2011 in retrospect, or "wow what a year!"

It was suggested to me that I might like to do an annual recap of 2011 for ths blog. I have done this in the past and it always felt like a canned post. A recap doesn’t always tell you something new because of course it rehashes what has already happened (and was hopefully blogged about). But, I saw this post from Kristin at Rage Against the Mini Van and I liked the idea of questions leading me through the recap. They are someone else’s questions, but my answers will be uniquely tailored to me and my life. Plus, I didn’t blog as much as I would like in 2011 so there is a lot of new info (to you) going into the recap of 2011.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

Taken a ride in the back of an ambulence to an ER. No lights and sirens, but still, it is not something I want to do again. Looking out that back window kinda gave me vertigo.

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

In 2011 I resolved to not make any resolutions, so in a way I kept my resolution. I am terrible with making resolutions because I rarely remember them six weeks later, let alone six months to a year later! However, I have a different idea for 2012 which might work: the monthly resolution. In the next few days I will post my 12 resolutions, one for each month of the year. I can probably stick with something for thirty days.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not a direct family member but several friends had babies in the past year.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, thank goodness!

5. What countries did you visit?

Is Pittsburg a country? It sure felt foreign to me!

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

A daughter who goes to bed without screaming, crying, making bargains and trying to blackmail us by withholding hugs and kisses.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

April 28th: I fell at work and tore three ligaments in my foot. This was the cause of the ambulence ride. And the surgery. And the long recovery.

October 28th: I was rear-ended on the freeway and my car was totaled. This was a surreal experience. One moment I was listening to my ipod and sitting in traffic; the next heartbeat I was looking up at the ceiling of my car and trying to figure out what the hell had happened!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Melody performed on stage in her first ever dance recital. That’s not really my accomplishment, but I was so proud of her! She was not afraid to be on stage with everyone looking at her. Personally it took me years to stand up in front of a group without feeling light headed and tongue tied. So, somehow we have taught her confidence, and that perhaps is partly my accomplishment.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I lost my patience and yelled pretty often. The terrible 2s were fine and we didn’t get more than one tantrum then. The Effing Fours have kicked my ass around the block and back again. Melody had a complete meltdown/tantrum over putting her shoes away that lasted more than 10 minutes and included her pounding her fists on the floor and bawling, shreaking, and kicking. There has been a lot of whining and complaining about going to bed, brushing teeth, putting dirty clothes in the hamper and taking showers. Basically, everything that is good for her she did not want to do. Conversely, everything bad for her she wanted to do in spades. Sigh. I felt like Mommy No No for a good portion of the year.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Yes, yes I did. The foot was a real problem. I wound up having surgery on July 1st, and then spending the summer on disability in various stages of hard cast, walking cast and brace. Although I am discharged from physical therapy (the worker’s comp won’t provide any more) I still have pain and discomfort quite often and my left foot is much weaker than my right. I will likely be in some stage of recovery for several more months.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A Ford Escape Limited

12. Where did most of your money go?

See #11. Or Target.

13. What did you get really excited about?

There were several highlights in 2011 even with the surgery and car wreck. In April, my reenacting group was named “Best Civilian Camp” at the Prado Civil War event. This is huge for us and I am very proud of our efforts to portray history as accurately as possible. In June/July our home construction/repair/remodel work was finally finished. After the water leak in September 2010, it took ages to first get the project started; then once started it took forever to finish! But, now that it’s done I am very happy about it. In August, I went to Pittsburg to meet/see 15 of my closest friends who I had never before met in person. That was fabulous and then dovetailed into a too-short visit with my bestie in Tennesee. The end of the year brought a visit from my cousin and her family, plus a great family dinner with her parents and mine. We had our first kids table!

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?

Tonight, Tonight by Hot Chelle Rae

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

– happier or sadder? I feel happier somehow. Sort of like, “I got through all that so I can take on whatever comes my way in 2012.” Plus Melody will turn 5 next month and I am looking forward to that.
– thinner or fatter? The same.
– richer or poorer? Richer I think but John is in charge of that.

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

Sleep. Read. Bake. Make friends. I have difficulty making friends, and I’m honestly not all that good at keeping the few friends I do have. So, add maintain friendships.

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

Saying no and shouting. I gave a spanking one night that made me cry more than Melody. I felt like an absolute jerk. Parents are not supposed to hurt their children right? But we have to provide discipline and punish them when they misbehave, otherwise we wind up with entitled little a-hole children who have no personal accountability for their actions. If I could go back and change things, I would not have given that spanking, lost my patience and my temper, or allowed things to get out of control in the first place.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

Wonderful morning with my little family, then my folks and sister came over for Christmas dinner. I do so love entertaining!

19. What was your favorite TV program?

I record nearly everything these days, but while I was on leave, I mowed through Netflix. I watched seven seasons of Emergency! I don’t really know why. Dexter of course; True Blood OF COURSE; Criminal Minds. I try to make time for First 48 occasionally too.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

You can read my book reviews here on the site but I haven’t written one about every book I read. I’d have to say my favorite book of the year, the one which sticks with me the most, was Saving CeCe Honeycutt. It was a lovely and fullfilling book with a happy ending.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

I discovered Mumford & Sons and my guilty pleasure/secret love for Korean pop groups. I continued to enjoy old favorites like P!nk and Lady Gaga, Weezer and Robbie Fulks.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?

I don’t think we made it to the theater more than two or three times. Once was for Cars 2 with Melody which was cute but not as good as the original. The other was for Twilight: Breaking Dawn, about which I will say no more. Oh, we might also have seen Tangled in the theater, which was super cute. Our most recent favorite (mine and Melody’s) is the 2003 Peter Pan. It is very close to the original book Peter & Wendy by J. M. Barrie, at times verbatim. So far we have watched it six or seven times.

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

Oh, my birthday, yes thank yo for reminding me. I turned 43 on December 9th. We stayed home and had Italian, then a week later went out for brunch with the rest of my family.

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

Wow, this is difficult. I think a longer visit with Tara might have made my shitty summer more worth it. Two and a half days per year just isn’t enough and we both cried after we said goodbye.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

American Middle Class Working Mom, e.g. slacks, blouses and sensible shoes.

26. What kept you sane?

I don’t think I started out sane, so perhaps this isn’t the best question for me. What kept me from losing the rest of my mind? John, Melody, getting the remodel in my house completed after 10 months of destruction, good insurance, my mom’s group, Tara.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

Be careful wearing new heels to walk on linoleum. There will surely be one wet spot on the floor for you to slip in.

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