Dusting off this space to write my annual year-in-review. Mostly because I really enjoying looking back on these, and I'd be sad not to have 2015's among the rest.
1. What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?
I love firsts.
Watched my kiddo graduate Kindergarten; ate at the number-one rated restaurant in all of DFW; listened to jazz on Bourbon Street; celebrated working somewhere for an entire decade; welcomed someone at the airport with a life-size, cardboard cut-out of a fictional character (no regrets); took Kyle to a Lil' Ninja gym; traveled as far south as I've ever been; attended/exhibited at the Texas Veggie Fair; crossed a river IN A CAR (and then did it sevens more times that same day, MIKE); toured a coffee plantation; witnessed the beautiful Supreme Court ruling that every single state has to acknowledge same-sex marriages; FINISHED MY NOSTALGIA WALL; tried escargot; walked the Brooklyn Bridge; celebrated my bronze wedding anniversary; took Kyle to his first Aggie baseball game; tried dim sum; walked the steps at Point Reyes Lighthouse; drove to the Headlands; visited Broken Bow, Oklahoma; took a ferry to Sausalito; took Kyle on Muni; and probably a million other things too.
2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I only finished 27 of 76 things on my to-do list. That's fairly unimpressive. I listen to The Lively Show podcast, and either the host or a guest recently said on an episode that intentions are more effective than goals because (paraphrasing a bit) intentions are about the why of wanting to do or change something and not about the act of crossing something off a list. Anyway, it's got my wheels turning on exactly what I want out of 2016.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I didn't get to snuggle new babies this year nearly as much as I would have liked! Kristie had sweet Gabe, and some internet friends had smooshable babies too.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Mike's grandmother unfortunately passed away this fall.
5. What countries did you visit?
I went to Costa Rica and these states: Oklahoma, Louisiana, California, New York (3x), Mississippi, Illinois, Washington, and all over Texas.
6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you didn't have in 2015?
I'd like to find a wonderful friend who I can be my entire, insane self with who also lives in walking distance (ideally) or at least a short drive away. Like, short enough so I can stop in for wine on a random Wednesday night. I have wonderful, amazing, deep friendships. They're unfortunately all with people scattered too far and too wide.
7. What dates from 2015 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
I'm never very good at answering this one. Our lives are fairly ordinary these days, so it's just the usual holidays/birthdays/etc.
8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
I assume watching Arrow five times all the way through isn't exactly what anyone would consider an achievement, although let's become fast friends if you do consider it one, so I think I'll keep it nice and vague and say I discovered some important things about friendships this year that felt very big to me.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I'm going to leave last year's answer here: 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?
We splurged on a couple nights at a fancy Costa Rican hot springs resort (Tabacon, FYI), and whenever you splurge on hotels, at least whenever I splurge on hotels, I've found it's easy to be underwhelmed. But, oh boy, were those two days some of the best of the entire year, and I'd make it rain money in that hotel's lobby to show just how VERY WORTH the cost really was.
Also our farmhouse sink. HEART EYES EMOJI.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
This will sound silly but Brandon Stanton, the creator of Humans of New York. He has created this beautiful, inspiring, educational space, and I think he's doing truly great work. I also got the opportunity to see him speak at a work conference, and he is motivated (at least seemingly) by real integrity and purpose. His Facebook page was sometimes the only place I could restore my faith in humanity during what felt like a terrible news year.
Also Mike remodeled our kitchen in three weeks, and while I'm always a fan of him, that DOES deserve an extra little shout-out.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
An unfortunately high number of people, but let's sum them all up with Donald Trump.
14. Where did most your money go?
Thankfully, nothing too remarkable. Bills, travel, SOCCER, debt, etc.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Well, there was that one time Stephen Amell said my name (!!), but also every single trip we took. And Kyle graduating Kindergarten, starting first grade, and just continuing to be a thriving school-aged kiddo.
And finally getting to see my brother TWICE in one year.
16. What song will always remind you of 2015?
I'll think of the songs Kyle loved the most, and he was a BIG fan of Uptown Funk this year.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
I don't actually like this question, so skipping it this year.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
I had a goal of reading 52 books this year, and I'll end up being seven shy of that. OHHHHH, I wish I had put my phone down and read a little more, to hit that goal. I'm coming for you, 2016.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Sat in traffic, and I say that because I may not have do nearly as much of it in 2016.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
It was a quiet holiday, but also really nice. We spent Christmas Eve at my mom's house, eating dinner, opening gifts, and looking at lights. Then we hosted our parents at our house on Christmas night.
21. Did you fall in love in 2015?
I feel like falling in love with new people and new things and new places is a constant, or should be, so yes. But I will specifically say that Costa Rica was magical, and I fell deeply in love with every inch of the country we got to explore during our trip in August. After Belize in 2014, I'm officially fond of Central America. And if we come into enough money one day, I'd like to own property somewhere down there.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Arrow (shocker), but also iZombie and Jessica Jones.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Laurel Lance. 1% of you will understand.
24. What was the best book you read?
Post to come with my favorites from 2015, but I'll spoil that post by saying my two favorites of the year were A Little Life and Between the World & Me.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I'm so bad at discovering new music. Did I discover the Weeknd? That was just me, right?
26. What did you want and get?
Time with my brother, a just-Mike-and-me trip AND a couple family trips, a new kitchen, a trip to College Station, hammock time, lazy Sundays, great friendships.
27. What did you want and not get?
Same answer as the past two years: there will always be something, so let's not dwell. Although every year I wish for a Texas A&M National Championship, and I'll probably continue to wish for that for many, many years to come.
Oh, and a trip with just Natalie and me, so I'm forcing her to take one in 2016. HEAR THAT, NATTY.
28. What was your favorite film of 2015?
I'm watching FAR more movies in 2016, mark my words (A MOVIE THEATER OPENED IN WALKING DISTANCE FROM OUR HOUSE THIS YEAR), but I did just see and love Creed.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 33 way back on January 3rd and Mike and I celebrated by driving to Broken Bow, Oklahoma for a long weekend. It was wonderful, though really cold, but I had the best pizza of my life and Mike let me read and drink wine for a majority of the weekend and it was also beautiful there, so more of that weekend in my life, please.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
The ability to move all my favorite people right onto my block. SCIENCE, BE BETTER.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2015?
Text Elizabeth for her to pick things out for me.
32. What kept you sane?
My boys, my best girls, podcasts, books, funny animal gifs, wine, silly TV shows I care too much about, kindness from wherever I could get it, tacos, naps, Stephen Amell's abs, pretty shoes, and a million other little things that made me happy over the last 365 days.
33. What political issue stirred you the most?
KEEPING THIS ANSWER FROM LAST YEAR: Lack of humanity, is that a political issue? Sure felt like one this year, and it gutted me, often.
34. Who did you miss?
Almost everyone I love, at some point.
35. Who was the best new person you met?
36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
So, spoiler alert, I'm getting a tattoo in 2016 that says "They had run." and it's a line from Blue Lily, Lily Blue (exact passage here), and I'll sum up the scene to say that a character realized his friends had shown up for him, when he hadn't asked them to, when he didn't expect them to, and they had run to do it. It was this beautiful moment of realizing that you may like a million people in this world, but just a few will run for you, and those are the ones you pour your time and energy into. And to make sure the people you would run for know it, and know it always. Showing up is easy and it's hard, and you should never stop trying to be better at it.
Happy last day of 2015, friends, and maybe I'll find my way back to this space more in 2016.
Happy new year, too.