1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?
Visited Central America, watched Kyle splash in the Atlantic Ocean, read 47 (!!) books in a single year, walked my son into his Kindergarten class, drove solo from Los Angeles to San Diego (boy, did that take longer than expected, California traffic), took a bicycle wine tour in Canada's Niagara wine country, slept in a tree house, drank beer in the oldest "Irish tavern" in New York City, enjoyed a massage on the beach, visited Venice Beach (and saw Muscle Beach), rode in an inter-tube through a cave, saw a MotoGP race in person, had professional family photos taken, watched my sister get a tattoo, toured the New York Times, sat in the same room as Lauren Graham, ate at Tavern on the Green in Central Park, stayed at an AirBnb place by myself, spent Christmas with both my parents (as an adult, since they divorced), celebrated my birthday on Bourbon Street, and probably a dozen other things my old, fuzzy brain can't think of.
2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Like last year, I counted up how much I accomplished this past year, based off my annual to-do list, and finished about 50%. Not quite what I was aiming for (obviously) but I'm still pretty proud of myself. Have to be.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
It was a good year for beautiful babies. Kristie, Natalie, a close friend Jen, Miriel, and many other lovely people.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, so very thankfully.
5. What countries did you visit?
I rarely get to answer this question, but this year I was fortunate enough to travel to both Belize and Canada. I also visited a handful of states, though none for the first time: Oklahoma (2x), Louisiana, California, New York, Florida, Nevada, and all over Texas (Austin 3x, New Braunfels, Tyler, Gruene).
6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you didn't have in 2014?
Time with my brother.
7. What dates from 2014 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
The usual suspects: birthdays of those I love most, anniversaries of special days, and also July 3rd, when we hosted a wonderful, family- and fun-filled early July Fourth celebration. (Friends from DC were here, my dad was here, a neighbor came over for the first time. Such a full house and heart.)
8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
I went to therapy for the first time in a very long time, to sort out some not-so-healthy thought patterns and stress reactors. After years of wanting to take that step, I'm pretty proud of myself for taking it this year.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I'm hard on myself, so the (mental) list is long. Giving those failures a voice is toxic.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing out of the ordinary, thankfully.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our family photo shoot with Natalie.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My sweet mother. She had a hard year, with a lot of ups and downs, and she's doing her best to welcome what will hopefully be a much healthier, happier year.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
About 90% of the people in the comments section of any given online, news-related article.
14. Where did most your money go?
Scattered far and wide! Taxes, debt, travel, but as of late August, NO LONGER DAY CARE, THANK EVERYTHING, DRINKS ON ME.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Belize, our MotoGP trip, my work trip to LA & San Diego, Kyle starting Kindergarten, my trip to Canada to visit my sister, Christmas.
16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
If Taylor Swift didn't sing it, I'm probably not going to think of 2014 when I hear it.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
Richer: Always, with every passing year, with nothing to do with money.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Texted, called, emailed, or sent a note to someone when I thought of them. There's no time like the present to reconnect or stay connected with someone you care about. It's the thought that counts is actually ridiculous, when you think of it, because no. It's the time you spend putting that thought into action that actually counts.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Kicked myself around. Kindness is key, to everyone you meet, but never more important than toward yourself.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
My dad came to Texas for Christmas for the first time, and we hosted Christmas Eve dinner with my little family, my parents (whose ability to be warmly together without drama is something I'm deeply grateful for), and Mike's parents. It was perfect. Then, we got up Christmas morning to open gifts before I cooked the morning away. Naps followed, and then we enjoyed another delicious dinner with those same loved ones over at my in-laws' house. One of my favorite Christmases ever.
21. Did you fall in love in 2014?
Yes! With my local library.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
I've watched a lot of TV in my day, but I didn't really discover a new show this year--except maybe Peaky Blinders, but I'm just one episode in--so I'll just say The Good Wife. Consistently good TV right there. Oh, and I really loved live-texting The Vampire Diaries with Elizabeth. So much fun.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Hate isn't actually productive at all.
24. What was the best book you read?
Post to come with my 10 favorites from 2014, but I'll spoil that post by saying my favorite of the year was probably The Art of Fielding.
From it: "You told me once that a soul isn't something a person is born with but something that must be built, by effort and error, study and love. And you did that with more dedication than most, that work of building a soul -- not for your own benefit but for the benefit of those that knew you."
For a book (not really) about a small college's baseball team, I sure did get punched in the gut in the best possible way.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
26. What did you want and get?
Time in hammocks, so many good books read, an international vacation (I got two!), a warm and family-filled Christmas, a new car for Mike. A little more peace at work than in 2013.
27. What did you want and not get?
Same answer as last year: there will always be something.
28. What was your favorite film of 2014?
I didn't see many movies this year, but I did really enjoy Begin Again.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 32 on January 3rd and Mike and I celebrated in New Orleans. It was actually the perfect birthday, and it inspired me to plan another getaway for this upcoming birthday as well. Where will we go in 2016?
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Winning lottery ticket? Yeah, I probably wouldn't pass on one of those.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2014?
"Thank you, Stitch Fix."
32. What kept you sane?
Mike, Kyle, laughter, Natalie, adventures, the Serial podcast, reading, my mother, my mother-in-law, animal GIFs, cheese, wine, cheese and wine at the same time, sitting in my work best friend's office, fresh air, deep breaths, Molly snuggling in my lap, naps, therapy, perspective, cooking, and a million other tiny, beautiful things.
33. What political issue stirred you the most?
Lack of humanity, is that a political issue? Sure felt like one this year, and it gutted me, often.
34. Who did you miss?
My brother. It's been since 2011. Too long.
35. Who was the best new person you met?
Kyle's Kindergarten teacher.
36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
Choose to be kind as often as you possibly can. And don't keep the kind thoughts you have to yourself. Speak them out loud, often, and with sincerity.
Here's to a wonderful 2015, for us all.