (Dude and I often getting into a shouting match about the Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons and who is better, but my money is squarely on the sons.) Also I discovered Grace Potter (not that she’s new to anyone else but me because I’m slow).
26. What did you want and get? I got a gorgeous wedding ring, which is gorgeous because 1) we could afford it and 2) I can wear it without it turning my finger colors. (Metal allergies are such a pain.) I really do find myself staring at it all the time, because I love it so.
27. What did you want and not get? Actually.. nothing is coming to mind.
28. What was your favorite film of this year? Although I really liked The Hunger Games and Skyfall, I have to be lame and say Rise of the Guardians. I love movies that I can take the whole family to and we all get something out of it. The story was just so well-crafted and complex and beautiful and Alec Baldwin! With that accent! So good! I also cried – a lot, actually – but it was happy tears about how magical the world really can be.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? This year was number 32 for me, and I spent it in Birmingham with my husband and then everyone else met us down there for an afternoon of shopping and eating. I really, really loved it. They have a Chuy’s there, you know.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? “A 25th hour in the day.” – 2008. “Ditto.” – 2009. “Hells yes, gimme some of that.” – 2010. “WHERE IS MY HOUR, FATE?” – 2011. 2012: Better use of the hours I have.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? Layers, houndstooth, jewel tones, and then, for the 4Q of the year, elasticized anything.
32. What kept you sane? Another silly answer, but: my Erin Condren planner. It was something I splurged on in late 2011 and it became my bible. If I didn’t have it on me, I was lost. I love that damn thing.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Joss Whedon. I mean, I’ve been a long-time fan (who hasn’t, right?), but this year I’ve really come to appreciate his talent to turn whatever he touches into gold. The Cabin in the Woods, The Avengers, even a short about the zombie apocalypse.. they’re all killer. He is just SO good at what he does. Also, this quote, when asked why he writes such strong, female characters as his leads: “Because you’re still asking me that question.”
34. What political issue stirred you the most? Oh, all of them. Still. As we progress, day by day, toward the fiscal cliff, I’m just more and more disenchanted by our elected officials. Why do we elect such out-of-touch folks into office?
35. Who did you miss? It sounds silly, but my grandmother. She passed away in April of 2010, but I .. I know she’s with me a lot.
36. Who was the best new person you met? I’ve had a pleasant year of meeting lots of GREAT new folks. Seriously, I’ve met some really fantastic people, specifically within my young professional circles I’ve joined recently and the running groups I joined earlier this year. I doubt I could narrow it down, but I could sum it up by saying that I’ve met a ton of new people that make my cheeks hurt when I leave them from smiling and laughing so much.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012. It is a very true statement that when we ask for something (through prayer, self-meditation, The Secret, what have you), we are not handed what we’ve asked for in a pretty, wrapped package. We’re often granted the opportunity to pursue it, and that opportunity will look difficult and muddy. But it’s what we asked for. We just have to earn it.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“Have I mentioned today
how lucky I am
to be in love
The Schmuel Song, “The Last 5 Years” – Jason Robert Brown