year-in-review

a look back at 2013.

2013a

Was 2013 a good year for you?
For the most part, yes! Especially the first nine months. I was busy, productive, learning, making friends and being with friends, doing new things. The last three months, I dropped the ball, though. I started hiding, and breaking down. Still trying to climb back up from that….

What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
– was a movie extra in a feature film
– camped out in a tent
– became a certified yoga teacher (CYT-200)
– got sick from a fair ride
– rang in Christmas with friends and chosen family at a pancake party
– visited the Bahai Temple
– many sites in NYC: Columbus Circle, certain parts of Central Park, Grand Central Station, and more
– went to Six Flags
– rode X-Flight and Superman while at Six Flags
– rode rides at Disney World that I’d never ridden before (Dinosaur, Primeval Whirl, Voyage of The Little Mermaid)
– ALA conference
– beat LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 and 5-7 multiple times. I cheated but still.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
I wouldn’t say anyone close to me gave birth, but a lot of people I adore did have babies and that’s always fun to see.

Did anyone close to you die?
Adam’s friend from middle school passed away. It was an eye opener because she was younger than me. She was a peer. I’m at the age where my peers are dying and it’s not necessarily because of a disease or an accident. It’s scary and sad.

What countries did you visit?
None. Dammit. I have GOT to fix this.

What date(s) from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I don’t have particular dates in my head. Just lots of general memories.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
– I got my certification to teach yoga. I am a certified yoga teacher.
– I survived two long days on the set of Divergent, in uncomfortable conditions, and still decided I wanted to do more of that.
– I had a goal to read 75 new books. I read 96 new books.

What was your biggest failure?
– I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes. I had some colds and a pretty icky virus during the summer. Also had a trip to the ER in late July. Eventually I will need surgery. I’m trying to put that off as long as I can.

Where did most of your money go?
Disney trips, clothes, books, and gifts.

What song(s) will always remind you of 2013?
Royals – Lorde
Grins – Charli XCX
Lies – Marina & The Diamonds
Send Me Down – HAIM
Crave You (Adventure Club Remix) – Flight Facilities
Perfume – Britney Spears
I See You – Luke Brian
Claire de Lune – Flight Facilities
anything by The Piano Guys or Lindsey Stirling

What do you wish you’d done more of?
– writing
– yoga
– riding my exercise bike
– moving my body in general
– learning
– traveling
– acting
– interpersonal interaction
– personal reflection
– journaling

What do you wish you’d done less of?
– being afraid
– hiding
– wasting time on social media (tumblr and facebook especially)
– messing around on the computer/ipad/iphone

What was your greatest musical discovery?
This kind of music that’s sometimes called “chill step.” It’s dub step, but not as intense or fast. I love it. Blackmill is a great example of really good chill step. I also fell in love with Charli XCX, Haim, Lorde, and more. I really like female vocalists, and if they’re a little different? Even better.

What did you want and get?
– macarons from Laduree
– a trip to New York City
– to take my mom to Disney World
– to be an extra in Divergent
– to meet Gaston at Disney World
– new jewelry from Tiffany

What did you want and not get?
– MORE AIDAN TIME (there is never enough)
– a flat stomach
– a trip out of the country
– to meet Theo James
– to see the Statue of Liberty, the Cloisters, and the High Line in NYC

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 39. (Seriously, how am I 39?) I hung out with Aidan. I got really cool gifts, and ate Harold’s chicken for dinner. It was a pretty good day.

What kept you sane?
– books, books, books
– yoga
– as much sleep as possible

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Theo James

What political issue stirred you the most?
The Affordable Care Act

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013:
– a feeling of terrified excitement in relation to a new experience usually means that whatever’s coming is going to be amazing and epic
– depression has a much stronger and scarier hold on me than I realized
– taking a job below my skill set and pay grade when I don’t have to will make me resentful and sad
– giving generously is very liberating
– having too much stuff is making me feel claustrophobic and weighed down. it’s time to seriously declutter.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
– Yoga clothes: leggings, capris, tanks, legwarmers. The brighter the better.
– Skinny jeans and boots.
– Denim jackets, yes please.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Being able to spend more time on the Divergent set. Being able to do more acting in general.

In 2014, I am looking forward to traveling, taking photos, learning new things, amazing new experiences, visiting friends, meeting new people and making new friends, discovering new music, reading new books, and just living life. BRING IT! :)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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A Look Back at 2012

Flowers

I really enjoyed 2012. It was a busy year full of amazing experiences, lots of learning, incredible people, and awesome opportunities!!

In January, I got to spend a significant amount of time with a friend who I’d admired for years. She and her beau came and stayed with us for just under a week and we had the greatest time. They’re the kind of people who energize rather than drain, and I know I’ve said it before, but having them around is a blessing.

Lord Wigton & the Clan
adam, ryan, me, and s00j

In February, Adam and I went to Disney World. Which is always awesome!! Still, that trip was memorable because it was the first time I’d ever lost my luggage. It was MORE memorable because Adam and I were selected to be in the Jammin’ Jungle Parade at Animal Kingdom! Now that was an awesome experience!!!

Jammin' Jungle Parade

In March, I started yoga teacher training at Moksha Yoga. In training, I am making new friends, I’m learning so much not only from teachers at Moksha, but from master teachers from all over the world, and I’m getting more and more involved with the Moksha community, which is something I’ve wanted to do from almost the first day I walked into the studio and took my first yoga class back in April of 2010.

Chicago G-12 Teacher Trainees

April brought a sneak peek into an early Spring, and in May, I got to see one of my favorite authors, Laurie Halse Anderson, again! Now, this is a woman who takes her writing so very seriously. She really gets in there and lives her characters’ lives. I’ve never seen a writer so dedicated and inspiring.

Laurie Halse Anderson & Me
I heart her!

AND I got to hang out with Ricky Luna, who I had the BIGGEST crush on for about three years while I was a teenager. He used to be on the Mickey Mouse Club in the 1990s, but now he’s a successful and amazing producer. You may have seen his name on some big time soundtracks lately.

Ricky & Me

June brought Summer and AIDAN! :)

Aidan and some Flowers

I was pretty busy this summer with teacher training stuff and freelance work, but we managed to make time to go out to the ‘burbs every Sunday to have dinner and shop or just spend time together. I think we hit every Half-Price Books in the Chicagoland area!

Aidan and Mommy

I thought my first “public” yoga class at Musecon, a creative convention in the Chicagoland area. They focus on things like music and writing and photography. Very relaxing and a lot of fun. I was really nervous about teaching there, but I got good feedback and they asked me to teach again in 2013! :)

Eventually, Aidan went back to Ohio to start fourth grade. He was accepted into his schools’ gifted program, and he’s thriving in it.

Aidan, Grade 4

We did manage to make it to Worldcon/Chicon in September, and we were also able to visit my mom and some cousins in Ohio. October was pretty much a blur for both Adam and me as we were swamped with school and work. I did take time out to see the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions, and when I realized I had an opportunity to meet John Barrowman on Halloween, I dropped EVERYTHING and made it happen!

John Barrowman and Me

We threw an election party in November, where Adam served the most delicious stew and cornbread and even flew Aidan out for the occasion, and then Aidan flew out just a few days later to spend Thanksgiving with us. :) I also got the best purse ever.

Modeling the Cartoon Bag

And this brings us to December, when I finished up my second apprenticeship and teaching my karma/community classes for teacher training. We had a lovely Christmas in Ohio, then drove back to Chicago so Aidan could see what Santa left for him here. (It was a lot.) We celebrated Aidan’s TENTH birthday with a trip to the LEGO store downtown, and dinner from Harold’s Chicken Shack.

HOW IN THE WORLD DO I HAVE A TEN YEAR OLD??

Those are just a few highlights–I could go on and on. But I want to do the end of year survey too, so I’ll refrain. You can always look through my 2012 tag on Flickr to see what else I got up to this year, if you want! :)

So, on to the survey!

Was 2012 a good year for you?
For the most part, yes!

What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
– yoga teacher training
– certain yoga poses (sundial/compass, forearm balance, mermaid…)
– been in a Disney parade
– King Spa
– got a body scrub

Did anyone close to you give birth?
I know people who had babies, but no one particularly close to me.

Did anyone close to you die?
No, thank goodness

What countries did you visit?
None.

What date(s) from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
– February 15, 2013: the day I was in a Disney parade!
– March 5, 2012: the day I decided to do teacher training
– October 31, 2012: the day I met John Barrowman

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Surviving yoga teacher training!

What was your biggest failure?
Didn’t complete writing a novel. Boo.
Struggling with my weight and body image. Sigh.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
A few colds, and one really bad cold sore outbreak. Ick.

Where did most of your money go?
Disney trip, yoga teacher training, books, clothes, gifts

What song(s) will always remind you of 2012?
Sail by Awolnation
Lights by Ellie Goulding

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

What do you wish you’d done less of?
– sleeping
– shopping

What was your greatest musical discovery?
I honestly cannot narrow this down. I got to discover lots of cool new music! :)

What did you want and get?
– Disney trip
– books
– a raise
– asked to be a workshop manager at Moksha

What did you want and not get?
– MORE AIDAN TIME (there is never enough)
– a flat stomach
– a trip out of the country

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 38. I taught a yoga class, had brunch with Adam and my friend Graham, opened presents, watched Queer as Folk (my present), wrapped gifts, and watched Christmas programs.

What kept you sane?
– Reading. Lots of reading.
– My family. My kitty cats.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
John Barrowman :)

What political issue stirred you the most?
Well, there was an election this year right?

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:
Listening to my body is more important than following a bunch of arbitrary rules.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
– Yoga clothes. Leggings, capris, tanks, legwarmers. The brighter the better.
– Jeans and t-shirts.
– Jeans and sweaters.
– Pop color jeans and boots.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I really need to quit screwing around and REALLY FOCUS on writing again. I want to, but apparently not enough because I can’t bring myself to do it. Other than that, not much. 2012 was pretty awesome.

In 2013, I am looking forward to Disney World, getting my 200-hour yoga teaching certification, traveling (I have been explicitly invited to visit the O.C., Los Angeles, Arkansas, and Atlanta) attending a billion workshops as a workshop manager at Moksha, discovering new music, seeing friends and family, and many other wonderful things. IT’S GONE BE GOOD!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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2011: A Year in Pictures

I was totally supposed to post this before my “Looking Ahead” post *points to post below this one* but I forgot that I had the Looking Ahead post scheduled already. So it posted and it took me a while to realize it had posted, and I wasn’t about to UNpost it because let’s face it, it’s a perfectly fine post.

And I used post WAY too many times in that last paragraph!

So, this one is a bit out of order, but I worked so hard on it that I decided not to trash it. So, without further ado, here is 2011 (and maybe a tiny bit of 2012) represented in pictures.

Adam, Mickey Mouse, and Me!
Disney World January 2011

Smooches in Magic Kingdom
Smooches in Magic Kingdom

Aidan and "Weird Al" Yankovic
Aidan and Weird Al Yankovic

Spring 2011 Blossoms
Spring Blossoms

Hanging with J and Rho
Hanging with my Plurk friends J and Rho

Sarah Dessen | Anderson's Bookshop Naperville
Meeting Sarah Dessen again!! :D

Ginger Doss
Ginger Doss. LOVE her music.

s00j, Me, Bekah
SJ Tucker, me, and Bekah Kelso.
Too much awesomeness for one photo.


Love getting my toe nails done.

It's Us!
Disney World June 2011

Rockin' Out With Phineas and Ferb
Rockin’ Out with Phineas and Ferb
(I know this one was posted before,
but it’s too awesome not to repeat!)

Three Generations
Three Generations
My mom, me, and Aidan

New toenail color! :)
Sparkly toes!

The Rosie Show Test Show
The Rosie Show taping #1

Horseback Riding!
Getting to know Jessy

Pumpkins Galore!
Amish Country in Ohio

Me & My Friend :)
Me and Claudia Gray.
How I’d missed her.
Why’d she have to move so far away?

Bright Orange Toes for Autumn
Orange toes!

Me and Suzanne Sterling
“Sing Yourself Awake” Workshop
with Suzanne Sterling

The Rosie Show Taping
The Rosie Show Taping #2

Family Pictures
Thanksmas in Georgia

Christmas Ornaments 2011
Christmas in Chicago

Happy Birthday Aidan!
Happy Birthday, Aidan!

Aidan & Me
Me and my favorite kid in the entire universe in all of space and time and dimensions.

Happy New Year!

12 Comments

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

Awesome!

– 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?
None.

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.
It HELPS.
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

3 Comments

2010: A Year In Review

Oh my God, what? Another entry? So soon? Well then.

I had a pretty amazing 2010. I tried new things, watched new movies, learned about new music, read lots of books, landed a full-time job, and met many awesome people. As per my tradition, I’m doing my year-in-review survey.

(more…)

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