1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?
I ran a half-marathon, started a book club, got a Brazilian bikini wax (ouch), went to a Cubs game, visited Utah, introduced Kyle to some of Mike's family, watched my brother graduate high school. This was a year of a lot of firsts. Happy to see that in hindsight..
2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
A handful of close friends (including A'Dell) and then nearly every other friend got pregnant. 2011: the year of the belly!
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Mike's great-aunt's husband, who we weren't close to, but it turns out he was a pretty fascinating guy. I wish we hadn't waited to hear his stories until after he was gone.
5. What countries did you visit?
Just the U.S., but I managed to get to eight states. That's something! Washington, Illinois, New York, California (twice), Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah.
6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you didn't have in 2011?
I'd like to have a grown-up, well-decorated, well-organized, mostly-clean-most-of-the-time house.
7. What dates from 2011 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
December 4th, my first half-marathon and December 25th. We had a really lovely Christmas this year and I'd like to keep that memory close.
8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
That pesky half-marathon but, also, every early morning or long run I finished this summer and fall. They were each accomplishments in their own right.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Anytime I yelled or lost my patience at someone in my immediate family always sucks it big time, and I'm going to try much harder in 2012 to keep my cool. I also gained most of the weight back I lost during Biggest Blogging Loser. New year, new start, my friends.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
It was a much healthier year for my family except for Mike's 75 Man Colds and a handful of daycare-caused things. Those were all annoying, but nothing will compare to 2009: the year Kyle was sick every two weeks. I am shocked I still have a job.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Every year it's always travel-related things: plane tickets, hotel rooms, nice dinners in new towns. I never regret the trips I take or the memories I make on them.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Is it super cheesy to say Kyle's? I loved the shit out of age two and I'm weepy over the thought of saying goodbye to it. Not because I don't want Kyle to get older, but I just fell in love with this age. He was hilarious, sweet, fun, and so funny much of the time. 2011 wasn't my favorite year in some ways, but I sure loved loved loved being a mom this year.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I'll just say this: You can't argue with crazy. You can sip wine while crazy argues alone.
14. Where did most your money go?
Bills. Daycare. Our (stupid) car fixes. Travel.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
An endless list of things from new Gossip Girl episodes to trips to Vegas. But, I think what I enjoyed the most was our family road trip this summer. It was everything I wanted it to be and then some. Except Roswell. What a complete let down that town was.
16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Probably any song by Adele. I think it was the music industry's goal for 2011 to overplay every one of her songs.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
Thinner: unfortunately, the same
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Gone to bed earlier
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Comfort eat, stress, shriek, overreact, worry. Will I ever learn?
20. How did you spend Christmas?
We had such a nice weekend, at home, with our family, my mom, and Mike's parents.
21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
I loved it before, of course, but this year I fell in love with motherhood in new, cool ways. I also fell in love with some big ideas I've got. Stay tuned.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Shockingly: Friday Night Lights. Runners-up: Parks and Rec & Awkward.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
This isn't a person, but I really hated summer this year. It was just impossibly brutal and soul-sucking. If we ever leave Texas, I'll probably look back on this summer as the official catalyst.
24. What was the best book you read?
Water for Elephants
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I lamely didn't discover much new music this year that wasn't playing on a CW show. Maybe this is a good time to ask you for great music recommendations to carry me into 2012?
26. What did you want and get?
I wanted a girl's night out dinner for my birthday. I wanted to finish the half-marathon without having to crawl across the finish line. I wanted to see my brother graduate high school. I wanted happy family memories. Got, got, got, got.
27. What did you want and not get?
Those damn investment jeans. This year, you'll be mine, jeans!
28. What was your favorite film of 2011?
I didn't see much but I really enjoyed Midnight in Paris. All you nerdy writer types would, too.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 29 way back in January, and I had a gathering at my house and then went out the next night for a fancy dinner with all my girls. It was perfect.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Lottery jackpot, reliable cars, a less brutal summer, no commute.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2009?
Cute on special occassions, slobby at work. I have got to change that.
32. What kept you sane?
You, Mike, Kyle, Kristie on all those long runs, bad tv, sparkling wine, running, my book club, my running club, Pinterest.
33. What political issue stirred you the most?
Same, most years: gay marriage might be against your religion but that actually works out fine since no one is forcing you into one. People just want to be able to get married far away from you and your beliefs, and why we're still having this discussion at the beginning of 2012 is beyond me. I get angrier and angrier about it each year.
(I am sure I don't mean you as in you but the more "general you" part of the population that is against this civil right.)
34. Who did you miss?
If you don't live in driving distance, I miss you.
35. Who was the best new person you met?
At the beginning of the year, I got an email from Jen, a friend from college. We were in a few classes together and were also in the same sorority but were never that close. Anyway, she found my blog and the Biggest Blogging Loser competition, which she then joined. We began emailing more and more.
She was in Chicago at the time, so when Mike and I went for a long weekend, we met up with her and her husband Adam for a Cubs game, a lot of beers, and a delicious dinner. It was one of the highlights of our trip.
She then moved to Dallas this fall, and has become such a good friend. While I didn't officially meet her this year, it's been so great getting to know her and hanging out with a couple we really like.
Good year for my circle of people.
36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
- I need to start believing in myself as much as I believe in those around me. I'll be the first to tell you that you can do something, that you're awesome and capable and strong, but I get all negative and tough on myself in a totally similar situation. I don't know where that comes from or why but I learned this year that the only way to get me across any finish line (figuratively, literally) is to believe I can get there.
- Life is not a linear experience and so many interactions come back to us, at some point. So be nice to people, as much as possible.
- If you go to bed after midnight, you wake up feeling like you went to bed after midnight.
37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Not that this lyric really sums up 2011, but it was nice to hear it this year and then I kept returning to it for comfort when I needed it:
Always remember, there is nothing worth sharing
Like the love that let us share our name
--"Murder in the City" by the Avett Brothers
I hope your year was happy, my friends, and I really hope that 2012 knocks it out of the park. I look forward to sharing next year with you and hearing all about yours in return.