Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in review

It's time for my annual year in review post. It's pretty sad that my last year in review post is on the same page on this blog...I only had to scroll down a handful of posts to find it. But I guess that speaks to how priorities change and how I have my hands full with my two little cuties. Still, I enjoy reflecting on the year with this post, so here it is. 

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before? I became a stay-at-home mom. 
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Yes, for the most part. Yes, I'll make a few this year but plan to keep them very short and simple. Too many is too overwhelming. 
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Friends in my ward. 
4. Did anyone close to you die? I found out a childhood friend, Dennis Stauffer, passed away in a car accident a couple of years ago. We hadn't kept in close contact so I didn't find out until last month. We had our baptisms together, were in the same ward and went to the same Elementary School. I last saw him when I was 18 and took a bus from Minneapolis, where I was nannying, to Blacksburg, VA, and visited him. It's sad, especially because he had a 1-year-old son when he died. 
5. What countries did you visit? None
6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013? More patience, more organization and better time management skills. I seriously want to focus on these three things this year. 
7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory and why? April and October: I left my job at CPS in April, which was difficult for me to do. I became so attached to my job in a way that you do when you go through something that is very trying and provides opportunities for serving others and personal growth. Add awesome coworkers to the mix and it's very difficult to walk away. I then volunteered there once a week until October, when I no longer had childcare for my kids. Again, I was very sad to leave. 
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Being a stay-at-home mom has been very eye-opening. (Wow, it's difficult but I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be at home with my boys.)
9. What was your biggest failure? No big regrets but lots of little things I would like to work on. 
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing serious
11. What was the best thing you bought? A season pass to the AZ Science Center for $30 (a living social deal). I took the boys almost once a a week during the summer. Oliver loved it and it was a great way to fill our time in an educational way (plus being in an air conditioned building was a definite plus). 
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Oliver has come such a long way since the beginning of the year. It was rough for him after Joshua was born and his behavior reflected that. He is doing so much better (which I honestly have to credit Love & Logic to some degree...I'm not perfect at applying it but it was a turning point for me with him). We also got rid of overnight diapers this year. He's such a big boy now! 
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Politicians always seem to fall into this category. I'm not very impressed with President Obama. 
14. Where did most of your money go? Formula + diapers would be big chunk of it. 
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Going to Hawaii in April. It was a much-needed break for these exhausted parents. We left the boys with my mom so we got to sleep in...amazing. 
16. What song will always remind you of 2013? More than just one: Feel This Moment by Pitbull, Closer by Teagan and Sara, Radioactive by Imagine Dragons, Deamons by Imagine Dragons, Best Day Of My Life by American Authors, Royals by Lorde and Justin Timberlake (went to his concert with my friend, Autumn). 
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier in general. 
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner. I hit my goal weight about six months ago, thanks to Weight Watchers. I now weigh less than I did before I got pregnant with Josh. 
c) richer or poorer? About the same. 
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? I wish I would've had more time to do more family history (scrapbooking, journaling, blogging, etc. - especially the boys' books). This is my same answer as last year...still on my to-do list. I need to make it a priority. 
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Possibly Facebook. I'm not on there all the time but a couple of times a day, which feels like too much right now. (Again, I want to prioritize.) 
20. How did you spend Christmas? With our little family. It was the first Christmas in a few years where it was just us. It was nice. Wendel and I especially enjoyed seeing Oliver's excitement; this was the first year he was really into it. He loved the anticipation of opening his gifts almost more than the gift itself. 
21. Did you fall in love in 2012? Even more with my kids than before. I didn't think that was possible. 
22. What was your favorite TV program? Parenthood still remains a favorite but Big Bang Theory is a pretty close second. (Those are the only two shows we watch.) 
23. What was the best book you read? Love & Logic, followed by How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen and How to Listen So Your Kids Will Talk. Both were life-changing for me. 
24. What was your greatest musical discovery? I really like Imagine Dragons. 
25. What did you want and get? A vacation that involved sleeping in and eating yummy food.
26. What did you want and not get? Nothing comes to mind. 
27. What was your favorite film of this year? Nothing really amazing. There were fun ones, like Pitch Perfect, Thor and Iron Man 3. 
28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 34. It was not my best birthday ever. 
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I can't think of anything. I feel very happy and blessed. 
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012? Comfortable, casual and inexpensive (I mostly shop at thrift stores...there are some pretty great finds to be had though, if you're willing to do a little looking.)
31. What kept you sane? Wendel. (Same answer as last year...he's my rock.)
32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Um...? 
33. What political issue stirred you the most?  6,000 CPS cases were never assigned to investigators over the past four years and as a result several supervisors are on administrative leave. There's a lot of attention in the media on CPS right now. I'm always interested in following CPS in the news because the people reporting the news really have no idea what it's like to be on the front lines. It frustrates me that those who are doing the difficult job of keeping Arizona's children safe are blamed no matter what they do. Meanwhile, they are underpaid, overworked (man, are they overworked...the amount of work is literally impossible to keep up with) and get burned out. Show me a politician who makes improving CPS a priority and that person will have my vote. I did recently read these ideas from Governor Jan Brewer, which is a great start. I really hope to see these put into action. 
34. Who did you miss? My coworkers (after I left CPS). I really miss them a lot, still. 
35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013: Here's two: 1.Parenting is difficult. Not all kids are the same. It's easy to judge other moms or feel judged by other moms as a result of differences in parenting. I've come to realize that there are many different ways to be a "good mom" and no matter what kind of good mom you are, be the best you can for your kids, don't judge others and try not to be offended easily. 2. It's good to be busy doing good things. I'm grateful for a busy calling (Primary Secretary) and the busyness of taking care of two, active little boys. 
36. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: "I just want to feel this moment" by Pitbull. And when I say "this moment" I refer to sleep and how amazing it is. I knew I wouldn't get much sleep as a mom but man, do I miss it. Sleep is really amazing. 

Here's to a wonderful 2014!

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