Thursday, January 2, 2020

2019 Year in Review

Hey! I didn't get it done in 2019, but I managed to finish this up today. No time to link previous years, but feel free to check out archives if you have nothing better to do with your time. Also checking out archives is not easy on your phone, so don't even worry about. Here's my year in review:

1. What did you do in 2019 that you'd never done before?
* had my fourth kid
* lost my job
* cooked chana masala
* sanded and refinished a kitchen table

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I did something different last year, which was follow a wheel of resolutions and make goals for different categories of my life. Here's what I shared on the blog:

- Yoga 5x a week.
Nope. This was a fail. I have started doing yoga again (probably more like 2-3 times a week) and I want to get in a routine. Ideally, I'll be able to go back to doing it first thing in the morning, but this will require some cooperation from G. So for now I'll keep piecing together what I can do when I can do it.

Money & Career
- Use a budget app.
Nope. Fail. We did budget pretty well, but we still haven't found an app that we love.

- Plan a 2020 vacation.
I have not made this plan yet. I'm still trying to decide what I want to do for my birthday. See Alanis in concert with friends? (yes) Take a weekend trip just with David? (yes) Go somewhere fun with my whole family? (yes) How to choose?

- Encourage girls to craft.
Yeah, I feel like we did some crafting. Our cutest project was making nativity scenes out of air dry clay.
- Revisit (and revise) novel.
I really didn't get back to my novel, but I did do some big reworking on the Eliza memoir project, so I think that counts.

Family & Friends
- Host a game night.
Oh gosh, I didn't really do this. I do have plans to host a murder mystery party and I did host the English department end of semester party, which included game play. Plus we have made a BBQ with friends an annual thing and Zuzu told me it was the best thing we did all year--she had so much fun running around like wild things with a pack of kids.

- Plan a surprise date for David.
I did this, but it was a stay at home date because that's seriously our favorite thing right now as we are old and tired. So basically I just made dinner and let him choose what to watch on TV. LOL. I should do better!

Community & Activism
- Sign up for a new group/experience outside my comfort zone.
Yes! I completed the 12-week anti-racism workshop and it was truly eye-opening and game-changing for me. I'm so glad I did it. Now, I'm working with another friend to host anti-racism parent meetings at Coco's school.

- Read three books in the genre of religion/spirituality.
I read Barbara Brown Taylor but it didn't wow me, honestly, and then I wanted to do other kinds of reading. I did attend church on the regular and sign up for another reading group, so I feel that I still tended to my spirituality.

Yes, of course I will make resolutions for 2020, even though I feel like I kind of fell flat on most of these. I love the fresh start of new goals!

I've never done a word of the year, but this year I'm going to try the word "embrace." It's kinda hokey (I think all words of the year are) but it does encompass what I want to do. I'll be starting a new job and I'm nervous about it and our family is in a weird season of little kid getting to be big kid and baby and three different schools/daycares and also I want to stay connected with friends and continue to be involved in stuff that is meaningful to me outside of my family--like antiracism work and book club. So rather than being stressed about what's not getting done or what I should be doing more or less of, I just want to embrace where we are right now. I sometimes fall into the trap of thinking about next year when the baby is older and only napping once a day, or next summer when we're not paying two school/daycare tuitions and we can take a fun vacation. Instead, I want to embrace where we are RIGHT NOW. Also I want to embrace as in give more hugs (with consent, obvs).

Other resolutions...
- More yoga
- Mantra for 2020: Remember you already have everything you need. I'm going to try to be very conscious about consumption and see if I can purchase most of our non-consumables (clothes, home items) gently used.
- Organize for the morning the night before! (This is so obvious. Why is it so hard for me?)
- Try to chill out about my new job. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Me! Genevieve was born on May 5. Also my bestie Monica had her baby Johnny Boone on her 10-year wedding anniversary, June 20.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
Stayed homebound, mostly, as very pregnant and then with a newborn.

6. What would you like to have in 2020 that you lacked in 2019?
Nothing comes to mind, and I'm glad, because we are basically trying to do a no-spend year!

7. What events from 2019 will remained etched upon your memory?
Genevieve's birth, the closure of my university campus, Johnny Boone's birthday

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
had a baby and submitted a short story for publication (both terrifying in totally different ways!). And no, I don't think the story was selected but publication, but the hardest part was submitting it and I'm unexpectedly zen about what happens next!

9. What was your biggest failure?
yelled at my kids, let housekeeping slide more than I'd prefer

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
no, thankfully

11. What was the best thing you bought?
a coffee table for the front room ($20 on Craigslist)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
* Something really surprising and touching for me was when my sister-in-law specifically requested one of Eliza's pencil portraits to put up at her house.
* I also have such great appreciation for my SIL's SIL, who babysat G for me for a few weeks as I finished things up at my old job.
* I admire Greta Thunberg.
* I also really adore Megan Rapinoe.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The President of the United States and also Mitch McConnell

14. Where did most of your money go?
groceries, NICU bills, Coco's school tuition

15. What did you get really excited about?

16. What song will always remind you of 2019?
"Old Town Road" by Lil Naz (my kids were obsessed)

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
- happier or sadder? happier
- thinner or fatter?  thinner
- richer or poorer?  poorer

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

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
arguing with my spouse

20. How did you spend Christmas?
David's mom was here for the week prior, my parents came up the day before Christmas Eve. We had a pretty traditional Christmas at home, attending the Christmas Eve service at church, putting out cookies and milk for Santa, and finishing last minute touches on the dollhouse I decorated for Coco (Zuzu's dollhouse was purchased from a craft bazaar and was already finished). David's dad came up on Christmas day and David made a big meal. The next day we headed to my parents' house, expecting my brother and his family to come into town, but they had to cancel their trip due to illness. We celebrated with my dad's side of the family on Sunday, then visited friends in Kansas City on Monday and on NYE.

To be honest, it was a long break and I would have liked more time to chill at home, but I'm grateful for the time with family and friends.

21. Did you fall in love in 2019?
with this baby currently sleeping on my chest!

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Fleabag! So good. Huge favorite. I loved Friends from College. Also Younger on Hulu is a delight. Oh--and I can't forget season 4 of Veronica Mars! It was a good TV year.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
This is so petty, but I'm in this FB group about parenting and I left a comment about not battling my kids over meals and telling another mom who posed a question that I thought it was fine to let your kid make a PBJ if they don't like what you're eating for the meal and some other lady SAD FACED my comment after writing that at her house you eat what's for dinner or you don't eat and I know every parent should do what works for them, but I kind of hate that lady now.

24. What was the best book you read?
I read so many good ones. My top five:
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

(honorable mentions: Circe by Madeleine Miller and Becoming by Michelle Obama)

25. What was your favorite musical discovery?
I'm counting the podcast Dolly Parton's America as a musical discovery--it is an absolute delight and I'm an even bigger fan of Dolly Parton than I already was. Also David recently turned me on to the singer Emily Scott Robinson and I love both her albums.

26. What did you want and get?
a healthy baby and a coffee table

27. What did you want and not get?
to keep my job. Also a new pair of insoles for my Ugg slippers.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Little Women

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 39. We were driving home from a family reunion in Indiana with my dad’s side of the family. This year I'd like to do something more memorable!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If my new job had a higher salary than my old job.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2019?
Maternity, then nursing friendly. I hope to step it up in 2020!

32. What kept you sane?
good friends, good books, David, and perspective on what matters most

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

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
the impeachment and the polarization in politics

35. Who did you miss?

36. Who was the best new person you met?
another mom at Coco's school who helped me form a diversity and anti-racism reading and discussion group for parents

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018.
(last year I said "Plan for surprises" which is hilarious and stupid because I did not learn to do that and obviously you can't really plan for surprises.)

This year: The right decision isn't always a decision that you like. And it can still be right.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Resdesigning women
Running the world while we're cleaning up the kitchen
Making bank, shaking hands, driving eighty
Tryna get home just to feed the baby
Skipping the bread for the butter
Changing our minds like we change our hair color
Yeah ever since the beginning
We've been redesigning women.
How do we do it? How do we do it?
Making it up as we go along.

How do we do it? How do we do it?
Halfway right and halfway wrong.


  1. What is your Chana masala recipe? I'm on the hunt for a good one. Also, I always love your book recommendations, so thanks!

  2. Love your review. If you are looking for recommendations for reading related to spirituality, you may try Sarah Bessey's books.

  3. Stumbled across your blog through Share (your article posted today on Facebook). I also live in the STL area and am grieving the very recent loss of our precious and devilishly handsome Jack Vincent. Things are still very raw right now. I think (day by day, one foot in front of the other) I’m looking to get more connected in this community because I think it will help me in the long run. Maybe you could share how you got involved with some groups or reach out to me? (The ornament group, etc).
    Thanks ��