Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 In Review: Hawaii, kale, Joshua Radin, and my dishwasher

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?

Began pitching articles to an editor. Actually sat down and, like, INTERVIEWED total strangers and wrote and published articles about them. Celebrated ten years of marriage. Tried cooking with puff pastry and phyllo dough. Hiked in a rainforest. Grew a vegetable garden with our neighbors. Participated in a CSA and learned what to do with kale, eggplant, and leeks. Organized neighborhood bootcamp workouts.

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

I made three: Less worrying, more being in the moment; Less meat, more vegetables; and less time-wasting, more writing. I think I did quite well, though honestly, I had forgotten that those were specific resolutions.

For 2010: Rectify my highly dysfunctional e-mail organization system, say "yes" more, and (eeeeeek, I can hardly say it), do the Reed's Lake Triathalon. (?) (!) (THE SWIMMING! IN A MURKY LAKE! GAH!)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Neighbors on both sides of our house, best friend, tons of other people I know; YES.

4. Did anyone close to you die?


5. What countries did you visit?

No actual foreign countries, but HAWAII almost counts, right?

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

Hmmmm. A warmer summer? More patience. More time at the beach.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

The entire week we spent in Hawaii was fairly unforgettable. Seeing The Indigo Girls outside at Meijer Gardens on a perfect summer night was awesome. Watching the girls sit on Santa's lap together for the first time. Annie's first day of Kindergarten.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I ran my third Riverbank run on a hillier course in a torrential downpour and got a darn good time. I managed to juggle a few different writing-type projects and learn from them. I remained (mostly) sane and happy while attempting to raise kind, smart, honest children.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Dithering so long about whether or not to send Annie to Kindergarten.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing major.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Close tie between our Macbook and the dishwasher.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?


13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Again, ?????

14. Where did most of your money go?

Money? What money? As of today (Jason officially bought the practice), all we have is more DEBT! Actually, though: the care, housing, and feeding of our family; travel; paying off various loans.

15. What did you get really excited about?

I was fascinated by our CSA experience and can't wait to do it again. I loved watching the girls morph more fully into the people they're becoming.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

Anything by Joshua Radin.

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

– happier or sadder? Happier.
– thinner or fatter? Maybe 5 pounds fatter. (Sad face.)

– richer or poorer? Oh, good grief, between the loans and the insurances and the practice collections, it's probably a wash.

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

Let the kids skip a nap or stay up too late when it was a glorious day and we were having fun. Scheduled more intentional dates with Jason. Writing.

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

Lazed in bed in the early mornings when it was clear that I wasn't going to get back to sleep. Lost my temper with a child. Dinked around on the computer when I could have been doing other things.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Woke up here, went to Holland late morning.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?

Please see answer to question 16, above.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

30 Rock is as perfect a TV show as I've ever seen. Also started loving Modern Family.

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


24. What was the best book you read?

The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Joshua . . . (swoon).

26. What did you want and get?

More time to myself in a coffee shop with the laptop. Longer hair. Time with Jason and the kids at the pool, park, beach, in Chicago, up north, and millions of other places. A byline. A dishwasher. A glorious week on a tropical island. A perfect red summer dress.

27. What did you want and not get?

Still pining for the kitchen island, a new couch, and nightstands in my bedroom. Still waiting for a few hours a week when both girls are in school and I'm ALL ALONE. An acceptance of an article I wrote on spec for Mothering magazine.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Well, the only one I saw in the theater was Julie and Julia, which I did really like.

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

Threw Annie a fabulous ballerina party, then hosted the family for dinner, then went to a football game. Drank a pumpkin beer when we got home and put them to bed. Went out to The Winchester the next night with Jason. I turned 32.

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

A cleaning lady.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?


32. What kept you sane?

Writing; running; friends; Thursday nights with Jason, beer, and 30 Rock.

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

Oh, I don't know . . .

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

People comparing Obama to Hitler. STOP IT.

35. Who did you miss?

My far-away friends, especially Heather and Andrea.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I'm not sure we technically met in 2009, but I've loved getting to know some acquaintances better, namely the Chandler's, Richards, and Millers.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

I am more and more aware that time is flying, that this stage in my life is brief and unique and challenging and wonderful and fleeting.

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

It's not a song lyric, but an aphorism of sorts that I spied somewhere in my Internet ramblings and wrote down: I acknowledge my luckiness, without giving up my claim to the suckiness.


  1. Pitching articles made my #1 answer, too! Of course I needed to do MORE of it, but it's pretty exciting when it comes together. Oh, and the quote from your last answer comes from Swistle's blog. It really says it all.
    Happy 2010!

  2. I love this meme. (So much that I did it in my own journal after seeing it at Sundry!) Congrats on buying the practice, and happy new year to you! Also--I really need to start watching "Modern Family." Everyone loves it.

  3. Wonderful. Whimsical. Do the tri - you'll love yourself for it... and for God's sake - you've done three MARATHONS. The tri will be a breeze...