Year in Review 2013

I found this from a few other blogs and I just loved having these questions to answer each year.  I’m officially starting this as a yearly tradition.  This post, like most of them actually, is more for me than for you so if you’re bored by this kind of thing – carry on.  Nothing to see here.  

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

Fell in love with the outdoors.  I’ve always done ‘stuff’ outside and am constantly telling my kids to get outside but this year I absolutely found a new love in hiking.    Trekking through the trees in the stillness and quiet of it while having soul-nourishing conversation and deep belly laughs with friends is where it’s at, people!  Up until now I’ve been all city and shopping and busy but this year, give me the trees and the rivers and the bear spray and matches in case we get lost.


2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

My biggest resolution of 2013 was to take more family pictures.  Of all 5 of us!  The goal was one per month and I didn’t make that for sure but I did get 7 different sessions involving all 5 of us and at least 4-5 pictures from each session.  Not bad.  You can check some of them out here.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

I got to hold a 10 day old on Christmas Day!  Our oldest nephew and his wife had their first baby.   Cutest thing you ever did see…

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully, no.  However, this year we felt a bit plagued by a certain type of death.  3 different people that we know had people close to them lose their babies at nearly full term.  No rhyme or reason, so it seems.  Just during labour or very shortly before, the baby was discovered to no longer have a heartbeat.  Devastating doesn’t even describe it.  We asked a number of why’s, I’ll tell you that much.

5. What cool places did you visit?

We visited Vancouver Island for the first time in about 18 years!  Glorious.

We found a new favourite coffee shop in Vancouver.  We love you, Revolver!

I got to have a weekend in Whistler with a few friends and I left with my bucket feeling so full.  Love you, Carm!

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

Patience.  Always more patience.


7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

June 18 and July 18.  The first being the day I let my oldest boy board a plane to Ireland and the second being the day he returned.  Hallelujah!!


8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

There were a few that stand out and they all involve saying yes to things that God is asking of us in the face of our own fears.  A few are still in the works so I won’t say too much but the outcome isn’t the achievement, anyways.  It was definitely trusting in God and being willing to say that on my own I can’t do this so if I say yes I need you more than ever.  Working to conquer self-sufficiency = big achievement!

Also, wearing only 7 articles of clothing for an entire month!  THAT was an achievement for me, for sure.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Sending a boy to school with a broken bone without knowing.  I thought he was just being wimpy.  I may have used the words suck, it and up.  Then the school phoned and the x-rays confirmed a break.  And the bad parent award goes to…..?


10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nope.  It was a healthy year for me however it was the first year that any of our kids have broken anything and it just so happened that none of them wanted to be left out!  We visited the ER 3 times with 3 different breaks on 3 different boys.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Our house!  It’s funny how it all happened and probably requires a post all it’s own but upon first seeing it we hated it but agreed that it was probably the best space for our family.  My husband only saw it that one time before the purchase.  On  a friday night in the dark.  Well, it turns out that it was the best decision because we LOVE our home!  LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  It’s amazing what paint and getting someone else’s stuff out can do for a place.


12. Where did most of your money go?

See above.

13. What did you get really excited about?

The possibility of fostering and adoption.  But that balloon has slightly deflated.  We’re trusting God for what’s to come with no clear plan or direction.  Good times.

14. What song will always remind you of 2013?

Wrecking Ball, sadly.  But we have our own version we’ve created as an anthem to Villagio bread.  We’re weird.  I know.

And Royals by Lorde.  We’re a sucker for getting catchy tunes stuck in our heads.

15.  Compared to this time last year are you:

– happier or sadder? I think happier.  Or at least more content.
– thinner or fatter? Same.  I think I’ve been the same size for pretty much the last 9 years.
– richer or poorer?   Poorer.  See that whole buying a house segment.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Read more books.  For some reason I have a hard time just finding time to sit and devour a great book.  I always feel like there is something else tugging at me that I should be doing.  I did read a few great ones but I would like to read, or just give myself the time and freedom, to read more.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Rant.  Some days I just tend to get into this place where I feel like everything is going wrong and everything my kids do is wrong and I feel the need to tell them very clearly that, “I’ve been teaching you this since you were two….why don’t you get it….”  I’m not proud of it.  But it comes out in moments.  I truly just think they tune me out now and when it goes silent they mutter, “sorry mom”.  Not my proudest moments for sure.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

With friends and family.  Christmas Eve service is always part of it and then we do the hop from one gathering to the next over the subsequent days.  I had to work this year so it felt a bit busier but thankfully Earl was home with the kiddo’s for a whole week!

19. What was your favorite TV program?

There were a few great ones that we found this year.  Downton Abby for sure is at the top of the list but we also enjoyed us some new Arrested Development, Community, Sherlock (BBC version) and we’ve become oddly endeared to the Robertson family on Duck Dynasty.  I know.  I never would have guessed it either.



20. What were your favorite books of the year?

Seven by Jen Hatmaker was definitely my favourite and most influential book this year.  Radical by David Platt was another.  I also devoured Kite Runner by Khalad, Hosseini and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See.  Everything else I read was only okay.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

Hands down, Josh Garrels.  We had never heard of him but were invited to see him perform at our friends skate shop.  Um, okay!  We were blown away and haven’t stopped listening to him since.

22. What was your favorite film of the year?

I’m not really big on movies but we all counted down the days to Catching Fire.  We’re huge fans of the books and the movie did not disappoint.  Now how are we supposed to wait for the next two?  Argh!!

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 36 this year!  Is it bad that I can’t remember how I celebrated with my fam?  Cause I can’t.  But some fave girlfriends and I spent a a few days in the city drinking coffee, staying up way too late, discussing important things like Lent and how you blowdry your bangs and doing just a wee bit o’ shopping.  It was fantastic.

IMG_2336 IMG_2342

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Having more friends over.  We do have people over a fair amount but we also get very content just to chill out with the 5 of us.  It always takes effort and a bit of work to have people over but I wish we would do it even more and even spontaneously knowing that no one expects spotless floors and a gourmet meal at the last minute but a bowl of soup and cookies from the freezer can do the trick!

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Big on  top, skinny on the bottom.  I’m not sure that’s a fashion concept but it describes my look perfectly.  Whether it’s a flowy shirt or oversized sweater or dress, I’m into things not being too constricting or form fitting on my upper half.  The lower half of me, however, has lived in form fitting tights or skinny jeans.  I’m starting to think of it as more of a uniform.  I love every bit of it!


26. What kept you sane?

Hiking.  Praying.  Working less.  Earl.  Having time in our home alone, just me, in silence.  It’s a beautiful thing.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

It is the most difficult yet rewarding position to make yourself the least important person in the room.  To take on the nature of a servant, as Jesus did when he was on earth.


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