Year in Review: 2013

Hey hey, it’s New Year’s Eve! Happy new year! As you might know, this means it’s time once again for the great New Year’s blog survey, which I originally got from Sundry and have been doing for several years now (20072008200920102011, and 2012). The great, annual accounting of whether we are all happier or sadder, thinner or fatter, richer or poorer. You know you want to know. If you did the survey, leave me a link, would you? I love reading these!

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

Well, you may as well get ready for the fact that this year’s survey is going to be pretty engagement- and wedding-centric. That was just the year I had. So: This year, I got engaged, planned a wedding, and got married. I changed my last name. I ran a ten-mile race. I moved into a house.

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

Last year, I wrote “For 2013, my goals are: keep cycling an active part of my life on my soon-to-be-acquired new road bike; train for another half marathon while avoiding injury; send out at least one article for publication; pay off at east 75% of the remaining dog surgery bills.”

I did some of the above with success. Other things I did not achieve.

This year, I plan to do Project 365 again (a photo a day all year), make more time for writing (some here, some in my journal, some academic), and train for and run a full marathon.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes! One of my good friends from work had an adorable baby boy this summer. I took photos.

4. Did anyone close to you die?


5. What places did you visit?

Atlanta (as usual), Mississippi (as usual), Peoria (for the W. family reunion), South Dakota (to meet some of CW’s college friends), Asheville, and Iowa.

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

I’d like to be free from credit card debt (those pesky dog surgeries still haunt my wallet) and ready to buy a house. I’m not sure we’ll actually buy a house in the next year, but the time is coming soon.

7. What days from 2013 will you always remember?

The day I ran the first half marathon after a long battle with my hip injury and PT, getting engaged, our wedding day.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I don’t feel like I had any special “achievements” this year. I don’t consider getting engaged and married achievements, you know? But those were the two biggest positive things that happened in my life this year.

In terms of what I would actually call achievements, I taught some good classes this summer and fall, established some good connections with my students, and worked on developing my pedagogy. So that was all good.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I feel like I haven’t been eating as well as I could have for the past few months, in terms of health. I wouldn’t call that a failure, though. I’ve lacked patience at times and been selfish — but who hasn’t? I don’t know. I think I’ve done all right.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Not until yesterday, dammit. First illness I’ve had in years, really. A terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad cold. UGH. I am blowing my nose every ten minutes, coughing, can’t breathe, and barely even feel like popping a bottle of champagne tonight (it’s New Year’s Eve as I write this). I mean, I’ll FORCE MYSELF to, don’t get me wrong. But I don’t know if I’ll even ENJOY it.

UPDATE: CW has brought me a glass of champagne. It tastes amazing; will probably cure my cold. I’ll let you know.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My new road bike, my new Frye boots, our wedding cake, the services of a talented photographer, a wedding ring for CW.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My husband, our families, our friends. I have felt very loved and supported by all of them this year. Thank you for that.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

This question is stupid. Striking it from the list.

14. Where did most of your money go?

The usual overhead, plus wedding stuff, naturally. It’s true that you do spend more than you plan to when it comes to weddings, but we kept it small and simple and I was so happy with how it turned out, so that was money well spent.

15. What did you get really excited about?

I’ll give you ONE GUESS. C’mon.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

“Let’s Get Married,” The Proclaimers. (Our processional song.)

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

a) happier or sadder? Happier.
b) thinner or fatter? The same.
c) richer or poorer? Richer.

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


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

Watching TV when it wasn’t something I wanted to watch (rather, something CW was watching and I got mindlessly sucked into). I love TV, as you know, but if it’s not a show I want to watch purposefully, I don’t really want to watch it.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

In Iowa, with CW’s family, enjoying the snow and the coziness and feeling bad for my flu-ridden husband.

21. Did you fall in love in 2013?


22. What was your favorite TV program?

This year was the year I finally got into Game of Thrones. It helped that CW and I watched it together and talked about it all the time. I sometimes find it harder to get into a show if I’m watching it on my own and don’t get to talk to anyone about it. Hannibal was another favorite in our house. I also continued to enjoy Doctor Who and Nashville, which I watch on my own but get to talk to with all y’all on Twitter 🙂

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Dumb question. Striking this as well.

24. What was the best book you read?

I read a lot of good novels (and a couple of memoirs) this year! Here are my personal favorites, in the order I read them:

A Visit from the Goon Squad – Jennifer Egan
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
The Talented Mr. Ripley – Patricia Highsmith
The Likeness – Tana French
Two-Part Invention – Madeleine L’Engle
Divergent – Veronica Roth

25. What music did you get excited about?

Mostly Just Britney’s “Work, Bitch.” I got really excited about the new Neko Case album, but so far I haven’t fallen in love with it. Maybe I need more time?

26. What did you want and get?

Grey Frye boots, a new road bike, a new work bag, a rolling pin. Married to CW.

27. What did you want and not get?

Can’t think of anything! I feel very fortunate this year.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I saw these in the theater: Django Unchained, Ironman 3, Star Trek 2, Man of Steel, Catching Fire, The Hobbit 2. From that list, I easily liked Catching Fire the best. We rented quite a few movies, too, but I didn’t keep a list of what we saw. Off the top of my head, I’d say Silver Linings Playbook was a favorite. Look at that: two J-Law flicks.

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

I ran a 12K, drank coffee with nog, watched Doctor Who, went out to dinner and drinks with CW. I turned 36.

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

Dumb question. I’ve never had a good answer for this and I hate the way it’s phrased. It shall be stricken from the record.

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

Skinny jeans, cardigans, scarves, blazers, boots when possible. At home: leggings as pants. Hush, you.

32. What kept you sane?

Coffee. Bourbon. Cooking. Twitter.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I feel like it was a pretty good year for Benedict Cumberbatch.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Hate this question. Striking it.

35. Whom did you miss?


36. Who was the best new person you met?

I’ve gotten to know several new people on Twitter/blogs this year, and it’s honestly been such a pleasure to chat with them about any- and everything. Thanks, friends, for being so smart, funny, caring, and awesome!

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

Things that seem obvious to me are not necessarily obvious to someone else. Sometimes you have to say things out loud in a direct fashion.

And, as I say every year, qui patitur vincit.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Moats and boats and waterfalls,
Alleyways and payphone calls
I been everywhere with you (that’s true)

Laugh until we think we’ll die,
Barefoot on a summer night
Never could be sweeter than with you

And in the streets you run afree,
Like it’s only you and me,
Geeze, you’re something to see.

Home, let me come home.
Home is wherever I’m with you.
Home, let me come home.
Home is wherever I’m with you.


    1. I really enjoyed it — I like memoirs a lot, and I like Madeleine L’Engle a lot. Definitely four I kept getting something in my eye toward the end of the book though. Probably I can blame the dusty library copy. Ahem.


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