The Year 2014

For the last two years I have done this post.  I have adored looking back and seeing the year in this way, so much so, I am doing it a little ahead.  Thank you to Brooke to introducing me to it. 

1) What did you do in 2014 that you had not done before:

Moved into the home I helped design and watched be built especially for our family. Wrote and readied for publish my Ava’s book.  And saw a psychic!

2) Did you keep last years New Year’s resolution and will you make any this year?

Last year this is what I wrote:

As for resolutions this year, I have a few personal ones not to be put here.  I want more joy in 2014.  2011 was sorrow, 2012 was STRESS, 2013 was rebirth and 2014…joy.  I am ready for more silly.  More dance in the kitchen despite the tears for Ava that roll down my cheeks.  More “because we can.” More carefree…as close to carefree as I can after knowing all to what what I know.

I can honestly say I did that.  I made a joy-pact with a close and dear friend of mine.  I vowed to once a week do something joyous just because and it worked.  It changed my habits and has helped push me out of my comfort zone.
I have a few goals that are not blog material.  I think for 2015 I want to publish Ava’s book and maintain the joy.

3) Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes.  My friend Amy had a wee boy, whom I adore.

4) Did anyone close to you die?

Yes.

5) What countries did you visit?

The United States and Canada (home) this year.  Same as last year.  We went to Michigan twice, once to visit an amazing loss Mama and once to celebrate Ava’s 3rd birthday.

6) What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

Health.  Our poor family was so SICK in 2014. Lillian was in daycare for her first year ever. We spent so much of this year dealing with Doctors, Naturopaths, Emergency rooms, Chiropractors oh good heavens.  I need health.  Please.  Mercy.  Health.

7) What dates will be etched upon your memory?

February 8th 2014: Ava’s 3rd Birthday.  A fun filled day with my close friend Jane and her family.  Waterslides, kid cuddles, fried chicken and birthday cupcakes. Going into the hotel room after the day was over and seeing Lillian fast asleep, oh my heart.  

March 15th 2014: Getting possession of our dream home.  
June 9th 2014: Our 7th wedding anniversary.  We went for dinner at a lovely restaurant.  Matt and I were both on opposite pages and that night was a lovely reconnect and regroup.
October 18th 2014: Lillian’s second birthday party with all our family and friends.  It never ceases to amaze me the joy I feel in celebrating her.

8) What was your biggest accomplishment this year?

First and foremost, being Lillian’s Mama for another year.  Advocating hard for her health and well being, a warrior Mama, her safe place and a cornerstone of her world. 

I wrote the vast majority of my book this year.  And I took a giant leap of faith and began lecturing, telling Ava’s story with Braveheart Parenting, as a loss and trauma educator.

9) What was your biggest failure this year?

Same as the last two years, some things are not for blogging.

10) Did you suffer any illness’ or injuries?

Did you read number 6? Mercy our family has been sick this year.  Myself, I had about half the colds and virus’ Lillian has had.  Touch wood, as the year is not yet finished, no injuries this year. 

11) What was the best thing you bought?

Followers of my blog know my answer to this one, the Dream on Russet ranks pretty high as the best thing I have bought.  Well, we have bought. Let us be honest.  It will be the best thing for years and years and years of mortgage payments to come. 

But life is too short to hate your house.  I actually remember thinking, lying in the ICU, I cannot believe I accepted so much mediocre in my life.  Mediocre possessions, mediocre happiness, mediocre expectations.  I vowed to change it and live.  No, possessions do not buy you happiness but not living your life as you want will end in regret.

12) Whose behavior merited celebration?

Lillian.  Lillian has grown into a sweet, loving, kind and passionate child.  She is compassionate and effervescently happy.  Despite the illness’ and challenges this year brought for her, me having to take her from daycare and the changes in home and routine she was a trooper.  Our girl is a joy, a challenge and worth much celebration.  

13) Whose behavior made you appalled or depressed?

So many acts of hatred this year.  In the news, Canada’s own Parliament was attacked, racial hatred and tension in the states.  Any appalling feelings I have had this year usually result from me turning on the television.  I believe love will prevail. 

14) Where did most your money go?

The deposits for the Dream on Russet, by far.  The move.  The start up costs. The beginnings of the house is where most of the money went.

15) What did you get really excited about?

-Move in day

-Celebrating Ava’s Birthday
-Celebrating Lillian’s Birthday
-The trees and peace and quiet in our back yard
-Lillian feeling better (any of the times she did.)
-Our first night sleeping in our brand new home
See? I found the joy this year. 
16) What song will remind you of 2014?

Taylor Swift’s Shake it off.  And Lillian waving her arms in the backseat along to the beat.

17) Compared to this time last year are you?

Happier or Sadder?: Happier
Thinner or Fatter?: Exact same
Richer or Poorer? : Richer

Damn.  That is pretty good!

Those were last years answers and I do not need to change them.

18) What do you wish you had done more of?

I am not sure.  I have sat paused in front of this question for some time.  I wish Matt and I had more us time this year, more connection time. More just, us time.  I guess I wish we had “dated” more this year.  That will change.

19) What do you wish you had done less of?

Worried.  Oh how I worried this year. So much worry.

20) How did you spend Christmas?

Christmas Eve was at my parents.  And Christmas Day I hosted Christmas dinner for the first time ever. And cooked my very first turkey.

21) Did you fall in love in 2014?

Yes! With my new nephew N.  Again and again and again with Matt and Lillian.

22) What was your favorite TV program?

Newsroom.  House of Cards.

23) Do you hate anyone that you did not hate this time last year?

Same answer as the last two years. I do not hate anyone.  I do not believe in it.

24) What was the best book you read?

Ha ha, I am officially putting a kids book, “The Quiet Book.” Simple, sweet and joyful.

25) What was your favorite music discovery?

Songza.  Perfectly crafted playlists for whatever mood strikes you available whenever and wherever you are.  I adore this app.

26) What did you want and get?

The Dream on Russet, an even closer bond with my BLM friends and another year with Lillian.

27) What did you want and not get?

Always.  Ava.

28) What was your favorite film of the year?

Her.

29) What did you do on your birthday and what age were you?

We didn’t really celebrate my birthday this year.  Dinner at my parents was the extent of it.

30) What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Knowing fever management as I do now. Thank you Renel!

31) How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

I call this year “No way this smaller size actually fits” paired with “only if it is on sale.”  Tunics, skinny jeans and scarves ruled 2014.

32) What kept you sane?

Matthew.  Matthew is my anchor. My confidant, my best friend, my soft place.  Always.  He was steadfast in managing Lillian’s illness’.  He advocated for me to rest and take care of myself, let me vent and trusted my instincts, teaching me to do the same.

33) Which celebrity did you fancy most?

Still Kate Middleton – 3 years running.

34) What political issue stirred you the most this year?

The attack on Parliament Hill was devastating.

35) Who do you miss?

Always. Ava.  Pam, Oskar, Lou and Tim.  God how I miss them.

36) Who is the best new person you know?

TD deserves this award this year. TD is a dear loss friend I have here at home.  She has had tremendous hardship this year and yet she has been a rock for me and so many others.  TD taught me joy this year. She reminded me to live. 2013 was all work and no play at all.  2014 I managed to find the joy and she was my accountability buddy, my cheerleader and most of all, a good friend.  She has inspired me to have fun with Lillian, to dance in the rain and make memories.  

 
I am grateful for her.

37) Tell us a valuable lesson you learned in 2014:

Small homes do not bring a family closer. The apartment was hard, peeps. And most importantly, the ability to listen to my gut when Lillian is sick.  I learned to manage the panic and instead, listen to what my gut is saying and go with that.  That was a very valuable and significant lesson.  

38) A song lyric to sum up the year?

“Oh this has gotta be the good life,

This has gotta be the good life
This could really be a good life, good life.”