Thursday, January 1, 2015


Happy New Year!

A million things to blog about, but first: a reflection of the past year. Who doesn't love a good blog meme? (Here's 2009201020112012 and 2013):

1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?

Fed, clothed and generally kept two children alive. Maybe it doesn't seem like a noteworthy achievement but, whoo boy, it was all-encompassing. (The tiny, broken hours of sleep I continue to clock may be to blame). Adapted ways to raise a child with a food allergy. Visited a new state (Kentucky), traveled internationally with the kids for the first time (Mexico) and completed several airline flights within the U.S. by myself with the kids. Our family took up ice fishing. We remodeled a home (or, more specifically, our lake cabin). I celebrated my 33rd birthday and Andi and I celebrated our fifth year of marriage and ninth year together as a couple. 

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

I strived to be the best parent I could be, which I feel like I achieved.

I deem 2015 as the Year of Me. I want to take better care of myself, learn photography and devote more energy and focus to my relationship with Andi. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! Tis the season of babies in this point of life. New mama friends: Krista to Kate (January), Laura to Lily (March), Val to Lucy (April), Melissa to Vance (November), Katie to Kallie (November) and Jodi to Ben (November).

I feel like I was right there with these ladies since Aden was born close to the end of 2013. I spent a good chunk of 2014 in the beautiful chaos of parenting a tiny baby.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No one in my immediate family, thankfully. An beloved uncle of my dad's passed away this past fall. 

5. What countries did you visit?

Andi, Tory, Aden and I, together with his mom, Janie, took a trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in March.  

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you didn't have in 2014?

Still wishing for a child children who sleep through the night on a consistent basis. The topic of sleep is like beating a dead horse at this point, so I'll just leave it at that.

In 2015, I'm planning to take better care of myself; to make me a priority again. 

7. What dates from 2014 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
July 31, 2014 - Andi and I celebrated five years of marriage
October 1, 2014 - the day my good friend, Lindsey and her family moved away :(
November 19, 2014 - Aden's first birthday (a child's first birthday is always the most memorable)

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?

Raising some really great kids. At Age 3, Tory is intelligent, funny, sassy and affectionate and Aden is adorably cute and inquisitive at 13 months old. (She gets more adjectives because she's got some years under her belt). I have to believe a big reason they're growing into the wonderful people they are is because of me (as well as Andi, but I'm with them nearly 24/7). I'm trying my very best to raise smart, compassionate and well-rounded children and (I think) succeeding thus far. 

9. What's your biggest failure?
My biggest failure this year was trying (and not always achieving) to have it all. Life with small, dependent children is exhausting; it takes a toll on personal growth, mental and physical health and important relationships. There is simply not enough time or energy left at the end of the day to accomplish it all. Sometimes I feel like I'm failing Andi by not devoting enough focus to our relationship, or failing myself by letting some of my own aspirations fall by the wayside. And yet, other times I feel like I'm totally rocking this little life of mine. So, even though I aspire to do better, I don't feel like I'm completely falling short.

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

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Andi and I bought my SUV after the lease was over. We also remodeled our lake cabin which was probably our biggest expense, and favorite "purchase." 

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I'm very proud of my husband and his continued effort to better our life by growing his company.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
This is so ridiculous, but I joined my area's neighborhood garage sale Facebook page a few months ago -- I've considered selling some old clothes, kids stuff, etc. -- and am appalled to see the way people complain, nag, and beg on that page. And, it's also incredibly interesting to see what people post for sale. It's like a daily train wreck and I can't stop watching.

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

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The lake cabin. We love that place so, so much and chomped at the bit for the better part of each week with the anticipation of going there on the weekends.  

16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2014?
It's nursery rhyme central in our house these days, ever since Tory learned how to sing songs (around age 2 1/2 or 3). The classics (Itsy Bitsy Spider, ABC's) and some of my childhood favorites (Baby Baluga, How Much Is That Doggie In The Window) are on repeat all day, every day. 

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: 
a) happier or sadder? So incredibly happy. 
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner. Yay for being back to my pre-pregnancy weight! 
c) richer or poorer?

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Travel. Sure, we took plenty of trips to Nebraska and enjoyed a fabulous vacation in Mexico and Kentucky ... but nothing quite compares to the rush of discovering a new place in the world. Wishing for more adventures in 2015. 

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

Spending time on my iPhone when I should've been engaged with my kids. Browsing social media or texting back and forth with friends is a mental release during my days of non-stop parenting, and I feel guilty for having my nose buried downward when I really should be present in our moments of play time, meals, etc. 

20. How did you spend Christmas?

We hosted Andi's parents and sister at our house for Christmas.  

21. Did you fall in love with 2014?
I did - with Aden. Most of his first year of life happened in 2014 and I spent the months discovering his sweet personality and dying over that adorably infectious smile.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I didn't watch many television shows in 2014, but I did binge on episodes of Revenge when Andi was traveling and I wasn't too exhausted to collapse into bed as soon as the kids were asleep.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No -- this is such a horrible question.

24. What was the best book you read?

Do you ever read a new book and find yourself daydreaming you were still engulfed in the one you just finished? That's me these days -- wishing I was still reading One Plus One by Jojo Moyes. I can't stop thinking about that book, I loved it so much. 

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

The Saturday Morning Coffee Pandora station.

26. What did you want and get?
New holiday dishes for Christmas from my in-laws -- those dishes seriously made me so happy all December long. 

27. What did you want and not get?

A new bag. I've been eyeing this monogrammed Madewell Transport Tote for months.

28. What was your favorite film of 2014?
Frozen. I think it might be the only movie I watched in 2014.  

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 33 in 2014. And, I can't remember how we celebrated it ... [scans blog archives]. Oh, yes, I remember now ... Andi rented a hotel room and we hung out there for the evening with some treasured peace and quiet (and wine and room service, of course). 

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

More family time (never enough time in the day!), but I have to say 2014 was a really great year. 

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2014?
Like Stella Got Her Groove Back. Once I returned to my pre-pregnancy weight, I signed up for Stitch Fix and loved having beautiful clothes to wear that made me feel really good about myself. I can't say enough positive things about that service. Love it! 

32. What kept you sane?
Our lake cabin. Coffee. WINE.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

34. Who did you miss?

I missed my Nebraska family and friends, and my good friend Lindsey who moved to Kentucky.

35. Who was the best new person you met?
I made some great friends in 2014 including fellow moms in Tory's ECFE class, and a girl Andi knew in high school whom I connected with on Instagram. 

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
I'd sum 2014 up as the year of low expectations. I let go of wanting everything (and every person) in my life to fall into place exactly as I see it to be, and it really served me this past year. My feelings were hurt less; I deemed more daily successes and I was happier with the outcomes of my actions and others. To the tune of one of the most popular songs in 2014 ... "Let It Go!"

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


  1. Love that you are making 2015 the year of YOU! That was sort of my goal for last year…and I did great until I wound up pregnant again, haha! Ah well, many years ahead for ME, even if it isn't in the near future.
    Are you still getting stichfix on the regular? If so, how much do you usually keep/return? It's on my list of things to try once I lose the baby weight this time around. I've heard really good things from most people!

    1. Yes! I'm set up to get a StitchFix shipment every other month. I'd love to get one every month, but it's easier to justify spending $$ on clothes with a month off in between. I've received 3 boxes so far and usually keep almost everything they send. Their selected styles for me are spot-on, and it's so convenient and fun to open the box, try the clothes on in the comfort of my own bedroom and then ship them back if I don't want them in their pre-paid envelope. I recommend!