Friday, January 7, 2011

For Mandi

(Because I would do anything for Mandi.)

That is a mad bull, right? With really skinny legs? Or am I totally missing it? (I'm probably totally missing it.) Wait, is it a mad bull being held up in the air by a Polar Bear? A two-headed llama? An Ecuadorian pictograph for Olé, we finally unloaded the reject fabric on that guapo, guapo gringo?

I'll get back to you on the egg whites - gotta go pick kids up.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


I swiped this from my awesome sister.


1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
I ran for 2 miles. Without stopping. Now you can stop laughing.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Didn't make any, so yes? No? And so far, there are no new ones, but we'll see. (Maybe I should resolve to be more decisive.)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Two of my brothers' wives did (note the punctuation: that's two married brothers, not one brother with two wives), and I got to spend time in both of their homes within the first weeks/months afterwards. How do they make it look so easy? I do NOT remember it being that easy. Other people gave birth too, but I didn't invite myself to their houses.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Not close to me personally, but some dear friends lost their 25yo son very suddenly, and I don't know how to express how heart-wrenching it has been. I would do anything to make it easier for them, but there's no magic for something like this. I just keep thinking of one of my favorite quotes: "Hands often speak as voices can't. A warm embrace conveys volumes. A laugh together unites us. A moment of sharing refreshes our souls. We cannot always lift the burden of one who is troubled, but we can lift her so she can bear it well." (Elaine L. Jack) Even then, I'm not sure how much is too little, and how much is too much.

5. What countries did you visit?
Who put this question in here?

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
The usual - more organization, less clutter, more motivation, less waistline, more generous budget . . . but none of those are life-threatening (yet), so I can live with it. Or work on it. Either way. (See #2.)

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Days I got really good news, days I got really bad news, and the Great Kidney Transplant of 2010, because it went so well and because my sister and I laughed ourselves sick whilst documenting it all.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Well, staying pregnant is definitely up there. Also, I drove all the way to Utah all by myself. And ran a little (locally. Not on the way to Utah). Also, we managed to get to a place, financially, where I no longer have to take time away from my family to supplement our income (as long as we're very careful). (Plug here for YNAB, of course. Oh how I love it.)

WAIT WAIT!! I also voluntarily and correctly whipped egg whites several times!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Announcing to the entire church choir that I had recognized one of the songs from our Christmas Cantata in a Disney movie, and wasn't that fascinating? And then being informed that the mysterious song was "Ave Maria." (In my weak, weak, defense, the Cantata had different lyrics and no credit for the original.) (If you're thinking I missed a way more obvious failure, just keep it to yourself, ok?)

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I thought I had broken my foot at one point, but luckily I was wrong. I wasn't looking forward to explaining that I broke my foot by falling over while walking out the door. I was going to tell people I did it while demonstrating a back handspring for the kids. You would have bought that, right?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A bigger family car, with SEAT WARMERS, I tell you! (A well-timed purchase brought about by the unexpected demise of our poor van.) So what if I'm generally hunkered down at home because of 13mpg. When I do go out, my seat is TOASTY!

12. Where did most of your money go?
Not into my pocket, that's for sure. Actually, I could fire up ye olde YNAB (I don't even get a kickback. I just love it.) and tell you exactly where it all went, but that's not any of your business. I guess there's some spare change I can't account for . . . no, wait: it's under the couch cushions with the legos, hair clips, and loose thumbtacks.

13. What did you get really excited about?
Besides seat warmers? And Star Sushi's crunchy crab roll? At one point, I told myself to get really excited that my potty-training/smelly-diapering/nursing-bras/eternal-nights were things of the past. It was working, too. But then I was really excited to find out I was wrong.

14. What song will always remind you of 2010?
I'm thinking it's "Ave Maria."

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? Happier, in the sense that life keeps getting better.
– thinner or fatter? AHEM
– richer or poorer? What is this, the nosiest quiz ever?

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

More and more and more playing with my kids. I was better at that in 2010 than in 2009 or 2008, but tick tock . . . they'll start leaving in a few years and I already miss them.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Wasting time.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
Morning at home, afternoon/evening with extended family.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
I enjoy "NCIS" and "The Mentalist," but generally only if Mr. B is watching, too.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
"Joan of Arc" (Twain) . . . and . . . uh . . .. good golly, is that the only book I finished? How embarrassing. Add reading to #16. And I think I found a resolution for 2011: Not getting kicked out of Book Club.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

I know I should come up with something current, but would it surprise you to hear I have no idea what's current? So instead, I'm going with the violin/piano/cello trio that I got to play with my 14yo and 12yo at Christmas. I may have even teared up a little every doggone time we played it together. I love those girls.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
I don't go to a lot of movies, but wasn't this a good year for animation? "Despicable Me" and "Tangled" were so good! That's right! I'm six years old!

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 35, went to Mongolian BBQ with good friends . . . and now I'm panicking because I can't remember what I did that night, and I hope it wasn't something meaningful involving anyone who's going to read this. If I was J-Dub, I'd look back at my faithfully kept journal for reference. Curses.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More sleep. Fewer school mornings. More family vacations. Oh wait, that was three things.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
What's a personal fashion concept?

26. What kept you sane?
I'm wondering the same thing.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

When your husband thinks his Ecuadorian sweater is the bee's knees, and you're pretty sure (despite question #25) that the truth lies elsewhere, do NOT encourage him to wear it to a rockin' Ugly Sweater Contest, where he will make a heck of an entrance, win by a landslide and be shocked and somewhat disillusioned. If you're lucky, though, he'll be a really good sport about it and even wear it to church in defiance two days later.

(Too bad you can't see the mad bull stitched on the back.)