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!
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.
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?
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!