1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
Saw the Constitution, took a solo trip with Kyle (make that two!), ate biscuits in South Carolina, helped throw my company's tenth anniversary party, visited the Hoover Dam, hosted (an incredible) Friendsgiving, read 25+ books for pleasure, paid off Mike's student loans (!!!!!!), took a weekend trip to Possum Kingdom, celebrated being friends with Natalie for over 20 years, watched my son walk down the aisle as a ring bearer in a beautiful wedding, made braised short ribs, saw Mumford & Sons in concert, dined Outstanding in the Field, took Kyle on a cable car, greeted a day with yoga on the beach, drank a Boulevard Wheat in the city its brewed in, saw my mom's childhood home, started a nostalgia wall, hung out in the same room as Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler, saw "Once" on Broadway, took Kyle to his first baseball game, saw the White House, ate at Commander's Palace, drove Skyline, and so much more.
2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I nerdily counted up how much I accomplished last year, based off last year's to-do list, and it was over 50%. That's not mouth-on-the-floor impressive, but it ain't too shabby either. I'll even pat myself on the back for it.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not close to me, I can't quite claim that, but one of the writers I worked with during my time at Smart Pop Books -- Ned Vizzini -- died a few days ago, and it's actually hit me rather hard. I worked with him, albeit briefly, but I also got to meet him when I went to Comic-Con in 2011. He was gracious, kind, so funny, and just this positive presence in a sea of chaos that week.
He'll be missed.
5. What countries did you visit?
No new countries, other than my own, but I did see four new states (Virginia, Maryland, Kansas, South Carolina), and six I'd already been to (California, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New York).
6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you didn't have in 2013?
A few more exhales, more relaxation, more belly laughs, more work-outs, less debt.
7. What dates from 2013 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
Early in 2013 I booked a trip to California for Kyle and me, so most of the year October 12th was etched in my memory as the day we were starting our adventure.
8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
Last year I mentioned my promotion, so this year's might feel a bit small in comparison, but I read 25 books in 2013. (Actually 27!) That's nothing to some readers, but it's the most I've read in a single year since college, maybe longer than that. I'm so proud I finally met this goal, years after making it. Just goes to show, sometimes things take a little longer than you expected, but don't go giving up on them because of that.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Oh boy, I felt like a physical failure this year. I wanted to get in shape once and for all (after years of the scale going up and down and up and down) (and up and down) and I didn't. I just didn't. It was a busy, stressful, somewhat difficult year and I shelved most of my fitness goals. I hope I can right the ship in 2014.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I got the flu/pneumonia/an upper respiratory infection this December and duddddes, that sucked. The rest of the family got it too and we simultaneously had an ice storm. Let's never speak of that weekend again.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our Ninja blender, our king-sized mattress, a few plane tickets, and our new car (a Prius; what that car has done to our gas bill is a thing of beauty).
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I am so grateful to have incredible people in my circle. People who are giving, tolerant, kind, funny, smart, and so much more. I'm a lucky lady for the people I get to call my people.
All that said, I got to see my stepmom for an entire week this year (it's been a while since that happened), and she was so wonderful with Kyle (and with me and with my sister and my nephew). She loves us like her own, though she's no longer with my dad. Family you choose and who choose you back. That deserves celebration.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Walter White? Well, him and a few people in my Facebook feed.
14. Where did most your money go?
If you added it all up I bet taxes, Kyle, our mortgage, and then our car. Being a grown-up is expensive.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Late summer and fall were jam-packed with adventures, starting with a quick trip to Vegas, then a Mumford & Sons concert, then a Kansas City trip with my mom and sister, then celebrating Mike's birthday, then a Charleston trip with the internet, then a week-long California trip with my favorite four year old, then a once-in-a-lifetime experience dining Outstanding in the Field, then celebrating Halloween with the cutest astronaut there's ever been.
It was like a three-month period of excitement. I needed a long nap after it was all over, and my wallet needed a break too.
16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Fall Out Boy's "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark." It might not be your indie song of choice, but it was Kyle's favorite song of the year. I bet I played it 200 times, maybe more. I'm going to insist we play it at his wedding, and I bet he rolls his eyes so hard at me, they fall right out of his head.
I'm going to miss age four.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
Happier: Clawing to happier
Thinner: Clawing to thinner
Richer: Richer, in the right ways
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Always the same (when will I learn): work out, go to bed at a reasonable hour, go to yoga more often, bite my tongue when harsh words are on it, smile, breathe, enjoy life.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
All the opposites of #18.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
We woke up at 7am on the dot, opened gifts (a lot of Legos and Hot Wheels in our house!) and then packed up and headed down to New Braunfels with Mike's parents to celebrate the holiday with Mike's sister and her family. We opened more gifts upon arrival and then relaxed before a delicious steak and shrimp and mashed potato dinner. There was champagne too.
I ended the night reading my new Kindle in bed.
It was warm and wonderful.
21. Did you fall in love in 2013?
I fell in love with the biscuits in Charleston (what a place), Boulevard Wheat, Breaking Bad, reading (again), age four (before age four-and-a-half gave me a run for my money), Raylan Givens, Washington DC, and the Smitten Kitchen's braised short ribs.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Justified, Breaking Bad, The Good Wife, and all those crappy Bravo reality shows that let me zone out for an hour or twenty.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
24. What was the best book you read?
Incredibly tough choice, but I think I'd say Wild (which was ironically the first book I read this year).
"It seemed like a long time and also it seemed like my trip had just begun, like I was only now digging into whatever it was I was out here to do."
I couldn't relate to the exact experiences of the author, but could I ever relate to what it feels like to be broken and what it feels like to heal yourself, one painful step at a time. What it feels like to be alone and scared and then to dig deep to find whatever courage is needed to keep going. What it feels like to make absolutely awful choices and then to make better and better ones until you forgive yourself.
I just absolutely loved it, and I'm so glad I read it.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I sucked at discovering new music this year, so, hey! What new music did you discover?
26. What did you want and get?
Time with my sister (two trips!), solo trips with Kyle (two of those too!), a trip with Mike (DC in the springtime!), a new bed (king-sized baby!), a new car, and a Friendsgiving dinner at my house.
27. What did you want and not get?
There will always be something.
28. What was your favorite film of 2013?
I try to go with my gut when I answer these "favorite of" questions so The Way, Way Back and Gravity. I also loved End of Watch, though that's from 2012.
And, I fought the crowds to see Catching Fire on opening night and wasn't disappointed.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 31 way back in early January, and the Aggies won the Cotton Bowl (just for me, I like to think). We had friends over to watch the game and ordered pizza and drank beer to celebrate.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I've been saying winning lottery ticket for years now, and I'd never turn one of those down. But, also, I think if I could have set more boundaries between work and home, that would have made for a more satisfying year. I brought a lot of work stress home with me, and my boys just deserve better than that.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2013?
"Buying a lot of cute shoes until she figures out how to get to the gym regularly."
32. What kept you sane?
Mike, reading, writing, Natalie, baking, champagne, a clean house, talks with great girlfriends, weekends away, that little boy of mine who has the best laugh in all the world.
33. What political issue stirred you the most?
I think until all 50 states allow all consenting adults to marry, my answer will be marriage equality.
34. Who did you miss?
If you don't live in driving distance, I miss you. (Same answer as the last two years.)
35. Who was the best new person you met?
There are a few new authors of mine that I think really high of, but also the parents of the other players on Kyle's soccer team. They're just really decent people, and I'm glad to share the sidelines with them for so much of the year.
36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
Some people are going to find what you do (whatever you do) absolute crap. They're going to make fun of you and roll their eyes and think they can do better. They'll try to make you feel small because they feel small (or maybe just because they suck) and they can really ruin your day or your mood or your confidence if you let them.
Never let them.
Happy 2014 to you and you and you.