January 3, 2014

2013 in Pictures

Before I wax rhapsodic about what I did and didn't accomplish this year, let's have the photo spam. My favorite pictures of 2013:

Our decision to get a vasectomy was the right one. Even if I still feel sad every time I think that I'll never be pregnant again. Because I am insane.

Three of the most delightful children I've ever known

March- a tie
SI and DD helping Aunt Genocide with the four questions. The first time we've had a Passover seder without my parents, and hopefully the last for a very long time

March- a tie
Grandma and Grandpa came to town for Easter, and we walked up to the chapel for services. It was a beautiful day, despite my panic fueled humiliation

April- a four way tie
People have told me since they were born that my kids should be models. Well, if I were going to send a picture of DD to an agency... it would be this.

April- a four way tie
I love everything about this picture. Everything.

April- a four way tie
That's one stylish guy I'm married to.

April- a four way tie
We went to New York City for my cousin's bar mitzvah... and if there's one picture that sums up everything about it that meant the world to me, it's this one- my daughter playing with my cousin, while my great aunt watches. My children had never met half of my family. Never. And of course, everyone loved each other instantly. I will never forget it. And neither will they.

Poppa, SI, Aunt Something Funny, and DD.
We went to Grinnell for my father to receive an honorary doctorate. It was amazing, and wonderful, and beautiful, and one of the best long weekends we have ever shared.

June- another tie
I finally got to introduce my children to my best friends, and it was magical and amazing.

June- another tie
The bride- a friend of mine for fifteen years- kidnapped my children and took photo after photo after photo with them.

July- another three way tie
We saw the Body Worlds Animals exhibit at the MSI, with our Spanish loaner teenager.

July- three way tie
DD steering the River Queen in Au Sable

July- three way tie
SI steering the River Queen in Au Sable
SI and DD were flower girls at the wedding of another friend.

DD and SI second first day of school

October- another tie
SI and DD turn four years old

October- another tie
Our family of superheroes

I don't care about how much happened in November. This is my favorite picture. Aunt Something Funny reading to her nieces. It just doesn't get better than this.

The three sweetest little girls I know.

Now- onto 2014!

Each year, I eschew the traditional "New Year's Resolution" in favor of a to-do list. But rather than a bucket list of things I want to do, I give myself a checklist every single day of simple tasks I'd like to accomplish to make my life better.

I've been doing this for years now.

I know how many paintings I painted and how many books I read, and nearly how many hours I played with my infant twins in 2009.

I can tell you ridiculously mundane details about 2010. For example, I read 21 books that year, three shy of my goal. I cooked on 239 days.

In 2011 I wrote on 321 days. I cooked even more often, and I read a whopping 28 books.

In 2012 I started focusing on more self care. I managed to eat two meals on 347 days. Yeah, I measure that.

So what about 2013?

Me, hard at work, writing a book
Goal: Wrote Daily (365)
Outcome: 293
I feel like I should be shocked I wrote so little, but then I consider what I DID write. I was published on HuffPo a dozen times. I finished a first AND second draft of an entire book. You know what? I might not have remembered to sit down and pen a haiku each day, but I'm very pleased with what I accomplished.

Goal: Ate Two Meals Daily (365)
Outcome: 336
This number went down. And while part of me wants to feel guilty that I did so poorly at feeding myself, I have to remember... I kept getting sick. I kept not being able to eat. And maybe I wasn't as good to myself as I should have been, but I feel better than I did a year ago. I feel healthier (cold notwithstanding) than I did a year ago. I'm going say I succeeded here too.

Goal: Maintained Hygiene Daily (365)
Outcome: 281
Yes, this is still totally unacceptable. But I did better than last year, horrifically enough. And every day that RH is more independent and each day that her big sisters are more interested in playing with her is a day where I can take five minutes to splash some water on my face and brush my teeth. I'm determined to bring my weekly shower average up to at least a two. I think I can do it.

Goal: Went Outside 6xWeek (312)
Outcome: 268
I know I could do better, but I'm pleased to know this number is going up. Plus, now that RH finally walks, I'm confident there are more trips up and down the stairs in the coming year.

Going to BlogHer and meeting this awesome lady?
(And lots of other awesome ladies?) Rocked it.
Goal: Had Alone Time 5xWeek (260)
Outcome: 238
I totally nailed this one. That said, I only nailed it because I enforced nap time so strictly. If this week is any indication, 2013 will bring a fairly dramatic change in nap time. Mostly, in that most days I'm not sure the big girls will take one. And that's a little terrifying. I'll have to find another way to get some time to myself.

Goal: Exercised 3xWeek (156)
Outcome: 123
Pretty damn close! Of course, the bulk of that "exercise" was grown up private time, which I recognize only counts if you're a) very athletic about it, and b) take an awful long time. So I recognize that I didn't *really* get as much exercise as I like to pretend I might have. That said, the new year will definitely have me sweatin' with Richard Simmons some more, so I'm hoping that 2014 will blow that number out of the water.

Goal: Observed Sabbath (as much as 52- but realistically closer to 35)
Outcome: 29
And you know what? That's not half bad. Considering the number of nights M and I had Friday dates, or were out of town on a Friday night... I'd estimate we lit Sabbath candles at home four out of five weeks. So I think I can do better, but I'm glad it's becoming so habitual. Which is really the point of all of this.

Goal: Finished Book 1xMonth (12)
Outcome: 9
This is where I really failed. Especially considering how many books I started. I have four unfinished books on my Kindle, and two on my shelf. If I'd managed to FINISH them I'd be really pleased with myself. Instead? I'm kind of embarrassed. This year- less WordFeud and more reading!

Goal: Made Art 1xMonth (12)
Outcome: 13
CRUSHED IT. Yes, I counted costumes and cards as "art," but let's be honest... it's a creative enterprise, and there are lots of post-modernists who would completely accept a gallery show of homemade children's Halloween costumes as a legitimate thing. So I'm taking it.

I'm only making two changes in my 2014 goals. Instead of "Made Art," it will be "Finished project." And I'm adding another one- "Sang."

It shocks me how little singing I've done recently, and I know I'm emotionally healthier when I sing a lot. So now, it's a daily to-do. So- you can expect there will be many more karaoke nights in 2014 than the last year saw.

Happy New Year, one and all!

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