Following the lead of our fabulous Tiny Oranges’ founder and fearless leader, Jen’s 2014 Recap, I was inspired to write my own. Here we go!
1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
We drove across five states with two kids in a rented mini van. That was an adventure!! We flew from Orange County to Chicago for a long weekend with family, then drove to upstate New York. Gorgeous part of the country! Looonnngggg drive with two little ones.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Good question. My husband and I make goals, both personally and for our family, each new year…and I’d have to say that I reached most of them! And some I don’t mind rolling into 2015…
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I had several dear friends give birth this year, and I just loved cooing over their sweet new little angels. LOVE new babies!!!
4. Did anyone close to you die?
My grandma. My beautiful Grandma Jean passed peacefully after a nine-year battle with Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia. She was an incredible wife, mother, grandma, aunt, sister and friend, and I miss her everyday.
5. What countries did you visit?
Hmmmm, no countries this year. But, like I mentioned, we did take the kids to Chicago for a long weekend to visit family, and then drove to upstate New York. We stopped in Niagara Falls (which was amazing!), and then spent a week on the family farm to celebrate my husband’s grandma’s 100th birthday party. It was a GREAT trip!
6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
More free time! More hours in the day. Ha ha. A mama can dream…
7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
On January 25th, I received a phone call in the middle of the night. My dad had suffered a seizure, and was being rushed to the hospital. I hopped the first flight out to be with him, and we found out 12 hours later that he had a brain tumor. I will never, ever forget that day.
Fast forward almost a year later, and my dad is doing fantastic. He did have brain surgery to remove the tumor, and it was successful! He’s spent the year recovering and focusing on his health. We are very proud of him.
The other date is October 19, the day I ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco with Team in Training. An absolutely fantastic race and fantastic time in San Francisco with my Team in Training family, running for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I would have to say running my third half marathon (and earning that gorgeous Tiffany’s necklace bling for my “medal!”), and fundraising again for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – an organization near and dear to my heart. This was my third running season with them.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I over committed. I’ve faced this challenge for years. I get so excited about new projects/committees/groups/new ideas/volunteering etc., that I tend to overcommit and run myself thin (pun intended!). I’m working on it.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Besides a few minor running injuries, I was relatively healthy. And, so were my babies and my hubby. On the other hand, my family (both close and extended), suffered some pretty difficult illnesses and injuries. Praise God, everyone seems to be doing better and recovering.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
New running shoes. And special running socks. And that small, spiky ball thingy that you roll your foot on after a looonnnggg run. Heaven!
Oh, and a new iPhone 6. Only because I smashed my old phone. And, I LOVE my new one!
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Both my mom and my dad showed me how strong they truly are, each in their own way. I am amazed at their courage, strength, determination and dedication.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Hmmmm, does my four-year-old’s tantrums count? He is a fabulous kiddo, but I am so ready for his preschooler tantrums to subside.
14. Where did most of your money go?
My children, hands down! School, activities, clothes, shoes, birthday parties…you name it, my babies needed it this year.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Family travel! I love to take trips, whether it be one day, or two weeks. We ended up going to Vegas (albeit, for only 24 hours!), Arizona (several times), San Francisco, Chicago, and beautiful upstate New York this year. I have the best memories from these trips!
16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
“Wake Me Up” by Aloe Black and Avicii, and Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me.”
17. Compared to this time last year, are you a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
a.) Definitely, without a doubt, HAPPIER. b.) Sure, I would love to report that I am thinner. The fact is, I’m not. But I’m okay with that. Because I’m healthier and happier and eating cleaner. c.) Not richer, not poorer. I’m going to say that my hubby and I are on the same page with money and our financial vision for what we want for our family. And, that is the best feeling in the world!
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Carve out more date time with my husband…I would have loved to take just a couple’s trip (even if it was a long weekend). Maybe in 2015!
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Stress over the small stuff. It’s not worth the time and energy and sanity it takes.
23. What was your favorite TV program?
I loved (and love!) Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, Downton Abbey, Scandal, Bones, New Girl, Parenthood…can you tell my TV taste is all over the place?!
24. What was the best book you read?
Gone Girl, What Alice Forgot, My Husband’s Secret, and the Divergent series.
25. What did you want and get?
A family summer vacation. Lots of time with my good mama friends. To complete a half marathon and fundraise for cancer research. To write more (thanks, Jen!!).
I also crossed something off my bucket list. Don’t laugh. (Okay, you can giggle a little). My maiden name is Cleveland. So, when we trekking across five states, on a family road trip from Chicago, IL to Buffalo, NY, we stopped in Cleveland, OH. And I got to take a picture with a sign that says “Welcome to Cleveland.” I don’t care how cheesy this is. I was so excited!
26. What did you want and not get?
A mini van! No, I’m not kidding. Yes, I legitimately want one. Yes, I think they are cool. Fingers crossed, we’ll make that transition this year!
27. What was your favorite film of this year?
I didn’t see many films last year (I don’t count The Lego Movie and Frozen) – I’d have to say I loved seeing Divergent and The Other Woman with my fabulous MOMS Group…so appreciated the nights out with my favorite ladies! Not Oscar-worthy, but definitely entertaining movies.
28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 33 this year, and I loved celebrating with my family. We spent the weekend in Arizona swimming, watching movies, eating good food and spending time with family. Then, I got to celebrate again with my California family. I am one lucky, spoiled girl!
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Immeasurably more satisfying??? Hmmm, that’s a big question. I’m pretty grateful for all that I did and accomplished in 2014. Something that would have made my year more satisfying (and perhaps less stressful) would have been for me to get a better handle on my crazy schedule. This is still a work in progress…
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
Do yoga pants and tank tops count as “personal fashion?” And “dress up” clothes that consisted of sundresses? Lol! And, of course, I loved wearing my beautiful Stella & Dot jewelry. I’m a Stella & Dot stylist, and I love it.
31. What kept you sane?
My husband. My amazing mama friends. Running. Coffee dates. And of course, the much appreciated glass of wine at the end of the day!
This picture is of my hubby and I sneaking away for an hour on our vacation for a five mile run. We actually ran through downtown Chicago to the lake. It was gorgeous!
32. Who was the best new person you met?
Not just one person to name – I love, love, love all of the parents I have met in my son’s preschool class, and also re-connecting with the amazing parents in my daughter’s first grade class. How great is it when your kids’ friends have great parents?!
I also made a very good new friend in Arizona who helped my dad, and our family, immensely during my dad’s surgery and recovery – you know who you are!! I will always be grateful!! XOXO
33. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
— To have faith. To consciously practice having faith and being grateful.
— Family first. Period. Nothing in life is more important. 2014 was a roller coaster with my family’s health, and I am so incredibly grateful to say that we’re starting 2015 healthier and happier.
2014 was pretty great – and I know 2015 will be even better!!! Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, prosperous, amazing 2015!! XOXO