2011: A Year In Review

Autumn in The Morton Arboretum

I can’t complain. 2011 was a pretty good year for me. I got to do some neat things, go to neat places, and meet cool people (like Weird Al Yankovic!). I was introduced to new music, made some crazy life-changing choices, and did some neat things. I got to meet my Plurk friends Jon & Rho, I had the chance to see my favorite author Sarah Dessen (and she totally recognized me!), I got to see SJ Tucker loads of times, and I got to eat a lot of sushi!

The easiest way to recap is to do a survey. I know how much you guys love those. Feel free to steal and do it yourself.

Was 2011 a good year for you?
For the most part, yes!

What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
– attended Musecon
– rode a horse

Horseback Riding!

– pet a giraffe


– purchased exercise equipment
– got a passport
– Pilates reformer
– Capeoira
– got a facial
– lipolaser

Did anyone close to you give birth?
A lot of my friends had babies or are pregnant,
but I can’t say anyone particularly close to me.

Did anyone close to you die?
My aunt Lue passed away during the summer.

What countries did you visit?

What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
August 5, 2011. I took my life back.
…and a giant leap of faith.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting into better shape.

What was your biggest failure?
Didn’t complete writing a novel. Boo.
Also falling back out of shape. Ha.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Mostly colds.
Had an incident in April that I thought might be gallbladder related,
but it was just gastritis.

Where did most of your money go?
Disney trips, dolls, clothes, sushi, gifts

What song will always remind you of 2011?
Nataraj (Dancing in the Flames) by Suzanne Sterling
Come Down by Ginger Doss

What do you wish you’d done more of?
– writing
– yoga

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Working. I worked way too many hours at Schawk.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Ginger Doss
Bekah Kelso

What did you want and get?
– new camera
– Disney trips
– passport
– exercise bike
– books

What did you want and not get?
– MORE AIDAN TIME (there is never enough)
– a treadmill (our apartment is too small for such things)
– a trip out of the country

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 37. I spent the day with my family and ate
food from Harold’s Chicken Shack.

What kept you sane?
Reading. Lots of reading.
My family. My kitty cats.
Jen and Amy and our email chain.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Matt Smith

What political issue stirred you the most?
Anything that had to do with women’s reproductive rights

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:
Having a lot of money isn’t everything.
But when making the money
is costing your health, family time,
and sanity,
then it’s time to rethink some things.
So I did.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Sweaters and jeans, or tee-shirts and jeans, or hoodies and jeans.
Grey long-sleeved tee-shirts.
Sometimes a cute skirt with boots.
Long, hippy skirts or dresses.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I love that I can’t think of an answer to this question.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Magic touched my life again
in a single breath
shining in your eyes
like a firefly
and a moment of revelation
–Ginger Doss

Few Days Old Braidout


Christmas Survey #3

Christmas Ornaments 2011

Worst Christmas song?
Let It Snow.
No. Just no.
Let’s NOT let snow come anywhere near me.

If you were a Christmas character, who would you be?
Gosh, I have no idea.
Wow, did I really just write “gosh”?

What type of decoration should stop being made?
None of the decorations bother me too much.

Tastiest holiday treat?
All the cookies.
Mmm, cookies.

Favorite pop culture/stereotypical Christmas icon?
Santa Claus.

Know how to make cookies/brownies/cake from scratch?
I can make cookies from scratch.
That doesn’t mean I do it often.

Ever cut your mouth on a candy cane/candy?
Because I don’t eat candy canes.

What other culture would you like to experience Christmas with?
I’ve never given this any thought.
It’s a good question.
Maybe Germany.

What kind of pattern/pictures do you like on your wrapping paper?
Whimsical 60s style ornaments.
Candy canes.
Candy cane stripes.

Three best things about Christmas?
The anticipation.
Being with loved ones.
Presents and food.

Candy cane or peppermint patties?
Peppermint patties.

Sugar or gingerbread cookies?
All day, every day.

Tinsel or beaded strands?
I grew up using tinsel/garland strands.
Then I switched to beads.
I don’t use strands any more.

Flashing or still lights?

Wreaths or mistletoe/holly?

Rudolph or Frosty?

Stockings or presents?
Stockings for all the little things.
And candy.
Presents for everything else.

Cookies & milk or letter to Santa?
Although I’d prefer to leave Santa juice
rather than milk.

Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
Both days are special.
Christmas Eve, to prep for the Big Day.
Christmas Day, because it’s Christmas Day.

Cards or emails?
I love mailing off all those smooth envelopes.
I love opening my mailbox and finding it stuffed
with cards and letters.
I get more than 100 emails a day.
It’s nice to get something in the *real* mail
from time to time.

This is the last of the Christmas surveys. Feel free to do this survey on your blog as well, but please comment and let me know so I can come check it out.

Linking up with:

1 Comment

Christmas Survey #2

Christmas Ornaments 2011

Have you been naughty or nice this year?
But definitely more nice.

What do you want most for Christmas?
Gratitude in my heart.

Do you believe in Father Christmas?
I’ve never encountered him,
but that’s not to say he isn’t around.

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet?

What is your favorite Christmas movie?
A Christmas Story
The Christmas List

What do you look forward to most at Christmas?
Gifts and food.
Time with my family.
Taking photos.

What are you doing for Christmas this year?
Aidan and my mom fly in on
December 20
(which also happens to be my birthday)
We’re going to eat good food
bake cookies
watch holiday programming
and have a relaxing holiday.

Who do you want to kiss under the mistletoe?
I don’t have mistletoe
but if I did
I’d want to kiss

What kind of Christmas tree do you have?

Do you take part in a Secret Santa?
Not anymore.

Do you go to any Christmas parties?
I go to the Moksha holiday party.

Have you ever had a white Christmas?
Oh yes.

How early do you wake up on Christmas morning?
I usually sleep in until 9 or 10ish.
It will depend on when Aidan gets up.

Do you still get a stocking?
Most definitely.

How many Christmas cards do you normally send out?
A lot.
Probably won’t send out as many
this year.

What is your Christmas wish?
That’s a secret.

Feel free to do this survey on your blog as well, but please comment and let me know so I can come check it out.

Comments Off on Christmas Survey #2

Christmas Survey #1


Egg nog or hot chocolate?
Recently, Adam brought home
some dark chocolate hot chocolate.
Not only does it smell heavenly,
it tastes that way, too. Yum.

Does Santa wrap your presents or leave them naked under the tree?
Santa wraps most of the presents,
but he leaves the really big and awkward ones unwrapped.
A variety of people visit Aidan, though.
One year, even Brutus Buckeye left him something.

Colored lights or white?
I think they look classy.

Do you hang mistletoe?

When do you put up your decorations?
First or second week in December.

What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Cornbread dressing.
Mac & cheese.
Honey ham.
Turnip/mustard greens.
Gravy over everything.

Christmas Dinner

Favorite holiday memory as a child?
I have a lot.
My mom always went out of her way
to make Christmas extra special for
my sister and me.
Lots of toys.
Good food.
Good music.
Good times.

Pandernoodle I Love Christmas!

YAY Baby Skates! Merry Christmas!

When did you learn the truth about Santa?
That depends.
What do YOU consider the truth
about Santa?

Do you open any gifts on Christmas Eve?

How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
My tree is pre-lit, so all I have to do
is put it together and put on the ornaments!

Snow: love it or hate it?
Hate it.

Can you ice skate?
Sort of.

Do you remember your favorite gift?
I love all my gifts.
Some that come to mind, though, are a 10-speed bike,
Hangin’ Tough Live (a New Kids on the Block video),
the O.C. season 1 on DVD,
the Tiffany necklace Adam got me last year,
the handmade art Cassidy gave us this year.

What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Being with loved ones.

What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Dutch apple pie.
Especially the one Adam’s dad makes.
Gotta have the crumblies.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Watching A Christmas Story.
Eating cookies.
Sending Christmas cards.
Receiving Christmas cards.

What tops your tree?
An angel, of course.

Which do you REALLY prefer: giving or receiving?

What is your favorite Christmas song?
March of the Wooden Soldiers sang by Harry Connick, Jr.
Christmastime by Michael W. Smith.
Ding Dong Merrily on High sang by Blackmore’s Night
Jingle Bells sang by The Andrews Sisters & Bing Crosby
Joy To The World sang by Whitney Houston
…just to name a few

Candy canes: yummy or yucky?
I’m not a fan.
They are pretty, though.

Feel free to do this survey on your blog as well, but please comment and let me know so I can come check it out.

Will be linking up with:
Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters



Ten years ago, I:
1. Flew on an airplane for the first time.
2. Visited Disney World for the first time.
3. Watched in horror the events of 9/11 unfolding.

Five years ago, I:
1. Met Adam.
2. Got an agent for my book ONLY YOURS.
3. Changed my life in a huge way.

One year ago, I:
1. Had just started working full time at Schawk.
2. Wondered if taking the full time job at Schawk was a good idea.
3. Decided not to worry about it and enjoy all the $$ I was making!

So far this year, I:.
1. Went horseback riding for the first time.
2. Pet and fed a giraffe.
3. Visited Disney World twice!

Yesterday, I:
1. Worked.
2. Did a little bit of Christmas shopping.
3. Ate dinner from Harold’s Chicken Shack. Yum!

Today, I:
1. Spent all day scarfing ibuprofen.
2. Slept a lot because of the ibuprofen.
3. Thought about how tired I was when I wasn’t sleeping.

Tomorrow, I will:
1. Work.
2. Take a shower or bath.
3. Possibly wear a dress.

In one year, I will:
1. Have longer hair.
2. Have a stamp on my passport.
3. Be at least five pounds lighter.

In five years, I will:
1. Be five years older.
2. Have at least one published novel under my belt.
3. Be able to do this:

Linking up with:

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