Before we get too far into the new year...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

I found this over on Rage Against the Minivan, and it seemed like a good way to get this done.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
I gave birth. I tried to think of something else that happened this year... that's pretty much topping all of the lists! And I still need to write about it.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I have only ever made one New Year's resolution before. In high school I committed to being very intentional about love. Loving God, and loving everyone else as He loved us. I told myself that when I made progress on that, I would worry about the smaller things in life. I make the same resolution every year, but for the first time in about 7 or so years, I am adding a few thoughts to it. Stay tuned.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
So. Many. Babies. And so many more pregnancies were announced that will bring gorgeous babies into 2014. I can't wait.

4. What countries did you visit?
No foreign countries this year. Not much traveling at all with pregnancy and then a baby, but there were some trips to Florida (for Thomas's eye surgery), Maryland (to see the lovely Sarah!), North Carolina (mountain love), and Ohio (to see Thomas's family).

5. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
A little more sleep. :)

6. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I'm going to sound like a broken record, but August 20. When they put Margaret on my chest, my eyes exploded with tears and all I could think was "Oh my God, I'm in love" and the Grinch. Why the Grinch? Because his heart grew three sizes that day.

The most perfect moment.

7. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Truly realizing that I have the strength within me to do what I need to do and handle whatever life throws at me. I have been off my medication for 16 months and counting and I can honestly say that I have never felt better, stronger, and more confident in myself.
8. What was your biggest failure?
Worrying too much about what the future holds. I fully realize that Thomas and I have committed to a life (or at least a career for the time being) of unknowns (hello moves and deployments). But truly living with so many unknowns that can change so quickly, it can take a toll on me.

9. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I was sick for much of my pregnancy and I am currently dealing with some lingering effects from delivery, but I'm trying to take care of myself.

10. What was the best thing you bought?
I have no idea. I'm going to say the money we put into renting our current house on base. I love that it's only 5 minutes from Thomas' work, and even with my occasional complaints, for now, this is a good space for our family. Update: I'm stupid. We bought a 2013 Subaru Outback as a family car in January of '13. I loooove it. I hated giving up my Civic, but the Outback for sure was our best purchase.

11. Where did most of your money go?
Life. :) Having a baby is a huge investment. (And worth every penny.)

12. What did you get really excited about?
I was excited to bring a new life into our family and seeing her face when I wake up every day is the best and brightest motivation I could ever have.

13. What song will always remind you of 2013?
"Home" by Phillip Phillips.

14. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Far and beyond happier. Though I was pretty happy this time last year too.
– thinner or fatter? Haha! I think I probably weigh about the same, but last year I was prepping for getting really, really big and now I'm at the tail end of that huge weight gain and loss.
– richer or poorer? Richer. Not by much, but we've paid down more of our loans and we have more in savings, and hopefully this track continues.
-messier or neater? So much more messy. It sort of drives me nuts, but when I don't have endless piles of my child's clothes to clean or put away, I'll probably be quite sad. So I'm embracing the mess (and hoping that doesn't classify me as nuts).

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I can always work more on being present in the moment. I actually think I did a pretty good job of that in 2013. I tried to truly enjoy being pregnant and I have thoroughly enjoyed my first 4 months of being a mom. I hope I continue to remember to take the time to catalog those memories. I'm not a scrapbooker or a very consistent journaler, so putting up photos on this blog and cataloging my pregnancy and our daily moments and thoughts is what I really have to remember these things by. Once these times pass, they are gone.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
I wish that I'd spent less time stressing. I wish I hadn't spent so much time worrying where all of our baby stuff was going to come from or worrying about where the Navy is sending us next. Less worried about baby things now, but the Navy stress is still there and is hopefully something I can continue to work on.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
Such a great Christmas! We went to church on Christmas eve, and then went over to my parents on Christmas day to open piles of presents (and give lots too) and have a fabulous Christmas lunch. I love spending time with my whole family.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
I dove headfirst into The West Wing on Neflix, but I also love keeping up with Bones, NCIS:LA, and I ended the year (and started the new one) with watching way too much HGTV.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
A Long Way Gone and Bossypants are the two that stick out in my mind.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?
Definitely The Lumineers (soundtrack to my Maryland trip) and Imagine Dragons (such a good cd! Thomas and I must have listened to it hundreds of times by now).

22. What was your favorite film of the year?
Not a clue. This wasn't a big movie year for me.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 25 on November 3 and it was probably the most low-key birthday of the last quarter of a century. I still haven't made myself a birthday cake. I got to celebrate with my husband and new baby girl and my family, so it was perfect still.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I truly don't think it could have gotten any better. If I had to answer, money can make things easier and there are a few people I'd like to heal.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
The year that Lauren's fashion devolved. Oh dear. I sometimes felt more stylish as a pregnant lady than I do as a mom. I was growing a baby, so waistbands were horrible- I wore a lot of dresses and skirts. I also frequently felt like a whale. Now I feel a lot less like a whale, now that the tiny human is on the outside of me, but it's harder. I'm nursing, so unless it's for date night for maybe 2 hours, I can't wear dresses. I may have lost all of my pregnancy weight, but my body is totally different now. My hips are permanently changed and I'm trying to figure out a new style that makes sense with a new life and a different body. However, I do want to state for the record that I don't think my new body is bad in any way- I respect what it's been though, what I've been through - it's just different.

26. What kept you sane?
Given that I wasn't on any medication for my Bipolar Disorder... I'm not really sure! :)

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
Life lesson, mantra, whatever: Do what's best for you and yours and stop listening to everyone else.


  1. Lauren, welcome to 2014. The last year sounds pretty amazing in particular, pretty joy filled. I hope 2014 continues this way for you.
    E xx

    1. Thanks for reading! 2013 was certainly amazing, but I have a feeling 2014 is going to be really hard! We've got some big changes coming up, including Thomas's first deployment this summer or fall. But we're praying hard and crossing some fingers (and toes) that things go well!

  2. ooh I love this! And LOVE the family pic of you guys at Christmas - you all look so great! And that pic of Margaret on your chest after birth... so incredibly priceless. It's amazing - the look of new-mom love! Looking forward to hearing the birth story... soon?! ;)

    1. It's nice to have the year in review, isn't it? A good look back. And the birth story is up!

  3. What a beautiful Christmas picture! Babies are definitely the best and hardest and most worthwhile thing I've ever done/experienced/enjoyed. Happy for you and glad you've taken up quilting too =)

    1. Thank you! "the best and hardest and most worthwhile thing" --> amen to that! And I certainly haven't forgotten my quilt! I should have put that up there too. :)