I see thousands of faces before me.
Then I see a face that I used to know
Long ago in my life story.
It starts me thinking about the things you said
For your image is still inside me.
The past is gone but in my head
You’re still walking along beside me.
Is it something playing tricks with my eyes
Or just an illusion deceiving me,
Or is it someone in a disguise
Or visions of things that used to be?”
Here I am again. Not taking any kind of blogging break. Trust me when I say that there will come a day (not long from now) in which I will really need a break because I will be riding the Peter Pan ride at Disney World and I will be wearing a sundress and there will be three highly capable and amazing people here in this space for me. So you’ll still come visit then, right?
Last year, I got this “Year in Review” post idea from Melissa at Home on Deranged and I’m happy to do it again, just changing all the questions from 2013 to 2014. Feel free to play along! I remember it being both fun and reflective last year. Diving in!
What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I did, actually! I had two goals – one was to see moose. Obviously. The other resolution was to be credit-card free by the end of the year. I’m happy to have achieved that in April. It feels nice to go into a new year without credit card debt. For 2015, I feel like I have more emotional resolutions. And there are more moose resolutions – to see moose WITH the kids.
Did anyone close to you give birth?
My sister-in-law gave birth to the ever-smiley/gushy/amazing Sophia! My first niece. I’m hoping for some great births in 2015.
Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, my grandmother passed away on June 15th – which was my father’s birthday. He passed away in 1984. I got the call on the way to Six Flags and Cassidy knew, but I had to go through a theme park while hiding it from the kids. I just didn’t want to ruin the Father’s Day outing for them. It was a lot of crying in bathrooms or behind Looney Tunes statues. She was 100. I miss her every day. She just ran out of time. I went through life forgetting that I’d ever have to say goodbye.
What countries did you visit?
Wow, not even Canada. One day.. sigh..
What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
More moose! More love! More Canada. More other countries too.. I’d like my writing career to somewhat catch up to my photography career. That was more of a thing in 2013. They will probably only be evenly matched in my heart, but I can try.
What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory?
June 13, 2014. It happened to be Des’ second birthday AND Scarlet’s preschool graduation. We had all six grandparents with us to celebrate both things and I was a real mess, but not too bad considering. I came to the graduation with a rented lens, and a feeling of slight panic, and then Des fell asleep on me and we brought him home and celebrated. It was a few days after I had gotten back from Baltimore for BlogU and it was two days before my grandmother passed away. I think back to it with innocence because I feel like life was easier then. Warmer. Lighter. I was braver. And maybe it/I will be again.
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Oh, I don’t know! Any of the things in the first question. I did a lot of photography this year, but not just families (my specialty). I did fine art photography, and a wedding, and a few newborns, and some corporate products, and real estate. Ultimately a lot of things speak to me. I think the biggest achievement is probably emotional, though. There are still many days in which I am afraid I’m disappearing. Fading out. I guess the biggest achievement would be realizing I’m still here and needed. I have gotten rid of some of those awful thoughts I have sometimes that my family would be better off without me.
What was your biggest failure?
I couldn’t let go of enough fear, pain and anger. I’m in a better place than I was last year, or even a few months ago. I have let one or two toxic people go, not only from my life, but from my daily thoughts. Poof.
Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had a 12 day cold in January, but got better in time for Florida. Then I had another cold in November, but got better in time for Thanksgiving. Two in one year is actually rare for me. I blame kindergarten germs. And winter. (Des’ Grumpy Cat face:)
What was the best thing you bought?
Probably just a bowl of great soup that I split with Des. Actually, it was our king-sized bed. Last year I answered that it was Scarlet’s bed! Glad we got a brand new bed too. You never really know who you’ll find on that bed, or in dreams on that bed.
Whose behavior merited celebration?
The dog! She’s the most wonderful dog – sweet and patient and protective. We can bring her anywhere and almost forget we did, because she’s neat and quiet. She’s playful too. And did I mention that she’s totally adorable?
Also, while I was writing this answer, I sneezed and Des said, “Bless you, Mama!” He also says “Thank you” when a stranger holds a door open for him, and once a guy said, “Man, he has better manners than most adults I know!” He’s two.
Where did most of your money go?
Food, for sure. The new bed. Disney World. Gifts for loved ones. I’d love to say I blew it all on a full-frame camera, but alas, it wasn’t my year. The same goes for a 24-70mm lens. Or a 10-22mm, while we’re at it. I love those..
What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The new bed, the Disney trip, the puppy, the blogging conference, Christmas.. the photo jobs.
What song will always remind you of 2014?
Last year I said “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities. I think that was probably a reflection of the tail end of the year. I think I’ll say the same this year and give two more by the same band: “Patience Gets Us Nowhere Fast” and “Tell Me How To Live.”
Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? Sadder.
Thinner or fatter? Thinner by about 6-7 pounds.
Richer or poorer? Richer.
What do you wish you’d done more of?
All of it. All of those great life gifts we get – the physical and the emotional. And the moose.
What do you wish you’d done less of?
Um.. eating processed foods? Being anxious?
Did you fall in love in 2014?
Yes. You have to fall in love with everyone you love. Platonic or not. There is a falling. There is a minute or hour or day in which you realize that someone fills your heart. There is an ache. There is a concern for their well-being.
How many one-night stands?
Like I said last year, none in 2014. None ever, actually. Well.. sorta.
Who were your best friends?
My sisters. My kids. New friends. And many others. I can’t narrow you friends down. I just can’t. You’re all best friends.
What thing did you do that was meaningful to others?
I guess it’s just what I do happily – open my heart here and share writing and photography. I want to do it more.
What were your favorite TV programs?
Once Upon a Time, Nashville, Modern Family, New Girl, Jane the Virgin (yes, seriously), Doctor Who, Parenthood.
Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Elaborating from last year: There’s no room in my heart for hate (as well as time for it!), for people in my life, but when I hear stories on the news about cruelty and abuse and murder..my blood boils with something I’d rather not talk about.
What was the best book you read in 2014?
I very much loved This is Where I Leave You.
What was your greatest musical discovery?
Hmm.. maybe I just discovered that I really love Capital Cities beyond “Safe and Sound.”
What did you want and get?
More jobs. Some relief from anxiety. A heck of a lot of new friends, wonderful moments, and laughter.
What did you want but did NOT get?
As usual, a moose in my yard. A luxurious night in a hotel ALONE. (think Kevin at the Plaza in Home Alone 2)
What was your favorite film of this year?
Guardians of the Galaxy! Honestly, I haven’t seen much. Was Iron Man 3 this year?
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 34. My mom was staying in town which was awesome. Cassidy got me my favorite cookies from my favorite place, as well as pizza for dinner. I didn’t feel that well. Just off. We went to Six Flags the next day and had a blast.
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Maybe more breaks. More beach breaks! It’s my own fault for not taking them! Although school/daycare has helped.
What kept you sane?
Ever more tools to combat situational anxiety. Music. People. Chocolate? Popcorn.
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I’m a big fan of sexy Daniel Grayson on “Revenge” but I think he died in the fall finale. Boo!
What political issue stirred you the most?
Like I said last year – I will offend at least half of you. People sometimes…their brains…? Not engaging.
Who did you miss?
If I love you? Chances are I missed you.
Who was the best new person you met this year?
There’s quite a few! People who make my daily life easier, richer, and with more laughter. In person or through blogging. And I met a TON of blogging friends in 2014. I’m overwhelmed with how many. They were all real and spectacular.
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
Just one? I’m not really feeling like I’m ending the year very well. I feel weaker than last year, for sure. I know that it comes and goes. I know that the pain passes. I know that I’m a survivor. That most of us are.
Quote that sums up your year:
I feel like I need Tom Petty to handle this one:
“I’m learning to fly but I ain’t got wings
Coming down is the hardest thing”
Honorable mention because of the people in my life:
“Out of a dream, out of the sky
Into my heart, into my life
And you were just a face in the crowd
You were just a face in the crowd
Out in the street, thinking out loud
A face in the crowd”