It’s almost the New Year, which means it’s time for the annual year-end quizamathing. Just like in 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, and 2004, here are my answers to a bunch of questions about how my year went.

As always, feel free to copy/paste for yourself! If you do post this on your own blog, please link to your entry in the comments here—I’d love to read them.

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

Spent a full year working from home, with all its ups and downs. Said goodbye to Dog. Took a family vacation to Missoula. Camped on the Rogue River with JB. Became the mother of a kindergartener. Went to the Humane Society and came home with a calico cat. Saw one of my children turn three, and the other turn six.

As I try to recap, it seems like 2011 was so uneventful compared to past years. Yet I look back on it as being filled with thousands of tiny happy moments, and a lot of overall contentment and peace.

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

Here’s what I wrote for 2011:

• Take both the kids to swimming lessons, I mean it this time. Yes! The kids have been taking lessons for a while now, and they start up again on January 10. Hauling them to and from the pool is a giant expensive pain in the ass, but they’re getting much better.
• Continue going to CrossFit 3-4 times a week. Uhhhhhhh no.
• Start doing local race events again. Nope.
• Get a really good photo of the four of us. Pretty much a no on this one too.
• Grow out my hair. Yes! I have been doing this! It’s down to my shoulders and I can finally get it in a ponytail! Rocky theme!
• Do a better job of staying in touch with friends. Oh god. No. No, not at all.
• Peel off those extra five pounds I seem to be having so much trouble losing. Yes, if by “peel off” I meant “add 10 more.”
• Pay off our credit card. Not yet, but we have made major headway on this, and this feels like a huge accomplishment.

So here’s the thing—every year I sit down to do this little exercise, and I arbitrarily pick a handful of goals that seem vaguely important during the moment. Then I forget all about them until it’s time to revisit a year later, when I am inevitably confronted with the fact that my actual priorities ended up being in different places altogether. I mean, if I’d picked things like “Meet every writing deadline I’m given” or “Take on new professional challenges” or “Snap at least one crappy photo every single day,” I could have ticked those things off one by one.

This time around, instead of jotting down a half-assed list right this minute, I think I’ll give more thought to the idea of creating goals for the year. See if I can’t make it a bit more meaningful.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes, JB’s brother and his wife have an adorable son who was born in August.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes, I’m sorry to say. JB’s awesome uncle Jack.

5. What countries did you visit?


6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

A place to live in Oregon. 

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Again, I’m thinking how 2011 was the year of quiet moments instead of big events. I can’t think of any particular dates that stand out, really.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I’m going to say adjusting to working from home, because it’s definitely been a challenging process. I feel much more happy and settled these days than I did during the first half of the year, and I think that’s due to figuring out a routine that works best for me and making that happen. I also feel like I did a good job with Riley’s homeschool activities before he headed into summer break and kindergarten.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I say this every single year: my biggest failures have to do with my sub-par parenting moments. No doubt about it.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Not a damn thing. I’ve been remarkably healthy, the last time I even had a major cold was when I was pregnant with Dylan. *falls over, bleeds out in a horrifying manner from immediately contracting Hubris Ebola*

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My iPhone 4S, because it’s capable of taking such great pictures. Gas for road trips. Writing a check for my very last car payment. A GoPro camera for JB, because I think it’s going to be so much fun for him. A family gym membership.

12. Where did most of your money go?

The mortgage, paying off the debt we accrued in 2010, our savings account, kindergarten and preschool fees.

13. What did you get really excited about?

I’ll say BlogHer, because I was so geeked to see friends and meet new people and, you know, be around people whose butts I did not have to wipe for a couple days.

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?

Oh god. This ridiculous song, because Dylan has been singing it since July. JULY.

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

– happier or sadder? Hmmm, probably about the same.
– thinner or fatter? Fatter, says the scale and my jeans and the mirror and shut up OMG.
– richer or poorer? Financially better off.

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

More writing for fun, more exercise, more adventures, more activities outside of my comfort zone.

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

Less time glued to my laptop, less dithering over adhering to one particular health/fitness approach, less downplaying the relevance of my job to people who ask what I do for a living.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

Like this.

19. What was your favorite TV program?

Same answer as 2010: Breaking Bad. We also got really into Sons of Anarchy, and I was religious about watching The Walking Dead (if not thoroughly devoted to its quality).

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

Crap, I can never think back on what all I read. A few that stand out: Coraline, The Gathering Dead, Blood Red Road, A Little More About Me, Divergent.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

AWOLNATION, for sure.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?

Hanna (for the awesome first part, not so much the second half), Super 8, Bridesmaids, Crazy, Stupid, Love, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Drive, Moneyball, Contagion.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

We celebrated at home. My cake had so many candles (37!) the icing melted.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I don’t know that I have an answer for this one, really. It would certainly be satisfying to not have my work/home life/parenthood tasks colliding so often, but that’s the life I signed up for. Any one solution—not having to work, not having the kids around—would take away something that’s meaningful to me.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

This question is so abysmally stupid I hereby renounce it from all future questionnaires.

26. What kept you sane?

JB. The internet. My kids’ laughter. That magical moment around 8 PM when the boys are in bed for the night.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

It’s always worth it to do the hard work to figure out how to make things better. Don’t overpluck your eyebrows. Half and half is vastly superior to non-dairy creamer. Small children are happiest when you get down on the floor with them. The most painful things to write are usually the pieces you become most proud of. You’re only as sick as your secrets.



93 Responses to “Yearly recap: 2011”

  1. Stephanie on December 29th, 2011 10:39 am

    I love this yearly tradition, and I’ll definitely link up when I do mine in the next couple of days, but for now I wanted to say both that I love your last answer entirely, and that I think the key to more-meaningful resolutions for you for 2012 lies in your answer to question 16. Start there. And cheers to a new year!

  2. Hilarity in Shoes on December 29th, 2011 10:41 am

    Hooray! I look forward to reading yours–and now to doing mine–every year.

  3. Life of a Doctor's Wife on December 29th, 2011 10:43 am

    “Hubris Ebola” – love it!

    I love reading this quiz – and doing my own version as well.

    Happy New Year to you and your lovely family!

  4. Performance Review « on December 29th, 2011 11:00 am

    [...] Grabbed this from Linda [...]

  5. Amanda on December 29th, 2011 11:02 am
  6. duchessbelle on December 29th, 2011 11:24 am

    Love reading this each year!

  7. Nikki on December 29th, 2011 12:09 pm

    Loved it – sounds like you guys had a great year. Even though no huge events stand out to you, that’s probably a great thing :)
    Happy New Year!

  8. Meagan on December 29th, 2011 12:14 pm

    Here’s mine!
    I love doing this every year.

  9. Courtney in FL on December 29th, 2011 12:26 pm

    I adore your husband! Even from FL it is obvious that he is an amazing dad! Love the video! (I can tell you are an amazing mom too…)

  10. Tessie on December 29th, 2011 12:56 pm

    Thanks so much for doing these; I genuinely look forward to it each year.

    Happy New Year!!

  11. Danell on December 29th, 2011 1:04 pm

    OMG, I can’t believe it’s been a YEAR since reading the last one of these! And OMG, I can’t believe I’ve been reading them for EIGHT YEARS now!

    What is happening? HOW IS TIME GOING BY SO FAST? AAAAAAHHH!!!

  12. Emily on December 29th, 2011 2:19 pm

    Love this…Happy New Year!

  13. Lindsay on December 29th, 2011 2:54 pm

    Started doing this recap in 2010 – thanks for the great idea!

  14. Kate on December 29th, 2011 5:58 pm

    I have GOT to start watching Breaking Bad.

    I love these surveys every year, so much. Here’s mine:

  15. New Year’s Questionnaire « Older on December 29th, 2011 8:53 pm

    [...] stole this from Linda, because it’s fun. Hopefully I’m paying close enough attention and make sure to replace [...]

  16. Cally on December 29th, 2011 8:56 pm

    Seems like you had a good year! Doing it reminded me I had a pretty good one, too.

    And that video is adorable.

  17. elz on December 29th, 2011 9:09 pm

    I always like reading these recaps. I went to find mine from last year and saw that I never posted it-whoops! Oh well, I remembered to hit publish this year!

  18. Lisa Belt on December 29th, 2011 10:51 pm

    I’ll try to get to this again this year, but in the meantime, the first thing I thought about as my best purchase of the year is the Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm you plug on the side of the blog. It’s my favorite thing ever!

  19. Carole M. on December 30th, 2011 7:08 am

    Writer Shirley Jackson referred to bedtime for her four as “the nightly miracle”.

  20. ris on December 30th, 2011 8:18 am

    I look forward to this every year! Here’s mine:

  21. Redbecca on December 30th, 2011 9:34 am

    ha ha ha that video with Dylan cracked me up. We’ve got “J Joe Jeans and his jellybeans. hey let’s sing a song about J” from Sesame Street (circa 1971) going on over at our place over and over… Good thing he’s cute, huh?

  22. nonsoccermom on December 30th, 2011 11:28 am

    I love these! Sounds like you had a great year. Here’s mine:

  23. Claire on December 30th, 2011 1:50 pm
  24. Retrospective: 2011 « Hoot! on December 30th, 2011 3:10 pm

    [...] using the same version I used last year, though I think it’s slightly different from the one Linda posted. Past years are here: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, [...]

  25. Kate on December 30th, 2011 3:11 pm
  26. Katherine on December 30th, 2011 6:45 pm

    I’ve read this or years and never participated until now. Normally, I make a list of all we have accomplished for the year, and another of all of our goals.

    This year was a terrible year for us. My husband was in a terrible car accident the night we closed on our first house, and he lost his job. I am hopeful these questions will be benchmarks to see how far we’ve come for years to come.

  27. New Year’s Quiz 2011 | Mom et al on December 30th, 2011 7:29 pm

    [...] as always, be sure to hop on over and see Linda at All & Sundry, who has been doing this for much longer [...]

  28. Maria @ Mom et al on December 30th, 2011 7:46 pm

    Oh, how I look forward to this every year. Happy New Year!

  29. Jess on December 30th, 2011 8:48 pm

    Mine is here. The fifth one in a row. It always seems like so many until I’m reminded that yours go all the way back to 2004.

  30. Becky on December 30th, 2011 9:15 pm

    Not sure why my other comment didn’t post, so I’ll try again. :)

    Here’s mine:

    I love your blog, by the way. Always a bright spot to my day when you have a new post.

  31. velocibadgergirl on December 30th, 2011 11:06 pm
  32. Year End Meme of 2011 « Ladyloo Land on December 31st, 2011 5:01 am

    [...] Year End Meme of 2011 The meme, courtesy of Sundry. [...]

  33. 2011 in retrospect | Butterscotch Sundae on December 31st, 2011 5:21 am

    [...] in retrospect I’ve done this All & Sundry survey for four years now (2010, 2008, 2007, 2006), so I thought I’d go ahead and fill it out again [...]

  34. Catherine on December 31st, 2011 10:13 am
  35. Kirsty on December 31st, 2011 10:40 am

    I can’t resist memes in general, but I particularly like this one… Sounds like you had a good year!
    Best wishes for you and your family for 2012!
    Here’s mine:

  36. Sara on December 31st, 2011 1:09 pm
  37. Kristin on December 31st, 2011 2:09 pm

    Love reading this every year. I think you look Beautiful by the way! (Not in a creepy way!) That clock in the Christmas post is an awesome present! Happy 2012!

  38. Ginger on December 31st, 2011 4:16 pm

    I do love this. I just wish I could remember it takes FOREVER to put together…

  39. 2011: Year in Review « Logy Express on December 31st, 2011 5:54 pm

    [...] like traditions. I’ve been reading Linda’s yearly recaps for years so it seemed natural to do this little quizzy thing myself last year when I started the [...]

  40. metalia on December 31st, 2011 5:58 pm

    I love, love, love this every year.


  41. vimla on December 31st, 2011 7:31 pm

    love your effort you made years before to evaluate oneself or to notice things..i will try to initiate this tradition too and link back to yo…rhanks

  42. Erin@MommyontheSpot on December 31st, 2011 8:09 pm

    Great way to think about 2011. Here is mine! Have a great 2012!

  43. Helen on December 31st, 2011 8:36 pm

    Here is mine:

    Hoping to make it a tradition. Happy New Year to you & the family!

  44. Stacy on December 31st, 2011 8:39 pm

    Still working on it, but a nearly complete list is now posted. Happy New Year!

  45. Erin on January 1st, 2012 2:22 am

    Happy New Year! Thanks for starting this tradition!

  46. Tracy on January 1st, 2012 7:25 am

    If my regular track record is any indication, I will start watching Breaking Bad approximately 6 years after its premier (a la How I Met Your Mother).

    Here’s my quizzy thing: I have enjoyed reading your answers for years and this is the second time I’ve done it too.

  47. amanda on January 1st, 2012 9:05 am

    I rarely comment but truly enjoy your blog. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  48. Lori O on January 1st, 2012 12:31 pm

    My favorite post to read of others and write myself. Life is about the small moments, and I’m so happy you had so many wonderful ones!

  49. H on January 1st, 2012 3:03 pm

    I love this. It helps me reflect on my year and reminds me that life is full, full of all sorts of positive and negative experiences. The important thing is to learn and grow.

    I wish you and your family the best in 2012. Thank you for sharing.

  50. phancymama on January 1st, 2012 4:02 pm
  51. Tierney on January 1st, 2012 7:11 pm

    This was an awesome way to reflect back on the year. Thank you so much for this and I will definitely be checking your blog out in the future (I saw the link to this from Metalia’s blog).

  52. Year in Review Questionnaire « beyond diapers on January 1st, 2012 8:04 pm

    [...] my hand at an internet meme/ survey that I copied from Clueless But Hopeful who got it from Linda. It makes for way more than 50 [...]

  53. Beyond Diapers on January 1st, 2012 8:06 pm

    Joining in the fun

  54. 2011: The Recap | Dutch Blitz on January 1st, 2012 11:12 pm

    [...] year, my friend Linda (aka Sundry) does this great year-end wrap-up post. Every year she also invites everyone to play along and every year I forget to do it. Not this [...]

  55. Nothing But Bonfires on January 2nd, 2012 12:22 am

    I look forward to you doing this every year! So I finally got my act together and did it too.

  56. The Space Cadet Blues on January 2nd, 2012 4:27 am
  57. The Year In Review « Because it really is personal… on January 2nd, 2012 6:19 am

    [...] Recap of the year, as seen at All&Sundry [...]

  58. jen on January 2nd, 2012 8:56 am

    I love these posts. I have done this the last couple of years as well. It’s a nice way to reflect on the year and think about the months ahead.

  59. Homage to the Weekend: 2011 Recap Survey | on January 2nd, 2012 9:28 am

    [...] would be a small reflection on the year that has passed. I found this year in review survey at and decided that I would use it too. Here it [...]

  60. Snarks and Ladders » The Almost Compulsory 2011 Summary Post on January 2nd, 2012 4:30 pm

    [...] totally stolen from All and Sundry, same as every other thieving bastard on the [...]

  61. vanessa on January 2nd, 2012 4:52 pm
  62. Em on January 2nd, 2012 7:15 pm

    I did this for the first time this year – what a fun exercise! (And I didn’t even have to break a sweat.)

  63. Greenstylemom on January 3rd, 2012 8:26 am

    I just did this for the first time also!

    For me, I thought 2011 wasn’t so great until I did the recap and realized that it wasn’t so bad. Actually pretty darn good.

  64. Cambria Puke on January 3rd, 2012 10:50 am

    As if you haven’t had enough of these to read by now! This is my first comment, even though I’ve been following your blog for about a year now. Thanks for all the laughs! I especially have enjoyed Ally the Alligator, your Christmas card outtakes from 2010, and JB singing in the shower.

    Happy New Year, Linda!

  65. 2011 Wrap Up « Just Like Goober on January 3rd, 2012 11:22 am

    [...] I just need to wrap up 2011, tie it in a pretty little bow. I’m taking the following recap from Linda, who I’ve been reading for years and I think it’s a great little way to summarize the departing [...]

  66. bessie.viola on January 3rd, 2012 12:14 pm

    [...] for the annual synopsis of the year, as seen here in 2008, 2009 and 2010. I have stolen this from Linda every year; thankfully she keeps doing it and reminding me to do so as [...]

  67. bessie.viola on January 3rd, 2012 12:33 pm

    Love this list – you’re always my reminder to get it done. That’s a great shot of your family as well.

    Here’s mine:

  68. 2011 Wrap-Up « Everything Happens For a Reason on January 3rd, 2012 6:15 pm

    [...] sit in front of the computer to write this post. Anyways, I found this really cool idea on this blog  for a yearly recap which I loved because it appealed to the inquisitive part of my brain. I love [...]

  69. Jen on January 3rd, 2012 7:05 pm

    Gah! I somehow found time to do this; thank you Linda for being an inspiration. May 2012 be awesome (or at least, better than 2011!).

  70. Saskia on January 4th, 2012 6:37 am

    Used your questions! (via Holly of Nothing but Bonfires ;-) thanks!

  71. hindsight « on January 4th, 2012 6:56 am

    [...] find the right format. Finally, I borrowed these questions from Holly, who borrowed them from Sundry. Only they were a bit quicker about this than I am. But since it’s not January 6th yet and I [...]

  72. Looking Forward Back. « Standing at the turnstile on January 4th, 2012 7:06 am

    [...] was inspired by Sundry’s post to do this myself.  Without further ado, here are my thoughts/reflections on questions regarding [...]

  73. Marcelle on January 4th, 2012 9:53 am

    I love reading your yearly recaps – a year filled with thousands of tiny happy moments sounds like a great year.

    I finally have a blog to post mine on:

  74. kristen howerton on January 4th, 2012 11:40 pm
  75. Elizabelle on January 7th, 2012 6:14 am

    16, 17 and 27 really spoke to me. Thanks.

  76. stacy on January 8th, 2012 7:45 pm
  77. agirlandaboy on January 10th, 2012 12:22 pm

    I love this: “Any one solution—not having to work, not having the kids around—would take away something that’s meaningful to me.” YES YES YES.

  78. Denine - The Bicycle-Chef on January 12th, 2012 2:00 pm

    I’ve been “borrowing” your idea for a few years now and I look forward to yours and mine at the close of each year. For no other reason it’s a significant blog post and a way to really see how far one has come in a year.

  79. Tracy on January 27th, 2012 9:05 am

    My second year doing your idea – thanks for the idea. I just finally got around to doing it!

  80. 2012: Recap « *kendraspondence* on December 18th, 2012 9:12 am

    [...] s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })(); I borrowed this survey from All & Sundry. It’s not relevant on all accounts but it’s pretty [...]

  81. …for reflection time « Grateful Kate on December 21st, 2012 8:09 pm

    [...] friend Kendra recently posted this yearly recap on her blog which she got from All & Sundry. It’s a great way to help reflect on the year – and since I had a bunch of car time [...]

  82. 2012 | Hoot! on December 31st, 2012 11:26 am

    [...] using the same version I used last year, though I think it’s slightly different from the one Linda posted. Past years are [...]

  83. 2012 in the Rearview « The Ace Times on December 31st, 2012 6:25 pm

    [...] In Review” posts are fairly common on the blogosphere. The one in particular I copied was this, from All & Sundry. I am going to try to write this as quickly as I can in hopes that my [...]

  84. With Our Past Behind Us « The Architecture of Lively Variety on January 1st, 2013 11:15 am

    [...] to 2013! I had big plans to write a grand, introspective, question-and-answer 2012 recap like this one. But suddenly the thought of it sounded more like smug navel-gazing than anything. That, and I [...]

  85. Gundosocy on February 23rd, 2013 3:17 pm

    Aloha!sbfa! ubebd danse

  86. Gundosdes on February 23rd, 2013 3:17 pm

    Aloha! xkupt cfoll

  87. Gundosejd on February 23rd, 2013 3:45 pm

    Aloha! auiyv lwmfk

  88. Gundoswgi on June 1st, 2013 2:12 am

    Aloha!fokp! gazvt sioke

  89. Gundosjbk on June 1st, 2013 3:21 am

    Aloha! cplnv duivp

  90. fabweifomazef on September 16th, 2013 6:53 pm

    Software system mentoring is extremely important バッグ in the time in case you are from a machine two decades purely chief general performance such like idea absorbing. In general, it is suggested for even really actions, normally durations you may find newly purchased 財布 methods that enable you to raise performance in your implementation of this kind of Unfortunately, getting a programs 直販 course, sometimes these particular ’shortcuts’ to assist you to become much better conservation won’t be perfected. Therefore ,, let us take a minute or two to view multiple kinds software educational viable for your computer individual in these days.

  91. babyliss boxing day uk on December 27th, 2013 12:30 pm

    888 seeker hold-up Panthers on behalf of 4
    babyliss boxing day uk

  92. A Recap of 2013! | Distracted Blogger on January 2nd, 2014 1:25 pm

    [...] form to no avail.  I saw this yearly recap on Rage Against the Minivan, who nabbed this recap from All & Sundry’s blog. I think this is an awesome way to recap the year, and I’m all about lists, so here [...]

  93. vans todo preto on February 24th, 2015 6:52 am

    Fácil de useAnother benefício de bicicletas elétricas é que eles fornecem assistência motorizada.
    vans todo preto

Leave a Reply

  • Stuff I Like:

      space I'm in the process of moving all new recommendations and reviews to a separate blog: Things I Love space deardaughter Dear Daughter, by Elizabeth Little Fun twisty offbeat mystery. I liked the bite she gave the main character. space hoover Hoover WindTunnel I bought this to replace my dying Dyson and it works SO MUCH BETTER. And was SO MUCH CHEAPER. Also, automatic cord rewind! Love love love. space realchemistrypeel Real Chemistry 3-minute peel Really and truly works, at least for my skin. No burning, face feels soft and looks more clear afterwards. space elta Elta MD sunscreen First sunscreen I've used that doesn't make my face feel oily and coated and awful. space tellthewolves Tell The Wolves I'm Home, by Carol Rifka Brunt I guess this is what you'd call a coming of age story, but it's so unique and tender and sad and lovely. Loss, love, and the beauty of human connections. space hypnotistslovestory The Hypnotist's Love Story, by Liane Moriarty I didn't love the book she's best known for, The Husband's Secret, but I really liked this one and What Alice Forgot. Her writing style reminds me of a twistier, more suspenseful Elizabeth Berg. space rosieproject The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion Funny and quirky and endearing and best of all, it's the sort of book you just can't put down. space marylou Mary-lou Manizer Highlight/Shimmer Powder This is basically a shimmery (not glittery!) powder that adds a really nice luminescent highlighting glow. I sweep it on the top of my cheekbones, on top of blush, and blend. space pb2 PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter MIRACLE FOOD. It's powdered peanut butter you mix with water (or add to a smoothie, or...) and it has a fraction of the fat and calories of regular peanut butter. Plus: delicious. space [More things I like...]