New Year

2022 Survey

Borrowing this from Lisa…..

1) What did you do in 2022 that you’d never done before?

Traveled to Europe with my kids! Also went to two professional sporting events in Chicago (first time at pro soccer games).

2) Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not that I can think of!

3) Did anyone close to you die?

No, thank God!! I didn’t attend any funerals, unless you count watching Queen Elizabeth II’s on TV.

4) What places did you visit?

  • Isla Mujeres, Mexico
  • Ireland
  • Rome
  • Weekend/ day trips to: La Crosse, WI; Chicago; Wisconsin Dells
  • San Diego, California
  • Mexico City/Toluca/ Tepotzlan/ Malinalco, Mexico
  • Sent boy(s) to: Washington D.C./ Des Moines, Iowa/ Stevens Point, WI/ camp!

5) What would you like to have in 2023 that you didn’t have in 2022?

More consistency with my diet (healthier/unprocessed/ lower sugar) and exercise. I feel like I was all over the place this year. There were really good stretches, and really bad stretches. Pre-pandemic, I won’t say my diet was awesome, but at least I was very consistent for years with regular exercise and gym going, EVEN during the years when the boys were very little and I was working shift work in the hospital. Seriously, I was a regular gym rat and didn’t miss a beat for years on end (or during running phases, I followed my training plans to a T.) Once 2020 hit and the gym closed, it’s like my wheels fell off and I’ve never been able to really glue them back on completely. IT IS ANNOYING! I feel that at this stage in my life, with teenagers who can stay home alone, generally need me less, and a work from home, flexible job, I “should” be able to do better at this than when I had toddlers and worked 12 hour shifts in the hospital. Yet, here we are. Hard to not view this as a discipline/priorities/”me” problem, versus otherwise situational.

Also, I just really want to be a person who defaults to whole, nutritious foods instead of sugary drinks and cheese topped foods. I want to be the person whose lifestyle just naturally includes tons of healthy foods, not because I “have to”, not because I’m following a “diet”, but because it’s just my lifestyle and that’s just “how I eat” and how I feel best. Does that make sense?

6) What dates from 2022 will be etched in your memory forever?

  • Pretty much our entire trip to Ireland. Can’t choose a single moment- from arriving at the train station and hugging my nieces/nephew/sister, to cozy pub moments, to reading the Bailey’s Story book every night to my nieces, to taking photo after photo of beautiful scenery, to riding bikes on a gorgeous trail, to viewing historical sites together and strolling the streets of Galway… it’s impossible to choose one.
  • The moment we entered St. Peter’s Square on our first night in Rome, with the Basilica looming in front of us. Amazing.
  • Attending the Backstreet Boys concert in Milwaukee with one of my best high school friends who I hadn’t seen in ~15 years.
  • Going to the Haunted Forest with the boys + friends!! This was such exhilarating fun- an experience I’d never done before, so it really stands out.

7) What was your biggest achievement this year?

I’d say just keeping our lives running!! We are BUSY. I work full time. Our kids are in tons of stuff. I planned all of our travel. I made the “special moments” happen- birthdays, holidays, decorations, traditions. We had meals to eat/ food in the house (usually 😉 ).We didn’t miss (too many) signups or deadlines.

Also, I experienced a lot of growth at work this year. No one thing, really, but just a lot of growth in leadership skills, confidence, and I even earned a cash $ performance bonus to recognize my great work- which is really rare in my line of work.

Finally, I kept up this blog, and I completed my Habit Tracker every single day, and my Highlight Journal pages probably >95% of the time. My life has been “DOCUMENTED”! 😉

8) What was your biggest failure?

Well, see #5 about consistency with diet/exercise. But besides this, other “failures”, if you want to call them that would be: a very lackluster reading year. I think I’ll end up at… 15 books? OOF that’s bad. By far the lowest number in several years. Also, I’ve done a terrible job at keeping our budget/finance spreadsheets up to date. Seriously, they have been untouched for a length of time that I won’t disclose. 😬 This is so bad of us! Definitely a goal for 2023 to reorganize our finances.

9) Did you suffer from illness or injury?

No, thankfully. But I have been struggling with ongoing, intermittent lower abdominal bloating for over a year now, and I can’t figure out what’s causing it. I actually went to the doctor and had an ultrasound done recently, because of course the words “ovarian cancer” were flashing through my mind…. but that all looked fine. I’m wondering now if it may be a newly developed dietary sensitivity of some sort, but it’s odd, because I have zero other GI symptoms (no gas, nausea, diarrhea, cramping, pain, etc.) that often accompany dietary intolerances or GI disorders. Just this mysterious bloating that comes and goes- but I really do not like it. Anyway, I may try an elimination diet soon and see if I can pinpoint something.

10) What was the best thing you bought?

Hmm, let’s see. That’s a tough one. I guess I’d say I’m really loving these two pair of ankle boots I bought this fall- one in a caramel/ tan color and the other in black. They are so comfy and versatile and I’m loving them. Also, I bought some new sweatpants/ joggers/ leisure wear this year that I’ve been enjoying. In October I used birthday money to order these Ogee Contour makeup sticks that Facebook kept taunting me with ads for…. they are pretty sweet! I’m happy that I bought a monthly gym strength workout membership from Macros with Em- I’m really loving having pre-programmed workouts again (even though I haven’t been 100% on them). I have a feeling my new Apple watch is going to be a favorite item, too! Love it so much so far!! (*That was a gift from Ivan though.)

11) Where did most of your money go?

Great question. 😜(See #8)

I think a combination of: private school tuition, travel expenses, extracurricular activites, restaurant meals and boys athletic apparel. 😂

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

Definitely our vacations. I think because I do all of the planning, plus I write blog recaps, sort photos, etc., I actually probably enjoy the vacations more than anyone else in our family! I think that as a result of all the extras I do, I end up experiencing/ anticipating/ reflecting on our trips much more deeply than anyone.

13) What authors did you discover in 2022?

Um…. that’s a tough one. None?? I mean, I read that huge Tribe of Mentors book by Tim Ferris, and I hadn’t read his works before, but that was really just a compilation of interviews from other people, so I feel like that doesn’t count.

14) What do you wish you had done more of?

More consistent workouts. More reading.

15) What do you wish you had done less of?

Probably random phone scrolling. Cliche answer nowadays, I know. And drank less soda (my biggest vice).

16) How did you spend your Christmas?

At home, with my family + my parents.

17) What was your favorite TV program?

I liked all the TV we watched! We finished the series Atypical, This Is Us, Ted Lasso (FAVORITE!!!!!), and Younger (almost done).

18) What did you want and get?

To finally be able to take our several-times-rescheduled trip to Europe.

19) What did you want and not get?

I’ve been trying to find jeans that I love and feel amazingly comfortable, and I really can’t say that I’ve accomplished this yet. Recommendations welcome.

20) What was your favorite film of 2022?

Hmm, I think I’ll go with Top Gun: Maverick. Saw it twice in the theater it was so good! Also recently loved the new Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, and enjoyed the Elvis movie this summer. We’ve actually watched quite a lot of movies this year.

21) What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Turned 39 and spent the weekend at an indoor waterpark in Wisconsin Dells! Also took a beautiful fall hike that was very memorable for me.

22) What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I’d say somehow figuring out how to just feel like I “have it all together”. I always end up feeling like despite my best efforts at planning, organizing things, etc…. I still can’t quite ever achieve a state where life feels like it’s all just smooth sailing. Then again, maybe that’s a myth, or an urban legend. Maybe that doesn’t really exist. 😉

23) Who kept you sane?

Definitely would say Ivan. He’s soooo much more chill than I am in many ways, and when I get myself all wrapped around the axle or stressed about things, he is so good at bringing me back to reality. (Sometimes by saying things like, “Well, just remember that none of this really matters, because in less than 100 years we’ll all be dead, anyway.) 🤣🤣

24) Who did you miss?

Well, I hate not being able to see my sister more often. I hate that we can’t have a “normal” relationship where we can see each other’s families frequently, or where I can go pick out and drop off gifts for my nieces and nephew, or just be able to experience all the different stages of the kids without huge gaps of time in between.

I also always miss my childhood best friend. Sounds lame, but I’ve never had another friendship like hers. We’ve grown out of touch over the years, but I think of her often and sooooo miss the friendship we had.

25) Who was the best new person you met?

Um…. hmm. I don’t know! I guess maybe my co-volunteer coordinator for the swim team?! She was new to me and really nice, and kind of a lifesaver! I also really like the new Data Coordinator my department hired. She’s very cool and fun.

26) Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2022.

Okay, I think I’m getting fatigued from filling out this survey, because I’m not sure what to say. Haha. Um, I think I’ll say: I’ve learned to continue working on just being really content with who I am, and not trying to change myself or hide myself for others. Self-confidence has never been my strongest suit. I think it’s been an ongoing work in progress for a while now, but I think I’ve really made some strides.

27) Show us one of your favorite photos from the year.

Oh, you all know that’s impossible. I take so.many.picutures. ONE??!

If I had to just pick one, though, maybe this one:

This was our first evening in Tepotzlan, Mexico, and it was so charming and beautiful and I just felt really happy in that moment. This is my current phone wallpaper.

Whew, that’s a lot of questions! Thanks, Lisa, for the prompt!! That was fun!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone! Cheers to 2023.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful to have made it through another year. (Well, hopefully I make it through the next ~14 hours, lol! This would become a really odd and creepy post if I didn’t! 😂😂)

15 thoughts on “2022 Survey”

  1. I love reading these surveys! Sounds like a great year, and I am so envious of all your wonderful travel!

    Your comments about eating and consistency and finding an eating style that you feel good about all resonate with me so much. I want those things in 2023, too! Good luck to us both. 🙂

    Happy New Year!


  2. Well workouts were a struggle for me, too. I don’t really know how to solve my issue because I am finding I need more sleep than the average person. But then I read that you kept up with workouts with toddlers when you were working 12 hour shifts and I think – what is my problem! Although my age is not helping me. I am an old mom – I’ve got about 3 years on you and am in a different, really labor intensive stage of parenting. I keep telling myself it won’t always be like this! Someday I won’t need to tend to someone at 6 am every single day. Bleh. I really want to get back to 3 workouts/week, though. That is doable!

    I feel similarly about my little sister. She is not nearly as far away as yours, but we don’t see each other as much as I would like. She is maybe moving back to the Midwest in a couple of years, though. Her kids will be closest in age to mine so I hope they can spend a ton of time with her daughters (she’s having another in June!!) so they have the kind of cousin memories I had when I was a child!


    1. Well, when I was working shift work it was very taxing, BUT I also had a lot of full days off. So, it was easier in some ways/some days, and harder on others. However, I do recall getting up and working out sometimes at 4:30 a.m. before leaving at 6:15 for a shift, and I actually do remember stopping by the gym at 8:25 p.m. after working a 12 hour shift sometimes!!! ha!! Sometimes I’m not sure who that “me” was!! lol!! It felt nearly impossible to schedule marathon training around my hospital schedule though, because I usually had big chunks of days off or on in a row. Made it really challenging to appropriately spread out tempo runs, long runs, recovery…. it was a mess! I somehow made it happen, but I remember that it was soooo not ideal. I also think that back then, I had less other competing desires for my time. I don’t think I really read much at all at that point in my life. I didn’t have this blog, I didn’t read/comment on other blogs really (minus a couple of old school running blogs!), didn’t have my planner and my journal and other little things that sneak in and occupy chunks of my free time. Ivan’s schedule was wacky/different then too, so I often had time when I was home and he was away at work- time I could work out after putting the boys to bed, since he was gone anyway, etc. I also didn’t go for walks, unless I was walking with the boys/ strollers. So it was really just: kids- house stuff- work- exercise. Having less things to focus on does make a difference!


  3. I can’t recommend wit and wisdom brand jeans enough. Seriously life changing and totally affordable. Buy them at Nordstrom and thank me later 😉


    1. Ooh, thanks! I will check those out!! My issue though is often that many of the department store brands or even designer jeans don’t come in various inseams! And I’m almost 5’9″ and have pretty long legs- so very often jeans that might otherwise work end up being too short for me, too! And if they ARE long enough, then it seems the fit is always off somewhere else or they are uncomfortable, etc.! I just can’t ever seem to win! 🙂


    1. Thank you! I feel the same way. I absolutely LOVE reading your blog. It’s really one of my favorites! I love reading stuff from other boy moms, especially if they are a little ahead of me in the parenting curve. 🙂


  4. Happy New Year.

    Wow – what an incredible year for travel. I know you mention not feeling like you have “stuff” together, but pulling off so many incredible trips in a year is definitely a sign of very much having things together!!! Life is crazy and hectic, so what does “having it together” really mean?! You did/saw/ate amazing things with people you love and that’s wonderful!!!

    I love following along with all your adventures and hope 2023 is a year full of happiness, fun, and exciting growth!!


    1. Thanks Elisabeth! I hope so too!! I do think that with all the moving parts in this current stage of life, feeling perfectly in control and “all together” all the time is probably wishful thinking. 😉 I sometimes remind myself that Ethan is starting high school already this year… in a mere FIVE years, our lives may look very, very different, so I’m trying to just lean in right now and ride it all out. 🙂 It goes so fast!


  5. I laughed out when reading your answer 26, hahahahha…..
    You did a lot of travel!!! Best way to spend money and form family memories.
    I am also dealing with some mysterious GI issues for over a month now, it is annoying not knowing the way. I’ve seen a GI doctor already and he’s suggesting colonoscopy which I don’t want to do until I’ve tried everything else. I don’t like when I don’t feel truly right with my physical body so will definitely keep figuring it out.
    Oh about sit and workout I know what you mean. I just had the realization during this vacation of my why … to keep eating healthy and exercise when I’m supposedly to be indulging… because it makes me feel the best and it’s easy to be consistently eating healthy than in and out of it.


    1. Ugh, sorry you’re having issues!! I think you’re really right about just staying consistent with healthy options. That is one of my biggest challenges in life! We do eat out often and as a family, including my extended family, are people that do embrace plenty of unhealthy food options as “treats” on holidays, travels, etc…it does make it hard to separate yourself from all of that. And of course, it all tastes really good, too!


  6. Wow! You really did travel so much this year. That’s really something to be so proud of and you’ll never regret going.

    I did okay with workouts this year, but I am in agreement with you that I wish I defaulted to healthy foods instead of reaching for sugar-filled granola bars. *sigh* Why does food have to be so fraught?! (Also, why can’t nachos be considered a health food?!d


    1. In my defense, my nachos ALWAYS have pico de gallo on top, so that right there includes tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, lime juice (FRUIT!)….. haha! Totally a health food. 😉


  7. That was so fun to read. What a great way to recap a year… and I am proud of you for making strides to be more self-confident. It’s hard.


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