2015 Year in Review — What a Year…

Hello blog friends,
Well it’s been quite a year. I haven’t posted here in 6 months and then felt awkward about posting. But with the New Year upon us and 2015 about to be behind us. I tough that the annual Year in Review would be a good exercise for me and a chance to fill you in on my year, as the title of this post says, what a year it’s been…

Goodbye-2015-welcome-2016-whatsapp-dp

A quick overview:
Let’s get right to the issue — In July, I was taken to the emergency room where I was told I had a brain tumor! What?!?! I was totally shocked, and, as you can imagine, in denial!
Well, to make a long story short: they removed it and it wasn’t the worst type. I went through 6 1/2 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy, and I am doing fine now. Actually I am feeling great; almost back to my old self!

What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before? — Besides the whole brain tumor episode, I really didn’t have any new experiences in 2015. But I did go skiing with some girl friends and that is something that I haven’t done is a long, long time. (Not the skiing part, I’ve done that, but the skiing with girlfriends). It was fun and I’m looking forward to a trip or two in 2016.

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? No I was not very good about keeping my resolutions this year. But I will make some for 2015. Stay tuned.

Did anyone close to you give birth? No but sons and daughters of close friends of mine are beginning to have babies, very exciting).

Did anyone close to you die? No, thank God.

What countries did you visit? No foreign countries, but I did travel to Maine, Florida, New Jersey, Virginia and DC to visit friends and family.

What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015? Perfect health!

What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory? July 15, when I had brain surgery

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Recovering from brain surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. I’d say that’s a big enough achievement for a lifetime!
What was your biggest failure? I really can’t count anything as a failure this year

Did you suffer illness or injury? See the beginning of this post

What was the best thing you bought? I don’t know about the best, but the biggest thing I bought is my new Toyota Rav4.

Whose behavior merited celebration? My friends and family whose love and support were tremendous during my ordeal.

My kids flew up here immediately and frequently;

Gary who was with me throughout the entire process, from initially bringing me to the ER, to dealing with the insurance company, to getting me a great neurosurgeon (within my network), and to getting me settled so I could be close to the hospital for my daily radiation treatments, and not be alone, and finally for being supportive to this day;

And all my friends whose cards, calls and outpouring of support made me feel special and loved.

Where did most of your money go? To doctors and hospitals!

What did you get really, really, really excited about? This sounds trite, but right now I am very excited that my hair is growing back. I lost most of it due t the radiation and the doctor said that there was a 50% chance that it would grow back, so I am very excited to see that it is!

What song will always remind you of 2015? All Your Favorite Bands by Dawes

Compared to this time last year, are you:
• Happier or sadder? — Happier and far more grateful!
• Thinner or fatter? – Thinner but I am working on gaining back the weight I have lost
• Richer or poorer? – Emotionally and spiritually, I am richer, but in terms of liquid assets poorer; however my house is now worth far more than I paid for it, so in terms of overall net worth richer!
What do you wish you’d done more of? Spending time with family especially at the holidays.
What do you wish you’d done less of? Spending time in hospitals, at doctor’s offices, but it was all worth it and all’s well that ends well!

How will you be (or did you) spend Christmas?

I spent a quiet Christmas with Gary,my dad, and his friend, We had a fun time with good food and conversation.
Did you make a new friend this year and/or get closer to a friend or an acquaintance? I feel like I got closer to a lot of my friends as they were so supportive during these past 6 months.

What thing did you do that was meaningful to others? No, sorry, but this year was mostly about me.

What was your favorite TV program? This year I enjoyed Life in Pieces, but my favorite show is Modern Family (new shows or reruns!)

What was the best book you read? The Hidden Garden by Kate Morton, Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Simple, and The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

What did you want and get? A new car.

What did you want and not get? There is nothing tangible that I did not get. I would like to get to spend more time with my kids.

What was your favorite film of this year? The only new movie I saw this year was the James Bond movie, Spectre

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I went out to dinner with Gary for my 56th birthday.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Not having a brain tumor and all that went with that!

What kept you sane? working, friends and family and naps!

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? As the candidates consumed our attention this year, I would say that Dr. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina interested me most.

What political issue stirred you the most? All of them, I have to watch less news!

Who did you miss? My mother – more each day.

Who was the best new person you met this year? Dr Jeffrey Florman, my neurosurgeon at Maine Medical Center.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015: There are no guarantees…live each day to its fullest. Be grateful for every day.

Quote that sums up your year: ”Keep on Keepin on”

What mystery from 2015 was never solved? How did I get a @#?$*!&! brain tumor??

Did you start any new traditions this year? Let’s hope not!

2014 Year in Review

My cousin, and blog friend Lisa, has posted this Year in Review on her blog every year for the past 10 years.  I think it is a great way to look back on the year and share some of its highlights (and low lights), and so I took up the practice.  This is my third annual Year in Review.  (Feel free to check out my earlier posts 20112012 and 2013).

This is a fun exercise and a great way to summarize the year and I recommend that you gives it a try.  Let me know if you do!

A quick overview:

To summarize my year, the overriding big change was my puppy, only 10 pounds, but a lot of work!  It was also the first full year of having my Dad live nearby and seeing him frequently since I went off to college.  My year was full of road races.  I even reconnected with some old time friends (Cindy and Lynne from college days and Deb from Hampstead), and I went to a reunion luncheon with 25 women from my sorority. Weather-wise, it was the year of the Polar Vortex and so it was very, very cold from January through March, brrr.  The summer was fairly rainy and didn’t offer many hot days.

What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before? — Nothing overly exciting, but two things I did for the first time in 2014 were: I went to a 6 week puppy training class with my puppy, and I went to the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston.

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I kept a lot of them and posted ‎my successes and failures.  I like to make New Year’s resolutions and since I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve written them down and kept track of them through the year which really made a difference in terms of keeping them!  I will definitely make more for 2015 and will post them on this blog.

Did anyone close to you give birth? My cousin Kristin had a baby boy, Tyler! Also another one of my friends became a grandmother this year!  Congratulations Lorri Z!

Did anyone close to you die? A former neighbor died in an accident this year.  I feel sad for his (adult) children as they were friends with my kids, and for his former wife is a friend of mine.

 What countries did you visit? Once again, no trips to foreign countries this year.  As far as domestic travel, a took a ski trip to Sugarloaf Maine and made a few trips to New Jersey, Virginia and D.C to visit family; a trip to Bethesda, MD for a family wedding.  Already in 2015, I have a trip planned to Florida for some fun in the sun, and to Utah for fun on the slopes.

What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?  I have everything I could ever need or want.  But I would like to go ice skating — now that the new outdoor ice rink is open at Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, I plan to do this!  I would also like to visit my friends Janet and Cindy in New Jersey, and Diane, Brenda and Barb in Virginia.

What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory? It is either very good or very bad that I can’t remember any single noteworthy date.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?  I did some speed training and a lot of racing this year and improved my running times immensely, I broke an 8 minute pace for a 5K twice this year!  As a matter of fact, I came in 4th in my age group in the Seacoast Race Series!

What was your biggest failure? I really didn’t have any “failures” but I did have a job setback when one of the agencies I worked for lost a HUGE account, thereby cutting my time (and money) down by A LOT.  However, I recovered as another company became busier and needed more of my services.  Still a net loss money-wise, but I have more time and overall I am happier.

Did you suffer illness or injury? ! I was nice and healthy in 2014, and I plan to keep it that way!

What was the best thing you bought?  Perhaps my authentic, Shearling-lined L.L. Bean boots.  I’ve lived in New England since 1977 (except for 6 years in VA from 2001-2007) and I have finally gotten some Bean boots!

Whose behavior merited celebration? My family celebrated my cousin Justin’s wedding to Rosette in October!

Where did most of your money go? Other than my mortgage, my biggest expenses have been clothes for me and gifts for my kids!

What did you get really, really, really excited about?   I saw a lot of old friends who I hadn’t seen since college this summer.  I spent a great weekend on the Cape with my former roommates Lynne and Cindy.  And a few months later, I went to a luncheon with 25 of my Alpha Xi Delta sisters — again, I hadn’t seen most of them for many, many years!

What song will always remind you of 2014? Take Me To Church by Hozier (no reason, I just like the song and I really can’t think of any stand outs from this year!)

Compared to this time last year, are you:

  • Happier or sadder? — The same, perhaps not quite as happy
  • Thinner or fatter? – The same weight as I’ve been most of my adult life
  • Richer or poorer? – Richer

What do you wish you’d done more of? Skiing, weight training, yoga

What do you wish you’d done less of? A little less working!!

How will you be (or did you) spend Christmas? I spent Christmas with my dad, my cousins and my daughter Kelsey.   We had a great celebration.  We always have a great Christmas Eve dinner with family, enjoying the traditional 7 (or more) fishes.  And then on Christmas Day another wonderful dinner at another cousin’s home, and again had fun eating, drinking, socializing and just being together!  My daughter Kelsey came back to New Hampshire with me and we enjoyed the weekend — opening some more presents, shopping, eating, drinking, a show at the Music Hall (Justin McKinney), running, yoga and a movie (100 Foot Journey).

Did you make a new friend this year and/or get closer to a friend or an acquaintance?  I reconnected with a friend, Deb and I met her friend Julie, plus I believe I have taken steps to repair a friendship with an old, estranged friend. (well she isn’t old, the friendship is old.

What thing did you do that was meaningful to others? In terms of community service, I have joined the board of Coastal Athletic Association.  I hope to have a positive impact and become more involved in the Seacoast running community.  Perhaps this will become meaningful to others.

What was your favorite TV program? This year I discovered The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family, both hysterical comedies

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Oh let’s phrase this differently,“Have any of your relationships worsened over the past year?” — No!

What was the best book you read? I read and/or listened to a bunch of good books in 2014, but the one that stands out the most as it was intriguing and very different for me was Shantaram.  I also enjoyed And the Mountains Echoed.

What was your greatest musical discovery? Sad to report, I have nothing to say on the music front!  I haven’t been to any concerts or musical shows and I really didn’t discover any new exciting artists.

What did you want and get? I wanted to get more clients for my business, and I did.  I also wanted to have professional photos taken and update my website which I did.

What did you want and not get? There is nothing tangible that I did not get.  I would like to get to spend more time with my kids.

What was your favorite film of this year? I didn’t see too many, and some were a disappointment — Tammy, Osage County.  But of those I saw, I enjoyed the last installment of The Hobbit, Nebraska and Maleficent; although I wouldn’t classify any of these as a favorite.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I went out to dinner with a special friend for my 55th birthday.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Having a little more free time (it was a very hectic year work-wise) and a little better weather (it was freezing all winter and not all that hot this summer).

What kept you sane? Eating healthy, exercise, reading and spending the spring and summer on the water.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Absolutely no one!

What political issue stirred you the most?  Politically, all eyes were on the mid-term election, but as far as an issue went, everything got me stirred up, but there is nothing that “we the people” can do about any of this except to vote.

Who did you miss?  My mother

Who was the best new person you met this year? I didn’t meet many new people this year, but I would have to say it was a year of meeting up with old friends and that was one of the best parts of the year — Debbie, Elaine, Lynne, Cindy and my AZ Sisters!

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014: It isn’t easy to train a puppy!

Quote that sums up your year:  It’s still light out, let’s drink white!

2012 — My Year in Review

Last year I was introduced to this questionnaire on my cousin Lisa’s blog.  It really provides a nice framework for reviewing and reminiscing about the year, and so I borrowed the idea of answering these questions as a recap of the year.  This is my second annual Year in Review.  (My post for 2011 can be found here).  This is a fun exercise and a great way to summarize the year and I recommend that everyone gives it a try.  Let me know if you do!

What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?  I participated yoga malain a local Yoga Mala.  A yoga mala is comprised of 108 Sun Salutations performed in variety of yoga styles.  The mala was  led by teachers from a bunch of different yoga studios throughout the area.

 

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I kept a lot of them and posted ‎on my achievements.  I have made resolutions in the past, but this year I kept track of them and reviewed them throughout the year to stay on track.  I will definitely make more for next year, and will even keep a few of this year’s resolutions going.

Did anyone close to you give birth? My cousin’s son Christopher and Christopher’s wife Meagan had a beautiful baby boy, Brian.

Did anyone close to you die? Two members of my extended family, Kathy and Sally, both lost their mothers this year.  They were both wonderful women and they are dearly missed.

 What countries did you visit? No foreign countries this year, but in the Ski Town USAUS, I traveled to Steamboat Springs Colorado for a ski trip with my daughter, Kelsey; to New Jersey to visit my Dad and other family; Virginia to visit my kids; Newport, Rhode Island a few times for work.  I took many trips to various spots on the coast of Maine, including an upcoming New Year’s trip to Camden (Maine), and I spent time across the border in Massachusetts, mostly Newburyport and Boston.

What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?  I can honestly say that I didn’t lack anything in 2012.  Some things I would like to do in 2013 are to take some local New England ski days and/or weekends, go ice skating, and take a family trip with my kids.

What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory? That would have to be September 22, 2012, the day of my son’s wedding!

What was your biggest achievement of the year? Personally, I completed the Seacoast Half Marathon in 3 minutes faster than last year.  Professionally, I started working with Worldways Social Marketing.

What was your biggest failure? I honestly can’t categorize anything as a failure in 2012.

Did you suffer illness or injury? No! I was nice and healthy in 2012.

What was the best thing you bought?  New skis.  Now I need to get out 051and use them!!

 

 

Whose behavior merited celebration? Once again this year, my children share this honor; Taylor and Nora for getting married, and having a wonderful celebration for family and friends. And Kelsey for getting a terrific job, moving to a fabulous apartment and staying sane during major transitions!

Where did most of your money go? I did manage to get my money and long term savings in order this year.  Most of my money went to savings and my mortgage payments.  As for my “mad money”, most of it went to dinners out, and Christmas presents.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

IMG_9738 Taylor and Nora’s wedding!

 

 

 

What song will always remind you of 2012?  Gangnam Style, Come Fly with Me, the song my son and I danced to at his wedding.

Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? — Equally as happy
Thinner or fatter? – Thinner!  And healthier as I’ve adopted a vegan diet
Richer or poorer? – Richer

What do you wish you’d done more of? Skiing, weight training, yoga and meditation, and keeping up with my blogs.

 What do you wish you’d done less of? Watching the news!

How will you be (or did you) spend Christmas? I had a great Christmas DSCN1158with family.  I was able to spend the holiday with my father, my son Taylor, daughter-in-law Nora, and my daughter Kelsey.   Usually I don’t get them all for Christmas, so this year was extra special.

Every year my family has a big Christmas Eve dinner.  This year my cousin Carolyn and I hosted the traditional 7 fish dinner.  And it turned out wonderfully!  The company was terrific, the food was great, and everyone had an excellent time.  On Christmas Day we had fun opening our presents and hanging out together.  We went to another wonderful dinner at my cousins Michael and Sally’s home.  We shared dinner with them, their son Christopher, his wife Meagan, and their little kids.  It is so much fun to have little ones around!

And then the next day we had a “cousin’s dinner” at a local restaurant. It was a blast.  Almost all of my cousins (on my mother’s side) and their children were able to attend.  Unfortunately my kids had already left to go back home so they missed out.  But we had a terrific mini family reunion.

Did you fall in love in 2012?  Let’s assume this question is really asking, “How is your love life?” to which I will answer – good.

Who were your best friends? My best friends don’t change, so I’m going to change this question to: “Did you make a new friend this year and/or get closer to an acquaintance?” I did make some new friends this year.  I met Nora’s family, specifically her mother June, grandmother Aida, Aunt Patty, her father Andrew, Uncle Juan, Aunt Kathy, Uncle Tony and Phyllis – all wonderful people!  I also met new friends at Worldways.  And, I rekindled a friendship with my first college friend, Nancy thanks to Facebook.

What thing did you do that was meaningful to others?  Hmmm, that’s a tough one.  I hope I’ve motivated some people through this blog to eat more healthily and exercise.   I also hope I helped my daughter by keeping her motivated and upbeat during her job search.

What was your favorite TV program? My favorite shows continue to be: Parenthood, So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars, and American Idol.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Oh let’s phrase this differently, “Have any of your relationships worsened over the past year?” — No

What was the best book you read? I read (and listened to) a lot of good books this year.  The most influential book was The China Study – I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in health and nutrition.  My favorite fiction books were: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walters, and The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, both great stories.

 What was your greatest musical discovery? The Spectrum on my XM Satellite Radio… A great station playing an Adult Album Rock format, a blend of current and classic softer rock

What did you want and get? I wanted and I got myself new skis, a new TV and a new phone.

What did you want and not get? Nothing really!

What was your favorite film of this year? Midnight in Paris, and of course, The Hobbit!

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I went out to dinner with a special friend for my 53rd birthday.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? A booming economy or at least a glimmer of hope that the economy will improve soon!

What kept you sane? Running, yoga, reading and spending the spring and summer on the water

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I really don’t have much use for celebrities, and our public figures leave much to be desired!

What political issue stirred you the most? The never-ending election

Who did you miss? My family when I’m away from them, and my mother

Who was the best new person you met this year? Maureen, owner of Worldways Social Marketing, her husband Mark, and their entire staff!

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:  Networking, and hard work yields their just rewards.

Quote that sums up your year:  Mine is concerning the Mayan calendar and the end of the year

“But concerning that day and hour (the end of the world) no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. – Matthew 24:36

12-12-12: My Year in 12 Pictures

I wanted to do an end of the year post chronicling my year in photos, and then I came upon this challenge from a fellow blogger at Three31 to write a blog based on the number 12 in celebration for this final repeat month/day/year day in our lifetimes (the next one won’t come until January 1, 2111!  And so here goes.

12 Photos that showcased 2012, compiled on 12/12/12

January

097 The year started off with a ski trip with my daughter to Steamboat, Colorado.  It was a great trip.  We enjoyed skiing, snowboarding, gourmet lunches on the mountain, vegan entrees at a Mexican restaurant, shopping in town and of course the Hot Springs

February

Typically an ironically long, cold and in-between month, I didn’t do a whole lot heatin February.  I did however participate in a Yoga Mala for the benefit of (H)EAT a local charity providing heating assistance to local families.

March

brenda, diane, grace 3.23.12My birthday month!  This year I had the chance to go to my old town in Virginia and visited with some great friends.  As you can see, a good time was had by all!

April

Ah Spring is in the air…I kicked off my race season with a Memorial Run for a chief maloney runlocal Police chief, Michael Maloney.  Even though I had a horrific cold, I felt strong and had fun during the 5.6 mile charity run.

May

DSCN0868With the nice weather came a flurry of activity; visiting family, boat trips, seeing George and Barbara Bush at the Memorial Day Parade in Kennebunkport, but the photo I want to share is of the perennial garden I had put in.  (Notice I didn’t say that I put in!)  A lot of work was involved in digging up the grass and planting a lot of perennials.  I always wanted to do this and knew I wouldn’t get around to it, so I had a local gardener who is a friend of a friend do the work.  The garden bloomed beautifully all summer and fall and I know it will give me years of beauty and enjoyment!

June

In June we had an impromptu “cousins’ dinner”.  It was great to get together with  DSCN0907so many of my cousins.  As there wasn’t a single picture with everyone in it, I had to post two pictures for this DSCN0906one.  And even with that, some people are missing from the photos!

July

DSCN0990Summer finally arrives in NH and boating season is in full swing.  This year a trip up to Boothbay Harbor and Monhegan Island got the summer off to a great start.  Monhegan is a small, rocky Island ten miles from the mainland and barely a square mile in area. It is accessible only by boat and there are no cars or paved roads on the Island.  Its roots as an artist colony date back to the mid 1800’s.  Most notably it was home to Jamie, Andrew and N.C. Wyeth.  Currently only about 75 people live on Monhegan island.

AUGUST

In August I met my future daughter-in-law’s mother and grandmother.  What August wonderful people!  We had a great visit.  Enjoyed a few dinners together and even spent an evening at a wine bar.  You really can’t beat bonding over a few glasses of nice red wine.

September

The highlight of September, actually of the year, was my son’s wedding!  It was a IMG_9738beautiful wedding set in a lovely spot in Lewisburg, WV.  A lot of family as well as two of my very close friends from childhood came.  Since none of us were local, we spent a nice long weekend in Lewisburg and took in the sites.  We had a wonderful brunch at The Greenbrier and enjoyed shopping (and eating) in the picturesque town of Lewisburg.  The wedding itself was wonderful, with lots of dancing!

October

DSCN1106In October, my 35th High School reunion rolled around.  It was fun.  I went with my high school friend.  We had a great time.  Unfortunately our core group of friends from high school didn’t go so we didn’t see a lot of old friends, but we talked to all sorts of people that we vaguely knew from 35 years ago!  As you can tell from this picture, there was some drinking involved!

November

On November 11, I ran in my second Seacoast Half Marathon!  Yeah me!!  Not Seacoast Half Marathon 2only that, but I improved my time from last year by almost 3 minutes,  I felt good during the race, and even felt good when I finished (unlike last year when I had knee  pain during the race and felt atrocious after the race!)

DECEMBER

DSCN1137So far, besides working, December has been spent decorating, shopping and wrapping.  I really enjoy the holiday season and all the hubbub it brings!

I wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and/or Happy Kwanzaa!