(The questions are from All & Sundry.)
1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before? Visited Vermont (Kate!).
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I haven't made New Year's resolutions for a few years now. A clean calendar isn't enough motivation for me to keep them.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes! Most notably Carrie, to Caleb, but also a slew of other friends -- I'm not going to start naming names because I'll inevitably leave someone out. We're just in that stage of life.
4. Did anyone close to you die? No.
5. What countries did you visit? None.
6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011? Dare I say it? A minivan.
7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Oct. 19 -- Caleb's birthday.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Selling our house.
9. What was your biggest failure? Keeping up with coupons.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Does a sinus infection count? It got me to the doctor for the first time since college.
11. What was the best thing you bought? I still say it's hard to beat Time magazine for $2 per year.
12. Where did most of your money go? Mortgages.
13. What did you get really excited about? Being able to talk with (not just to) Claire. Evan learning to walk. Running outside while the kids were in the gym nursery. Book club. And persuading Matt to rent this house.
14. What song will always remind you of 2011? "Somebody to Love" (Queen)
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Happier, because I've adjusted to life with two kids.
– thinner or fatter? Thinner, because I gave up soft drinks.
– richer or poorer? Richer, because we sold our house.
16. What do you wish you’d done more of? Meal planning.
17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
18. How did you spend Christmas? On the actual day, we woke up, saw what Santa brought, ate a big breakfast, opened the wrapped gifts, went to church, ate lunch and napped, then gathered at Granny and Granddaddy's for dinner and more gifts. We also had family parties the three days before Christmas, then went to Atlanta for three days the week after.
19. What was your favorite TV program? "Modern Family"
20. What were your favorite books of the year? "Snowflower and the Secret Fan," "The Man Who Was Thursday," "Radical," "Parenting With Love and Logic," "What to Eat." I'm slowly making my way through "Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All" and it's fantastic. But I guess that technically should be saved for the 2012 recap.
21. What was your favorite music from this year?
I don't even know any music from this year. In the car it's mainly NPR (without kids) or "Schoolhouse Rock" (with them).
22. What were your favorite films of the year? I only saw two movies in the theater. "The Help" was not bad, but "Snowflower and the Secret Fan" was terrible -- a particular disappointment after the book. We watched a lot of great documentaries when we didn't have cable. Two of my favorites were "Food Inc." and "The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia" (Lauren G.!).
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I was 32 and ... I can't remember what I did on my birthday. Actually, I think Libba babysat so we could have a date night. Thank you, Libba!
24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I guess it's a good sign that I can't think of an answer to this. It would have been nice if I'd gotten more sleep. I'll go with that.
25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? About five years behind the times, as usual.
26. What kept you sane? Matthew.
27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011. A messy house might mean you're doing some things right. Love is patient, love is kind. If it's too quiet, go check -- your kids might be dipping their lollipops in the toilet: dip, lick, grin, repeat. Parenting is hard work, and short breaks from the kids make me a better mom. There's no substitute for sleep. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Check Craigslist.