Monday, December 30, 2013

Joy Gets Nosy

As a year draws to a close, all the radio shows, TV shows, and magazines are coming up with year in reviews.  I love them.  I love that "Oh, yeah!  I forgot about that!" feeling.  I love to rehash the stories.  I love to be reminded of the good things that happened.  And while some things were quite difficult and painful to remember, I like to look back at them, too.  Those experiences changed us, gave us new perspective, taught us things, and provided blessings we couldn't have imagined.

Joy of I Can Say Mama fame, as well as TToT co-host, had a "blogiversary" back in November.  Back then, she announced she would be doing a wrap-up the year blog hop to celebrate.  She came up with quite a list of questions and asked us to join her in answering them.  Of course I'll join!

Joy @ i can say mama: 2013 Wrap up

Gained or lost weight?
Well, let's just start with a negative, shall we?  For the first time in my life, I have gained for no good reason.  The only other times I've gained weight in my life were during my freshman year of college (not the usual frosh 15, but the I'm lifting weights and working harder than I've ever worked muscle-building 15) and the years I was pregnant.  I've gained because I don't move as much as I used to.  More on this later in the wrap up.

Predominant feeling in 2013?
Gratefulness.  I have a good life.  There are snafus, but thus far, they are not so big in the grand scheme of things.  Many friends suffered the loss of loved ones this year, and walking through their grief with them only strengthened my appreciation for all that I have.

Predominant feeling for 2014?
I hope to continue to be grateful, and I want to add relaxed to it.  I can get mighty worked up when we are busy, and we are busy a lot.  I really want to stay relaxed and enjoy my husband, my kids, and our life together.

Something you did for the first time in 2013?
So many things.  I gave some pigs shots in the neck.  I built a fence.  I walked into a high school as the parent of a high school student.   I had an essay published in a for real book.  (It's on my sidebar.)  I learned how to post videos to youtube and put them in a post.

Something you did again in 2013 after a long pause?
Go to a doctor appointment.  I hadn't been to my ob/gyn since giving birth to Cuckoo four years ago.  Not even for the 6 week checkup after he was born.  I am supposed to get my blood checked every year to make sure my platelets, white blood cells, and red blood cells are behaving, but it's been two years since I've done that.  And, I had never had a mammogram, which is appalling, since my mom has had cervical cancer and my grandma died of colon cancer.  This year, I went to the gynecologist and had a mammogram.  Still need to get a blood test, but I need to find a new doctor first.  Mine changed to a specialty.

Something you unfortunately did not do in 2013?
Get my memory back.  As a friend says, "My nouns were stolen."  They haven't been returned.

Word of the year?
Pants.  I have spent many, many hours searching for pants for kids who are hitting puberty and growing taller by the second.  "I need new pants" has become a sentence I loathe.  Almost as much as I loathed the "I need new shoes" of last year.  (Feet grow longer before the kids grow taller.)

City of the year?
Each year we take a week-long vacation with our good friends (this was year 10!) at a different location.  This year we had a marvelous time in South Haven, MI.  Going to swim at the lake is just like going to the ocean, but without the salt water.

Hair longer or shorter?
I only get my hair cut once or twice a year, so really short, then really long.  Every year.

More or less money spent?
More.  With 6 growing kids, that will be the trend for many years I'm afraid.

Highest mobile phone bill?
They are all the same.  We have unlimited text and calling, and we never go over our data limit.

Hospital stays?
none, but we did have a record number of bone breaks.

(Fallen) In love?
With my husband more and more every day.  (I know that's sappy, but it's true.)

Most called person?
My mom.

Whom did you spend the most beautiful time with?
Turken and I went on a gorgeous trip to Hilton Head for his first trip sans siblings.

What did you spend most of your time with?
My van, followed closely by laundry.

Song of the year?
As much as I hate to say it, "What Does the Fox Say?"  We have sung it and its parody "What does the farmer say?" millions of times.  We even wrote and filmed our own parody.  One of these days, we'll get it put together and post it for you.

Book of the year?
You mean besides the one I was in?  That one there on my sidebar?  :)
I read way too many books to pick just one, but I did discover an author this year that I have really liked.  I have read three of Catherine Ryan Hyde's books in a row, and I've liked each one equally.

TV show/movie of the year?
It was the year we introduced the big kids to some of our favorite movies.  "The Sound of Music", "The Jerk" (edited) and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation".  Good times.

Insight of the year?
In order to have friends, I need to act like one.

Three things you totally could have done without?
(We're calling it) Lupus flares, snow, and the multitude of injuries our family experienced

Most beautiful event?
I know this is going to sound odd, but a funeral I attended for the father of our close friends.  People talked about it for weeks, saying it was the most wonderful funeral they had ever attended.  And they hadn't even gone to the funeral meal, where it got even better.  It actually inspired me to make some changes in my life.

More short-sighted or more far-sighted than 2013? 
I started to write a deep, philosophical answer, but then I checked Joy's, and she actually meant my eyes.  As far as I know, I'm still 20/20.  Except I have noticed that in low light conditions, I find it very difficult to read.

The most dangerous thing you did?
Stick needles in the necks of live pigs.  Big needles, crazy pigs in the throes of temper tantrums, and I are one bad combination.

The most expensive thing you bought?
We had our kitchen remodeled and added a mud room.  By far the most expensive thing we've EVER bought, besides our house.

The most delicious meal or food you ate?
Basically, any meal I didn't have to make.

The best party?
I like just about any party, but the best ones are usually Thanksgiving (with 52 people, it's a party.), New Years at our friends' house, and Labor Day at our house.

The most important thing you wanted to convince somebody of?
I desperately want a friend of mine to find it in her heart to forgive.  I hate what it does to her to be so angry and bitter for so many years.  Things came to a head this year with this person, and she just can't see how forgiveness is an option.  Yet.  I won't give up on her.

The most beautiful present you gave to somebody?
I haven't given them yet, as we haven't had our meeting, but I will on Tuesday.  I specially picked Christmas ornaments for the ladies of my book club.  Each of them has gone through some rough times this year (some much more than rough) and I wanted to give them an ornament dealing with their year and a note as to why I chose it.

The most beautiful present that somebody gave you?
The surprise ones.  Surprise packages from around the world, a birthday present which took some extra thought and time to get together.  I know it sounds odd, but the iPad mini COW got for me.  It's not that he got an iPad for me, but the reason why he gave it to me.  He knows I get thrown off the computer frequently by kids who need to do homework, and he wanted a way for me to do blog "stuff" whenever I want.  He got the mini instead of a normal size, because he was worried the normal one would cause too much pain to hold for my Lupusy hands and wrists.  He even had it engraved on the back.  "Christine...In the Coop".

The most beautiful sentence someone said to you?
"I love you."  From my mom and dad.  While I have always known they love me, completely and unconditionally, it is only fairly recently that they've been saying it to me when we talk on the phone.  They both started doing it, and it makes me happy every time.

The most beautiful sentence you said to someone? 
"I'm praying for you."  Many of my friends have had major tragedies and sorrowful things happen this year.  There have been scary medical things and times of deep depressions they've had to deal with.  I have been much better about letting friends know I am praying for them.

How will you celebrate New Year's Eve?
Our book club gets together with the husbands for a super fun party.  It always includes games.  Last year we played The Newlywed Game.  We had an emcee and everything.  I have some hysterical friends.

What will you have for dinner?
Who knows.  It's a pitch-in.

What drinks will be in your glasses to clink?
I'll most likely be the designated driver, so a glass of water for me.

Will you ignite any fireworks? 
- I think there are states in the US where it is not allowed to ignite private fireworks on New Year's Eve so for all of you who are not allowed (or other countries where this is not allowed): What is a special tradition you normally do on New Year's Eve every year? Will you do it this year, too?
No, no fireworks.  We never really had a tradition.  Before the book club parties, when the kids were little, we didn't even stay up for midnight.  A few years we hosted a party for the families in the neighborhood.  We counted down and did the celebrating early, to coincide with another country (with food from that country even) so the kids could all get to bed at a semi-decent hour well before midnight.  Once we moved to the farm, though, we stopped having the parties.

What are you going to wear? Comfy or glamorous?
Comfy, with a bit of glam thrown in.  Think disco ball-type shoes.

Did you have any resolutions for 2013? And how about 2014? 
I don't make resolutions just because we're entering a new year.  I make them whenever I see I need to make them.  Partway through 2013, I decided I needed to be a better friend, so I've made changes to improve.  As for 2014, I have to do something about my health.  I don't know if I'm having trouble because I'm out of shape or because the Lupus is kicking up a notch.  I'm always hesitant to work out or even play active things with the kids much, because if I do too much or a flare kicks in, I will be in pain and useless by the end of the day.  But by the end of the day, the thought of doing anything active is completely unappealing.  I have to figure this out, though.  I've gained 10 pounds in just a few months and I feel like crap.

What are your wishes for the new year?
For all my friends who have suffered so much this year to have a wonderful, peaceful, hope-filled new year.

In one word: 2013 was...
Lively.  As usual.

What were some highlights of your year?  I know Joy would love for you to join in with her wrap up!  Or you can tell me in the comments.  I love a good comment.

Have a lovely day!


  1. I'm up about 8 el bees, but it's because I've been stuffing my face with anything and everything since Thanksgiving. You know it's bad when your granny panties are even tight! I like your philosophy about being a better friend. I try to be a good friend but when life gets in the way, I know I can do better. Wishing you a wonderful New Year!

    1. Well, it's not like I held back on the cookies and ice cream and crap either. That may have had to do with a few of those 10 pounds, too. :)
      I'm guessing with the year you had with your dad, you found out plenty of ways people can be a better friend.
      Thank you!

  2. Congrats on being in "Her Stories". I have it but haven't read it yet. I love this idea for a post. If I manage to get anything written in the next 24 I think I'll call it Year End Review so thanks in advance for the title ;-) Christopher got me to watch the "What does the fox say" video ONE time. That thing is catchy isn't it. I use the tune for anything. If Christopher asks me "why?" to something I said "no" to, I sing, "What did the mom say?" LOL. You've got that right about stuff being delicious that you didn't have the make! And sigh this has been my biggest battle with trying to even maintain my weight. Last year my doctor told me I was about that age so get ready for it. She was right dangit. Now for my fuss - KEEP GETTING YOUR CHECKUPS!!! Okay?

    1. Thanks! Hope you like it!
      You are welcome. :)
      Ha! That is exactly what our parody is, "What Does the Mom Say?"
      We are hitting that age of wight gain, or working harder to avoid it. My sister is happy, as she has always struggled with weight, while watching me eat whatever I wanted. She finds joy in my weight gain. I don't blame her.
      I WILL KEEP GETTING CHECKUPS! That's the thing about putting my lackadaisical attitude about the doctor on my blog. Lots of people are ready and willing to stay on my butt until I get it done.

  3. I NEED to know what disco-ball shoes go with comfy!!! "i'm praying for you" has SO much the no-make meal answer, as much as I love that we are in The Book, together!!!!

    1. By comfy, I don't mean sweats or PJs. Jeans. And heals that are nothing but silver sparkles over every single surface.
      I was so glad to see you and the other blog friends I've made in the book with me.

  4. Get your bloodwork done. Please...

    Sooner rather than later, 'kay?

    So, SO MUCH to love here. I'm so glad Joy made these wonderful questions and that you answered each of them rather than cutting any out.

    I'm really glad you're DOING the friendship thing and buying presents and writing notes for your friends, rather than thinking about it and letting it go. That's personal growth right there, and I expect that they'll be hugely touched that you thought so much about them. Hope it goes really well.

    Still so happy to read that all of your best bits and most wonderfuls are about COW and your brood. The iPad and the inscription are the sweetest thing ever :)

    And thank you for the times you've let me know you're praying. I've been so grateful for that, and just knowing it has helped immeasurably.

    Also - can't WAIT for your version of What Does The Fox Say, and thanks for getting us into it over here :D Niece still loves it and boogies away.

    (Hey, if you love blogging, then you'd LOVE Twitter...)

    ((And duh - disco shoes? Such a scott... ;) ))

    1. Yes ma'am.

      COW has an appointment with a new doctor in January. If he likes him, I will make an appointment to see him, too.

      It had to be some serious work for her to get this hop together. I'm glad she did, and I'm glad to see how many people are linking up with her.

      I'm glad, too. Now to keep it going...

      How can the best bits not be about my family? They are fantastic.

      You are welcome. I'm glad it helped.

      Buttercup has had some major trouble getting the video done. I shall encourage her to simplify it so she can get it done over break.


      Look inside your closet. Just about every pair of shoes you own screams, "Look at me!" Is that your scott coming out?

    2. True dat. Your family are awesome :) And I have every confidence you'll keep going with the friendship doings. How did the ornaments go down?

      Yeah she needs to get on with it...

      Don't you 'ack' me :P

      And yeah they do, but no. That's out-and-out clark. Shoes and hats. (surprised? Don't want to be the centre of attention (no, really) but can't BEAR not to be noticed...)

    3. The ornaments didn't go down, unfortunately. The party we were to attend, where I could give them their gifts, was cancelled. We spent New Years Eve at home.

      Got it. (Kinda sorta not really)

  5. I have to say I laughed - twice - about your pig shots. That made new thing for 2013 and most dangerous - awesome.

    I know I don't know you much at all - just from reading your awesome blog and TToT linkups - but as a member of the autoimmune disease club (RA) please don't skip getting bloodwork done! It's so important.

    I love your surprise I-pad gift - that is completely sweet and thoughtful!

    Best wishes for a Happy New Year to you and your whole family! Be well!

    1. It was quite a traumatic experience and deserved two spots. :)

      I know it is. For two years, I had doctor appointments and blood draws at least once a month. Add in all the kids' appointments and dental appointments, and I just needed a break. And then my doctor left the practice. I wasn't quick about finding a new one. I'm on it now, though. Thanks for the encouragement.

      I was shocked, to say the least.

      Thank you!

  6. Christine, I hardly know you either but am so glad to have found you. Your entries always inspire me to want to do more. I love your family and animal motivate me with the self improvement efforts and changes...have a great New Year's celebration! ...2014!

    1. I'm thrilled to know you, too. Thank you for all of those nice things you said. You're making me blush. :)

  7. Gosh - what a lot of questions and what fabulous answers. Loved reading through them and I love the inscription on the iPad.

    1. They were a lot of questions, but some really good ones! Glad you liked reading the answers.
      He is one thoughtful husband.

  8. I was born a poor black man....exactly how did you edit that all time classic? I'm cracking up just thinking of all the one liners in that movie. I am also laughing at the thought that you followed Sound of Music with the Jerk. Only you!!!!

    As far as a game, we got Abby the game Beat the Parents. We played in teams at Christmas with all the cousins/childless couples on one team and all the parents on the other. It was so much fun.

    Have a happy, happy New Year and I hope one with less trips to the ER for you and yours

    1. Hahahahahaha!! So, so many awesome quotes in that movie. That's why we had to let the kids watch it. They had no idea what I was talking about when I would quote the movie on an almost daily basis. I edited out the parts with the carnival woman and finding his special purpose. I'm not ready to show that to my 10 year old. :)

      We just played that game yesterday! My sister texted me last week and said they were playing and I needed to come to Kentucky and play it with them. So, yesterday I loaded up the kids for a road trip, and we had a game day with my mom, siblings, and nieces and nephews. so much fun.

      Thank you!

  9. You inspire me every day. All the best to you and yours for 2014!!! DI

    1. Ah, flattery will get you everywhere. :) You are the inspiration, m'lady.
      Thank you!

  10. Hey!* glad to know you (though I could have done quite alright and lived out the rest of my life without the imagery of a farmhouse covered with spiders) and wanted to stop by and say 'Best of the New Year from all of us her at the Wakefield Doctrine!'

    *that's scottian for: 'hello, I hope I not disturbing anyone with my un-announced visit'

    1. I could do without that imagery myself. :)
      Thank you for the well wishes. My wish for you is that you hear someone on the street say to a friend, "You are such a roger!"

    2. I think I lost my comment. Trying again. I love that you are initiating those doc appts. You have a beautiful family to attend to. I'm with ya on the meals - I enjoy anything I didn't make. I can't imagine giving pigs shots, let alone in the neck. I get the funeral thing too. Some of the best visits with family are at funerals. We're all a little more humble, more forgiving. They can be heart-changers., Hope the New Year continues to bless you!

    3. Sorry about that!
      It's about time the doctor was visited. I hate doing it, but the alternative is constant harassment from the folks in my life.
      It's good that you can't imagine pig shots. I hope you never have to see it.
      This funeral certainly was a heart-changer. I attended a few of them this year.
      Thank you! Same to you!

  11. The perfect post to get to know you. The Jerk was the first movie I ever watched in the US..I'll never forget it. You have to go to the doctor in 2014 and take care of your health, most important because your beautiful children need you to be running after them :) I bet Turken had a wonderful time with you alone. You are busy! Happy New Year!


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