Year in Review

Posted: December 31st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Milestones | 4 Comments »

Ah, 2011. We barely knew ya!

I mean, I think it’s an indication that I’m officially old since I’m still not used to writing 2011 on my checks and it’s already (almost) a new year. There’s also the fact that I still write checks…

Even though I’ve shared in lurid detail most everything that’s happened to me this past year, I thought you might enjoy a sort of Cliff’s Notes version of my highs and lows. So pour yourself that last cup of egg nog from the carton that’s hidden behind the leftover turkey in the back of the fridge and curl up here for a while. Tomorrow you can start your new work-out routine and burn off all that fat.

Best New Friend: Hands down this award goes to my gay work-husband. Read all about our celibate, incompatible-sexual-orientations love affair here.

Best Blog Experience: Attending BlogHer ’11 in keepin-it-classy, San Diego (In the immortal words of anchorman Ron Burgandy, “San Diego… Drink it in. It always goes down smooth.”)

Fave New Blogger Friends: Katrina from Working Moms Break and Nancy from Midlife Mixtape (even though she’s funnier than me).

Most Embarrassing Incident: When I emailed the moms in Kate’s class about getting together for a drink and the email was mistakenly forwarded on to the school staff. For several days any time one of the mothers responded with something like, “Hell ya, I need a drink!” the email went to every teacher and administrator. As if that wasn’t awkward enough, when the moms booze-buzz finally died down, the dads started up. Kate’s classroom is now referred to by the school staff as “The Drunk Tank.” Nice.

Favorite Video: The old tablecloth trick.

Favorite TV-Show-on-DVD Addiction: The Good Wife (and not just because Will Gardner is the super-rich immoral rep-tie-wearin’ TV-character version of my noble, journalist husband).

Best Concert I Never Attended: In early December we had tickets to Morrissey. The show was cancelled when his drummer suffered some sort of eye injury. Frankly Mr. Shankly any drummer worthy of playing with Morrissey should really be able to hold his own playing with one eye. Am I right, or am I right?

Best Thing Kate Learned How to Do: Read. Like, really pick up a book and wander off and read on her own. So incredibly cool.

Best Thing Paige Learned How to Do: Use the potty.

Thing I Will Not Miss from 2011: Diapers.

Thing I Will Miss from 2011: Having a child young enough to be in diapers.

Best Thing Mark Learned How to Do: Bake bread and make uh-mazing cocktails, thanks to these two books: Tartine Bread and The Essential Cocktail: The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks. (I just found this cool video from the god of bread-breaking. Turns out he’s cute too!)

Best Thing I Learned How to Do: Nothing. I’ve never been one to relax. It’s just seemed like something lacking excitement. But this year the girls and I did a lot of reading in bed—as in me reading to them. And I LOVED it. We whiled away gloomy gray days this way, never getting out of our PJs. Turns out doing nothing IS fun—and I’m good at it! I also learned how to build excellent fires in the fireplace (something I’d always let the men-folk do) and make a delish roast chicken.

Best Thing Kate Taught Me: Summer camp songs. I suffered an entitled deprived childhood and never went to summer camp. At age 44, I’m finally making up for it.

Best Money We Spent: On a frighteningly-effective sleep specialist for our three-year-old night owl, Paige. If you ever need a kidney, Meg, I’m here for you.

Best Hand-Me-Down: My friends’ ellipitcal machine which I inherited when they paradoxically moved into a larger house where they didn’t have room for it.

Best Additions to our Family: Karen the male Siamese fighting fish, dearly-departed Carlos the shit-eating sea snail, and our newest snail, Slimy.

Crappiest Loss: The diamond necklace Mark gave me on our first anniversary. It went to Seattle with us and somehow never came back. I hope it’s set up a good life for itself up there, and that the rain doesn’t get to it. Maybe it’s playing in a band? Working at a coffee shop? Tossing fish at Pike Place Market? (Saint Anthony: It ain’t too late to return it to me.)

Worst Health Horror: My friend Lily getting cancer.

Best Parties I Attended: An ice cream social to celebrate the end of Lily’s chemo treatments, and an exceptionally fun and fruitful clothing swap.

Best Party I Threw: Mark’s surprise 40th birthday in Chicago. Thank you thank you to his wonderful college friends for being folks I’d want to be stuck on a desert island with. And that’s not only because two of them brew beer for a living.

Most-Often Repeated Sentence: “Mark just turned 40. Isn’t that so cute?”

Funniest Thing Said to Me: When I was wearing a long brown skirt, the work-husband said, “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman called. She wants her skirt back.” Then I laughed my latte out my nose.

Best Dinner Out: At Next in Chicago the day before Mark’s 40th. The theme was childhood, which was fitting. One of the courses came to us in 80′s-era lunchboxes, complete with hand-written notes from our parents. A witty, fun, and delish dinner.

Best Lunch Out: The next day at Kuma’s Corner, despite how tragically un-tattooed and square I seemed there. Amazing scene, beer, burgers.

Best Party Mark and I Threw: Our Fourth Annual Kid-Free Holiday Party. Something about it this year was extremely excellent, likely the perfect blend of awesome friends and deeply toxic bourbon punch.

Worst Geographical Re-Appointment: Our beloved gaybors moving out of the house next door. Thankfully, they’re just a half-mile away, and they still pop by to deliver fresh-baked treats.

Best Geographical Re-Appointment: My frienda Brenda from college moving to California. She’s now just an hour’s drive away, and when we get together we’re magically 19 again. (Though my hang-overs remind me we aren’t.)

Another Person I’m So Happy Moved Here: My friend Mike’s not-so-much-a-kid kid brother. It brings Mike and his mother around much more often, giving me more opportunities to pretend I’m part of their most-excellent family.

Most Frustrating Unsolved Mystery: My series of weird symptoms (numbness, joint pain, sarcasm) that cropped up this summer, which doctor’s have still not been able to diagnose.

Best Nature Encounter: Seeing two immense bald eagles on a dock near our friends’ house on Bainbridge Island.

Worst Nature Encounter: Mistakenly sticking my hand in a puddle of bald eagle poo. Or as I like to call it, “endangered feces.”

Best Clothing Purchase: My silver leather biker jacket I got from a vintage shop in Sacramento. I couldn’t decide whether it was ridiculous or the most bad-ass article of clothing I’d ever own. I got a thumbs up from my frienda Brenda, then three older well-dressed women who walked into the store essentially said they’d beat me up in the parking lot if I didn’t buy it. Thanks, ladies, for looking out for my fabulouslessness.

Saddest Hair Moment: Paige’s second-ever haircut which lopped off her baby curls.

Happiest Hair Moment: Connecting with my new hair diva, Jarrod, as a result of my former stylist selfishly moving to LA. I ADORE Jarrod. But beyond that, he’s given me an excellent hair year.

Best Freelance Gig: Working at Mamapedia, happily immersed in all things blog and mama-like.

Best Dumb-Ass Move: Taking out the side of my car in a parking garage.

Best Family Member I’ve Come to Know (and Love): Mark’s half-sis Ashley who moved to San Francisco. She’s a joy, and not just because she babysits.

Best Regularly-Scheduled Social Event: Does it mean I’m officially a middle-aged woman that I LOVE and look forward to my book group as much as I do?

Best Kids’ Books I Read: The Fairy Realm books (not to be confused with the atrocious and seemingly endless Rainbow Magic series) by Emily Rodda. Finally fairy-themed stories that are legit kid lit. The girls and I also loved Loveykins and Dahlia (which unfortunately appears to be out of print).

Longest—but Most Worthwhile—Book I Read: Anna Karenina. This is especially thrilling since I’m not always so good at finishing things. Check that off my bucket list! And I finished it yesterday, just in time for a fresh book in the new year.

Best New Tradition: Interviewing the girls on their birthdays.

Best Blog Post I Read (along with the rest of the universe): The Bloggess‘s metal chicken post.

Best motherload Blog Post: Hmmm. Not sure. I kinda liked the one about Karen the fish, and a lot of folks told me they liked Travel Don’ts. My gay husband was obsessed with my Principal Kate post.

Which brings me to…
Worst Travel Experience: My flight back from New York with the girls this summer. It’s a wonder I’ve left the house since.

Best Thing We Won: The raffle at the school auction which resulted in our kindergartener Kate being principal of her school for the day. (She was brilliant and clearly has a future in school administration. Or the presidency.)

Best Brush with Celebrity: Having Alyssa Milano follow me on Twitter. But it’s really on accounta the fact that she and Mark are Twitter geek buds. (Yes, I too was surprised that she is a geek.)

Worst Week of Parenting: When Mark was in Australia for work and Kate refused to change her underwear. Oh how I wish I was kidding about that.

Best Volunteer Work I Expected to Hate: Raising money for Kate’s school.

Most Interesting Dinner Companions: My sister Judy’s Egyptian student friends. Oh, and Mark’s new uber rich genius friend is also pretty fascinating, if you like hearing personal anecdotes about everyone from Stephen Hawking to Jane Fonda.

Best TV Extravaganza: The royal wedding, and the royal spread set out by my angophilic friend, Sacha. Special thanks to Beatrice for wearing that absurd hat.

Catch ya in the rear view, 2011. Onward and upward in 2012, a year that appeals to me in its even-number-ness, but moreover for its fresh, shiny newness.

And big love to my dazzling husband and not-always-exhausting daughters for making even the most mundane days adventures.

P.S. I forgot to say how proud I am of my sister for losing over 60 pounds this year! (I guess this means you want those jeans back.)

P.P.S. I just walked through my house before some guests arrive and decided on my New Year’s resolution: That my children learn how to flush the toilet in 2012.


4 Comments on “Year in Review”

  1. 1 Michael said at 11:03 am on January 1st, 2012:

    Ellis and I just devoured and loved your list. Heading east now. Happy New Year! Miss you. xoxo

  2. 2 Michael said at 11:06 am on January 1st, 2012:

    Ellis and I just devoured and loved your post. Heading east now. Happy New Year! Miss you guys. xoxo

  3. 3 FAB said at 12:02 pm on January 1st, 2012:

    Great recap of your 2011 year….humorous, profound and just great…..reading it is one of the best parts of my 2011…don’t ever change…Dad

  4. 4 Megan said at 3:22 pm on January 1st, 2012:

    Wonderful blog, looking forward to more in 2012 :-)

Leave a Reply