I’m sorry this is so long. Maybe this year I’ll learn to talk less.

Joining Jenn’s New Year’s party from halfway around the world.

What were some highlights/low points of 2013?
* Katie got married
* Christopher was gone for the month of January which OF COURSE means something would go wrong. In this case it worked out well for me that our neighbor got shot because it meant I temporarily moved in with Jenn.
* I went to a Josh Turner concert 
* We worked through not one but two very serious issues in our marriage
* We found a church we like
* I tried teaching Christopher the finer points of babysitting
* I used the internet to self-diagnose my ailments and survived some questionable driving situations all in one day
* Jenn and her people left me and I still miss them every day. Obviously it was a VERY LOW point in my year. I was still reeling when Aggie and her tiny munckins packed up and left.
* I went to Utah for a wedding and got stranded on the side of a mountain
* Sesame made his/her presence known
* We moved. Again. 
* I made new blog friends. (I’m especially looking at you, Michelle.) 

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I generally don’t make resolutions anymore because I have a hard time keeping them, but I did achieve my personal goal of watching all 9 seasons of The Office. The other goal I kept was to make more crafts. I even managed to spend less time on the the computer which was difficult because I really love being nosy aka reading blogs at all hours of the day.

This year my goals should be:
* learn to survive on no sleep 
* get less gray hair (anyone know how to make this happen without the use of coloring?)
* open my own personal Dunkin Donuts in the garage

As far as serious goals go:
* learn to use my camera well
* finish my degree (I never talk about it here because I like to keep things happy and light, but I have been studying for a degree in early childhood education for the last 17 years and I am so ready for it to be OVER.) 

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Katie’s sister Marylynn had little Rachel. I haven’t met her yet but I like to consider her a niece.

Did anyone close to you die?Thankfully no. 

What countries did you visit?

I stayed in good ole US of A for 365 days, but you’d never know by what popped up on my phone when I drove into Kentucky.

I did visit a new state when I went to Utah in July. While there I went tubing, sat in a hot tub, and had various alcoholic fruity beverages which are basically all the things you shouldn’t do when you are pregnant and don’t know it.

What would you like to have in 2014 that you didn’t have in 2013?

More visits with Katie, Autumn, Joanna and all my friends from home. More nausea-free days. 

What dates from 2013 will be etched upon your memory, and why? 

The day I told Christopher about Sesame (August 1st). I wanted to tell him when we moved into our new house so he didn’t know until four days after I took the test. I can keep a secret like nobody’s business. 

What was your biggest achievement of this year?
Completing the process of packing and moving to a new house without crying. Moving is very traumatic for me and I cry every single time we do it so that was big. I completed my 302 hours of student teaching in about two months. It was the loudest school I’ve ever spent time in so I was glad to escape with my hearing intact. Beyond that I don’t feel like I did anything very monumental this year. 
But I suppose successfully carting around another human being for the last 180+ days is nothing to sneeze at.

What was your biggest failure?

I always compare myself to others too much.

What’s the best thing you ate?
I had many good meals this year, but the best food overall award would probably go to potato chips or pizza. I have a very simple palette these days. 

What’s the best thing you bought?

A sewing machine and a camera.

What did you get really, really, really excited about? 

Jenn and Aggie’s husbands coming home. Going to see Josh Turner. Anna and Jillian’s visit in the summer. Every time Christopher came home from work.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Volunteering. I volunteered at the children’s hospital and preschool every week for years before getting married and I miss them both so much. 

What were your favorite TV programs?The Office and Downton Abby. I’m still distraught over Matthew’s death. I loved him and his beautiful hair.

What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
Hold on while I check my blog archives. I do remember that I turned 24. Christopher cooked me dinner and we went to our first dance class. He gave me 24 roses, a DD giftcard (he knows my love language), and a necklace. 

What kept you sane?
The big three- Christopher, chocolate and the occasional cry.

Tell me a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

First World Problems

When you have too many boards on pinterest with similar titles that you don’t know where to pin new things.

When your computer is dying and you don’t feel like walking the 4 feet to the charger so you use it until it has 4% battery left.

When your boneless chicken has a bone.

When your taco shells are broken before you even take them out of the package. 

When the phone/ipad screen rotates and you can’t make it rotate back.

When you pay $1.99 per episode of a show only to discover that you can watch it for free on the network website. 

When you try to watch another show for free on the network website and discover that it’s no longer available. 

When you want to know the translation of a Spanish comment on Facebook but are too lazy to Google it.
When you buy the wrong type of toilet paper.
When Dunkin Donuts runs out of French Vanilla flavoring.

When Dunkin Donuts employees are not familiar with the finer points of making French vanilla ice coffee.

When you spend too much time thinking about dear Dunkin.

three’s a charm

It’s only the third day of the year and I’m already behind schedule. I wasn’t going to do a 2012 recap because this entire blog is a recap, but here I am, jumping on the year in review bandwagon.
It looks like the lucky number last year was 3.
I made three new friends who I love them SO MUCH. They’re all smiles (except when Sam is grumpy which is 88% of the time), kissable cheeks and chubby thighs (I’m not talking about you, Jenn! I’m talking about Molly!), and chocolate. I really don’t know why you’re at this blog when you could be visiting them.
I turned 23 and spent the weekend in Washington DC.
I visited three presidential homes. I was not invited to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. but hope springs eternal.
I lived in three new homes which meant three different living rooms and three different furniture sets.
I’ve veered slightly off the three path and attended four Army events worth noting. Attending the FRG treasure class is hardly worth mentioning.
I wonder if the prominent number for this year will be four. Maybe I’ll have quadruplets. That would throw a little bit of crazy into things.

the grass on my side of the fence is a lovely shade of green

Monday night I lay in bed thinking about all the things that
had gone wrong in my day. After about twenty minutes of having a pity party
with myself, I decided I really didn’t have much to complain about.

I was frustrated with the doctor for not understanding what
I was saying. But that means I’m able to
see a doctor whenever I need one.

I was annoyed to sit in the pharmacy waiting room for almost
an hour only to not get the correct medicine. But that means I have access to medicine.

I was irritated that it was raining and the umbrella was in the other car. But that means we’re not in the middle of a

I felt my vanity was bruised because my favorite jeans don’t
fit as well as they used to. But that
means I have food to eat.

I didn’t feel like cleaning the cooktop again. But that means I have a nice kitchen.

I was sad that I don’t get to see Zachary and Molly as
much since I’ve moved. But moving means that
I get to make friends like Jenn and fall in love with her little munchkins.
I got slightly bothered because we don’t have the same idea
of how to decorate the house. But that
means I have a house to live in, things to decorate it with, and someone to
dance with on Sunday nights.

When I looked at it that way, I really didn’t have much to
complain about at all.

iPhone, uPhone

I got a new phone recently.

For some people that wouldn’t be worth mentioning, but my old phone was from 1943 so moving to a 2012 phone was quite the leap.

(Was it necessary to put the arrows and dates? Sometimes I have a sneaking suspicion that I point out the obvious.)

For months I said I DID NOT want a phone with internet
access. I didn’t need a phone to make me coffee or sings lullabies. All I
needed was a phone that made calls, sent texts, and took pictures. (I’m pretty
sure those last two were on the list of requirements Alexander Graham Bell’s
mother had when she got her first phone.) I feel like I spend more than
enough time on blogs/facebook/google/more blogs/”research” for my
blog/various websites so I didn’t want to carry around a little internet in my
pocket. Mr. iPhone (aka Christopher) did his best to talk me into a smartphone. He kept saying it’s important to stay up to date with technology so that
when I’m old I’ll be able to keep up. I think he’s afraid I’ll become like the
elderly man we heard on the radio who said, “You can visit our world wide
website any time you want. It’s really great because that website is open 24
hours a day, 7 days a week.” I was under the impression that most websites
operate on a 24/7 basis, but apparently he wasn’t. I kept saying that I am
perfectly capable of using smartphones and whatever technology comes down the
road right now, but I have no plans on being technologically inclined when I’m
68. I will be perfectly happy to attend Red Hat Society meetings and talk about
my grandchildren. Besides, I think it’s a little early to be worried about what
technology I’ll have to face in 40 years. My big concern right now is what to
make for supper.
Fast forward to our visit to the Verizon store. I had to
convince the salesman that I would not die if I didn’t have the internet, so
please point me in the direction of the (apparently) old fashioned phones. He
showed me a particular phone that met my requirements but alas, it had an ugly
background that couldn’t be changed (total First World problem!). I asked if
there were any others and he said no, not unless I ventured into the land of
smartphones.  It took two grown men to talk me into getting a phone with internet.  The salesman pointed out I could
update my Facebook status while I was out shopping, but that wasn’t a good
argument as that’s exactly what I’m trying to avoid. Finally he told me the
smartphones were $50 cheaper than the others. Well. He should have just mentioned that in
the beginning because that won me over. Think of all the necessities like
picture frames and scrapbook paper food and gas I could buy with those $50!

And there you have it.- the lengthy story behind my new
phone. Brevity was never one of my finer qualities.
For the record, Mr. iPhone needed me to explain the
ins and out of Twitter. Maybe we should be a little concerned with how well he
handles new technology.

(ps. I still only use the phone for calls, texts and photos. The Verizon man would be disappointed at the lack of witty statuses updated-from-my-phone.) 

a few facts

Fact: The day after I saw the mayor, I went to the bank to
sort out debit card issues. The lady at the desk asked for my license and after
investigating it, she looked at me and said, “Do you realize this
expired?”  Excuse me? “It did. Look at
it.” I looked at it and to my horror discovered that it expired IN MAY. I was
in shock. I was mortified. I FELT LIKE A CRIMINAL. 

Fact: I have driven in six states since May.

Fact: Blogging from jail would have taken this blog in a
whole new direction.

Fact: One of the reasons I decided to renew my license in my home
state and not get one from my current state is quite simple. There’s simply NO WAY on earth
I’ll ever again get as good a license picture as the one on that Massachusetts
license. It really is impressive. (I don’t believe I’ve ever said anything
quite so vain.)  

Fact: I just finished putting pictures up on the wall. Despite
my best measuring/penciling/tipping my head to the side efforts, I hammered in
and pulled out each nail twice. At least I have a real hammer this time. We didn’t
have one at our last house (technically we had one but it was in storage and OH
glass pepper grinder.  

Fact: Last night Christopher was explaining something to me
and he said, “It’s like the difference in gas consumption between a Prius and
an Expedition.” It’s humorous that he thinks I would know about gas consumption
in different vehicles. All I am generally interested in when it comes to cars
is the color.