Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Recap

I'm not usually one for memes, but I think these end of year recaps are actually pretty interesting to read. I've enjoyed reading those that others have written, so here is mine for your consideration. I borrowed this meme from Jennifer, although I've seen it in multiple forms all over the Internet. I've interspersed it with pictures of Nick playing in the snow, for no particular reason. (Other than the fact that the pictures are cute, of course.) Today the snow actually melted, so Greg never did have to shovel. His philosophy is, "Why shovel it when it will just melt eventually." He was right.  : )

So here we go. A recap of my 2010:

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

Swam in a corn pool. That was awesome.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Well, I kept some of them. Specifically #2, #5, and #6. Although, to be honest, the only reason I kept #5 is because I hired a cleaning lady to come in a few times and help me organize it. But that counts, right?

As for #2, about eating healthy, I was doing pretty good until the end of the year, when I was pregnant. Something about pregnancy horomones make me crave foods that are not good for me. Specifically orange foods: macaroni and cheese, cheetos, spaghetti o's, etc. If an eight-year-old would love it, that's what I've been craving. Not that I don't eat healthy most of the time--it's just that I've been eating far more processed foods than I would like. Strangely enough, though, I weigh 6 pounds less than I did this time last year, and I'm 16 1/2 weeks pregnant! I hadn't lost a pound since leaving the hospital after having Nick, and I only started losing weight when I found out I was pregnant in October.

Yes, I'll probably make some more resolutions for 2011. Will I meet them? Sigh. Judging from my track record, perhaps I can meet 50 % of them. That isn't actually too bad, considering.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nope, but I will next June.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
 No, thankfully.

5. What places did you visit?

Greg and I went to Chicago in June, and up to Northern Wisconsin in September. Oh, and I went to Iowa in October.  

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Hmm. Not sure on that one. Perhaps being able to walk without pain in my feet. I'm pretty grateful for the life that I have, and I know I'm not the only person who'd like more money and more time. Even if I had more money, though, I'd just use it to outsource jobs that I hate so I could have more time for myself and time with my family. 

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I never remember specific dates, but I know for sure I'll remember Nick getting his first haircut. I still miss those curls. Oh, and Nick breaking his arm. Poor guy.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Actually, blogging itself, I think. I have a hard time sticking to things, but I've kept up with this blog pretty regularly for a year and a half now. This year, I averaged about 15 posts per month, which isn't too shabby. I'm pretty proud of myself for that.

I'm also pleased with how far I've come with my gardening and plant tending. I've killed far fewer plants this year, and while my thumb definitely isn't green, at least it isn't the death signal for anything within a 10 yard radius.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Exercise. I did a great job the first part of the year, and then it kind of fell by the wayside. Between medical issues, a miscarriage, a chemical pregnancy, fertility drugs, and then finally getting a pregnancy to stick, it just wasn't a priority. I've exercised, but definitely not 4 times a week, and I skipped exercise entirely during the first trimester of this pregnancy. The last three weeks, though, I've done physical therapy at least 3 times a week for an hour, plus exercising at home. So maybe in January I'll just get on the elliptical again.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Yup. Especially the last few months, my feet have been driving me crazy. When I wake up, I hobble and limp, and sometimes my legs go out from under me a bit. The podiatrist says that if physical therapy doesn't significantly improve my pain and range of motion, I'm probably going to have to have tendon lengthening surgery on the backs of both of my legs once this baby is born. So needless to say, I've been working my rear end off during physical therapy and keeping up with the exercises at home.
11. What was the best thing you bought?

Buying things makes me happy. One of these days I want to do a post on the awesome things I've been finding at TJ Maxx--just little, inexpensive things that make me smile.

But the best thing? Our new living room set, probably has the greatest impact on my daily life, since I spend way too much time sitting on it.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My husband's, of course. He does all of the dishes and most of the cleaning. As we speak, he is folding the laundry that I never got around to taking out of the dryer. But I can't forget the hard work of Nicholas, who mastered both walking and talking this year.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

People who judge, especially xenophobics and those who close their minds to the opinions of others. Even though my husband and I are agnostic, liberal democrats, I have quite a few friends who are religious and/or pretty conservative. But we can have conversations and find middle ground, with both of us agreeing that morality can come in many contexts other than religion.

But what really gets my goat is when people pre-determine their opinions without knowing all of the facts, and only educate themselves about one side of an argument. This depresses me, because it reflects on the weakness of our educational system--no one is taught to debate constructively nowadays.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Bills. Mortgage, student loans, car payments, etc. My husband and I together have more than $90K in student loans, so this sucks up a lot of what would be our discretionary income. Ah, well. That's what happens when two people with Master's Degrees get married. Plus, both of us have careers where we can make a deep impact on the lives of people in need. That should count for something, right.  ; )

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Finding out the results of the CVS testing in December. It was like my whole body, which had been tensed since October, spontaneously relaxed. I know things could still go wrong, but for some reason, I couldn't get even a little bit excited about the pregnancy until I got those results.

Also, we were thrilled when Greg got his promotion in September. He used to be a Clinical Therapist (LCPC) for children and adolescents with mental illnesses. Now he is the Clinical Supervisor for the entire Adult Mental Health Department at his company.  He also got a nice little raise, too, and in the middle of a recession. Now that's something to get excited about.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?

Unfortunately, the theme song to Calliou. Nick loves that show, and I've heard the theme song so many times it often runs through my head while I'm sleeping. I need to listen to some better tunes in 2011.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?  Hmm, probably a little happier or about the same.

b) thinner or fatter? Strangely enough, I'm 6 lbs. thinner even though my belly is already sticking out. I'm sure that trend won't continue for too long, especially since Greg bought us cheese fries for lunch.

c) richer or poorer? I think poorer, thanks to the housing market. We'll work on paying down debts this year.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Being outside when the weather was nice. I really miss sunshine and the smell of flowers. I think I need to schedule outside time for myself everyday in the spring and summer for 2011.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Desperately searching for missing items. I'm notoriously disorganized. The only bright spot was that in 2010 I finally gave in and hired a cleaning lady to come in and help me get stuff in order. Hopefully I can afford to keep her coming in 2011, because after she comes, I can find my stuff for a good week and a half.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Which one? See my last few posts for an in-depth description, but basically we spent Christmas up to our ears in wrapping paper, toddler toys, and naughty foods.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?

Not in the traditional sense, although I definitely fell in love with a few blouses, some really cool flowerpots, and a new fuzzy blanket for the couch.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

I like Glee and Modern Family, although I haven't allowed myself to watch lately. You see, TV is my bribe for working out on the elliptical trainer. I only let myself watch when I'm exercising. Since I haven't been exercising, I skip the shows. My master plan is to rent the DVDs and work out to those and get caught up with TV as I get caught up with exercise. We shall see, however.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I'm not a hate kind of person, although I definitely get ticked off at someone every now and again. This morning it was the jerk who cut me off and stole my parking space at the Costco. But I'll be over it by tomorrow.
24. What was the best book you read?

What the Dog Saw, by Malcolm Gladwell

I also really liked Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees. I figured out how to reserve books from the library online, so I've been doing that this year, and it has really cut down on my amazon budget. Though I miss getting those nice new boxes of books in the mail.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Sigh. That playing music in the car keeps my son happier than when I listen to NPR for the whole drive home. He'll even shout at me, "Mommy, want music!" I miss my news.

26. What did you want and get?

A new couch. In fact, we got a couch, a loveseat, and a nice armchair.
27. What did you want and not get?

A nice shelf to put our tv on and a flat screen tv to replace our late 1990s model.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

We liked "The Kids are Alright," and "Milk."  Honestly, though, we didn't see many movies.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Do you know, I actually had to look it up on my blog, because I honestly couldn't remember. Greg took Nick and I out to a nice seafood place. I turned 32.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

A really nice vacation. I'd love to go to Europe again, or on a nice cruise with lots of beaches.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

Fashion concept? I don't exactly have one, although I certainly spent enough on clothes. For much of they year, it was "Hide the baby weight I never lost." Then, during the end of the year, it was, "Find clothes that make me look pregnant instead of fat."

32. What kept you sane?

Coffee, definitely, and the reading of books, magazines, and this little thing called the Internet. Also, time spent playing with Nick, whether reading, playing blocks, or coloring.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

James Tupper from "Mercy," a soap-opera-ey show that got cancelled.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?

All of the teacher bashing that went on. I'd like to see all of the so-called "education reformers" spend a week in a poor, urban classroom and then talk about how it's the teacher's fault those students don't meet standards on the state tests.

35. Who did you miss?

Hmm. I guess it's not a whom but more of a what. I missed going out with friends and having fun without kids being around. Something about having a toddler tends to stifle any semblance of a social life.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Probably some of my new coworkers at school. I really work in a great place, and it's been great getting to know the new members of my team.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

With doctors, don't assume that they remember who in the heck you are. Remind them, and ask them to read your chart before they see you. Also, do not hesitate to call, and then call again, if your questions are not answered.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

"Old McDonald had a farm, E I E I O." I must've sung that song ten thousand times with Nick. He begs me to sing it again and again, especially in the car. During nice weather, I'm sure the nearby cars thought I was a total nutjob, singing my heart out as I drove down the road.

Happy New Year everyone! Tonight, we're going to be doing a nice bit of nothing. Pizza for dinner, then probably homemade popcorn with real butter later. No drinking for me, but maybe I'll treat myself to some nice earl grey tea around ten p.m. If I don't, then I won't make it to midnight without falling asleep.  ; )

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