Looking Back at 2011 – 35 Questions

Janet posted this, and RA and Kelly did too.  Here’s my answers:

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

Used my camera in manual mode…  I took a photography class last winter to help me understand my camera.  Unfortunately I need to dig that material out again and re-read, so that I can continue to work on it.

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

I don’t think I made any official new year’s resolutions for 2011.

For 2012 – I resolve to get more sleep.  Even if it means cutting back on my TV time or other things going.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

 One of my very close friends had a baby girl in August!  She also went through chemo while pregnant and then with a newborn. Pretty amazing stuff.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Not me, but my husband’s childhood best friend died in July.  In his sleep overnight. Unexpected. It was a very sad situation.   I barely knew Mark, but I know from my husband and his family that he was a wonderful person.

5. What countries did you visit?

Hmmm… I barely left the state. I made it to Hudson (WI) a handful of times and that was it.  I was excited just to make it to South Minneapolis for an entire weekend!

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you didn’t have in 2011?

2 Healthy Kids.  Charlie got tubes last February and has been pretty healthy since. Maria is getting her tonsils removed and tubes put in January. Hoping this gets both kids on the healthy path

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

February 18th, My baby turned 1.

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?

Running a 5K.  Basically just starting to exercise again.  It felt really good. And when I say “felt” it is because December was one big disaster of sick, so the routine was thrown off a little.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Probably not working out enough, not sleeping enough. Not taking as good of care of me as I should.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Umm… nothing major.  Some neck issues, that the chiropractor has fixed.  A strange rash – Granuloma Annulare –  It wasn’t too big, but a trip to the regular doctor to rule out Lyme’s disease along with a trip to the dermatologist for a correct diagnosis and biopsy, it wasn’t cheap…

11. What was the best thing you bought?

House Cleaning Services!  Not kidding.  Reduces stress and nagging immensely!!
I like my Nook Color a lot too.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My co-workers.  I am one of the few with young kids, so my work-life balance Is a little more unbalanced than others and I really appreciate the support in choosing to try to do both work and life.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Kim Kardashian ??

14. Where did most of your money go?

My kids.

15. What did you get really excited about?

My weekend in South Minneapolis with Karin.  Granted I was just going 15 miles away, but it was a weekend on my own with my good friend.  Movies, shopping, sleeping… all good!

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

Move Like Jagger –  no meaning behind it. Just played a lot on the radio!

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

Probably happier, sleeping better, that’s for sure!  Thinner… about the same. I hit my pre-pregnancy weight last December.  Financially, not much has changed…

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

Played more with my kids.  Read more books.

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

.watched less TV, played less games on my iPhone… less facebook

20. How will did you spend Christmas?

Christmas Eve with my in-laws, Christmas day at home, The 26th with my family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?

Yes, with my family of 4. Not that I didn’t love all of them already, but I really love the dynamic of our family now that Maria is a preschooler and Charlie a toddler.  We are much more mobile than we were a year ago.  I don’t like to sit still. So being mobile is awesome for me…

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Modern Family

23. What was the best book you read?

I really liked The Happiness Project. I think it just gave me some prompting in self-reflection to make sure I don’t lose sight of the little things that enhance our everyday life.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Hmmm… I am not really into music that much. I like it.  Just don’t spend a lot of time keeping up on it.  My kids really got into Kidz  Bop this  year. 🙂

25. What did you want and get?

I really wanted a swing set for the kids.  I figure it is a good gift for the adults too, as it provides us a little more flexibility and outdoor entertainment.  Luckily our tax return came through for us.

26. What did you want and not get?

A vacation with my husband.  More time out with my husband.

27. What was your favorite film of 2011?

Win Win.  Loved it!

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

38 – I worked.  I had a lot of meetings, but I did take time for lunch with Chad.  Not even sure where we went though…

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

A shorter  work week.  Even though I like my current job a whole lot more than I’ve liked previous jobs, I wish it was shorter. These 40 hour weeks take a lot of my time!

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2011 ?

Simplified, buying less and really thinking about how much I would wear individual pieces.  Once I got back to pre-baby weight, I got rid of the clothes that I’d been holding on to for years in case I gained weight.  I think this year, I was more about picking out select pieces that could go further than finding a great deal.  I still have work to do, but I’m thinking about it…

31. What kept you sane?

Honestly, I think my job keeps me sane.  It’s where I get to exercise my brain beyond Sesame Street and meal planning. Plus it’s probably my main social outlet these days.

32. What political issue stirred you the most?

mostly just the paralysis of our government/country in making changes to fix the current situation.

33. Who did you miss?

Friends.  Never enough  time to see them. Especially my camp friends who don’t all live in the area. And also my circle of girl friends. Besides a few, I don’t see them more than one or 2 times a year.

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

That I have a lot to be thankful for.  We have had ups and downs with sick kids and stupid house repairs, but I’ve got a whole lot to be thankful for.  We are healthy (besides some minor illnesses) and have great family support and no major issues that threaten our livelihood or relationships.

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

 Again, I am not a musical/lyrical person. Sorry, and this question is going to take a lot of effort for me to feel like I’ve answered it the best I can, so I’m going to pass.

Decade In Review

Can’t believe how fast the last 10 years have gone!

2000 – I was living in St. Paul with Sarah. We rang the new year in at Billy’s after deciding at 10 pm that it would be lame to stay home and make scarves!  I started looking for a house to buy in early spring and bought my first house and moved in the first week of May.  In June, my first nephew Andrew was born and I quickly grew to love being an aunt!  My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in August and went through surgery and radiation treatment that fall.  In September, I flew to Phoenix and met up with friends to go see the Packers play the Cardinals. It was HOT, but fun! In early November, my college friend came up to visit and we went out with some of her friends and I met Chad.  I told him to leave me alone after awhile, but he came back at the end of the night and asked for my phone number, so I gave him my card… yes I thought that was cool.  He emailed me and we went out a few weeks later.

2001 – Chad and I were still in the new stages of dating.  So in love! 🙂  Sarah got engaged and chose me to be the Maid of Honor even though I requested to walk down the aisle with Curt’s brother Bob!  Chad and I drove to Cleveland that summer to visit my college friend Dan and to see the Packers play the Browns in pre-season football. On the way we stopped in Chicago and visited my aunt Marilyn and took in a Cubs game.  It was a great trip.  September brought 9/11. I was sent home from work that day since I worked right next door to the tallest building in Minneapolis.   In December Chad moved in with me and I started dreaming of a ring…

2002 – I went to my 10 year high school reunion in the summer. Chad and I were still not engaged, and I was growing impatient!  In September, I flew to New York City with Karin and Nicole. We spent about 4 days touring the city including visiting Ground Zero, taking in a Yankees game and shopping.  The following week, I met Chad out in Portland for his friend’s wedding.  After the wedding we drove out to the Oregon coast for a day and came away without a ring!  Seriously???  A few weeks later I was laid off from my job and I couldn’t believe it.  A couple weeks after this, my beautiful niece Katelyn was born and I appreciated having time off to spend with her and my brother’s family. In November, I decided to become a Pampered Chef consultant to supplement my unemployment check.  Chad bought a new car in November and I thought for sure that ring was never coming…  BUT on December 14th, right before the annual Fluegel Christmas party, he proposed!

2003 – I found a job in mid-February. My commute wasn’t ideal, and the company wasn’t the most stable, but my manager was great!  I was still doing Pampered Chef to help save for the wedding (and compensate for the pay cut I took).  Wedding plans were in full swing.   We went to about 5 weddings that summer.  Chad’s niece Jana was born in September and we were married on November 1st.  We followed our wedding with a week at Sandals in Jamaica… which was awesome!  about 5 days after returning, I was bummed that none of my friends were around to celebrate my 30th birthday, but upon arriving home from dinner with Chad many were at our house ready to celebrate!

2004 – I returned to Retek in another position. I was over my bitterness of being laid off and decided I wanted to go back.  We were thinking about moving and spent a lot of time working on our house including installing some carpet (squares), adding a breakfast nook and removing wallpaper and re-painting!

2005 – In March, I started my blog.  Again we were working on updating our house. We put it on the market in April, and it sold in a week!  We spent much of May looking for a new place to live.  We were NOT convinced that it was a buyer’s market, despite what our real estate agents told us!  We moved in the first week of July.  While we were following the moving truck to our new house, my mom called my cell phone to let me know my grandmother had passed away.  It was not unexpected and I was thankful that I had taken a day off a few weeks earlier to go visit her in the hospital.   We loved our new house despite all the wall paper!  Retek was also bought out by Oracle, and I was not happy with all the changes to my role, so I started looking for a new job.

2006 – Chad’s Grandma passed away in January unexpectedly.  I started a new job with Hearth & Home in January and it involved a lot of travel!  Chad was also traveling quite a bit and it was a bit strange to be home during the week with each other.  In September, my niece Elizabeth was born and the next day we found out we were pregnant ourselves.  It was very exciting!   Sometime in late 2006, I decided to switch my blog to WordPress and my own domain. My work travel ended in October, and I was glad to be closer to home even if my job wasn’t my ideal, I was holding out for the prime maternity benefits they offered.  Unfortunately, the housing market was starting to crash, and with that builders weren’t buying fireplaces and I was laid off.  I fortunately was able to find a job in December as a consultant for Solutia.

2007 – A whirlwind! In January, Chad’s nephew Luke was born.  We finally started tackling some of the wallpaper to get the house ready for a baby!  On May 18th, Maria Belle was born after a long (back) labor, but we were in love instantly!  I had the whole summer off with her!  I went back to work in September and learned how to balance being a mom and a job!

2008 – Another busy year.  Sarah had a baby girl in January!  Maria started crawling and talking early in the year. In May we celebrated her first birthday.  She started walking in July and our lives were again changed! 🙂  We spent a week in August at Luther Park Family Camp with my family.

2009 – Maria turned 2 in May. Hard to believe how fast the time goes!  In June we found out we were expecting again!  In August, we spent another week at Luther Park with my family and we started letting Maria announce to everyone that she is going to be a big sister. We spent again time removing wallpaper and getting Maria’s big girl room ready for her!  She transitioned to sleeping there really well and we are now still working on the potty training!

We anxious for what 2010 holds!! Only about 7 weeks until Baby #2 is due to arrive!  What a crazy and happy whirlwind!!

2007 In Review

Here’s the abridged version:

January –  5 months pregnant. I broke down and wore tennis shoes with my work clothes for my bus commute!  We also played Wii for the first time, and then the next night Chad stood in line at Walmart to buy his own!

February – 6 months pregnant.  Pretty slow month according to my blog! I cooked a lot and discovered a wonderful recipe for pancakes!

March – 7 months pregnant. Baby showers! And we had our house painted!

April – 8 months pregnant. I was ready and counting down the days until I was done with work! I was also doing a lot of nesting and cleaning!  As much as I was ready to be done being pregnant, I wanted more time to throw things away! We also went to Mondovi for my Aunt Alice’s birthday party! I packed my bag for the hospital, just in case!

May – Finished up with work on Monday May 14th. Had 2 relaxing days.  Thursday I woke up early with contractions. I let Chad go to work and only casually mentioned my back hurt. He came home, and asked what I was writing down… oh the times of my contractions! No he did not panic, he fertilized the lawn, came inside and watched The Office, and then suggested I call the hospital!  Maria was born the next morning – May 18th!

June – I was breastfeeding, that’s about all.  And my cousin Emily got married, so we made it out to a family event!

July – We hosted about 50 people at our house on the 4th! Both Grandma’s were on hand, so I barely saw Maria (who was on formula at this point!)  Maria went through her first growth spurt and was baptized.

August – I was dreading going back to work. Tried to pack in fun events and enjoy time with Maria who found her thumb and started sleeping through the night! The 3 of us also spent a long weekend in Northern Minnesota.

September – Maria went to daycare, and I went back to work. The first half of the month, I was on the bench and spent my days working at home.  The 2nd half I started my current assignment at Lerner Publishing Group. Oh and Football Season!!

October – Started realizing how much time work takes up!  Glad to be only working 4 days a week!

November – Another busy month. Celebrated our birthdays, our anniversary, Maria turned 6 months old (and also started sitting up), and I hosted Sarah’s baby shower. Plus throw in Thanksgiving (2 of them!)

December – Threw Chad a birthday party,  Attended a couple holiday parties, did all the Christmas shopping (early), and Maria was teething!  And then our first Christmas as a family of 3!!  What a great way to top off the year!