2013: a look back

{sunrise in Mexico}
Oh hello!  We are on our way back to New York today after an amazing time in both Kansas and Mexico.  Recaps to come, but for now I thought I'd kick off the new year with this fun list of questions. I saw these floating around on tumblr and I thought it would be a great exercise to recap our year...

1: What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Traveled to France, got promoted, grew the blog (big woop for brands asking me to sponsor posts!).

2: Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? 
(A reminder of last year's resolutions.) As for eating better, we really did a great job until about November.  Since then, we've been eating like we're on vacation.  So ready to feel healthy again.  I still use two spaces after a period and I’m convinced that’s now an unchangeable trait.  I am a little better at being on time, maybe an increase of 25% but I'm still not up to ALWAYS on time.  We did great “going” to church for the first six months, but then went through our summer slump and never got back on it.  Working out twice a week still is a hilarious concept to me; one that was never reached 2013.  Here’s to starting fresh this year…

3: Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, apparently everyone I’m friends with on Facebook had a baby or got pregnant this year.  It’s funny to see the stages of life via social media.  A few years ago it was all engagements, then weddings, then houses, then babies.  We have done the first two – house and baby still pending. ;) 

4: What countries did you visit?
France (Paris, Avignon, St. Tropez - yikes! I still need to blog about St. Tropez!), UK (just the LHRairport), Mexico.

5: What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013
More patience. 

6: What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Continuing to blog despite being massively busy at work.  It seems silly, but those of you who do it know how much time, thought, and creativity it takes and how some days it just seems like you took off way too big of a bite.  It really is such a great outlet for me to feel like I'm doing something else with my brain.  I'm happy I kept it going, even if some days it felt like this little site was on life support.

7: What was your biggest failure?
Getting in a rut.  Or, rather, not getting out of it.  I had a month or so this fall where I couldn't seem to kick my negative attitude.  It was one of those times where I couldn't see the good in anything and I struggled.  I’m happy to report I’m out of that funk and look back at it as an opportunity to learn how important it is to find happiness in even the crummiest of times.

8: Did you suffer illness or injury?
I’m convinced I sprained my wrist in Mexico.  But I’m a bit of a hypochondriac about sprains in general so Al has been ignoring my complaints completely.  Oh, and I had that rough bout with the flu in January for about a week.  Awful, awful thing.

9: What was the best thing you bought?
Maybe that chalkboard table runner paper.  I also used it for wrapping paper this year.  Oooh or maybe the Lily wrapping paper (you'll see it in my Christmas recap).  And also my black booties and green coated jeans from Madewell.  Both got a lot of play this winter. 

10: Whose behavior merited celebration?
Jennifer Lawrence, Al - he has a great attitude even though he works 16 hour days, and Ina Garten (always).

11: Whose behavior made you appalled?
Miley, Kris Jenner.  Ugh to both of them.

12: Where did most of your money go?
Thanks to Al’s extensive budget (he keeps a crazy excel budget and notes every dollar we spend and to what category it belongs), I can tell you that we spent the most this year on eating out (we had some pricey, but exceptional meals this year. God bless Blue Hill), and vacations (again, so so worth it).  

13: What did you get really, really, really excited about?
France (do you see a trend here?), Mexico with my family, Christmas in Kanas, Friendsgiving, Stone Barns Farm.

14: Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?
a.) Happier
b.) Fatter – I’ve been pretty much eating like calories don’t count since Friendsgiving.  I need to reintroduce myself to the treadmill this year.
c.)  ha.  Do people really answer this?  I’ll say richer – in that I feel over the past year my life has grown in richness exponentially.

15: What do you wish you’d done more of?
Worked out.

16: What do you wish you’d done less of?

17: How did you spend Christmas?
With my dad and Melanie,  in Lawrence with snow on the ground.  Joined by my sister, step-sister, step-brother, a french bulldog, a labrodoodle, and a grate dane.  Oh, and Mel’s amazing biscuits and gravy.  It. Was. Spectacular. 

19: Did you fall in love in 2013?
Yes.  Over and over again with my sweet man.

20: What was your favorite TV program?
As you know, we’re big TV people.  Shows we binge watched:  Homeland Season 1 and 2, Downton Abbey, House of Cards, The Wonder Years, Al went on a huge Wire kick, Orange is the New Black.

21: What was the best book you read?
I really grew to love The Interestings, although in hindsight I dislike the ending (although, I always dislike endings that don’t go the way I think they will).  Fell in love with this cookbook as well.  Currently entangled in the life of Theo Decker in (the extremely long tale) The Goldfinch.

22: What was your greatest musical discovery?
Not caring generally too much about music and not having a car in which we listen to the radio, I’m sad to say that most of our musical discoveries are songs we come to know months after they became popular.  Al joked the other night that we are now the category of people who think the 'Now That's What I Call Music' CDs' are current.

23: What did you want and get?
Time with my Al and our extended families.  Bernice the Camera.

24: What did you want and not get?
A sick pack.  Abs, not beer.  The beer is partly what prevented the abs.

25: What was your favorite film of this year?

26: What was the best thing you made this year?
Probably the roasted shrimp with feta.  Or the seafood gratin.  Both were simple, yet elegant and very satisfying.  Both from Ina, of course.

27: What one thing made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Travel and leisure.  Verbs – not the magazine.

28: How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Ask Ashley and Jolie and do what they say.

29: What kept you sane? 
Al, Lily, Sleep, Wine Nights

30: Who did you miss?
My sister. Every day.  I find myself constantly wishing she was next to me so we can laugh at all the funny moments of life together.  She's also really good at snugging. 1,200 miles apart sucks.

31: Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
Take time for yourself.  Find the good.  And these 28 things.

32:  A quote that sums up your year.
"It is right to be contented with what we have, but never with what we are." - James Mackintosh

Wow.  What a year.  Feeling very fortunate.  Wishing you a enlightening 2014 full of happiness, silliness, and lots and lots of snugs.
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