Reflections on 2011

As I think back over 2011, I am grateful for many things. Namely, I am thankful for the people in my life – my family, friends, church community, ministry partners, readers – who have willingly invested their lives into mine. Thank you. This year has been joyful, challenging, and difficult. In the midst of it all, I am thankful that I am not an isolated individual, but am surrounded by some incredible people. 

I wish you a wonderful new year!

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Turned 30.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Here are my 2011 resolutions. I stuck with most of them, except for writing a book. For this coming year, I am tossing out my typical list of goals/resolutions. Instead, I want to forge a few new habits. I’ll share that in another post soon.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law welcomed their second child in mid-December.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Sadly, we had a miscarriage (our second within a year). Steve’s grandmother also passed away. Here are some thoughts on her that I wrote after her passing. That event had reverberating effects on me, mostly serving as a reminder and inspiration to live a life that is invested in lasting and worthwhile things.

5. What countries did you visit?
We took a cruise in the Caribbean, and visited Puerto Rico, Saint Thomas, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saint Maarten, and Barbados.
6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
More time and energy to create.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The day we found out that our unborn child had miscarried; I can vividly remember our doctor’s exact words to us as she shared the news.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Working on making our 100-year-old house into a home; it included projects like painting several rooms, and lots of decluttering.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I don’t think I would call this a failure, but I didn’t complete a book like I had hoped.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing notable.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
My black spiral artist sketchbook, where all my reflections, hopes, creative ideas, and musings are recorded.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My mother, who left a great job for an opportunity to work for the Governor of Hawaii. Her new role is incredibly challenging, and she is a model of courage and vision to me.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
No one’s.

14. Where did most of your money go?
House payments. Honda CRV.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Hosting our family Thanksgiving. The midnight showing of Harry Potter 7.
16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
“Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?
Happier, neither thinner nor fatter, richer.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? 
Internet browsing.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
We visited family in Lodi, CA. Lots of wine tasting, lots of presents, and lots of dessert.
21. How did you spend New Year’s?
We’re going to host a few friends at our place. Although, I predict that by 11pm I will be ready to hop into bed.
22. Did you fall in love in 2011?
23. How many one night stands?
24. What was your favorite TV program?
Top Chef & Jeopardy.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
26. What was the best book you read?
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, and A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
That Fleetwood Mac is still one of the greatest bands in history.
28. What did you want and get?
A great 5-year anniversary with my husband. An annual pass to Disneyland.

29. What did you want and not get?
Another child.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 30. My friends and family indulged in another themed birthday party. This year, we turned our house into a 1920’s Speakeasy. It was open-mic night, so people recited poetry, sang songs, and did other creative performances while we sipped on Old Fashions. It was one of my favorite birthdays ever.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Living closer to more of our family.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Creative and simplified. For most of the year, I was committed to not buying new clothes, which led to reworking and re-imagining my current wardrobe. Pinterest was a big help.

34. What kept you sane?
Steve. Exercise. Weekly time with friends. Prayer retreats.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Steve Jobs, for his vision, drive, and innovation.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
American greed and consumerism.
37. Who did you miss?
Steve’s grandmother.
38. Who was the best new person you met? 
Our new nephew, Logan.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011. 
There is power in the ability to hope.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. 

“Every day’s a new day.” (from “100 Years” by Five for Fighting)

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