Thursday, January 2, 2014


A new year; another survey to reflect on the year 2013. Is it just me or are the everyday details of life becoming harder to remember?

(Here's 200920102011 and 2012):

1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?

Got pregnant and gave birth to a baby (a boy!) in the same year. It feels a little like 2013 was the Year of the Pregnancy. I added the words "kids" to my everyday vocabulary. I visited a new state (South Carolina). We bought a lake cabin. I planned a neighborhood block party. Andi and I celebrated our fourth year of marriage and eighth year together as a couple. 

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

I don't think I made a 2013 resolution, but I did strive to be the best mother I could be to Tory which I feel like I achieved.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! I did to a beautiful baby boy, Aden. There were also three other babies born in our family this year (Reese - June, Finleigh - September and Anna - November). My friend Lindsey had a baby in June (Taylor) and my friend Ellie to Baby Sierra in July. 

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not in my immediate circle of friends and family, but someone I used to work with died unexpectedly which was a bit shocking.

5. What countries did you visit?

Andi and I traveled to Ixtapa, Mexico in February. It was a fabulous vacation spending an entire week together, just the two of us. 

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you didn't have in 2013?

Still wishing for a child who sleeps through the night (cough, cough, Tory). Let's up the ante and make that CHILDREN who sleep through the night for 2014. 

7. What dates from 2013 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
November 12 - my due date for Baby #2
November 19 - Aden's date of birth

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?

Hands down, the birth of our son. Aden brings such joy to my life. I've also been a stay-at-home-mom for an entire year now and it feels like a pretty big accomplishment to do that job and do it well. Parenting 24/7 is of the most difficult and most rewarding things I've ever done. I'm living my perfect life right now.

9. What's your biggest failure?
Losing my cool with Tory, particularly where sleep was concerned. Man, that kid knows how to work me and I spent far too many frustrating hours trying to get her to fall sleep (and to stay that way). I often feel like a failure of a parent as I loathe our naps/bedtime routine and especially feel like crap when I lose my patience with her. 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing major.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Andi and I purchased our lake cabin, a new ATV and two snowmobiles. The garage at the cabin is plum full now. 

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I'm really proud of the father Andi's become in 2013. Since my pregnancy and the birth of Aden, he's helped make the adjustment to two kids so much easier for me by being a great parenting partner. I'm proud of how united we are as a couple when it comes to our kids. 

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Watching my parents deal with elderly grandparent drama for the better part of the year was frustrating to see. 

14. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgages, the cabin, vehicles, trips to Nebraska, our children, taxes. 

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Discovering I was pregnant with Aden in early March and the anticipation of his birth for the better part of 2013. 

16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2013?
We listened to a lot of country at the cabin this year so anything by Lee Brice or Luke Bryan reminds me particularly of summertime.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: 
a) happier or sadder? The happiest I've ever been. 
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter. Bah. I still have 15 pounds of baby weight to lose. 
c) richer or poorer?
 Richer, emotionally and monetarily.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Spent more quality time with Andi. Life with little kids is chaotic and sometimes I look back on time spent together and think WOW, we've been together all weekend and have barely talked. Like, really talked, about things other than diaper changes and which color of yogurt Tory wants to eat (Pink or blue yogurt? Our most uttered phrase of 2013. Gah).

One of our favorite things to do at the cabin this year was load up the kid(s) into the car and just drive country roads. Tory kept occupied with Dora episodes in the backseat and (later, after Baby Brother joined the picture) Aden snoozed away in his car seat. For a few peaceful minutes, Andi and I could sit in the front seat together, drink coffee and talk. Those are some of my best memories of 2013.

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

Letting Tory watch television. There were some rough times in 2013 when I was pregnant, uncomfortable and too tired to entertain Tory from sun-up to sun-down. I'm guilty of letting her binge on back-to-back episodes of Dora, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Doc McStuffins as a way to keep her occupied. I've realized over time she's much naughtier during the day when there's been too much TV and better behaved when I engage her in an activity. So, one of my 2014 parenting goals is less screen time for Tory.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

We celebrated Christmas in Nebraska this year. 

21. Did you fall in love with 2013?
With my little man, Aden. He is such a delightful baby, so peaceful and calm. I only wish there were more hours in the day to love on him without the chaos of everyday life getting in the way. 

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I was into sitcom comedies in 2013 -- things I could DVR and watch much later, when I had 20 minutes to spare (ahem, rarely). I liked 2 Broke Girls, New Girl and Big Bang Theory. This season of my all-time favorite How I Met Your Mother hasn't been that good so while we watch it, it definitely wasn't my favorite. 

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

24. What was the best book you read?

I enjoyed reading WILD by Cheryl Strayed.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I'm pretty horrible at finding music. I mostly listen to whatever Andi selects on Pandora or the top country hits station.

26. What did you want and get?
A healthy, low-risk pregnancy and the birth of our second child.

27. What did you want and not get?

For Tory to sleep. Seriously. I spent far, far too many hours of 2013 fighting through naps and bedtime with her.

28. What was your favorite film of 2013?
I'm not even sure Andi and I went to a movie in the theatre in 2013. How pathetic is that? 

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 32 in 2012. My in-laws surprised me with a really special low-key birthday party at home and then Andi and I left for vacation in Mexico a few days later. 

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

2013 was really one of the best years I can remember. I could say 'more sleep' but then all the questions in this survey would be answered that way.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2013?
Maternity wear. That should really say it all. I wore mostly Gap t-shirts, leggings, and stretchy-waisted pants.

32. What kept you sane?
Our lake cabin. It's our slice of paradise.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

34. Who did you miss?

I missed my Nebraska family and friends.

35. Who was the best new person you met?
Andi and I develop some great friendships with other cabin owners on the lake. It's been really fun to have a community of people to hang out with on weekends there.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
To live in the moment. Being a parent to small kids is physically challenging right now, but it's worth all the effort. Time moves so quickly that one day soon they'll need us a little less. We should take time to enjoy this time now. 

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

This parody of Taylor Swift's "22" song this year. When I watched it for the first time, I laughed so hard I nearly wet my pants because it's SO TRUE.


  1. Our sleeping situation has gone south ever since we moved the girls to a shared room and UGH. I feel you on the lack of patience. There is seriously nothing more frustrating than the games kids play to avoid bedtime. And the more tired I am, the harder it is to deal with the girls, so the harder it is to get them to sleep, so the harder it is for them to behave the next day, so the more I yell. It's a really crappy cycle.

    Let's hope we have a better 2014 in the sleep department!!

  2. Oh how much these just revolve around sleep when the kiddos are young! Someday we won't care, but not soon enough ;) That parody was hilarious!!

  3. YES!! That parody is hysterical! How perfect that it came out when we turned 32 :)
    I have a feeling I'll be battling sleep with Walker for a very looong time too. Although he is sleeping well at night now (knock on wood) he is still total crap at napping. I definitely took my fantastic sleepers for granted until now. I had no idea how good I had it :/

  4. Ugh sleeping. Trying to get a baby to sleep AND trying to get enough sleep yourself? SO HARD.