For this year’s annual review, I’m revising the questions a bit to reflect the life events that I’d actually like recorded year after year . . .
1. What did I do in 2014 that I’ve never done before?
I gave birth to a b — no wait. Done that before. I nursed a little baby b — nope, done that as well. A lot of 2014 was generic baby welcoming, which is emotionally different with a new kid, but reads pretty much the same to ya’ll as it did back in 2008 and 2010, when I did it before. Let’s see . . . I went to a wedding Charleston. No wait, I’ve done that before. Uhhhh . . . I went to a wedding in Alabama? Not exciting, but literally true.
2. Did you keep your resolutions?
I did not make any this year. Had I made any beyond “keep it together, moderately,” then I would have broken them all, so we’re cool. However, I did draft a post of “lilypads” – little mini events that I was looking forward to. It was fun to read it and remember the stuff that did happen, and think about the reasons why the stuff that didn’t happen, didn’t. I got a (free) massage but no facial (I was being frugal), no FQ Fest (too postpartum to handle!), no Panama City Beach trip (it was a Thursday and Jack couldn’t miss Friday school, so I went alone just for the day), no jazz half (attended the Charleston wedding instead), and no Pensacola marathon (HAHAHA YEAH RIIIIIGHT I’D HAVE TIME TO TRAIN FOR A MARATHON THIS YEAR). I did manage most of them, though – Jack’s 6th birthday was indeed fun (the delta cruise); Easter and spring break were the bomb; my sister’s May visit was perfect; the Professor went backpacking in May and made a huge diet change that we’re still living with; the beach trip did go forward, but in June instead of August; we did go to a minor league baseball game though not til later in the summer; Liam’s birthday was a great one (Spiderman at the park); Nashville Fourth was the best; the holidays and weddings and birthdays were all wonderful.
3. What new lives brought you joy?
My own little sweetheart, my baby Craig, was born on the second to last day of the first month of the year. He’s always on my mind, I love him completely. A few MILPs had little ones as well as a few facebook friends – i.e. people who I care about, but whose babies I must hold and squeeze and love on only virtually. Also, four people I care about got married – two in Charleston and two here in town. So though they are each hovering around 30 years old, their life together is sort of a new life. And their weddings brought me joy.
4. For whom did you grieve, if anyone?
My husband’s aunt passed away as autumn came on. She was loved, and is mourned.
5. Did you travel anywhere exciting?
This year, we stayed close to home. It was about all we could handle. We did do a trip to the beach down here, and a few trips to see family. The Professor and I had a great little weekend excursion to Charleston, with a stop by the town where we got married. That was a lovely day, unfortunately capped off by a return home to puking children.
6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
A backyard fence. Or maybe bedroom furniture – a chest of drawers. It’s a toss up, but those are the things I covet, mostly for the ease they’d bring to life.
7. What are your most memorable moments of 2014?
I’ll never forget January. January’s culminating event was the triumphant and empowering birth of my little best buddy. But I also remember proudly the physical and emotional challenge in the weeks preceding, and that I came through it. We can do hard things.
April 11. Jack’s Field Day. I go to play at being a SAHM, and boy was that fun, to get to go to something with his school for the day, without having to check email the whole time.
Palm Sunday, when Jack almost drowned himself at Pensacola Beach with Brian and Sabrina. The week after, when we traveled to the Professor’s hometown and enjoyed his second cousins and their kids, a museum, a pic with the Easter bunny . . . lots of fun. Easter Saturday, another beach day, a different set of friends, some royal reds and good conversation. An Easter hosting good friends.
Jack’s birthday – spending his actual birthday having cupcakes and lunch with him at school, and his birthday party hosting friends on a delta river cruise. Liam also took off in a golf cart – I’ll never forget the heroic leap to stomp on the brakes that saved him (and the cart) from certain destruction.
Some time in May – lunch in the courtyard of an Italian restaurant with my sister.
Liam’s birthday – his Spiderman in the park party, with both sets of grandparents in attendance.
Delicious meals at the beach condo with the Professor’s family.
Fireworks in the mall parking lot with my own – we bought KFC, sides from the grocery. Liam had just started wearing his patch.
Early August – sitting on the porch with the boys, at Jack’s request, having a “tasty snack” and a “cold drink” and a “chat.”
Our Charleston trip.
The holidays – Thanksgiving in SC and Christmas in TN/IN.
8. What was your bravest moment and/or biggest achievement of the year?
Craig’s pregnancy, birth, and first year are pretty big deals in my world.
9. What was your biggest failure and/or disappointment?
None really. I’m disappointed that I haven’t been able to exercise, but without sleep I just couldn’t make it happen. It’ll get better.
10. Any memorable lapses in wellness? (Illness, injury, etc.?)
Liam started wearing glasses, and wore the patch through the last six months of the year. Otherwise, we are all still blessed with good health.
11. Where did most of your money go?
OMG DAYCARE JESUS IT COSTS SO MUCH UGH. Plus student loans of course, which cost more than daycare (or the mortgage, or anything else), but you’re tired of hearing me bitch about those.
12. Is there a song or pop culture moment that will forever remind you of 2014?
Ice bucket challenge!
13. Compared to this time last year are you (a) happier or sadder? (b) heavier or lighter? (c) richer or poorer?
(a) happier. Though this varies day by day depending on the amount of sleep I got.
(b) lighter. I was pregnant with Craig a year ago, so obv. He’s a lot heavier though! (26 pounds or so!)
14. How did you spend (a) Mardi Gras, (b) Easter, (c) Fourth of July, (d) Thanksgiving, (e) Christmas, and (f) New Years’ Eve?
(a) We kinda skipped it this year, due to Craig. (b) local friends came over for dinner on my wedding china, and we had an Easter egg hunt in my backyard and a kids’ table on the back porch. (c) Fourth in Nashville, at a mall parking lot. (d) Thanksgiving in South Carolina, much of it spent “supervising” a turkey as it smoked on the grill outside. (e) Christmas in Nashville, which you just read about. (f) NYE in Indiana, watching the ball drop and clinking champagne glasses before bed!
15. Any new loves/friends/positive forces in your life?
I have met some like-minded folks involved in meaningful gun reform, with whom I plan to meet more regularly.
16. What was your favorite tv and/or movie?
Breaking Bad was rad – watched it during maternity leave. I think it is possible I literally did not see a single movie in a theater in 2014, and likely I didn’t sit through a whole one at home either.
17. What was your favorite book?
Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder. That’s about all I read last year, but it was really fabulous.
18. What did you want and get?
Craigsy, the Craigerator, Craigerson, my baby Craig.
19. What did you want and not get?
A fence, which is incidentally the same answer I gave last year.
20. What did you do on your 36th birthday?
I believe we hung out at home and I was given a yellow Angry Birds pillow and a tube of lipstick by Liam and Jack respectively, which was quite a darling set of gifts. The Professor helped them make it a fun day for me. Labor Day birthdays rule!
21. Anything notable in your fashion or appearance in 2014?
I bought some professional clothes with some birthday money/gift cards, and am feeling less droopy and frumpy at work. Casual clothes are still lagging behind however – a project for another day.
22. What kept you sane?
I was sort of not sane for a lot of this year. Not enough sleep. Literally the lack of sleep is probably the defining feature of the year, at least vis a vis my own health and well being.
23. Anything in the political arena you care to recall?
Very rarely is there, but I do recall the mystery of the missing plane . . . yet to be resolved. Also, although this is not political, I have closely followed the progress of a little boy with leukemia, and been on pins and needles on his behalf many times over the latter half of the year. He was discharged recently, in remission, and though he’s been briefly readmitted due to some Graft vs. Host issues, we continue to hope he’ll be out of hospital for good very soon.
24. Who did you miss?
Our friends from the Professor’s hometown, who we did not make time to see much of this year (mostly because my employer does not have an office conveniently located within driving distance of that town, and so it is harder for me to get there). My own family, with whom I stay in constant contact via text and email . . . but that is not enough.
25. Closing remarks? Life lessons/morals/catch phrases, etc.?
The moral of my life these days is Done is Better Than Perfect. With that . . . I’ll hit publish on this thing.