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?

None.


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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Stephanie
12 years ago

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!

Hilarity in Shoes
12 years ago

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

http://www.hilarity-in-shoes.com/2011/12/28/25-thing-thursday-2011-year-in-review-quiz/

Life of a Doctor's Wife

“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!

trackback
12 years ago

[…] Grabbed this from Linda […]

Amanda
12 years ago
duchessbelle
12 years ago

Love reading this each year!

Nikki
12 years ago

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!

http://thepinkgrowl.blogspot.com/2011/12/2011-dont-let-door-hit-your-ass-on-way.html

Meagan
12 years ago

Here’s mine! http://hadesarrow.com/blog/2011/12/29/wrap-up-2011/
I love doing this every year.

Courtney in FL
Courtney in FL
12 years ago

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…)

Tessie
Tessie
12 years ago

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

Happy New Year!!

Danell
Danell
12 years ago

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!!!

Emily
Emily
12 years ago

Love this…Happy New Year!

Lindsay
12 years ago

Started doing this recap in 2010 – thanks for the great idea! http://zachinson-themagicnumber.blogspot.com/2011/12/yearly-recap-2011.html

Kate
12 years ago

I have GOT to start watching Breaking Bad.

I love these surveys every year, so much. Here’s mine: http://www.kateo.org/2011/12/29/year-in-review-2011/

trackback

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

Cally
12 years ago

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

http://oldernawtwiser.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/1229/

And that video is adorable.

elz
elz
12 years ago

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! http://elzabelz.blogspot.com/2011/12/2011-in-review.html

Lisa Belt
12 years ago

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!

Carole M.
Carole M.
12 years ago

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

ris
ris
12 years ago

I look forward to this every year! Here’s mine: http://missris.blogspot.com/2011/12/year-end-wrap-up-2011.html

Redbecca
Redbecca
12 years ago

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?

nonsoccermom
nonsoccermom
12 years ago

I love these! Sounds like you had a great year. Here’s mine:
http://www.nonsoccermom.com/2011/12/30/2011-in-a-nutshell-kind-of/

Claire
12 years ago
trackback

[…] 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, […]

Kate
Kate
12 years ago
Katherine
Katherine
12 years ago

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.

http://internetfruit.tumblr.com/post/15056373608/yearly-recap-2011

trackback

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

Maria @ Mom et al
12 years ago

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

http://mom-et-al.com/2011/12/new-years-quiz-2011/

Jess
12 years ago

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.

http://duwaxloolu.blogspot.com/2011/12/time-to-sum-it-all-up-again.html

Becky
12 years ago

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

Here’s mine: http://captainoptimist.blogspot.com

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

velocibadgergirl
12 years ago
trackback

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

trackback

[…] 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 […]

Catherine
12 years ago
Kirsty
12 years ago

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:
http://magical27.blogspot.com/2011/12/new-years-questionnaire.html

Sara
Sara
12 years ago
Kristin
Kristin
12 years ago

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!

Ginger
12 years ago

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

http://rambleramble.com/2011/12/31/2011-a-year-in-review/

trackback

[…] 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 […]

metalia
12 years ago

I love, love, love this every year.

Posted!

http://metalia.blogspot.com/2011/12/2011-recap.html

vimla
12 years ago

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

Erin@MommyontheSpot
12 years ago

Great way to think about 2011. Here is mine! Have a great 2012! http://mommyonthespot.blogspot.com/2011/12/happy-new-years-ever-ifound-this-at-all.html

Helen
12 years ago

Here is mine: http://rockess.com/blog/2011/12/31/year-in-review/

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

Stacy
Stacy
12 years ago

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

http://spacyshorts.blogspot.com/2011/12/year-in-review-2011.html

Erin
12 years ago

Happy New Year! Thanks for starting this tradition!

http://www.distractedbygenius.com/2011/12/2011-year-in-review.html

Tracy
12 years ago

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: http://logyexpress.com/2011/12/31/2011-year-in-review/. I have enjoyed reading your answers for years and this is the second time I’ve done it too.

amanda
12 years ago

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

Lori O
12 years ago

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!

http://mytwo.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/wow-2011/

H
H
12 years ago

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.