Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday's Top Five (Thirty-Six, actually) - Year in Review (2013)

After a short hiatus from blogging, we're back with our second annual year-end review:

1) What did you do in 2013 that you have never done before?

- Visited Jamaica and Haiti
- Cut my daughter's hair (only took me 3 years...)
- Baptized one half of a set of twin boys
- Convinced my mom to go road trippin' with us
- Chaperoned some field trips
- Camped in the backyard
- Walked to and touched the Talus Balls
- Took my daughter trick-or-treating (yes, it was her first time)
- Decided to become a parent for the second time (yikes!)
- Broke my toe
- Discovered a grey chin hair (Seriously.)

2) Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions, and will you make any more next year?

Depends on how you look at it. I certainly lived a much healthier lifestyle this year than I did in the previous two years..... but, wow, it barely made a dent in the big scheme of things. Gotta celebrate the small victories, though, so my resolution will carry over into 2014.

3) Any major life events happen in your life?

Currently expecting baby #2.

4) Where did you travel?

Ft. Lauderdale, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Haiti, Potsdam (NY), Drumheller, Gibbons, Wizard Lake...... plus brief stops in Houston and Ottawa.

5) What did you lack in 2013 that you would like more of in 2014?

Willpower (again).

6) What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory?

Aside from birthdays and anniversaries, nothing stands out.

7) What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Dropping 10 lbs over the summer. (We won't talk about how quickly I've since gained it back.)

8) What was your biggest failure?

ONLY dropping 10 lbs over the summer and then immediately gaining it back. (I would like to blame the baby for this, but let's be honest. It's all the buffet table's fault.)

9) Did you suffer illness or injury?

I fell down the stairs a couple days ago and broke my toe. It's true that the bigger you are, the harder you fall.

10) What was the best purchase you made?

Snowblower, snowblower, SNOWBLOWER. How did we make it so long in life without previously owning one??

11) What things / people inspired you the most?

Sounds lame, but my Pinterest boards of "Fitness Inspiration" and "Quotes" keep me pretty inspired.

12) What things / people disappointed you the most?

Once again, myself. Yes, this was a better year than last, but there's still tons and tons of room for improvement.

13) Where did most of your money go?

1. Mortgage
2. Day Care
3. Travel

14) What did you get really excited about?

Time off from work just so I could clean and organize the house. Seriously, it's ridiculous how into this I was.

15) What song will always remind you of 2013?

You Can't Make Old Friends by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. Total class acts.

16) Compared to this time last year, are you:

· Happier or hardened?    Happier.
· Thinner or fatter?    Fatter.
· Richer or poorer?    Poorer (in the financial sense only)

17) What do you wish you'd done more of?

Exercised. Duh.

18) What do you wish you'd done less of?

Eaten less junk.

19) What was your favourite TV program? Least favourite?

The only shows I HAVE to watch every week (when they're on, anyway) are Survivor and Whose Line is it Anyway.

My least favourite thing to watch on TV this year was Criminal Minds, mainly because I can always pick out the flaws in the characters' logic, and the show also scares me into thinking we're a society of maniacal sociopaths.

20) What was the best book you read? Worst book?

Best books (for very different reasons) were the following:

- Rosina, The Midwife by Jessica Kluthe
- Wild by Cheryl Strayed
- My War: Killing Time in Iraq by Colby Buzzell
- Lost in America: A Dead-End Journey by Colby Buzzell

Worst book was Hotels, Hospitals, and Jails by Anthony Swofford..... but that's not really a fair assessment at all.

Swofford is a terrific writer (he wrote Jarhead, which was a great book I read years ago before it was made into a movie), so I thought I'd check out his most recent novel as well.

The problem is that I attempted to listen to it on tape, as read by the author. And that was a huge mistake in this regard.

I absolutely love listening to books on tape, but I've learned the hard way that they are only interesting if read by an actor or someone who can put some oomph into their reading.

In this case, it was the author reading his own book -- and his monotone, unemotional voice just bored me to no end. So I stopped listening. And I never looked back.

21) What was your: favourite song/album/artist (and least favourite)?

Favourite album this year was Chief by Eric Church. It's one of the few out there that I can actually listen to on repeat and not get bored. And it just baffles me that he didn't win more awards for it this year. (How he was overlooked for Male Artist of the Year at the country awards is beyond me.)

I don't really have a least favourite album or artist, per se, but a lot of what I heard on the radio this year was pretty cliché and uninspiring.

22) Favourite film this year? Worst film?

Life of Pi was truly outstanding, but only when I saw it for the first time on the big screen. (I watched it again on a flight earlier this year, but it just didn't hold my attention so much the second time around.)

We're the Millers also had me riveted when I saw it in theatres this year.... but it is nothing, NOTHING like Life of Pi, haha.

Worst film was Cloud Atlas. It featured Tom Hanks, which means I should have loved it, but I really didn't.

23) What was one thing that would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Weight loss. And having to spend less time at work and around coworkers.

24) How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?


25) What kept you sane?

Music, fresh air, and any time that was not spent at work.

26) Which celebrity / public figure did you fancy the most? Fancy the least?

I'm still fan-girling all over Sergio Di Zio.

And I still can't stand to hear anything about the Kardashians.

27) What political issues stirred you the most? The least?

Umm, all of them stirred me the least. I know there was some fascinating stuff out there, but all politicians just make me sick. And after the results of our most recent civic election, well, I'm just done.

28) What news story did you like the most? Hate the most?

I'm a fan of any feel-good news story. (They're few and far between, unfortunately.)

And I hate the latest "celebrity" controversy surrounding Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty. How is that even considered real news? And can't we all just get along, for that matter?

29) What sports moment did you like the most? Hate the most?

The only sport that held my attention this year was the Nugget Olympics, which starred my daughter on a near-nightly basis.

And the most disappointing thing in sport this year was the lowly Toronto Blue Jays. They signed R.A. Dickey and Jose Reyes.... and they still sucked.

30) Favourite blog (other than yours)? Blog Posts (other than yours?).

· Fave Blog: Gotta go with my posse (Divulge with Dani, The Brooding Woman, A Piece of Apple)
· Fave Blog Post #1:  When Your Mother Says She's Fat by Kasey Edwards
· Fave Blog Post #2: Learning From the Loss of Lisa Gibson and Her Children by Andrea Nair
· Fave Blog Post #3: The Gift of Not Giving a Thing by Christella Morris

31) Favourite Blog Post (of my own):

· #3: Myths Debunked
· #2: Things I Would Do If I Won the Lottery
· #1: Roots and Wings

32) Who is your 2013 Person of the Year?

My husband, for leaving a job where he was "a month away from committing a homicide" and coming out much better because of it. Life is just too short to be stuck in a job that truly makes you (and everyone around you) miserable.

33) Who do you miss?

My former self. Will I ever get to feel that way again??

34) Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

See #32. If you're unhappy with your current situation, then do something to change it. Just complaining about it all the time will only make you more miserable. Get out there and do something that makes you happy. Or at least less miserable.

And the other, more important, lesson is that if you don't have your health, you have nothing. I've heard this phrase all my life, but unfortunately my arrogant younger self just didn't get it.

35) Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

"What will I do when you're gone? Who's gonna tell me the truth? Who's gonna finish the stories I start, the way you always do?"

Life is short, precious, and can change in an instant. Take no one for granted.

36) What do you look forward to in 2014?

A healthier lifestyle and a fuller home.

And a major lottery win wouldn't be too bad, either.