1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
– I finally (with my dad’s help) constructed raised beds for our vegetable garden this year! Our yard/garden is not close to being how I’d like it to be, but we’re on our way.
– Celebrated my first child’s first birthday!
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolution? Will you make any for 2012?
I don’t remember making any specific resolutions last year. This year I hope to:
a) make a small photo album of Norah’s first year (preferably before baby #2 arrives)
b) exercise twice a week (come on, let’s be real)
c) learn to practice sabbath well
d) complete the novel I began during NaNoWriMo 2011
e) try to have more written correspondence (send more notes/cards/letters)
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I had quite a few friends give birth in 2011 – sweet babies Ira, Ella, Simone & Evi!
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
None. Booooring. I visited the state of Michigan though! 🙂
6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
A finished basement. A happy & healthy baby boy!
7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 6th – my hubby’s birthday when I surprised him with a “big screen” showing of The Fiddler on the Roof for him & friends!
May 20th – my little peanut’s first birthday – so crazy & blessed that we are parents.
end of July sometime – hubby quit his job to begin his dream job! It was stressful & a big lesson in TRUST for me, but it’s been an amazing 5 months!
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finishing the first 30,000 words of my first novel.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Continuing the bad habits of apathy & non-confrontation – most harmfully in my marriage.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Hurt my knee with a vigorous start to half-marathon training in the spring. Boo. Will probably try again sometime after baby #2. The only illness that I can note is…hmmm…2 months of straight morning sickness. This kiddo is making sure (s)he has my undivided attention…already!
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Norah’s adorable play kitchen with coordinating wooden fruit that you can actually cut in half! And (on a less fun note) the particle board garage organizer to hang my pots & pans in my teeny kitchen – it’s a miracle space saver & thank you pinterest!
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My husband’s – for his tireless efforts over the past 2 months to keep our house clean, the dishes & laundry washed, our toddler happy (& her diaper changed), and his wife feeling “well”…even if that means running to get a choc chip frappuccino or oyster crackers & vernor’s at any given moment. He is the best. Ever.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Um….. the new TV shows “Whitney” & “New Girl” make me depressed…does that count?
14. Where did most of your money go?
Food. Hands down. Any expendable money I have usually ends up in something delicious. Most recently: frappuccinos & sushi (vegetable rolls, don’t panic).
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Blogging, NaNoWriMo, & Christmas.
16. What songs will always remind you of 2011?
Anything by Ray LaMontagne or the Avett Brothers.
17. Did you make any new friendships?
Yes! I seriously love all my new friends from New Harvest Church! I am so blessed to have so many strong & courageous women in my life!
18. Did you go on vacation?
– Yes! The amazing girls-only camping trip to Ludington, MI.
– And the not-so-amazing, but oh-so-memorable, camping trip with Sam at East Harbor: this was our first time camping by ourselves since we’ve been married & it was (quite literally) 50 degrees with gale force winds. This was me staying warm in our little 2-man eating snacks…and Sam layering up to try & start our fire! 🙂
19. What do you wish you had done (more and less) of?
More: journaled, ran at the park, and snuggled with Norah (in the days before she could say “down!” and run off to play).
Less: wasted time worrying and/or being discontent.
20. How did you spend the holidays?
The holidays this year all fell within my first trimester…so I don’t feel like I was able to be fully present, but we still had great times with family & friends.
Thanksgiving: we had our annual “Friendsgiving” with our favorite people on the planet & then on the actual day enjoyed plenty of food with both sides of our families.
Christmas: Sweater Party! Christmas Eve with our grandmas, Christmas morning with our little family, beautiful & simple church gathering at New Harvest, Christmas lunch with his side, Christmas night with my side. Lovely.
New Years Eve: games & craft brews with some beautiful people!
21. What new food did you discover?
Calvino’s, Ritter’s frozen custard, and easy homemade veggie enchiladas …I could go on 😉
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Sam & I love Parenthood and have been hooked for a while.
On my own, my guilty pleasure is Biggest Loser…and I am freaking out that Season 2 of Downton Abbey starts SUNDAY!!!
23. What was one of your favorite experiences of the year?
Ok – technically, this was last year – but I loved experiencing our dear friends‘ wedding (December 18) that was held in the same venue where we were married 3 years earlier (December 16!) …I was so blessed to be a part of their ceremony, see their hearts united, and remember my own vows and love story.
24. What was the best book you read?
Oh man…I got completely sucked in to the Hunger Games but I was really disappointed by the last book & overall ending of the series. I have to include it though because I’ve never read so many books in so little time. I’ve also recently gotten lost in the worlds of George R.R. Martin & am constantly amazed by his sheer brain capacity. Lastly, and not LEAST, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver is definitely in my favorites list for 2011 and probably with stay there forever.
(Disclaimer: the Game of Thrones series, though incredible, is also very graphic!)
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
26. What was your favorite film of this year?
The King’s Speech.
27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 25 this year & I can’t even remember what I did to celebrate! My brain cells are disappearing at an increasing rate…
28. What’s one thing you wanted and got…and one thing you wanted and didn’t get.
1) to be a stay-at-home mom!
2) um…hiring a permanent house-keeper/cook?
29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
30. What kept you sane?
I am an introvert through & through. So this year was particularly challenging to find time to just “be” – reading, taking a bath, going for a walk (without kiddos), meditating, lighting a candle – but those are my moments of rest and sanity.
31. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Jon Stewart & Laura Linney
32. What political issue stirred you the most?
Senate Bill 5 was a pretty big deal – but it didn’t really “stir” me…
33. Who did you miss?
I found myself missing BG & old friends there this year…
34. Who was the best new person you met?
I have to say the best new people I have met this year are the amazing group of women that meet on Saturday afternoons to study Torah and watch documentaries together! 🙂
35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011 & quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
This year has been a lesson in trust & steadfastness. Trusting God to provide for us & meet our needs in ways that may not seem “best” to me, and learning to practice steadfastness (when passion meets faithfulness) in all areas of life: my marriage, my friendships, my church community, my relationship with God. I’m learning that steadfast love is different than our common, everyday view of love: “Man is … in love with an image of that love, but it is the image of a love spiced with temptation rather than a love phrased in service and depth-understanding; a love that happens rather than a love that continues; the image of the tension rather than of peace; the image of a moment rather than of permanence; the image of fire rather than of light. But God said, “Let there be light.” (Heschel, The Prophets)
“You, oh Lord, have made a way
The great divide You heal
For when our hearts were far away
Your love went further still
Yes, your love goes further still
We lift up our eyes, lift up our eyes
You’re the Giver of Life.” (Matt Redman)