An Embarrassment of Riches: 2014 in Review

Got it from Linda, just like everyone else. (201320122011. Previous years buried in my email account rather than published.)

1. What did you do this year that you’d never done before?
This year I had a legit job interview, for which I was not already guaranteed a position. I worked my ass off and enjoyed it. Relinquished my role as primary parent/details manager. Started attending Mass regularly, and began RCIA. Moved to California, and felt like I could stay forever.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I abandoned my resolutions in approximately February, when job stuff started happening. Since then, I’ve just been treading water, keeping my head up, keeping my smile on. My resolutions for 2015 will also be light – I’d like to read some books, figure out how to exercise on my bum foot, feel on top of my game at work.

did manage to stay up until midnight, which is fairly notable.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? 
One of my very best friends had a sweet baby boy. A few of my internet ladies also had cute babies, and so did some college buds.

4. Did anyone close to you die?


5. Whose behavior merited celebration? 
Marianne, oh my word. And Hugo, and all the Canadas, and their medical team.

6. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? 
Some of my fellow privileged white folks, reacting to Ferguson and related events. Lots of other current events too, because ughhhhhh.

7. Who did you miss? 
I was so fortunate to get to see my family a good bit this year, as well as many of my dearest friends. I still missed them when they weren’t nearby, but let’s go with my college buddies who I didn’t get to see.

8. Who was the best new person you met? 
My new boss. She is just fantastic. I’m also a huge fan of our next door neighbors, and Miranda’s family.

9. Where did you travel?
Hmm let’s see. In January, we went to Denver for Kevin’s work, and stayed at Jess’s house. Hazel slept a combined 3 hours over the course of the week, I think. In February, I went to Arizona for PJs. In March, Phoenix again for an annual work conference, and then in April I went to San Francisco to interview for my now job. In May, I went to Atlanta for a weekend with all my best friends, and tacked on a few days at the end to visit my family. In June, we moved to California, and I’m counting that as travel. In August, we went to Savannah for a family beach trip, and I went to Michigan for work. In September, we did another BFF weekend, this time in Chicago – and I swung by Boston on the way, to administer some much needed hugs to a dear friend. November was LA for Thanksgiving with college buddies, and conning Lynnette into feeding dinner to my bedraggled family. December we did a short jaunt to Yosemite with my parents and Miranda’s crew.

I was going to say we didn’t do that much this year, but, uh.

Bonus 9b. Who visited you?
My brother came out for a quick visit back in March, when his job took him to the middle of nowhere in WA. Our friend Loopy visited us in May for her birthday (we got her a stomach bug! What good friends we are!). Our friends Dan, Mallory, and daughter Alexana are currently visiting from LA for New Years. Our parents have visited a few times as well – Kevin’s mom was a God send our last week in WA, and she came out for Eliza’s third birthday as well. My parents were here for Christmas.

(We have a guest room! Come play!)

10. What would you like to have in the new year that you lacked this year?
Last year I said more sleep, patience, and motivation. I definitely got more sleep and more motivation – I’d still like more patience. I actually think I’ve made headway there, too, but you know. I have a three year old and a one and a half year old. I could use more.

11. What dates from the year will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The day we all found out Hugo was ill, just after his first birthday (and just before Hazel’s). I’d never felt that heart outside of my body thing people say about having kids until that moment, and of course that’s still about someone else’s child. That little dude and his family are kicking ass, more than six months later.

I’ll also remember the day we moved to California. And the following seven days of living in a completely empty house with two toddlers.

12. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Nailing that job interview, and exceeding expectations at my first six months of new job. I didn’t realize the risk my boss took in choosing me over someone with relevant industry experience, or what a huge field change this was going to be. It’s been fun, but I would have been nervous if I had known.

13. What was your biggest failure?
Patience, patience, patience. Temper, temper, temper. (Though I don’t feel like such an abject failure in this department as I did last year. I think that’s for a few reasons – I’m working more than part time, my kids are easier in many ways including sleeping more, and I’ve got more useful tools/coping mechanisms at my disposal.)

14. Did you suffer illness or injury?
My effing foot is still totally hosed. In July, the tendon that is messed up had a giant temper tantrum, rendering me completely incapable of walking, so that was cool. It’s calmed down again to where I can go about my normal business reasonably well, but excessive walking (not to mention running or anythiiiiinng else) are a no go. BOO.

Other than that, a handful of colds and some barfing, i.e. business as usual for a family with little kids.

15. What was the best thing you bought?
Plane tickets, a cross stitch for a friend, and a bunch of new pants.

16. Where did most of your discretionary income go?
I like how I stuck discretionary in there, so I can’t bitch about our rent. (I also like how I did it anyways!) I spent a lot on travel, food, and clothing/make up. New job (and new boss) are fancier than my old life, which has been surprisingly fun.

17. What did you get really excited about?
I’m perpetually psyched about our insane luck at landing where we did in the Bay Area – new friends, proximity to existing friends, engaging job, fun things to do. Embarrassment of riches, this life right now.

18. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? Happier. Up and up and up.
– thinner or fatter? Thinner, because narcolepsy medicine. (I actually have a minor complex about this – I didn’t earn it! It’s not mine! Don’t tell me I must have worked hard! I cheated!)
– richer or poorer? Cost of living means we are poorer on paper, but oh, the cloying metaphors I’d like to use right now.

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


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


21. What did you want and get? 
An interview, a new job, a great local network of friends and stuff to do.

22. What did you want and not get? 
My foot to heal.

23. How did you spend Christmas?
My parents visited for the week again. We spent Christmas morning with the kiddos – Eliza is at the beginning of the magical years, and she was just so exited and joyful. We had dinner at our neighbors’ house, and it was the best food ever. The day after, we took my parents to Yosemite, to stay in a cabin with Miranda’s family for a couple nights. We got to poke around the Valley a bit, and let the kids play in the snow – and we also got to cook together, and do puzzles, and watch the kids chase each other around. It was perfect. I was so excited to show my parents the things I love most about living where we do now – especially the people that we spend our time with, so they could picture us in our daily rhythms.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Doctor Who! I actually think Doctor Who helped me land my new job, as my boss is also obsessed.

25. What were your favorite books of the year?
I enjoyed the remainder of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, and I enjoyed my BFF book club for Amy Poehler’s book, even though I thought it was crap.

26. What was your favorite music from this year?

Probably TSwift, honestly.

27. What song will always remind you of this year?
Eliza is obsessed with Shake it Off, and Call Me Maybe, and All About That Bass (“Da Bubbits!”). Hazel too, on the last one. It’s the best. Dance parties all the time. It’s basically just like Potlatch.

28. What were your favorite films of the year?
Films haaaa yeah, I am eternally grateful to Frozen and Totoro for entertaining my kid.

29. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? 
… I paid less attention than usual, even. None of those Hemsworth boys, I know that much is true.

30. What political issue stirred you the most? 
I got (and remain) pretty worked up about #yesallwomen and #blacklivesmatter. So, rape culture and Ferguson etc., for those who don’t speak hashtag.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 30. I was in Georgia with all my best friends, and they threw me a surprise birthday lunch with a dinosaur cake and cheese dip and a gin and tonic and I just cannot believe this is my life.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not having a sleep disorder.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept this year?
Entry level put together, compliments of Miranda and Banana Republic. Also: colored eyeliner.

34. What kept you sane?
iMessage and my husband, forever and always.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned this year.

Buy the plane tickets.

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3 Responses to An Embarrassment of Riches: 2014 in Review

  1. Holly Ritger says:

    My Christmas was pretty perfect, too, Susie. I was so excited to see you all, see where you are living and how you spend your time when you’re not working. I totally enjoyed spending time with your neighbors Mike and Julia and decorating gingerbread cookies with them, and the Christmas dinner at their home was just wonderful!! Christmas carols and the children’s pageant at mass with you was perfect… I like Father Dave. The next day, I loved the drive to Yosemite and getting a peak San Francisco as we left San Carlos, the soaring granite cliffs of Yosemite, tall trees and redwood trees, sugar pine tree enormous pinecones, Yosemite Falls and the joy of everyone playing in the snow. Our adventure house was perfect, the food was wonderful and it was fun getting to know your BFF and her family. Jigsaw puzzles… I loved being with you and Kevin and our two little granddaughters… So sweet and huggable… they were such fun Christmas morning opening their gifts. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for my first Christmas holiday in years when I didn’t get depressed during the Christmas season. Grandchildren all around is all a grandma needs…

  2. Aliza says:

    Oh thank God, it’s not just me re: Amy Poehler’s book. I really wanted to like it, I did. But…well, I did not. I mean, I still love her, especially in Parks & Rec. I just didn’t really enjoy her book.

  3. Miranda says:


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