2015: A Year in Review

I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe transition into the new year. Every year I like to do a look back at the previous year before starting fresh.  Here’s my overview of 2015. 

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1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

Well, I had a baby for the very first time. I breastfed for the first time. I took a 13-week maternity leave from work, which was the first time I didn’t work in some capacity since I was in middle school.

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

I didn’t make any new year’s resolutions this year. I did choose a word of the year, and yes, I will definitely do that again this year. I think I’m going to try to make more goals for 2016, but I’ll save those for a separate blog post.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes! It was the year of babies. 4 of my 7 bridesmaids had babies in 2015, and so did I, among many other friends!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes. Unfortunately quite a few people passed away. Both my good friend and my great aunt passed away. Two of Mr. O’s uncles died, as well as one of the best mentors I’ve ever had in my life.

5. What countries did you visit?

None – I stayed in America this whole year.

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you didn’t have in 2015?

More money! I’m very grateful for the salary and bonus freelancing money that I made in 2015. In 2016, I plan on working harder and smarter to earn even more than I did this year.

7. What dates from 2015 will be etched upon your memory, and why?

The day I had my baby. That was a pretty big day for me.

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?

Definitely carrying, laboring and birthing a child. Childbirth (and the growing process leading up to it) is no joke. Oh, and surviving all those months of infancy.

9. What was your biggest failure?

“Failure?” Well, I don’t like to focus on “failures,” but if I could pick anything it would be that I failed at my labor progressing. I know I didn’t do anything wrong in any way. The baby simply didn’t want to be delivered in the same way that we all wanted her to come. It would have just been nice to either 1) know I was going to get a c-section or 2) not go through all those days of labor at the hospital. If I would have known it would be a c-section earlier, I would have just scheduled it, showed up, and BAM – baby would be here. Instead, it was a hot mess of a few days.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No, but I did have a c-section and a few minor colds.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Christmas presents for the people I love? I don’t really know. I didn’t spent a lot of money in 2015 on things. We went to NH once, so that’s always a good way to enjoy our hard-earned money.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Wolverine. He’s a great big brother. It’s a big change when you’re an only child (with two households) for 9 years to all of a sudden being a big brother, and he’s handled it with ease.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled or depressed?

My baby. It’s tough having a newborn. I don’t mean to blame her for any of her “behaviors,” either. She is simply learning about the world around her. She had to learn how to eat, sleep, breath, etc. However, it can be depressing to function on little sleep while feeling clueless as to what your baby needs.

14. Where did most of your money go?

I think we spent very wisely this year. Coming off the holiday season, I feel as if this year, money was spent on gifts. When I look over the year I see birthdays, weddings, and holidays of many special people.

15. What did you get really excited about?

Waiting to have a baby. Growing when I was pregnant. I was one of those pregnant ladies who loved being pregnant. It was all so new and magnificent to me.

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?

“Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond. I’ve always loved it very much, but it was extra special this year.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
happier
b) thinner or fatter?
possibly fatter, but about the same
c) richer or poorer? 
I’d say about the same.

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

Summertime activities. Summer ceased to exist because of either being too pregnant or the baby being too new.

Oh, and sleep. I love sleep, and I certainly wish I did more in the second half of the year!

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

Stressing. I stressed a lot in the second half of the year (new babies have a tendency to make you worry!). It’s almost impossible to completely live in the moment when you have a little one, but I sure wish I could have stressed less and enjoyed more.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With my husband and our two children. We spent Christmas eve at my parent’s house. Then Mr. O and Wolverine went to my in-law’s house. Wolverine woke us up in the morning and we opened presents with him while Little C slept in the next room. My parents then came over to exchange gifts with us, and the baby decided to wake up and join in on the fun. After all of that we went to my in-law’s for a gift exchange and then Wolverine went to his mother’s house. The afternoon was lunch at my parents and second lunch at my sister-in-law’s. It was a busy tiring couple of days.

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?

I fell in love on the day I had Baby O. I fall in love every day with my husband, and my love grows deeper every day for my son, family and friends.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Walking Dead & Narcos

23. What was the best book you read?

A Place to Stand by Jimmy Santiago Baca

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Watching Little C play the piano with her Grampy. She loves it!

25. What did you want and get?

A healthy baby girl.

26. What did you want and not get?

Sleep! (This is starting to sound repetitive.)

27. What was your favorite film of 2015?

Minions.

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

The day started off watching Wolverine play fall ball and enjoying a pumpkin-flavored coffee. Then my four-person family did our own fantasy football draft, and we finished the evening with dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. My baby gave me an extremely difficult time to fall asleep. My boys ate snacks and fell asleep without me, and I finished my evening all alone with a candle in and ice cream cone!

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

Sleep?

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2015?

Evolving. I spent a little more than 1/2 of the year growing, so I transitioned out of my “normal” clothing into maternity clothes. Then, after you have a baby, your body doesn’t know what fits and what doesn’t. So my style concept of the year was definitely one in transition.

I pretty much wore the same outfits over and over and over again. And I still am now.

31. What kept you sane?

My two best friends. They both had children before me. One has a three year old boy and a baby boy who is ten weeks older than Baby O. The other has a baby boy who is six months older. I’m so grateful to them for keeping me in check and teaching me along the way.

But it wasn’t just those two. It was my community of close friends, colleagues, even acquaintances. My community made this year immensely better.

32. What political issue stirred you the most?

The Supreme Court ruled that all marriages – between a man and woman, woman and woman, or man and man – are legal. What an incredible day that was. It was my absolute favorite political issue because for once we were talking about growth as a nation, not regression.

33. Who did you miss?

I miss my memere. I thought of her a lot when I was pregnant and after I had the baby. I wish she could have been here to meet my child. I also wish she could have made her little baby booties that she made for all the newborns she met. She passed away just a week before her 102nd birthday, so in some ways, it felt like she’d be in my life forever. I believe she’s looking down on my baby and smiling, but it would have been nice to see that little smile up close.

34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.

Patience – with everyone, including yourself.

The baby is learning everything in life, be patient. The husband is in the same shoes as you, learning about the baby and guessing at what to do, be patient. The son is growing and developing his own little personality, be patient. The friends and family have opinions which are all kind-hearted, even if you don’t want to hear it, be patient.

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

“Good times never seemed so good.”

Currently in November 2015

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Reading: Remember how excited I was about finally getting my library card? Go ahead and ask me about what I’ve read this month: a whole bunch of nothing. I started back to work in the final week of October, and between that and some freelance work, I haven’t had the time to get any personal reading done.

Listening: While I was unable to do any reading, I was able to listen to two audiobooks during my work commute. I finished House Rules by Jodi Picoult and The Fault In Our Stars by John Greene.

Excited: to see my good friend who came up from Virginia for a quick visit.

Watching: Narcos, Walking Dead

Wearing: I’m not really enjoying my clothing choices. I feel uncomfortable in things that feel too small (which is a lot of my closet), but I also don’t feel any stress to lose any more weight at this time. I’m hoping that bringing down my winter clothing will offer me some more selection. We’ll see.

Wishing: that the baby learns (quickly) how to calm herself and fall asleep on her own. This is our newest baby struggle. It’s always something. I hate hearing the baby cry, but I also want her to learn how to sleep without assistance. Wish me luck and send positive thoughts my way.

Drinking: water or coffee, but much more water than coffee.

Loving: that it is almost time for our Elf on the Shelf to return for the holidays. I love Logan!

Loathing: Death and the despair someone must feel when they commit suicide. We’re only 1/2 way into the month, and I’ve had to deal with some pretty crazy shit. A good friend – someone I really cared about – committed suicide last week. I’m not really ready to write about it, because I don’t even quite know how I feel about it right now. All I can say is that it’s horrible and so very sad.

Admiring: people who band together to help their loved ones in a time of need. In the past week, I’ve watched as people I know or do not know have been there for my friend in her time of need.

Are you enjoying your November so far? Hold your loved ones close and enjoy your Thanksgiving.

Check out what I was doing, thinking, and feeling in JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptember, and October.

Currently in October 2015

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Reading: Colic Solved, by Bryan Vartabedian

Guys, I finally got a library card, and I am so excited about it. My reading time with a newborn is pretty sparse, but it is still so fun to place holds on books I’ve been wanting to read instead of buying them all, when I’m not even sure the book is what I’m looking for.

In family news, Wolverine started the “Book It” reading program at his school. Did you guys do this when you were a kid? I did, and because I was a super geek, I loved the program then just as much as I love it now. The only bummer is that Wolverine doesn’t so much love Pizza Hut, and that’s the reward for the reading. Oh, well. He’s a kid that enjoys competition, so I’m sure he will still enjoy the “Book It” program (almost) as much as I did.

Listening: I don’t know why it took me this long, but I finally figured out a smart way to spend my time while breastfeeding in the middle of the night. In the past two months I had spent those hours checking email or scrolling through Facebook or clicking on every app in my phone. Well, that and watching television with no volume in my bedroom. Have I ever mentioned that I only really get about one good station in my bedroom? Yeah, the struggle was real. I don’t know why I feel the need to fill all my moments of time, but let’s just say it was monotonous and boring after a while.

Anyway, On October 1st, something clicked, and I brought my headphones to my normal nursing area and started listening to my audiobooks on my cell phone while feeding the baby. This was perfect because I wouldn’t wake up Mr. O with the volume, but I’d have something “productive” to do. Can you tell I’m pretty excited about this?

Excited: to begin the process of putting together issue 07 for Spry Literary Journal. I hate declining work, but I love accepting the prose and poetry of so many talented writers.

Watching: Just started watching Walking Dead and Blacklist again now that the shows are back on the air. Also going through my Netflix queue and watching a bunch of documentaries. I’ll tell you if I find anything I like a lot.

Wearing: the same outfits over and over again.

Wishing: I spoke way too soon last month when I wished that the baby would continue to take a bottle. Let’s just say that she took a bottle for about a week and has since refused it. Since my last post I’ve purchased probably all of the recommended bottles for breastfed babies, and we’re working our way through them to see what she will like best. I could honestly use some positive thoughts on this one, so send them my way. Also, I’ll take any advice on the subject, if you have any.

Update as of 10/15: the baby started taking the bottle again! She’s been consistantly drinking at least one bottle a day (sometimes it’s only a half ounce, other times it’s almost four ounces!) for about a week or so, and I couldn’t be happier. (But the above still holds true. It took about a month to get her to drink from a bottle again!)

Drinking: Trying to drink as much water as possible to stay hydrated. Some days I drink about 80oz of water. Other days I only make about 20 oz. My goal is 65oz a day for the month of October.

Loving: my family.

Loathing: the head cold that the baby and I got at the beginning of the month. I hate being sick, but it is so much worse when you are sick, and you have a sick baby. There’s nothing worse than seeing your child suffer and not be able to do much about it (and feeling ill at the same time!).

Admiring: working mothers. My maternity leave ends at the end of this month, and let me tell you, I am not ready for it to be over. This entire leave has flown by. When you’re a new mom, your head is so in the clouds just keeping up with every new struggle, change, milestone met, etc. I really feel as if I just had the baby a few weeks ago; I can’t believe she is almost three months old.

But back to the point. When I was on maternity leave, I missed work… a lot. I missed being productive and feeling as if I had real brain cells and good ideas. There is a part of me that is so excited about returning to work. I miss my friends. I miss my clients. I miss the feeling of creativity and meeting deadlines and everything that comes along with my position. I’ve always been a hard worker, so it’s been tough in many ways to be home.

On the flip side, I love being a mother. I love being home with my baby, and time flies by so quickly that I feel as if I have barely experienced it all. Part of me is just so nervous to go back to work because I won’t be able to take care of my baby. Will she eat while I’m gone? (Remember, she is refusing the bottle). Will she cry the entire time I’m gone? Will someone be there to comfort her? Will we be able to take care of her ourselves or will we need to get her in daycare asap? How will we know which daycare to send her to? Will it be safe? Can we afford it? Regardless of who she is with while I’m at work, I’m worried about what her day will look like.

Living this working professional/new mom life has really opened my eyes to the struggle of women who want a career and a family as well. If you ask me, it seems almost impossible to be fully vested in both. Maybe that is just my nerves talking, but even before I begin, I can’t imagine being able to give 100% of myself to both areas. And I don’t want either to suffer, because I truly love both areas of my life.

So I admire you working moms who make it all happen. I admire you for staying true to yourself and your career goals, while also doing what is best for your family.

How has October treated you so far? Fall is in the air here in Massachusetts, and I’m already nervous about the upcoming winter. Right now I’m just trying to enjoy this beautiful season, and I hope you are, too!

Check out what I was doing, thinking, and feeling in JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugust, and September.

Currently in September 2015

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Reading: Eat, Sleep, Poop by Scott W. Cohen

Listening: to a lot of classic music. Thanks, Baby Einstein.

Excited: to feel so much more comfortable in my role as a mother than I did last month. I wasn’t uncomfortable per say, but now I know I’ve got this thing down. We have our easy going days and we have our super tough days, but I know I can handle it all.

I’m also so excited that breastfeeding is going well. Like most people, it was pretty tough those first few weeks. It was probably right around the time of my last update that I really started to notice a difference, and the past 3-4 weeks have been overall easy as can be. I feel so fortunate that this was able to work for me and my baby.

I’m also very excited to hear that two good aquaintances recently became pregnant after trying for a while. I love happy news, especially when it includes babies.

Watching: Revenge, Grey’s Anatomy, many random crime documentaries on Netflix, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Wearing: my wardrobe is still a pain. I’ve lost pretty much all the pregnancy weight. However, because I was already a bit overweight when I got pregnant, my stretching while pregnant, and the c-section scar, I have a serious belly pudge. It’s pretty tough to find clothing I’m comfortable in at this point, so I’m wearing and rewearing the same ol’ outfits. I don’t really mind so much since losing weight/looking good is the last thing on my mind these days, but I know I’ll feel better when I’m happy with my closet.

Wishing: that the baby keeps doing so well taking a bottle. I’m in no way stopping breastfeeding, but I’d like the option of having her take a bottle from time to time. We have a wedding coming up where we will be gone most of the day, and I’ll be going back to work in a month and a half, so she needs to be able to get her nourishment from something other than me. When we first tried the bottle she was refusing it, but now she is beginning to drink out of it like a champ. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed on this one.

Drinking: finally drinking my pumpkin coffee! Also drinking an insane amount of water, too.

Loving: the amount of time I’ve been able to spend with one of my best friends because of my maternity leave.

Loathing: how quickly my little baby is growing up.

Admiring: all my mom friends. All the stories come out when you have an infant. Everyone wants to tell you about their pregnancies, their deliveries, their experience with breastfeeding, how their babies slept through the night, and everything else. We all have such similar and different stories, and I’m glad to have such great people to share my stories with.

Are you enjoying your September so far? It’s my birthday month, and I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am!

Check out what I was doing, thinking, and feeling in JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJuly, and August.

Currently in August 2015

photo-1424746219973-8fe3bd07d8e3Reading: I don’t think I’ve read anything at all since last month.

Listening: to a lot of white noise and soft songs with the baby.

Excited: when I get more than an hour or two of sleep at a time.

Watching: A whole lot of infomercials in the middle of the night when I’m feeding my baby.

Wearing: Is it weird that I miss my maternity wardrobe? I don’t quite fit in my non-maternity clothing yet. Well, I fit in a decent amount of clothing, but my body just doesn’t look right in it yet. I also don’t fit in some of my maternity clothes. So I’m living in this in-between stage where I’m wearing some maternity clothes and some normal clothes. To be honest, I’m really just wearing the same small collection of tops and bottoms.

And…to be really honest with you, I’m wearing my pajamas a good portion of the time.

Wishing: to freeze time. My baby is almost already a month old. I just don’t even know how we got to this point. I feel like I just had her days ago, and in just about a week she will be one month old. Having a baby – while incredible – is overwhelming. I feel like I haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy these moments with her yet. It’s all just blurry. I want to freeze time and take in all these moments.

Drinking: I’ve had coffee! It was wonderful. Now I’m looking forward to pumpkin coffee season. To be honest though I really don’t have too much interest in coffee. It was just nice to drink some. I’m really mostly just trying to drink as much water as possible. This may sound strange, but I think when I’m really hydrated I feel more like myself and less hormonal.

Loving: being a mother. It’s really wonderful. I love looking at my child, especially when she is breastfeeding, and realizing that she is something that me and Mr. O created and that she grew inside of me.

Loathing: the lack of sleep, how tough breastfeeding can be, the tears that come out of nowhere that I can’t stop, not knowing what my baby is feeling or needing when she cries.

Admiring: My son. He has taken so well to having a sibling. I know how tough it is for kids to adjust to a new child in the home, and I imagined it would be especially tough for him, seeing as he’s been the only child for nine years now. He’s really taken it all in stride, which is what I expected, but it is still so nice to see him in his new role as a big brother.

How’s August, friends? It’s one of my favorite months, and I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am!

Check out what I was doing, thinking, and feeling in JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJune, and July.

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Currently in July 2015

photo-1433208406127-d9e1a0a1f1aaReading: I haven’t been reading much in the past month. Besides Spry Literary Journal submissions, I’ve been doing a lot of writing for work to prepare for my maternity leave. My writing time is taking over my reading time.

Listening: to “House Rules” by Jodi Picoult on my way to and from work. It’s an Audible book, and I’m enjoying it so far.

Excited: to know that any day now I will meet my baby girl. It’s so weird to think that my pregnancy is almost over. In some ways, it feels as if it just started (in others, it all seems so long ago!). Technically, my due date is in 5 days. I could go then, now, or the baby could choose to keep cooking for a little while. We shall see. It’s both exciting and nerve wracking not to know when she will make her appearance to the world.

Watching: Wentworth, Revenge, Shark Tank, Cutthroat Kitchen

Wearing: My wardrobe hasn’t changed all that much throughout my pregnancy! I’m wearing dresses mostly throughout the week, but I’m also living in leggings and shorts some times. If you want me to be completely honest with you, my pajamas are my go-to outfit while I’m home. It’s the most comfortable clothes I own.

I’ve actually been real lucky to have a great maternity wardrobe, but I am a little excited about adding in some of my non-maternity clothes (hopefully soonish).

Wishing: for a healthy baby. Yes, same as last month, but that’s the only important thing right now. I’m also hoping that Wolverine loves being a big brother as much as I think he will. Yes, it will be a transition, but he’s such a loving, awesome kid I hope he adjusts well.

Drinking: Same old drinks: orange juice, cranberry-grape juice, or water. Sometimes I have an occasional ice tea.

Loving: all the baby movement I feel. Yes, I’m one of those moms who is going to miss being pregnant after the baby is born. I’m trying to enjoy our special little bond while we’re together, and I’m sure I’m going to love having her in this world even more.

Loathing: How huge my feet have been swelling and how arthritic my hands, feet and joints feel on super warm days.

Admiring: My husband. He’s a really great guy who goes above and beyond for other people. He’s one of the most selfless people I know. All he cares about is doing things to make other people happy. I’m so very lucky to have him in my life.

How’s July treating you? It’s one of my favorite months, and I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am!

FYI – Now that the baby will be here soon, I may move this monthly check-in back to the last day of the month. Not sure, but we will all find out come August!

Check out what I was doing, thinking, and feeling in JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMay, and June.

2014 In Review

Every year I do a yearly post to sum up my previous year. I don’t know why, but I never got around to posting my 2014 list. I found it in my drafts folder this weekend, and it was only missing a few answers. I feel too bad deleting it, so I’m simply backdating it all the way back to January 1st.

View More: http://brittanyadamsphotography.pass.us/erin-ryan-wedding

Happy New Year Y’all!

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

Came down with pneumonia, went to Seattle, had a bridal shower in my honor, went to my own bachelorette party, got married, went on a honeymoon, went to Aruba, turned 30, got pregnant and changed careers.

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

Some of them. My main goal was to be a better Erin, and I think I really excelled at that one. My two secondary goals were to write 150 small things and walk 150 miles. I totally aced the writing (which was a shocker) and did about 70% of the intentional walking. I’m sure there were many, many more miles walked in 2014, but not planned miles.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No one, but 2015 is going to be the year of babies for my close friends and acquaintances (oh, you know and me too).

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully, no.

5. What countries did you visit?

Aruba

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you didn’t have in 2014?

A baby!

7. What dates from 2014 will be etched upon your memory, and why?

My wedding date will by far be the most memorable day of 2014. Oh, and also the day that I found out I was pregnant.

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?

Applying for my new job and really changing work routines/styles to become good at my job.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I’m not quite sure I failed much at all in 2014. I might have made silly mistakes here and there, but in all honesty, I don’t feel as if I failed anything major this year.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had pneumonia in February, which was just awful.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Anything related to my wedding and honeymoon.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My husband’s. He was such a champ and so helpful when it came to planning and doing DIY projects for our wedding.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

No one! It was a wonderful year.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Paying off my student loans. It was so depressing to let the money go, and so exciting at the very same time.

15. What did you get really excited about?

Finding out that I was pregnant.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?

My wedding song.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Happier
b) thinner or fatter?
Slightly fatter since I’m pregnant, even though I’m barely showing.
c) richer or poorer?
About the same

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

Organization. Between home and both of my jobs, I wish I were a little more organized. Things would have gone a little smoother.

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

Worrying. It ended up being the best year of my life. There was no need to worry about a thing.

20. How will you spend Christmas?

With family and friends, and our pal Logan the Elf.

21. Did you fall in love in 2014?

Oh, yes.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

The Blacklist.

23. What was the best book you read?

Nothing stood out to me. Yikes. I need to make some big changes in 2015.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?

No discovery, but making playlists for my wedding was incredible.

25. What did you want and get?

Well, I wanted to get married, and guess what, it happened! I also wanted to get pregnant, and after some trying, I did!

26. What did you want and not get?

I got everything I was supposed to have in 2014. I’m so very blessed.

27. What was your favorite film of 2014?

The wedding video my brother made for us as our gift.

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

This year I turned the big 3-0. I went to work and was surprised by an ice cream cake from my co-workers and a flower delivery from my best friend.

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

Absolutely nothing. 2014 was a dream year for me.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2014?

Comfortable.

31. What kept you sane?

Probably the people in my life. That, and knowing that no matter what happened, I felt pretty sure of the direction I was headed in life.

32. What political issue stirred you the most?

Gosh, there were quite a few toward the end of the year. I think this country has a lot of growing and learning to do, and I think even more is going to come out into the spotlight during 2015.

33. Who did you miss?

A few friends that I wasn’t able to see as often as I’d like.

34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

At the end of the day, no matter what else happened, my only goal for my wedding day was to end it married to my husband. Everything else was just icing on the cake. I think that’s a good lesson for everything in life. No matter what happens throughout my pregnancy, my only goal is to birth healthy baby at the end. It doesn’t matter about the aches and pains or what the baby shower is like or how I plan on decorating for the baby, the only thing that makes a difference is that my baby is healthy. Same lesson can be applied to various work and life situations.

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

“All of me loves all of you.”

Currently in December

photo-1423483641154-5411ec9c0ddfReading: Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg (yet again).

Listening: I’m still hooked on podcasts. I cannot believe that the first season of Serial just ended.

Excited: for the holiday season.

Watching: Forensic Files. I love this show. I just watched all of the episodes on Netflix, and I found out there are so many more on Amazon Prime. Yahoo.

Wearing: Anything to keep me warm. I am cold all of the time.

Wishing: Loga, our Elf on the Shelft could stay year round.

Drinking: Still mostly just water with lemon. Usually alternate with some cranberry grape juice to mix things up a bit.

Loving: Spending time with my friends. I just had a nice girls brunch last week.

Loathing: last minute errands and holiday gifts I still haven’t purchased. I start shopping very early every year as I have a ton of birthdays to buy for on top of Christmas presents. I was about 75% done with my shopping in the beginning of November, and then everything stalled!

Admiring: my new Christmas tree.

 

Check out: JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJune, July, August, September, October, November

Currently in November

Reading: Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg (yet again).

Listening: to Podcasts all of the time. I’m hooked on Serial, Elise Gets Crafty, and One Bad Mother.

Excited: for all the great things 30 is bringing into my life. I’m enjoying it all.

Watching:  I’m caught up with all my television shows that are actually on the t.v. We’ve been watching Louis C.K. on Netflix, and I’m so excited that Grey’s Anatomy season 10 just came out on Netflix.

Wearing: Comfortable clothes that keep me warm in this in-between season.

Wishing: that everyone in my family stays healthy or gets healthier.

Drinking: So much water. I am on such a water with lemon kick!

Loving: my little family.

Loathing: The fact that it has snowed twice this season. It’s only fall! Luckily it’s only been a dusting each time, but a dusting is still too much for me!

Admiring: Good storytellers.

 

Check out: JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJune, July, August, September, October

Currently in October

08d10ac8eec23614ab42c128403714fbReading: Researching for work and editing for Spry Literary Journal.

Listening: Still listening to audiobooks. It’s going to make me bankrupt, but I enjoy books during my commute.

Excited: that we finished the ABC’s of Writing (for Beginners) series over at Spry. I’m also super excited to see issue #5 coming together. It should be ready before this time next month.

Watching:  Well, I’m all caught up with Walking Dead. I’m almost caught up with Blacklist, and I’m trying to get caught up with Hell On Wheels.

Wearing: my boots. I don’t think I’ll still be wearing flip flops at the end of the month.

Wishing: for more hours in the day or quicker writing habits.

Drinking: Pumpkin coffee. Yes, I’m one of those people. One of the very few things I enjoy about this time of the year is pumpkin flavoring, and I LOVE pumpkin coffee. I’m trying not to waste money on coffee, but I still treat myself to one about once a week.

Loving: my husband.

Loathing: the extra weight I’ve packed on in the past few months. It’s not a huge amount, but being a short kid, five extra pounds feels like a lot. I just want to feel more comfortable in my clothes.

Admiring: my lovely, beautiful, pregnant friends.

Check out: JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJune, July, August, September

Currently in September

ceb687ebc711fc850509de359daa4b3aReading: Spry Literary Journal submissions and only Spry Literary Journal submissions. Our reading period closes after 9/30, which means we are getting an influx of submissions. So much great writing is coming through the submissions manager, and I couldn’t be happier.

Listening: to books on CDs while I drive to work. Currently I’m listening to Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt. I only own two audiobooks (which I’ve already listened to during graduate school), so I need to purchase more. I really like listening to them during my commute. Does anyone have any suggestions on where I can purchase cheap audiobooks? I don’t want to break the bank, but I would like some new ones.

Excited: that so many people I know are getting pregnant. I love babies.

Watching: Blacklist. We are on the 3rd episode of Season 1, but I’m really enjoying it so far.

Wearing: Still holding on strong to my flip flops. I’ll probably keep them until the end of October if possible, but I just love flip flop season.

Wishing: For a few extra hours of sleep or down time every day.

Drinking: Sangria. Coffee. Water. Cranberry and grape juice.

Loving: that I finally finished and mailed out my wedding thank you cards.

Loathing: All the noises from the construction at work lately. I try to be patient, because obviously they are working too, but it can get loud.

Admiring: Wolverine. He just won MVP of his Minor League baseball team, and they said a little speech about why he won. I’m so very proud.

Check out: JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJune, July, August

Currently in August

Reading: 6ba44ef01d9750cfb0177c86580b1b40Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott

Listening: to my old iPod and the super cool music I had on there.

Excited: for my upcoming 30th birthday

Watching: Tosh.0 season 2 on Amazon.

Wearing: I forgot that last month I was giving my clothes one last chance. I’m going to start that again now!

Wishing: I hope the weather stays like this for a very long time. The sun is warm, but the breeze is cool. I have no interest in winter, but I do love this weather.

Drinking: Trying to get even more water in my system every day.

Loving: my husband, Mr. O. He is such a stud.

Loathing: Disagreements. I try to live a very conflict-free life, so it is tough to have some things be unsettled.

Admiring: My coworkers. I feel so fortunate to work with such incredible people. Check us out here.

Check out: JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJune, July

Currently In June

Reading: Wedding cards and notes from the kind folk who attended our wedding yesterday.

Listening: to the mix CD our wedding DJ gave to us after the reception last night.

Excited: to be the new Mrs. O!

Watching: a PawSox game for Father’s Day.

Wearing: Oh, let’s just make this a completely wedding themed post! Yesterday I wore my wedding dress (yahooooo!) and today, Mr. O and I (and Wolverine) are wearing our matching “Just Married” tattoos!

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Wishing: I could relive our entire wedding. It was such a happy, beautiful night.

Drinking: Champagne. Getting ready to drink a lot of booze during my honeymoon.

Loving: How low stress and happy this month has been so far. I love that in just a couple days I will be in Aruba on my honeymoon.

Loathing: When it is less than 24 hours since you were pronounced husband and wife (and it also happens to be Father’s day!), how can you loath anything?

Admiring: my new husband, my new stepson, and all the wonderful people in our lives who came out to celebrate our marriage yesterday.

 

Check out: JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMay

 

Currently in May

Reading: Blogs and social media feeds to learn about voice and trends in content writing.

Listening: My radio is filled with  commercials lately, so it feels like that’s all I’ve been listening to. Oh, and our wedding song on the radio. When we picked it last year, no one knew anything about it. Now the whole world loves it. Boo.

Excited: that my wedding is in less than a month. That also makes me incredibly nervous as well, but in the grand scheme of things, I think I am one of the most relaxed brides in the world. I never thought I’d be a relaxed bride. I mean, I didn’t think I’d be a bridezilla either, but I didn’t think I’d be so chill either.

Watching: Wolverine’s baseball games after work and on weekends and Lost before bed. Mr. O never watched Lost, so it is our new go-to show while we wait for Walking Dead, Hell on Wheels and Orange is the New Black to get back on Netflix.

Wearing: Flip flops

Wishing: I could relive our bachelor/bachelorette party again. It was so much fun. I was so worried about being an old tired lady, but we stayed up so late and had so much fun with our friends. It was such a great time.

Drinking: A few throwback drinks from my college days-Malibu and pineapple and rum and diet coke. Mr. O also makes a mean margarita. But mostly, all I really drink is water during the day.

Loving: My preview photo my photographer shared online from our engagement shoot. I can’t wait to see the rest of them.

Loathing: Not sleeping through the night. I’ve either been tossing and turning or sleeping with an active brain, and I don’t like that. I really love to rest, so not sleeping well messes me all up.

Admiring: My friends and family. I’ve got really great people in my life.

 

Check out: January, February, March, April

Currently in April

Reading: I finished a book! This is not a joke. I finished a real book: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. Running about 480 pages, this is the first book I’ve completed since graduate school. I spend so much time reading thousands of stories, essays, and poems for Spry that I don’t get to reading much on my own. Plus, every time I’ve started other books in recent months, I get distracted with life. So  yeah, reading 480 pages in 24 hours (in only two small sittings) was an awesome moment for me. I’m hoping I can finish 51 more books by the end of the year!
Listening: I’ve been living on Spotify lately as I’m trying to plan all my wedding music.
Excited: that there is less than 2 months until my wedding. I’m also terrified that there is less than two months. There is so much still to do! I’m also excited about a future announcement I will be making on the blog. I’ve accomplished one of my vague monthly goals, and I couldn’t be more excited. If you follow my personal page on Facebook, you’ll understand this reference. I’m also pretty excited that Wolverine made it to the Minor Leagues in youth baseball (he is only 7, and most of the kids on his team are 9).
Watching: Hell on Wheels (on Netflix). I’ll admit–at first I thought the show was stupid when Mr. O started watching it. Now I’m hooked. I’m still watching season 2 of House of Cards and enjoying that one too. In the past month I’ve finished a few movies: Gravity and Wolf of Wall Street. I’ve got Thor and 12 Year Slave ready to go next.
Wearing: On Sunday, I wore my flip flops for the first time in 2014! I’m looking forward to wearing them a lot more often. Also, in regards to what I’m wearing (or will be in two months), I bought my wedding jewelry this past Saturday. I’d love to show you a picture, but I’m wearing my wedding dress in the only pics I have right now.
Wishing: for some resolution on some open items. I have a lot to get done at work in a very short time frame, and I’m also waiting to set some dates in stone. I’m just going to push through enjoy my time with my coworkers in the meantime.
Drinking: Still enjoying my Lindeman’s Framboise. I’m lucky that Mr. O has picked up a bottle for me the past two weeks.Also, I’m pretty intrigued by the Downeast Cider I had at Chomp on Friday night. I loved it and was unsure about it at the same time. Overall, I think I loved it though.
Loving: all the really big changes happening in my life right now. Some are a bit scary, but all are super-awesome and totally exciting.
Loathing: This is a tough one for me. I don’t loath much. In general, I’m pretty happy-go-lucky. The only thing I really loath is snowy weather, but now that it is springtime, I might need to change these categories up a bit.
Admiring: My bridesmaids. They put on such a lovely bridal shower for me. It was the best bridal shower I’ve even been to. Yes, I might be a bit biased, but I still was so impressed and in awe of these lovely ladies. I can’t wait to do a more detailed post to show you all their hard work.

Check out: January, February, March

Currently in March

Reading: A lot. Spry is in publication mode for issue #4, so I had to catch up on reading before we closed the submissions manager. Then I needed to read and reread and reread again the accepted work to either send to an editor or edit myself. Besides Spry, I’ve been reading all the awesome journals and books I picked up at AWP. That’s been fun. Listening: to Spotify. I’m trying to work on my wedding music lists. I really thought it would be awesome to walk up the aisle (after the ceremony) to “Another One Bites the Dust,” but it is a little too low energy for me. Bummer. I want something with a lot of energy at that point. If any of you have any suggestions for me, I’d love to hear them. Excited: That my wedding is in three months. There is so much that needs to happen from now until then, but I’m really just trying to live in the moment and embrace it all. Watching: Just finished Catching Fire. I really liked that movie and I was totally bummed when it was over. Where is Peta and why didn’t they save him too? Wearing: Right this second I am wearing sparkly silver shoes that I originally bought on clearance (for six dollars) for my wedding, but now that I think of it, I’m getting married in June, and I’m going to want to wear sandals, not slippers. So, while I doubt they will make an appearance at the wedding, I’m still going to rock the look.20140314-131040.jpg Wishing: things were a bit calmer in certain areas. I need more creativity in my life. I need to figure out to make a little more time for that. Drinking: Lindeman’s Framboise. Though, I saw someone post a picture of La Chouffe on Facebook this week and it made me want one. I’m also in a bit of a Moscato phase right now. Loving: My veil. It came in while I was in Seattle, and I just think its perfect. I need to get it steamed, and I want to try it on with my dress to make sure they look good together, but Loathing: The winter (did I mention that last time as well?). Spring officially starts in five days, but just a couple days ago it snowed all day here in Massachusetts.20140314-131326.jpg Admiring: Seattle- I really enjoyed my time there. I know I’ve been home for about two weeks, but I really did have such a great experience in the city. The food and drinks were fabulous. Check out: January, February

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