Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Twenty-fifteen was a great year for our little family of four. I'm a bit sad to see it go, and also excited to see what the new year has in store for us.

Let's reflect on 2015 with an annual survey I've been doing for seven years now:
(Here's 2009201020112012, 2013 and 2014)

1. What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?

Learn to fish and love it. Reeled in a big catch (a 36" Northern Pike)! Appeared on the cover of a Canadian fishing outfitter's brochure. Learned to drive a pontoon boat. Went to a gun range (for date night!) and learned to shoot a pistol. Had LASIK eye surgery. Made myself a priority for a change. Became a photographer. Celebrated my 34th birthday. Visited Sayulita, Mexico. Drove over the Canadian border. Cheers'd to six years of wedded bliss. Started exercising and eating healthier food. Finally lost the baby weight, and then some. Celebrated Christmas at our lake cabin. 

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

Yes! In January 2015, I set personal goals to learn photography and to make myself a priority after so many consecutive years of pregnancy and the infant years. I'm happy to say I achieved both.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes - fellow blogger Lacey in April (Laney), my childhood best friend Ashley in May (Harper), my cousin Jen in May (Ben) and my good friend Lindsey in June (Brooke).

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Sadly, Andi lost an uncle in October.

5. What countries did you visit?

Canada and Mexico

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you didn't have in 2015?

Twenty-fifteen was such a good year for us, I can't honestly think of one single thing. 

7. What dates from 2015 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
Andi and I celebrated 10 years together (dating anniversary) on December 9

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?

I started eating healthier and exercising in October, and I'm proud to say I've kept to it! For someone who's never exercised a day in her life, (okay, I did go to a few cardio kickboxing classes in college and thought I was going to DIE) this is a really big achievement for me. It's pretty incredible the way my body responded to healthier treatment and I feel good knowing I'm setting a positive example for my kids.

9. What's your biggest failure?
Losing my cool with my kids, I'd say. Tory, in particular, is very tender-hearted and her feelings are hurt easily when my voice escalates from frustration.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Aside from a six-week sinus infection I couldn't kick last spring, I stayed relatively healthy last year.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I purged my entire closet last spring of ill-fitting clothes from past years. Then, I signed up to receive a box from Stitch Fix every month and kept only the items that made me feel great. I may only have a handful of shirts, pants and dresses in my closet now, but I know they fit me perfectly.     

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I'd say Tory and Aden's --  they both started sleeping through the night on a (semi) consistent basis. Sure, they have sleep strikes here and there ... but for the most part, our family is sleeping for the first time in four years. The whole world seems brighter because of it.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The masterminds behind all those mass shootings.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Bills, house mortgage, the cabin. We bought my SUV out of its lease this year. We also bought a new ATV and pontoon boat (at the tail end of the summer season, so we haven't used it yet).  

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Travel. I loved our Mexican vacation with the kids, trips home to see my Nebraska friends and family, solo weekend getaways with Andi, visits to see friends across the country. 

16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2015?
"Kick the Dust Up" by Luke Bryan. It was the first pop song Tory learned and seemed to be our anthem this past summer at the lake cabin. 

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: happier / sadder; fatter or skinner; richer or poorer?
Happier / Skinnier / Richer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Traveling. There's always more places to explore ...

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

Worrying about what other people think of me.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Our family spent 10 days at the lake cabin around Christmas and New Year's, and it was wonderful.

21. Did you fall in love with 2015?
With exercise. (Does that sound corny? That's corny, isn't it?)

But, seriously - My whole life, I identified myself as someone who despised exercise; who could remain "fit" even though I fed my body garbage food. Now, I realize how vital it is to carve out personal time for myself everyday and exercise is the way I'm doing it. I make myself a priority!

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I watched five seasons of Scandal episodes in the last half of 2015. I only got to watch it when Andi was traveling for work, so it felt like my special reward at the end of a long solo parenting day.

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

24. What was the best book you read?

I read a bunch of Liane Moriarty books that I loved

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Maple Grove Summertime Concerts in the Park. Tory, Aden and I had a blast attending the kid's concerts every Thursday morning. I'd bring a picnic lunch and they'd dance their little hearts out. 

26. What did you want and get?
More time together as a family. We spent lots of "extra" days in addition regular weekends at the lake cabin.

27. What did you want and not get?

I'd love to take a girl's trip with friends someday. I finally feel like I'm at a place in my life (after pregnancy and the very little kid years) but most of my friends are still very deep in the thrones of babies. It's a difficult season of life to travel with girlfriends, but I hope one day it'll be more feasible.

28. What was your favorite film of 2015?
I don't watch a lot of movies, but Andi and I saw The Longest Ride and it was a good love story.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 34 on February 13, and we celebrated with some of our lake friends at the cabin. We ate dinner at The County Line, then everyone came over to our place for cake and cocktails. It was perfect.

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

I miss my friends who live in other states. Life is so busy for all of us that sometimes it's hard to find time to pick up the phone and call to talk, or even text, but I'm always thinking about them and wishing there weren't so many miles between us.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2015?
Cute, but casual. I found some awesome pairs of jeans, thanks to Stitch Fix and opted for stylish tops over t-shirts most days which is a step up from previous years.

32. What kept you sane?
Andi's mom, Janie. She's my local "mom" who listens to my frustrations when I need someone to hear them, and helps me so much with the kids.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?
Hmmmm ... ?

34. Who did you miss?

My family in Nebraska

35. Who was the best new person you met?
My friend, Mirjam. We first met at the playground last spring, and kept running into each other unexpectedly at various parks in town. Finally, we exchanged phone numbers and the rest is history! She and I have become fast friends. Her son Elia has become Aden's little buddy, too. 

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
Keep expectations low, and avoid hurt feelings. When I have a set idea in my mind how something will go -- anything from family holidays to routine trips to the grocery store -- and things don't go my way, I feel disappointed. However, by going into something with low expectations, I'm more often surprised and delighted than let down and upset.

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

Life is what happens between coffee and wine.


  1. Best year in review I've seen yet! And, I think that is amazing that you did such a great job of prioritizing your body and self this year...last year.

  2. You had a great 2015! I put myself in several answers (and I was mentioned by name in one!!) so I hope to show up in even more answers in the coming years. A trip WILL happen one of these days and as my baby days are numbered I can almost see the light!

    Also, I am so proud of you for the exercise thing. I feel the same way you felt that exercise is just something I DESPISE so I hope to have this turnaround one day soon!