I "borrowed" this from the witty A'Dell. She's a real live blogger and I am blessed to actually know her, in person. (And sadly, I don't see her enough)
1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?
I had 2 kids. I worked from home with a newborn and a 2 year old. I faced life with a food allergy (well, technically a "protein intolerance" but that doesn't roll off the tongue as easily as "food allergy" and for all intents and purposes, I am eating as it were an allergy). I cut all milk and soy based products of out of my diet*. (*see also, I went more than just a few days without chocolate... in fact, I've gone 5 months and counting... I'm still amazed by this one.)
2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any resolutions, though I did really pray that I would have a closer relationship with the Lord through more bible study and time in prayer. I did great for a good chunk of the year but I've really fallen hard the past few months, and been putting all the other stuff first. Why is it SO easy to do that? I really want to work my way back to where I was. I'm starting a new devotional called "Jesus Calling" starting January 1.
I also really resolved at some point this year to stop complaining so much. To stop using facebook and my blog as outlets to whine about small, daily problems in my life and my negative feelings about certain things. Quite honestly, I needed to down right watch my words and check my negativity at the door. "Pray it before you say it." I wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I feel like I made big strides in this area and I really hope to continue my efforts.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I did, my best friend did, 2 other close non-blogging friends did and countless AWESOME bloggers also welcomed new little people to this world. (Including the aforementioned A'Dell--our babies' names even rhyme--along with my blogging BFF Alison) It was a good year to be born.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thankfully. Praise God for health in my loved ones.
5. What countries did you visit?
Zero travel for us this year. I'm good with it.
6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you didn't have in 2011?
First and foremost, sleep. A better foot hold on the food allergy situation and strength to press through with nursing until she's weaned. Time for myself. A daily routine that is consistent.
7. What dates from 2011 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
7/19/11 - Baby S's birthday, for obvious reasons
7/4/11- We didn't do anything big, but I'll always remember watching the fireworks from an almost-finished-nursery window with Little L.
Other than that? Not many... this year was a bit of a blur with pregnancy and a highly colicky, sleepless baby.
8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
9. What was your biggest failure?
Making time for myself, learning to accept the chaos/inconsistency that has come with Baby S
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing more than the standard fare
11. What was the best thing you bought?
My Kate.Spade diaper bag. The signature leggings (in black and gray) from J.Crew that I literally wear every day. Also, we didn't buy the thing, but my dad had a DVD player installed in the van for us for Christmas... LOVE IT.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Little L. She's been awesome and handled the transition of being an only child to a big sister just wonderfully. My husband. He has been a wonderful help in a very stressful time.
My dad and stepmom. They were such help with Little L when baby S was born.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
There are so many personal relationships I've had that have left me saddened this year. No need for each to be listed.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage. Medical expenses. Pharmaceuticals. Whole-Foods. Amazon. BabyGap.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Little L's 2nd birthday. Finding out we were having another girl. Baby S's birthday. Christmas.
16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
There's a song on the Jewel lullaby album, called "Forever and a Day." I've literally heard it eleven billion times at this point (it's on my ipod, which I turn on every time I put S to sleep), but it still makes me weepy and will always flood my mind with memories of rocking/pacing baby S to sleep and consoling her in the early months when she was in complete agony.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
A) Happier! I am so blessed with an amazing family. I never knew it could be this good. (plus? added bonus, I'm NOT PREGNANT)
B) Exactly the same. It took me a few months to start gaining weight with Baby S (I was about 3 months pregnant this time last year) and I am currently at my pre-pregnancy weight, so I call this one a wash.
C) Richer. We paid off a car loan almost 3 years early this year.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Running. I really haven't been able to do it because I've been too tired and all my "free" time has been devoted to work.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Worrying. Obsessing about breastfeeding vs formula. Eating double stuff oreos. Feeling sorry for myself.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
At home, first as a family of 4. Watching an almost-3-year-old excitedly rip in to present after present until no more were left.
21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
I fell in love with my new little person. I am ready for 2012.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
New Girl with Zooey.Deschanel. I love her. We also started watching Raising Hope this year and it makes me laugh so.stinking.hard. I need to laugh. I dropped a TON of junk TV this year and I cannot say I miss a lick of it.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No. I make it a personal policy not to hate anyone. Well, except for Wal.mart. I definitely hate Wal.mart. But that's not new this year. Just a fact.
24. What was the best book you read?
My husband bought me a Kindle and I used it like maybe 10 times all year? (I am so embarrassed about this, but, you know, working from home with 2 kids...) I really enjoyed "Bringing up Girls" and am still slowly plodding through "A Woman after God's own heart." It's a great book but really it is a free time issue.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Francesca Battestelli. Also, "Praise Baby" albums are my new favorite thing ever.
26. What did you want and get?
2 very healthy girls. New clothes. A Kate.Spade box under the Christmas tree.
27. What did you want and not get?
Lots and lots of chocolate. Cheese pizza. Mexican food. Sleep. Time with my husband. A real vacation.
28. What was your favorite film of 2011?
I love movies but we just haven't done many lately. Unless Disney and kid movies count? I thought Tangled was pretty freaking spectacular, it may have dethroned my previous favorite princess movie, Beauty and the Beast. I also think I watched Inception earlier this year (it may have been last year but I just don't remember) and it was pretty intriguing. Not like best-movie-ever or anything, but I enjoyed it.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
32. My best friend and her family came over. I remember being very tired but so happy to see them.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More time with God.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2011?
After I got past wearing the exact same denim maternity shorts and black maternity tshirt every single day for like 2 months (it was HOT THIS SUMMER and I had a winter pregnancy last time and refused to buy more maternity clothes), and then wearing the exact same 10 year old pair of American.Eagle jeans and brown Gap tshirt every day for 3 months part partum, I realized that my closet needed a major overhaul. I tossed out a ton of stuff I was hanging on to for no real reason other than it made me feel "safe" to have so many clothes and shoes in my closet (we're talking 11 pairs of shoes among piles of clothes) and I let my husband splurge on good, quality clothes for me for Christmas. I vowed I will no longer binge shop on clothes at outlet malls and clearance racks. There are good pieces in those places from time to time, but often those clothes are there for a reason. They wash weird, wind up being ill fitting or are simply out of style by the time you buy them. No more.
32. What kept you sane?
My best friend. I am so thankful we both had babies this year. Our older children were staggered (she was past the baby stage with her 2 oldest by the time Little L was doing interesting baby stuff) and while it is just a blessing to be able to share kid stuff at all, it is TRULY special to be at the same place at the same time. We've bounced all kinds of sleep training, breastfeeding and baby product stuff off each other non-stop. There are not enough words of gratitude or love for her and the relationship we share.
33. What political issue stirred you the most?
I avoided a lot of politics other than the Republican primary stuff... primarily because there was no more room in my mind/heart to get emotional over anything. I got all wrapped up in the Penn State thing (yes, I realize, not political but is to make a point) and it EXHAUSTED me. I didn't sleep for 2 nights tossing and turning thinking about it. I so easily get too emotionally involved in things that hit home for me.
34. Who did you miss?
35. Who was the best new person you met?
Other than baby S, our new pediatrician. She's not perfect, but in the words of Little L, "I yike her."
36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
Prioritize. When times get overwhelming, something has gotta give, and I learned which things should be given first and which should never ever be put second. Also? Having a mini-van with 2 kids is AWESOME. Don't care how uncool anyone thinks I am.
37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
It won't be like this for long.