Thursday, January 31, 2013

2012: The Year of Crazy and Coffee

{So by the time this is posting, we are hopefully on the island of St Croix preparing for Brad's wedding weekend. I haven't been sure how to sum up 2012 in a blog post like I normally do, but we're already a month into the new year so I am going to keep it simple and just answer some of these questions that bloggity and twitter friends have posted (A'Dell, Arwen, Elsha). (Except, changing some questions where I want to. We make the rules. Don't argue.)}

What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before? Got ulcers on my eyeballs, made a halloween costume by hand, fed formula to my child, learned more about psychiatry and mental illness than I ever cared to know, Holly Hill holy hell. And on a shallower note, I got brave enough to wear scarves even when I'm not wearing coats. One of my better fashion decisions, ever.

Did you keep last year's resolutions, and will you make more for this year? Hm. I don't think I made any real resolutions last year. My unspoken resolution was just to survive. Survive parenting three kids. Survive feeling batshit crazy all the time. Survive running a house without everything falling apart. This time last year I was barely keeping my head above water, and now I am... somewhat less of a hot mess? So, yeah. We will call that mission accomplished.

However, I would like to call attention to the resolutions I made for all you other people last year. Win: Nathan, Anneliese, Dad, Charlotte, Ashley. And not quite: Mark, Another Nathan, Bowden, Liam, Marmie. That's half accomplished! Not bad! (And this is all making me want to make some more bossy resolutions this year. Stay tuned.)

I do have a few goalsy things for 2013. I would like to be more texty with Mark, or just feel more connected with him during the workday in general. I want to send more emails. It's something I used to love doing, to write to a friend something more personal than a blog post, longer than a text or tweet, even if it's about mostly nothing. Every time I send at least one email during the kids' naptime, it makes me feel more happy and connected and relational. So yeah I will be trying to do more of that again. I'd also like to try two new recipes a month (more often than that isn't realistic; I do a lot of falling back on old staples because our evenings are chaotic). Oh and one major goal for 2013 is to go to Charleston in October and hug a whole group of internet friends who I (so far) only know online. (My 1998 self is completely appalled by this plan, in case you're curious.)

What countries states did you visit? A few trips to South Carolina. One to Virginia. But sadly nothing that doesn't border my own state. Dude! What has happened to us? *sigh* (At least we have an anniversary trip to Thailand on the calendar for this summer!!)

What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012? A re-done master bathroom, finally. Some trees to replace the mulch mountain the front yard. A plane ticket to somewhere exotic. A year free of hospitals. Lots of sleep.

What would you like less of in 2013? Barf. Well, sickness in general. Barf, snot, poop, germs, all of it. But mostly barf.

What dates from 2012 will remain etched in your memory? January 9th. June 4th.

Whose behavior merited celebration? At the very top of the list: Mark, who supports all of us in that whole quiet loving wonderful Marky way. My choir-friend-turned-support-mentor, Martha. Another Nathan, who is the grand prize in the best friend lottery. My sister and my dad, who are always great but made me feel particularly loved this year.

Whose behavior appalled you? Um... Anneliese. Yeah I said it. Age two-three isn't my favorite. I am hopeful we will push through this stage and be smarter and better on the other side.

Who did you miss? Who? How about what? My bathtub, still happily living at our old house while I remain shower lonely over here. That whole bathroom makeover thing can't happen too soon.

Who is the best new person you met? A lovely doctor (who is not named Dr. Baxter) who makes me feel smart and competent and like a very un-crazy decent parent.

What was your biggest achievement in 2012? I... don't know. I don't know how to answer this. I never feel like I am achieving very much, although I recognize that keeping three children (relatively) happy and (relatively) healthy isn't nothing. I worked through some incredibly difficult mood and mental issues, and although it's still a work in progress, I guess I feel proud to have faced something that at the beginning felt really and truly crushingly impossible. So, yeah. That.

Your biggest failure? What's your favorite color? Probably still yellow, although I can't quit teal these days either. Or anything neon. Neon is still having a moment!

Where did most of your money go? Hospital bills, health insurance, mortgage, taxes, school tuition.

What was the best thing you bought? Several things come to mind: The playset out back, bought with Christmas money from Mark's dad. The new Holly Aiken bag I had craved for some time -- beautiful colors and patterns in the perfect sturdy size -- which has turned out to be everything I hoped and dreamed it would. And all the extra phone chargers Mark bought mean we have one in almost every room and one on each of our nightstands. A tiny thing I am hugely grateful for every day.

What was your favorite show? Mark and I love watching Parenthood together every week. (Ha we're such a cliche, I know. But it's really an excellent show about a fascinating family.) We also get excited when there is a new Mindy Project or Happy Endings in our dvr. But the biggest new show in our lives this year has to be Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, the re-imagining of Mister Rogers that comes on PBS. It is, in a word, superb. Sitting down to watch with Nathan and Anneliese is always sweet and fun. I *heart* you, Daniel Tiger.

What was your favorite book? My two favorites were John Irving's newest, In One Person, and also The Happiness Project, which I read a chapter at a time, a month at a time, over most of 2012.

What was your favorite movie? I am assuming this means in the theater, and we don't do a lot of that. But I did see Joyful Noise last January, and laughed and laughed. It's not that it was a brilliant film or anything, really, but it was sweet and easy and funny in such an otherwise dreary season that it has stuck with me. (The most truly excellent movie I saw was Argo.)

How old were you on your birthday, and what did you do? I turned 32 this year. Truthfully on the eve of my birthday I felt sort of complicated about it. For the first time in several years I wasn't surrounded by a big social circle to celebrate. Taking care of myself and trying to find a healthy life equilibrium was all consuming  for me this year, so in-real-life friendships took a back burner. And honestly I didn't even notice or care until very late in the year. Sad, huh? But all that to say, I had a lovely birthday dinner date with Marky, and then Another Nathan joined us for drinks and desserts, and I felt happy and loved, if quiet.

What political issue stirred you the most? Y'all, I cringe to get political here, this blog isn't really for that. But I can't not say it: I was crushed when NC passed a constitutional amendment this year to define marriage rights as belonging only to a man and woman. Common-law marriage, same-sex marriage, domestic partnerships -- all that is now gone. I respect that people have different religious understandings of what a marriage covenant looks like (my own faith assumes a rather broad understanding there), but regardless of what one religion might (or might not) say about it, I don't understand why all people shouldn't get equal rights under the law. I just don't.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept this year? Have you showered today? Good for you! Um totally. If "today" means "in the last 24-ish hours."

What did you get really really excited about? My college roommate Betsy's wedding last March. It was the last of my close Furman friends' weddings, and a rare time for our whole group to all be together. I looked forward to it for months, and it was very very awesome when it finally happened. Also got super excited about my week away in Williamsburg with just Mark. Which was also awesome.

What was great this year when you weren't expecting it? It's a tie between learning to read with Nathan (which could have been tedious and annoying but was instead delightful), and coffee. Oh, coffee, I freaking love you. I have long enjoyed a starbucks pick-me-up, but 2012, the year of new groggy-causing meds, was the year I learned to drink coffee, at home, every day. And I now I need it. Which is terribly lame and grownupish of me, but, there it is.

What song will always remind you of 2012? Call Me Maybe. Remember all the Olympians singing it? I should probably hate that song by now but I totally don't.

What kept you sane? "Sane." That's cute.

What valuable lesson did you learn this year? Fun happy moments and milestones keep rolling out even when you feel overwhelmed. And that's kind of a beautiful thing.


Ken Bumgarner said...

I love you, Sweetie. So...what was your resolution for me? I didn't know I had one.

Holly said...

Love this, love you. And your blog remains at the top of my faves. Thanks for being so ...ERIN! My sweet senior YL girls are super nervous about college and roommates ... so I told them our story and it helped them be less scared. :)

merritt said...

I absolutely love this post! What great questions! And I love the ones you changed. :)

I hope I get to be one of the lucky ones to get an email during naptime. Not that I've been good about being intentional with you, either. And I miss that. Happy 2013, Erin!

marmie said...

Umm, I didn't have any broken bones this year..........resolution met!! That's not to say I didn't have any orthopedic or bone ISSUES, but that was not the resolution. I went back and looked!

Love you!

EMU said...

Love this post. Love YOU!

And I'm looking forward to an email from you in 2013, too! I've been thinking about you lots. xoxo

Jenny said...

Um, no trips to Georgia I see. Sigh. Maybe in 2014 we'll make the list. :) Just kidding. Loved reading this.

Erin G said...

Dad - I wanted you to get a smartphone. And you did.

Mom - okay fair enough, but surgery and recovery totally counts as injury DRAMA. Kinda. Right?

Peggy said...

Dear Erin, what a wonderful post. I do not expect you to write an Email, I haven't send you one in ages either. But as one of the persons said here...your blog is so personal, so ERIN. It gives me the Möglichkeit to stay in touch with you an Mark ohne das Pflichtgefühl einer Email. Yes, that was German - if you can't leave the country you can still practice ze Görmän a little bit;-)
And when others still have to help their children with their homework, you and Mark will be able to say: "Hey kids, take care of the house, we will be back in 3 weeks. And NO parties while we are gone" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA :-)
Big hug from Germany, Erin!!

Emily said...

You crack me up. And yay for Thailand!! One of my fave places in the world! What city are y'all going to?

Erin G said...

Emily we haven't decided yet! BKK and maybe... phuket? Someplace fancy and beachy. Kelley will be in Hua Hin that week which is also tempting.. ;-)

Do you have suggestions? (It's a kid free trip.)

Emily said...

We absolutely LOVE Chiang Mai! Thailand is kinda rainy/muggy in the summer, from what I remember. Or at least CM was. (we were only in BKK for an afternoon in July, it was hot; we did CM in Julys/Decembers/March, it was ideal in July, IMO) and we did Pattaya in Januarys. Pattaya is nice if you can stay off the main part, because the beach is low-key, but no matter where you go, be ready for some in your face prostitution. :( I often fantasize about retiring to CM...

Sarah said...

I can't figure out exactly the right words for this - beautiful, perfectly you, amazing (none of those are quite what I want to say...). I always love your blog and it always makes me wish I had one (though I know it wouldn't be nearly as cool as your blog!). =) I love that you have this documentation of you - your life, your kids, your relationships, your everything. Love you, E.