1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
Exposure therapy! In 2012, I faced my fear of heights by riding 2 ferris wheels, hitting the top of the Willis Tower, and meandering across a swinging bridge over a river. I still get wobbly-kneed in high places, but I’m no longer scared to death to be up high!
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I kept a couple of my resolutions. Others I started on but didn’t complete. My resolutions were:
1. Lose the 10 pounds I’ve put on since Thanksgiving. (I only lost 5 pounds, but I did start eating better and exercising regularly. It’s a start.)
2. Write a crappy zombie novel and put it on Amazon. (I started this one. I have the plot mostly figured out and one chapter written. Who knows if it’ll ever get done? Maybe one day.)
3. Read 60 books. (I only got to 30. Not too shabby, and when I think about it, 60 is a really high number. That’s over a book a week. I know it’s possible, because I read 45 books the last semester of college, but let’s be real, that shit was no fun.)
4. Save more money. (Haaaaa! No. Just no.)
5. Do more crafting. (for fun, but may be detrimental to #s 3 and 4) (Oh, I did more crafting alright. Which was certainly detrimental to #s 3 and 4! Ha!)
I haven’t really thought about resolutions for 2013. I guess there’s no time like the present….
1. Save more money. (What’s another year on the list, eh?)
2. I will read at least 40 books this year. That’s more reasonable than 60 and more than I read this year. Fine.
3. I will attempt to stop feeling guilty about taking time for myself, and I will stop stressing out over little things.
4. I will learn to tell people no. I have a bad habit of biting off more than I can chew and it’s the boys who bear the brunt of my stress. That’s not fair to them.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not this year.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
I wouldn’t call our neighbor, Mrs. King, “close”, but she was our neighbor and we’ll always think of her fondly. She was in her late 90s and loved working in her yard. She drove like a bat out of hell and she was sweet as she could be.
5. What places did you visit?
Oh, the places!
Last January, I spent a few days in Texas helping Seester around the house after she had surgery. I got to be the pretend parent to three of my favorite kids on the planet and I loved every minute of it.
Over spring break, we spent a little time in Chicago with some dear friends. It was a cold and windy, but we had SUCH a good time hanging out and seeing all the sights of Chicago. David took his first train and taxi rides, we saw the Willis Tower, Navy Pier, Michigan Ave., and Millennium Park. I absolutely loved it and I think I’d move there in a second, even with the ridiculously cold winters.
In May, we met our dear Chicagoans in Kentucky for Memorial Day at Mammoth Caves. It was a super short trip, but it was an amazing one. If you’d like, you can read more about our trip to Mammoth Cave here.
In July, we spent a week in Houston with Seester and her family. We went to the Aquarium, the NASA Space Center, the Museum of Natural Science, and a Coldplay show! We lounged around the house, we shopped, we ate tons of food, we watched tv, we watched the chickens, and spent a week being generally lazy and touristy. Any amount of time spent with Seester is a good time. Trust me.
Over Christmas break, we went to Atlanta to spend some time with Stu’s parents in their new house. It was the most relaxing, lovely time. There was no plan, no agenda, no timeline. It was just us hanging out and enjoying each other’s company. We saw the Nutcracker at the Fox Theater. It was a marvelous way to spend Christmas and Boxing Day.
We took several camping trips around Mississippi, too. Trace State Park, Grenada Lake, and Tishomingo State Park. Tishomingo was by far the best camping trip of the year. We’ll be going back there again and again!
6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
Like I said last year, our little family doesn’t really need lots of things.
Last year, I said I wanted a new dining room table. Stu’s parents handed down his grandparent’s kitchen table to us, and it’s old and beautiful and I love it. Plus, it seats twice the amount of people the old table did.
I also said this last year: “More than anything, I’d like to speak to my dad, who has pretended that I don’t exist since my mother divorced him four years ago.”
I’m still hopeful.
7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
October 26th. I’m going to keep the why to myself, but it’s important.
December 14th. Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. I cried more that day than I have in years. A terrible tragedy.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Surviving? Keeping my child alive? Do those count?
I did a great job of growing my business in 2012, only to realize that I didn’t want a business that big. So I guess my biggest achievement was understanding my limits. Smaller is better, especially when you have to be the boss and the soccer mom.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I still haven’t learned not to feel guilty about taking time out for myself. If I could learn to do that, I’d spend less time stressing out and taking out my frustrations on other people.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No injuries this year. Just an allergic reaction to an ant bite that caused my left hand to swell up like a balloon, and another allergic reaction to a medication I was taking that cause a LOVELY rash on my legs that took two weeks to get rid of.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Camper! Hands down. We purchased a used pop-up camper in July and took several camping trips. I feel like it’s brought us closer as a family, and I actually enjoy being out in nature. Who knew that was possible?!
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
David’s behavior at school is much improved over last year. He got in trouble more often than he should have in Kindergarten, but he was really just pushing his boundaries to see what he could get away with. His teacher was amazing–she did a great job teaching the kids about appropriate classroom behavior. And this year has been much better.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My own, usually.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Eating out. Private school. Legos. Books.
15. What did you get really excited about?
The Hunger Games movie.
Seeing Seester twice!
Traveling. It’s my favorite thing in the world to do other than reading.
My new Kindle Fire!
Surprising Stuart with a smoker for Christmas.
16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Phillip Phillips’ “Home”
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner!
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
20. How did you spend Christmas?
We spent Christmas in Atlanta at Stu’s parent’s new house. We had a wonderful time, and David got to spend some time with Aunt Katie, whom he ADORES. It was so magical and relaxing and nice!
21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
Yep. With my Kindle Fire!
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Walking Dead. Hands down.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
See previous answer: I don’t hate anyone. Except Ann Coulter. And the Kardashians.
24. What was the best book you read?
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin.
Honorable mentions to:
The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Robert B. Parker’s Lullaby by Ace Atkins
Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
25. What music did you get excited about?
Mumford and Sons new album, “Babel”
Dave Matthews Band
26. What did you want and get?
A Kindle Fire. New boots. A toaster oven. A light at the end of a very long tunnel.
27. What did you want and not get?
World Peace? I actually got everything I wanted this year from a material standpoint.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Madagascar 3, Skyfall
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Turned 35. Volunteered at David’s school, laid in bed reading all afternoon, spent the evening with my boys. Then went out to Kabuki with friends that weekend. It was low key and lovely.
30. What one thing would have made your year more satisfying?
Owning an island. And a yacht. And a private jet. What?
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
32. What kept you sane?
Stuart. Reading. Again.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Again. Johnny Depp. Since I was 16. Not likely to change in future years. Though Daniel Craig ranks right up there, too. And Robert Downey Jr.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
I’ve stayed away from politics this year. But mainly I was scared of a Republican in the White House. (Sorry, Republican friends. You know I love you.)
35. Whom did you miss?
My dad. Steve Willis. My Grandma Oliver, always.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
How about best new person I RE-met? Shelley Strickland. We got to spend some time together this year and I love her to pieces. If she ever killed anyone and needed help hiding the body, I hope she’ll call me.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
You can’t be friends with someone who spends 85% of their time being miserable.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
See, you and me
Have a better time than most can dream
Have it better than the best
And so can pull on through
Whatever tears at us
Whatever holds us down
And if nothing can be done
We’ll make the Best of What’s Around
-Dave Matthews Band, “The Best of What’s Around”