in lieu of a functioning brain, i'm channeling 2008 and bringing back this end-of-year meme. you can thank me later.
1. what did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before? ate brussel sprouts. (i had my doubts, but shannan does not lie.)
2. did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? mostly not, i'm sad to report. and still i'm bound to make more.
3. did anyone close to you give birth? no new nieces or nephews, but i have BIG plans for k&b. (y'all have some major catching up to do: aim for triplets.)
4. did anyone close to you die? church family, but i'll catch them on the other side.
5. what countries did you visit? ethiopia. twice. also, i visited the fine airports of the netherlands and germany plus a lovely landing strip in sudan.
6. what would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011? insight into what makes my five year old hum.
7. what date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? july third. seventeen months after first spying our son's deliciously impish face, we got to bring him on home.
8. what was your biggest achievement of the year? recognizing that i do not hold the Secret Keys to All Parenting Wisdom. which y'all were clear on, but it was groundbreaking for me.
9. what was your biggest failure? all the times i had the chance to love someone up, but wasn't in the mood.
10. did you suffer illness or injury? nothing notable, apart from the occasional suspicion that a certain small someone has KIDNAPPED MY SANITY.
11. what was the best thing you bought? plane tickets to ethiopia. twice.
12. whose behavior merited celebration? the little gal who sat next to us on flight number two (or maybe three) and pretended my son was not draping his elbow, his hand, his forehead, the entire-lower-half-of-his-body across her lap every twenty seconds.
(where is 13? i have lost 13. alas.)
14. where did most of your money go? plane tickets to ethiopia. twice. (it's a recurring theme)
15. what did you get really, really, really excited about? plane tickets to ethiopia. twice.
16. what song(s) will always remind you of 2011? in your arms. mandi mapes. you knew i was going to say it.
17. compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? tired-er. b) thinner or fatter? well, my jeans still zip, so there's that. c) richer or poorer? richer in the ways that count for something.
18. what do you wish you'd done more of? affirming my children. making the people around me feel valued. push ups. (copied straight from 2008. still rings true.)
19. what do you wish you'd done less of? nattering at a child who turns off his hearing the second i say his name.
20. how will you be spending christmas? i spent it with my church family, home family and michigander family.
21. where did you begin the year; and where will you end it? at home watching the ball drop (while the kids said, that's it? we stayed up for that?); hearty-partying with our church small group in the innards of our living room.
22. did you fall in love in 2011? i continued to choose love, so yes.
23. how many one-night stands? see #22.
24. what was your favorite TV program? sesame street. that's a beautiful hour, i tell you what.
25. do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? nope.
26. what was the best book you read? best rereads: tozer's pursuit of God, marchetta's jellicoe road best new reads: schwab's near witch and stockett's the help, which technically i only read half of because guess what i bought? tickets to ethiopia. twice. and then all normalcy fled to the hills.
27. what was your greatest musical discovery? it turns out i don't actually have time for great musical discoveries.
28. what did you want and get? everyone together now: tickets to ethiopia. twice.
29. what did you want and not get? tickets to fiji. not even once. :(
30. what was your favorite film of this year? the last of harry potter. fare thee well, hogwarts.
31. what did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? i am thirty five, which is my best age yet, i think. i saw some of my favorite gals at prayer group, ate lava cake made by the mister, got to see my group of teen girls at church, played voicemails from my little brother and a bff from high school.
32. what one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? a heightened ability to see beyond myself.
33. how would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? my personal fashion concept is that the general public should be happy i managed to get rinsed off and dressed, period.
34. what kept you sane? God and friends who pray (and knit).
35. which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? pink. (she wins most years.) (i know, but don't judge me.)
36. what political issue stirred you the most? i am pleading the fifth on this one.
37. who did you miss? see directly below.
38. who was the best new person you met? little m.
runners up: angelia and lynn and netsanet and landon and mindy and tesfanesh and mieca and jeff and carin and chris and zemecha and andy and lisa and davy and erika and mike (and tariku) and heather and justin and sarah and tizita and elizabeth and asabech and candi and derek and bethie and little m’s friend binyam and lindsey and kevin and holly and casey and steve and meskele and katie and mitike and a whole LOT of people i had to travel 8k miles to find.
39. tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011: frankfurt airport has the best smelling soap. this may seem piddly, but when you spend fifteen hours there, even the small things take on the sheen of miracles.