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.



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12 years ago

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).


[…] 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 […]

Beyond Diapers
12 years ago

Joining in the fun


[…] 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 […]

Nothing But Bonfires
12 years ago

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


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

12 years ago

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.


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12 years ago
12 years ago

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

12 years ago

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.

Cambria Puke
Cambria Puke
12 years ago

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!


[…] 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 […]

12 years ago

[…] 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 […]

12 years ago

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:


[…] 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 […]

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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!).

12 years ago

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


[…] 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 […]


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

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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:

kristen howerton
12 years ago
12 years ago

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

12 years ago
12 years ago

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.

Denine - The Bicycle-Chef

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.

12 years ago

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


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[…] 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 […]

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


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[…] read this yearly recap on All & Sundry’s blog a couple years ago, and have been doing it every year since.   1. What did you do in […]


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