Hello and welcome to my second annual year-in-review survey! This year I dropped a couple of questions and changed one to make it more applicable to me. I really enjoy this look back over the year, even if it wasn’t what I had hoped, because it puts things in perspective, makes me grateful for what I do have, and gives me inspiration to start new.
1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn’t make a resolution for the year, but I had a goal to reduce our debt. We did make progress, but we have much more to go. I also intended to do the One Little Word challenge, and I kept up with that for the first half of the year.
Although I have lots of ideas of what I want to accomplish in the next year, I’m trying to be kinder to myself since most of this year was pretty hard. So I’m not going to make a resolution for the coming year, but I will say I’ll be very disappointed if we don’t continue reducing our debt.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My best friend did, but I haven’t made it up to Kansas to meet the little guy yet. (Sob.)
4. Did anyone close to you die?
My husband’s grandfather Pappy died in his 90’s. His funeral was in Pennsylvania, so we didn’t get to attend.
5. What places did you visit?
I think I just went to Austin a couple of times.
6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you didn’t have in 2015?
Even less debt, and more patience (especially with mothering). On that note, I’d like to have kids who don’t throw tantrums constantly and who play on their own more often. I’d like to have a happier home space – decluttered, organized, more workable and decorated. I’d like our infusion clinic to get busier. I’d like to go on a family vacation. I’d like to have a more consistent devotional time each morning and a more intentional Sabbath day. (Like I said, these aren’t resolutions but I’m hoping to make them happen if I can!)
7. What dates from 2015 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
My first (and second) half marathon because I never thought I’d do that, and then I did two within two weeks of each other and they were dang hard.
I’ll remember both of the kids’ birthdays – Liam’s because he turned one which felt momentous, and Meredith’s because she turned four and we had an amazing day together and I was so hopeful that at this age she would outgrow her tantrums. (Spoiler alert: she did not.)
Bringing our kitties home.
When Meredith got bitten by a dog.
The day that one of my best friends gave me some pretty big (personal to her) news.
A really big fight that David and I had. But we are fine now!
8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
Well, the half marathons were pretty cool. I’m also proud of the way I’ve been able to let go of some personal projects and goals in order to have more peace and sanity at home. That goes against my nature and is a work in progress for sure, but I’m getting better.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I feel like I failed at being selfless this year. I was way too focused on how I felt, the projects I wanted to complete, my own goals, and always wanting more time to myself. Consequently, I was disappointed in myself too frequently, lost my cool way too often with the kids and David and I had some fights that should have been avoided.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I just got multiple stomach bugs, as usual.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
12. Where did most of your money go?
Daycare, mortgage, bills. Boo!
13. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The Sorta Awesome podcast/Facebook group/Voxer group. Crafts. MBTI.
14. What song will always remind you of 2015?
I really don’t listen to music, but Meredith’s favorite album was this one by Elizabeth Mitchell. Her favorite song for the car was “Little Bird, Little Bird” and her favorite lullaby was “Down in the Valley.” Those have made a big impression on me.
15. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
a) I am probably sadder this year than last. I was in a really great place at the end of last year, and although things are okay right now, the last half of this year has been a struggle.
b) I’m also fatter by a few pounds. Last year I was consistently running and coming off whole30. That…hasn’t been happening lately.
c) I am richer. Finances are one area we have been doing better at lately.
16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Praying, exercising, reading, date nights.
17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Losing my cool with Meredith, and worrying about money.
18. How did you spend Christmas?
Rushing around in the morning cleaning my house and finishing up wrapping presents, then hosting my family for brunch, then dinner and swimming (because of course) at my brother-in-law’s house, then staying up late watching Frozen with the kids trying to get them to fall asleep.
19. What was your favorite TV program?
The Good Wife, which I’m still currently bingeing on.
20. What was the best book you read?
21. What was your greatest food discovery?
22. What did you want and get?
After the spring, Liam stayed healthy for most of the rest of the year, and the rest of us did too. That was awesome. Also, David and I completed Financial Peace University and have made great strides in with our financial situation.
23. What did you want and not get?
I wanted the kids to be calmer, and less needy, but they’re not there yet. I wanted to find a great pair of boots that fit me, but I haven’t. I wanted a vacation, but nope.
24. What was your favorite film of 2015?
Looking back on my scrapbooks, I think I only saw four films: Kingsman: The Secret Service (liked, but too violent at the end), Pitch Perfect 2 (it was okay, but cheesy and a let-down from the first one), Home (pretty dang cute), and Inside Out. Inside Out was probably my favorite.
25. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 33 in February, and on my actual birthday the kids were terribly behaved in the morning, I went to work, and had a Bible study in the evening. But on other days, I went out to eat at Cheesecake Factory with my family, my coworkers had a birthday party for me, and I had a birthday dinner at David’s parents’ house. Also, David and I went out on a date to discuss our Myers-Briggs personality test results (#nerdalert).
26. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If I could have had more predictable sleep and a consistent morning routine. Things fell apart midway through the year.
27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2015?
28. What kept you sane?
Coffee and my family.
29. What political issue stirred you the most?
I can’t with politics, but the book Just Mercy really moved me.
30. Who did you miss?
Several long-distance friends.
31. Who was the best new person you met?
The girls in the Sorta Awesome Voxer group, even though I’ve only “met” them through my phone. They are still real friends!
32. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
In general, it’s better to put other people before yourself. But also, sleep matters and sometimes you have to fight for it.
33. Show us one of your favorite photos from the year.
I like this photo because we finally made a beach trip happen, and this was a sweet moment when the kids were playing and enjoying it.
On thinking back over the year, I remember what a great place I was in when it started. But after a few months, I really started to struggle with parenting and just handling life. I was able to make some adjustments that improved things for awhile (like a solid morning routine and letting go of some projects, simplifying others), but the bad sleeping situation rendered that short-lived. Work has had its stressors with the transition between doctors and low census, making my situation there precarious for awhile. The past year feels like a big blob and mostly I just want to take a nap thinking about it.
Currently, I’m not exercising or having much prayer/Bible study time – both habits that are important to me. I’m not sleeping well and I haven’t been for awhile because of the kids. They are still extremely needy and tantrums happen far too often.
But on the positive side, work is stabilizing and finances are for sure improving. I’ve learned a lot about myself that I think will help my relationships, especially my marriage. The kids are incredibly adorable and squeezable and they are learning to play together. There are still a lot of little introvert pleasures that I get to enjoy frequently like coffee, crafting, reading, and podcasts. It’s a blessing that I can’t overstate to have both of our families nearby and so supportive.
So we are hanging in there, but looking forward to the new year with hope for improvement in several areas!