With the exception of the last two weeks, this has been a great, great year. These last 2 weeks? They've been tough. And I do not like to go out on a tough note. I've always tended to evaluate everything based on how I finish it, but I can't do that with this year. More on all that another time, but I'm not going to count the last 2 weeks in my reflection of the year. It would warp the data considerably.
But 2011? It was a good year. It was a year of shifting seasons, a year of confidence-growing, a year of contentment. Some years I've been eager to kick to the curb, some years I'm sad that they are ending. This year? Neither. Thankful for it, glad it was here, and glad that we get to start a brand new one.
Without further ado, here's my look back:
1. What did you do in 2011 that you had never done before?
Well, that's an easy one. I ran that pesky half-marathon! I broke through that glass ceiling I had placed over my head all these years! One of the best parts of that was all the training I did with Brad. He was such an encourager and it was a tremendous experience doing that with him. And the friends that encouraged me through the training, and the ones who came out and cheered me on that day??? Their support meant the world to me.
This is what I looked like after my first "long" training run!
And this is after running 2 hours and 4 minutes in pouring rain!
2. Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions and will you make more this year?
Well, my answer to this is probably going to be the same every year. I'm not big into "resolutions". I'm big into goals, which I guess are pretty similar. But only on January 1st? Nah. I understand it's a good time to assess and re-think and have fresh starts and all, but really this is an on-going thing for me.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not personally close. I watched people I care for say goodbyes, and that always breaks my heart.
5. What places have you visited this year?
Well, we made our annual trip to Chelan, this year staying in Manson ~ one of the most delightful weeks. And Brad and I went to Portland for our anniversary.
6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
Once again, this makes me go "hmmmm". I know I need to get plugged back in to a Bible study group. Once I went back to work, my morning choice was gone, and evenings are just so jam-packed. Thinking of how to make this happen!
7. What date in 2011 will be etched in your mind and why?
More than actual dates, there are moments: Beth's cheer squad placing 1st at their competition, Alex taking 3rd in state for bassoon, Brenna performing for the last time with her cheer squad (and taking 3rd place!), watching Alex play at Benaroya Hall with the All-Northwest group, watching Brad receive his employee of the year award, finishing the half marathon, to name a few.
8. What was your biggest achievement in 2011?
I would have to say the aforementioned half marathon. All my life, there are things that I've said, "I could never do that!". It was almost an instinctual response to something challenging. And even though I had run for a long time, it took me a long time to run a 5k in public, then a 10K at the end of 2010, and then finally, something I truly didn't know if I could do: the half marathon. The achievement was much more than the 13.1 miles: it was in quieting the voice that had so long said, "I could never...".
9. Did you suffer any illness or injury in 2011?
Yes, and I'm not done with it. And I'm not happy with it. It's ending soon, in Jesus' name! More on that another time.
10. What was the best thing you bought?
Oh, dear. That's always a tough one. I do love the new tile we bought for our entryway, and the closet organizer that started the whole floor make over. And I loooove the new garage door that Brad bought! And I love my new Gigi Hill bag that I bought myself.
11. Where did most of your money go?
Mouths and music.
12. What song will remind you most of 2011?
Oh, goodness. "Bring Night" by Sia, my girls' competition song that I listened to enough to last a lifetime, thank you very much. "A Shield About Me", a piano version has been soothing to me lately. I don't know if it will remind me most of 2011, but of this ending portion of it, yes.
13. What do you wish you would have done more of in 2011?
Being purposefully still.
14. What do you wish you would have done less of in 2011?
Trying to figure out people who perplex me. And assuming that it's me. Sometimes it really is them.
15. What was your favorite tv program?
I love The Middle and Modern Family, and always love House Hunters, especially the international episodes. And I'm quite smitten with The Duggars. I initially watched them and found things kinda funny and quirky, now I find it refreshing and endearing. (Once I mute the intro of the mom introducing all her kids, beginning with her wonderful husband.)
16. What was the best book you read in 2011?
Well, does a cookbook count?? I loved reading (yes, I read cookbooks!) The Pioneer Woman Cooks. She did a fun job of weaving her story in with her recipes, and it's just as much fun to read as her blog. And from there, my disheveled mind cannot remember any others.
17. What was your favorite movie of the year?
The Help. Hands-down, no contest, without a doubt. The Help.
18. What did you do on your birthday this year and how old were you?
I turned 42 this year, and I know we had 3 football games that day, and I remember that it was an overall disappointing birthday. Kind of an over-looked day. Aw, well. They can't all be grand!
19. What political issue stirred you the most this year?
Oh, my. A lot to be stirred by this year. The whole "Occupy ( )" thing I could go on and on about but won't. So many international issues...all our troops "coming home" but not really...so many. And the issue of education hits very close to our home and our bottom dollar, with me employed by the public schools and a child just over one year away from college...eek. The changes are a bit frightening.
20. Who was the best new person you met this year?
That would have to be the sweet Stacy! She is the mom of one of my daughter's best friends, and our relationship got rollin' when she innocently offered "any help" with the cheer season! She not only made my life way easier in the whole coaching area, but she has become a dear friend who is such a joy to be around!
sadly, this is the best picture I could find of us, other than the one of her sitting in my lap crying after our girls won! oh - and she's a brunette now! ;)
Okay, 2011. You've been good to me. You've brought lots of laughter, joy, and celebration to our home and our lives. It's been a pleasure knowing you.
And for 2012? I'm trusting for health and wholeness and laughter and joy and love and direction and guidance and peace. All brought to us by our loving Father who orders all our days. He's in the midst of each one, and there is great peace in that.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13