Recap of 2011

I completely stole this from my friend Sarah.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before? I got pregnant.  Yes, I’m counting that.   I mean, we had never tried to have a baby before but it was nice that it happened.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? No.  One of my resolutions was to go take Joel to Europe and run a half marathon (but settle for a 10K).  I didn’t do either of those.  I did, however, run a 5K without training.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Oh my!  Yes!  There were three babies born just in the past few months.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Thankfully, no.

5. What countries did you visit? Nada

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011? Constant peace about life decisions and confidence that whatever choice I AM making is the correct one.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? April – the disastrous tornadoes that wrecked our state.  I remember Joel still trying to study for his board examination by candlelight.  The end of the school year – I had this feeling of 100% accomplishment and survival.  I was so proud that I was also one of the few non-tenured employees asked to come back and teach at my school.  June- Joel passed his board examinations.  This has been quite the process for both of us over the past 5 years.  But thankfully, being the genius he is, he passed, which means I don’t have to lose my husband for months at a time every other year.  Late July – seeing a positive pregnancy test and taking another one because I totally didn’t believe it.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Having over 50% of my kids pass the AP Exam.  I was/am so proud of them and how well I feel like I got the information across to them.  It helped that I had an extremely smart group of kids too.

9. What was your biggest failure? This fall – I tried to switch things up a bit in my AP class and I don’t know that I’m doing as great as I did last year.  But the kids are still performing at the right level (compared to last year) so I’m going to just keep doing what I’m doing.  Although I’ll switch things back next time.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Thankfully, I stayed pretty healthy besides the sinus infection from hell when I first got pregnant.

11. What was the best thing you bought? I bought Joel the nicest leather bag from Fossil for when he passed his board examination.  Other than that, I guess the coat I bought at Anthropologie that I blogged about would be my favorite thing.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? One of Joel’s younger brothers graduated from college and came back to live with us for a month or so while he waited to move into grad school at Auburn.  He lived with Joel when he first moved to America before college and throughout the years, he has grown into such an amazing person.  He is so helpful and fun to have in my house that I seriously wouldn’t mind if he didn’t go to grad school and just lived with us instead.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? I’ve constantly been surprised by people and their terrible behaviors.  I don’t know WHY because it’s not like these people kept their selfishness/bad habits a secret.  I think I’m learning to just automatically quit believing that people are (as Anne Frank said) “good at heart.”  Add in the disappointing feeling of having the cleaning lady steal my engagement ring and diamond necklace.

14. Where did most of your money go? Mortgage and Joel’s student loans. We took every penny I made for almost a year and put it solely towards his student loans.  In June, we paid off his student loans and completely celebrated with a fancy dinner.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? My best friend got engaged!  I was so excited because I knew it was coming and I was in on the ring and everything.  And I LOVE her fiance.  He’s fantastic.  I’m super excited that their wedding is in a week!

16. What song will always remind you of 2011? Coldplay’s “Paradise”

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter? (I’m pregnant so I don’t know if this counts)
c) richer or poorer?

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?  Relaxed.  I so often get tense and panic about stupid things but I just need to relax and not worry about things out of my control.

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

20. How did you spend Christmas? All of Joel’s siblings came into town – which was great until all the guys (Joel, 3 brothers, and his brother in law) began puking Sunday  night and all day Monday.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011? Why yes, I did.

22. What was your favorite TV program? I still love The Closer and I’m really bummed that it’s ending next year.  I love the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills along with Top Chef.  But as for new shows – Up All Night has to be one of the best new shows on TV.

23. This question has been deleted because it’s SOOO teenage emo Xanga shit. This was Sarah’s answer and I like it.

24. What was the best book you read? Divergent, hands down. —Also Sarah’s answer and a VERY good one at that.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? Coldplay is a pretty good band.  YES, I’m like 5 years too late for this revelation but better late than never.

26. What did you want and get?  Pregnant.

27. What did you want and not get? An embroidery machine.  But I’m saving and still researching so I’m slowly getting there.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? Harry Potter finale, Bridesmaids, and Crazy, Stupid, Love

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 27 on the 27th and we had a low-key day filled with lunch with great friends, a baking demonstration, and an amazing homemade dinner the night before.  It was great.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Not letting other people’s issues fill my happy space.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? I love cardigans.

32. What kept you sane? Joel

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I am finding Ryan Gossling to be quite the wonderboy now that he’s grown up.  I wasn’t a big fan of him in The Notebook, but now…yowzas.

34. What political issue stirred you the most? Most of the bullcrap associated with education and how people in Washington believe they know what is best for my kids in my classroom in a small town in Alabama.

35. Who did you miss? I miss my friends from college. There were some who had great hours of need and I physically could not be there for them (due to distance and other factors) and it broke my heart.

36. Who was the best new person you met? I have become great friends with some co-workers who I love dearly.  They have become some of my closest friends and I adore them.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011. Relax.  There’s nothing you can do about it.

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

“Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.” – Wicked

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