28 December 2015

Wrapping up 2015

Wrapping up 2014
  1. What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?
    Made a baby
  2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions and will you make more for next year?
  3. From Last Year
    • A bad habit I'm going to break: Buying snacks from a vending machine. So, I guess this one waxed and waned, but I tried very hard most days to NOT do this.
    • A new skill I'd like to learn: How to do a stunning cat eye
    • A person I hope to be more like: My husband, who is mindful and organized. I'm still working on it
    • A good deed I'm going to do: Donate to one of the many public services we utilize. We donated to WERS & WBUR this year, as well as our alma matters, and the conservation lands in our town.
    • A place I'd like to visit: All of the conservation trails in my neighborhood. Definitely have hit up many of the conservation trails in our area. Have absolutely done all of the ones in walking distance of our house and then some!
    This Year
    • A bad habit I'm going to break: Eating when I'm stressed/bored/sad/celebrating
    • A new skill I'd like to learn: light woodworking parenting
    • A person I hope to be more like: Someone who can easily socialize with others
    • A good deed I'm going to do: Donate my time
    • A place I'd like to visit: England
  4. Did anyone close to you give birth?
    Yes indeed! We had a little baby girl come into our circle of friends this year
  5. Did anyone close to you die?
    Thankfully, no.
  6. What trips did you take?
    We went to PA for a BBQ, and MO for a wedding.
  7. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
    A new car, a baby!
  8. What date from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory and why?
    August 6th—the day I found out I had a + pregnancy test.

    I got that first, faint positive on that Friday night, and was surprised as F*-all. I actually had a glass of wine while I was cooking dinner, and I had poured myself another one. I was feeling light/happy and a little bit tipsy, and thought I'd take a pregnancy test for giggles. I had SO MANY OF THEM, due to buying multiple packs of ovulation strips—it was cheaper to buy them bundled together.

    I dumped that second glass of wine immediately and proceeded to flip my shit in my head. I waited to tell J until Saturday morning when I was able to take a more expensive First Response test, which showed a clear, no-nonsense positive...

    I jumped back into bed and asked him when he'd be awake enough to hear good news, and after that it was the hardest secret I've ever had to keep for 14+ weeks!
  9. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    I was promoted at work, I managed a group of students for a semester, and I think that they are all talented and amazing, and I can't wait to see what their futures hold.
  10. What was your biggest failure?
    Just my big mouth...again.
  11. Did you suffer illness or injury?
    I had about the worst cold imaginable in January. It affected my respiratory system, and I ended up having to use a nebulizer for my asthma—something that I have not done in years. Then again in August, same thing. Terrible cold, upper respiratory problems, and then bam, in the middle of it, pregnant. Then there was the "morning" sickness, and the bloating, and the emotional stress and the being clumsy and dizzy all the time. FUN TIMES.
  12. What was the best thing you bought?
    Everything for the nursery. A crib from IKEA, fabric for the curtains, lamps. It all came together so wonderfully.
  13. Whose behavior merited celebration?
    My husband, who was my rock during the SIXTEEN WEEKS that I could not tell anyone I was pregnant. Then the poor man had to listen to me go on and on and on about all of my little symptoms and grievances, not to mention deal with my mood swings and utter fatigue and uselessness.
  14. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
    Donald Trump, anyone who supported Trump.
  15. Where did most of your money go?
    Maternity clothes, the nursery, baby related expenses.
  16. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    When I stopped being nauseated all the time and was able to eat real food again!
  17. What song will always remind you of 2015?
    Shut Up And Dance by Walk the Moon
    Dearly Departed by Shakey Graves
    Wide Open by The Chemical Brothers
  18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
    Exercising before I got pregnant, and generally moving around when I did get pregnant.
  19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
    Being hyper focused on trying to conceive, which would have relieved a lot of stress.
  20. How did you spend Thanksgiving?
    With J, eating homemade Chinese food, then that weekend, we cooked for a small group of friends.
  21. How did you spend Christmas?
    With some friends of ours having a wonderful "Thanksgiving" dinner.
  22. How will you be spending New Years?
    Probably sleeping, since the wee one demands a 9PM bedtime. (We ended up going to our neighbors' house for board games, and I lasted until after 10, since I was drinking sugary Cranberry juice.)
  23. Did you fall in love in 2015?
    Every time we had an ultrasound
  24. What was your favorite TV program?
    The League (rewatch), Broadchurch, Sherlock
  25. Do you "hate" anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
    I think that I've come to decide that "hate," even the mild pretend "hate," is a completely wasted emotion. This doesn't mean that there isn't anyone that could have made this list, just that I choose not to participate in this question anymore.*
    *I have added an addendum to include the strong sense of dislike that I feel for people who mark up library books.
  26.  What was the best book you read?
    The Girl on the Train was really good.
  27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
  28. What did you want that you also ended up getting?
  29. What did you want that you did not end up getting?
    A working commuter rail at the beginning of the year. Our public transit system was out of whack for over a month, and there were many days I spent two, three, or four hours commuting into or home from work. I felt like the entire month of February, and much of March was spent on soul crushing journeys to and from the city, with a group of the biggest, most annoying assholes who treated the situation as though it was everyone else's fault that the transit system shit the bed.
    Bonus: What did you not want that you ended up getting anyway?
    Snow. And more snow. And then some more snow.
  30. What was your favorite film of this year?
    Not a film, but we saw the live broadcast of Hamlet from the Barbican. It was three hours of Benedict Cumberbatch and it was wonderful.
  31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    I turned 31. J and I went to a restaurant in Boston that we love (Grotto) with some friends, and followed that with an Improv Asylum show.
  32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    If the commuter rail hadn't failed in the biggest way possible during the winter.
  33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
    Maternity pants
  34. What kept you sane?
  35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
    Benedict Cumberbatch
  36. What political issue stirred you the most?
    Everything that wasn't discussed during the debates because look over here, everybody!
  37. Who did you miss?
    My grandmother, as always
  38. Who was the best new person you met?
    One of our neighbors who raises chickens
  39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015
    "Don't spend time with people who don't treat you well," among other things.
  40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
    I knew I loved you before I met you - Savage Garden

21 May 2015

Things I Love Thursday: Dots!

My current favorite game is TwoDots, the followup game to Dots, which was a fun, engaging puzzle game that I originally found through the Starbucks App. From their website:
Inspired by the art of Yayoi Kusama, Dots was created with the notion that beauty and fun are not mutually exclusive. Dots is a minimalist game that was designed to be a soothing experience.
It was soothing, and I loved playing it, but eventually, it just became habit and I wasn't really getting anything new out of the never changing game. I would open it on my phone while I was in waiting rooms, or on the train, and I just wasn't having fun anymore, although it was still soothing and calming.

But then...then they released TwoDots.
Join two brave dots as they traverse arctic tundras, navigate fiery jungles, and plunge the ocean depths. TwoDots is a modern-classic puzzle game where you simply connect colored dots to score points and complete objectives.
Two dots is fantastic. They keep adding levels and the "adventure" keeps continuing with new and exciting types of "bad guys" to beat. It's puzzles and adorable little dots all at once. The graphics are lovely, and the animations are great. People even download the soundtrack.

I highly recommend this addictive game. If you've never played the original, Dots, it's also fantastically addictive.

26 March 2015

Things I Love Thursday: Murder Edition

I recently got J into watching HBO's the Jinx with me. It is a documentary about Robert Durst, and while there has been a lot of criticism about it, it has also taken off like Serial. The whole internet is into it, and that excites me. I got Jason to watch it because he listens to our local NPR station every morning, and was listening after Durst was arrested.

On the way home he said, "I was listening to something I thought you would like [because murder]. This guy was arrested, and I guess he had something to do with his wife disappearing a long time ago...and then he moved to Texas..."

"Robert Durst?"

"Yeah, and he was arrested for murdering this woman..."

"Susan Berman?"

And then I told him about the Jinx, and suddenly, he's watching Murder Porn with me. This is a good year for Murder.

12 March 2015

Things I Love Thursday

My Job—I was just promoted at work, and I am so excited for things to come. I get the jitters at my desk every day, and I am challenged in new and exciting ways. I get to mentor people! I am just so thrilled to work at such an awesome supportive company.

The White Queen—a Starz network show based on Philipa Gregory's novel about the Lancasters and the Yorks. CHILLS. I love this period of British history!!! It's my new Amazon Prime go-to show.

05 March 2015

Things I Love Thursday

I love how, adorably, Benedict Cumberbatch still can't say "Penguins." He managed to get it out correctly the first time, but going forward it's just pengwings. Pengwings everywhere (he says it 17 seconds into this video):

26 February 2015

Things I Love Thursday

It's BACK! I am officially bringing back Things I Love Thursday.

And for my triumphant return, a video of Benedict Cumberbatch not being able to say the word penguin:

Along with a video of Benedict redeeming himself on the Graham Norton Show:

What else is on the shortlist?
Performing a task exceptionally well at work Watching House of Cards with my husband Knitting on the train the deer that come about our house and leave trails in the snow while we're away

08 January 2015

32 Before 32

  1. Learn how to carry a tune
  2. Read 2 Classics
  3. Read 2 Best Sellers
  4. Hike trails around our house
  5. Make art for our dining room
  6. Do another 30 day challenge
  7. Go for a major bike ride
  8. Thin out my closet
  9. Plant a garden
  10. Finish knitting my Abrigado blanket
  11. Perfect a wing eye
  12. Build a fire pit
  13. Make a piece of jewelry
  14. Make a DIY Camera bag insert
  15. Make French Onion Soup
  16. Take a silhouette photo
  17. Improve my posture
  18. Finish one design project per week
  19. Go candle pin bowling
  20. Find more balance
  21. Watch House of Cards with J
  22. Buy fresh flowers once a week
  23. Get more sleep
  24. Eat a vegetable at every meal
  25. Make art
  26. Decorate for Christmas
  27. Take a trip
  28. Try a new sport
  29. Get my eyebrows done
  30. Get a massage
  31. Visit a new museum
  32. Display my camera collection

07 January 2015

31 Before 31 Update

  1. 100 Pushups
  2. Do another 28 or 30 day challenge
    I started trying to learn Spanish using Duolingo. I decided this was my challenge. So for the whole year, I certainly used the App, but I also succeeded in reaching my 30 day Spanish challenge.
  3. Log my food and exercise every single day for a minimum of 3 months
    I would start doing this and I was really good at it for about five days, then I would lapse into forgetfulness and laziness and stop doing it. Lather, rinse, repeat.
  4. Go ice skating
  5. Run a 10K
    Why do I keep doing this to myself? Every time I work my way up to a 5K, I lose steam. We did do a 15 mile bike ride, this year...does that count? I feel like a broken record!
  6. Go to sleep early
    Moved over an hour away from work. Need to wake up in time to take the commuter rail. Bedtime is now 9:30.
  7. Improve my postureI have done noting quantifiable to accomplish this goal, and it is definitely something I've noticed.
  8. Buy a house
  9. Knit a sweater
  10. Schedule "me" time at least once a week. Strive for at least two hours of solitude
    I don't think I met this goal, measurably, but I was able to be more conscious about the time I needed with myself, and to try to make only half of this time "computer time."
  11. Meditate
    I downloaded Headspace, which got me started on a daily meditation program.
  12. Visit a new state
    Shockingly, had never been to VA. Boom. Done.
  13. Visit a new museum
    We saw Gropius House in the winter, and had a private tour. It was beautiful, and I would highly recommend it to anyone remotely interested in art, architecture, or just New England History in general.
  14. Go to at least one lecture or creative performance
  15. Read Four Classics:
    The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoyevsky) - Started
    The Age of Innocence (Edith Wharton) - Didn't even acquire
    The Stranger (Albert Camus)
    The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)
  16. 52 Weeks listing Things for which I am Grateful
  17. 52 Weeks to an Organized Home
  18. 90 minutes of Yoga at minimum once a week
    Nope, although I did more yoga at home due to my subscription to MyYogaPro (courtesy of my sister!)
  19. Learn about my family tree
  20. Make a cheese souffle
    Did this for our anniversary!
  21. Buy a watch
    I did this, and it was gorgeous, but I am glad I did not buy a very expensive watch, because it turns out I do not like to wear it everyday.
  22. Make hot buttered rum
  23. Take a stunning photographGot some Milky Way photography done in El Paso. Can't wait to try again, although I doubt I will find anything like that Texas sky up here!
  24. Write a haiku
    Thirty-two, doing
    "old person" activities
    like feeding the birds
  25. Make a pair of earrings
  26. Get my eyebrows shaped professionally
  27. See a Penn State Game at Beaver Stadium
    J, you had one job.
  28. Letterpress
    I letter-pressed our holiday cards, and I am very very happy with the way they came out!
  29. Buy number or letter balloons for an occasion
    Like, what occasion? Sitting at home and watching Netflix?
  30. Find a new shade of lipstick
  31. Buy It's a Wonderful Life on DVD
    Now I can relive the moments from my childhood when I used to wrap Christmas presents and watch this Jimmy Stewart classic with my grandmother in my own house instead of trekking to the Brattle Theatre—or maybe do both!