Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: Year in Review

1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?
Gave birth (without meds!) to a third baby girl. It was the easiest and best labor and delivery experience I could have imagined--even with the close call of my doctor barely arriving in time to catch the baby! I loved our doula (so if you're in St. Louis and looking for the best doula ever, e-mail me and I'll hook you up.)

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year
So these were my goals for last year (all house related--because evidently as a person I need no further improvement, haha): Complete bookshelves for living room, paint kitchen cabinets, paint basement walls, organize craft/sewing/desk area in basement, make closet more functional, save money!

Those were all completed except for organizing my craft/sewing/desk area. And having another baby means we haven't saved a whole lot more money. So let's just say that's ongoing.

Goals for 2015: Figure out how to use my DSLR camera in manual mode. Be more active. Don't bring work home too often. Make time for yoga. Be energetic and ready for fun.

And one I've had before, but that I think is most important: Give proofs of love.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes. Brandy and Laura both had girl babies just a few months before Coco came along.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

David's grandma Mary passed away this spring.

5. What countries did you visit?

We stuck around the ol' US of A. In fact our travel plans for this summer were canceled due to Baby Belly.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

I'd like to have a relaxing summer. Last summer I taught a class the whole month of June, plus I was huge and uncomfortable with an awkwardly breech big baby, and I couldn't always play with Zuzu the way I wanted to. And then there was all the anxiety that hit me around 36 weeks. So I just want a fun, relatively stress-free summer.

7. What dates from 2014 will remained etched upon your memory?
August 7 - Coco's birthday.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I think I did a good job of balancing my responsibilities and focusing on my priorities. I've found I'm getting much better at shrugging off drama and just focusing on what I know to be true and what matters most to me.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Failure to cloth diaper Coco, failure to potty train Zuzu.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope. Knock on wood. I wasn't sick at all this year. Makes me think I should take prenatal vitamins all the time forever. We are also so fortunate that Zuzu has never been ill with anything more serious than an ear infection, and Coco has also been healthy. I hope so much they stay that way this winter.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Plane tickets to Las Vegas to meet up with some of my best friends and their darling babes.

Non-material item: Our monthly sponsorship of a girl in Ethiopia who is taking part in Studio Samuel's Training for Tomorrow program. I love hearing how she is doing (my girl is now a group leader!), and it is humbling to think that a negligible sacrifice on our part makes a huge difference in the life of a girl.

Materially speaking: A new headboard for our bed. It's one of those things that I had no idea what I was missing until we got one. It makes our bed feel luxurious and makes our room feel complete. It also inspires me to make the bed every single day.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I'm with Time magazine here--I'm awed and impressed with the doctors and healthcare workers fighting Ebola. 

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The controversy and aftermath of the death of Michael Brown is Ferguson has been incredibly depressing. I think it's important to acknowledge, discuss, and attempt to remedy the systemic racism in our country, but it sucks that we haven't done more to eradicate social injustices.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage and daycare (we are so bourgeois like that).

15. What did you get really excited about?
Raising sisters.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
"Let It Go" - Zuzu's song of the year, and one that she loves belting out, regardless of whether she's singing off-key.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
- happier or sadder?  happier - so relieved that the pregnancy I found out about in December of 2013 ended with a healthy baby in 2014.
- thinner or fatter?  fatter - I think it's going to take a little effort to lose these last few pounds of baby weight.
- richer or poorer?  poorer - I took unpaid leave from work so I could stay home with Coco. Worth it. But look for posts on budgeting in 2015!

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Yoga. And cloth diapering--that's its own saga.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Potty training! Haha. But seriously.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my parents at our house, then with my brother, his girlfriend, and my parents at my parents' house, then with my Papa and my dad's siblings and my cousins at my aunt Tammi's, and then with David's family in Kansas. It was a long Christmas week!

21. Did you fall in love in 2014?
Yes. With this little girl:

22. What was your favorite TV program?
The Good Wife (I swear it's the best show on TV, hands down.)

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Hmm. Nope. I have written off a few people with a feeling of indifference, but I'm over the hate.

24. What was the best book you read?
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. I really got sucked in. I also enjoyed Amy Poehler's book Yes, Please!, JoJo Moyes's Me Before You, Cristina Henriquez's The Book of Unknown Americans, and TaraShea Nesbit's The Wives of Los Alamos. A wide range of topics/styles/types of books.

25. What was your favorite musical discovery?
Since we have established that I'm too old and lame to make musical discoveries, my favorite musical moment was dancing to Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" in the kitchen with Zuzu and my friend Erin. It was such a silly, sweet, funny moment. Zuzu still talks about it and asks for the "Play, play, play" song quite frequently. Say what you will, Taylor Swift knows how to right a catchy tune.

26. What did you want and get?
Another baby girl.

27. What did you want and not get?
A baby boy. (Isn't that weird? I really wanted another girl, but now I am sort of wistful about the fact that we'll--in all likelihood--never have a boy.)

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Into the Woods (Confession: I can't even remember seeing another film this year.)

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
My birthday was decidedly unmemorable this year. I was 34. I was super pregnant. I wanted to go ahead and have the baby THAT DAY. I did not have the baby, but I can't even tell you what I did otherwise. I think maybe we went to the Botanical Gardens? David and I went to dinner but I didn't have much appetite. Next year, I swear I'm going to do something more exciting.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Getting a full year of paid maternity leave. (Can I get a HELL YEAH from my fellow Americans?)

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
Maternity Wear. Specifically leggings, tunics, and dresses. I've now gotten rid of virtually all my maternity clothes so my personal fashion concept for the post-August year is Postpartum Wear. My wardrobe has shrunk considerably! Still wearing a lot of leggings, tunics, and scarves.

32. What kept you sane?
David, my best e-mail buddies, my friend Erin at work, and Zuzu saying, "I love you, Mama," unprompted.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Chip and Joanna Gaines. David and I have a couple crush on them. They are SO CUTE.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

35. Who did you miss?
Eliza, of course, and grandparents whom we wish could have had time--or more time--with Zuzu and Coco.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Technically, I'd met them before, but the best new person in our lives is Zuzu's teacher in the two-year-old room at school. I love that Zuzu runs into to school and happily kisses me good-bye.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
Sometimes surprises can be awesome.

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

Time was I had a dream
And you're that dream come true
And if I had the world to give,
I'd give it all to you.

I'll take you to the mountains,
I will take you to the sea,
And I'll show you how this life became
A miracle to me.

(From Dar Williams's "The One Who Knows")

May 2015 sparkle for you and yours. Here's to a new year.


  1. I love that girl you fell in love with in 2014. <3 These girls are such a blessing.

    And yes, the baby boy situation. It's bitter-sweet no matter what. I would love another girl because that seems adorable (sigh), and yet I'd love another boy. Even with b/g twins I would still long for more. bah.

    Have more, that's my vote. Thirty more.

  2. I'm right there with you on the cloth diapers. We have used 2 so far. We keep saying we will start with cloth...tomorrow. Great list. Did you write the questions? Just wondering so I can give credit when I used this on my blog, too! Happy New Year!

  3. E - I did not write these questions! Copied them from somewhere off the internet.

  4. Happy New Year! I Hope 2015 is as great for you as 2014 was!

  5. Sounds like a good year, all in all. All the best for 2015, Brooke!

  6. Happy to see I'm not the only one doing a year end meme! Thanks for another year of great posts, and may 2015 bring you everything you hope for. :)

  7. You know I walked down the aisle to that song. xo S

  8. Love that baby girl you fell in love with <3 I like so much about this list but I really feel you on #13 and #34. This is such a hard thing for me and it hits very close to home as I am raising 2 little African American boys and I worry about so much already for them. I don't know what the right thing is but I hope that things can get better for our country. #22 Love love love The Good Wife! I'm so glad Cary is free but I'm scared for Kalinda and sad that this is her last season :( I've been thinking about trying yogo and I think your post may push me to do it- looking up that YouTube video tonight! Oh and # 30- totally HELL YEAH!!!!!