Stefani's most-fantastical-reads book montage

Crooked Kingdom
Six of Crows
Yellow Brick War
The Wicked Will Rise
Charm & Strange
Their Fractured Light
These Broken Stars
Big Little Lies
I'll Be There
Red Queen

Stefani's favorite books »

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


I sat down tonight to write a reflection on 2012 and what the year had taught me. But as I started to look back on posts from the past 365 days, I realized that I have already done that - blogging throughout the year has given me a record of our highs and lows as a family, places we've been, challenges we've overcome, and dreams that we are chasing.
Birthday I celebrated this year: 31st
Best book I've read this year: I've read so many nonfiction books this year that it makes this category kind of difficult to respond to... I guess in fiction it would be Abraham Lincoln:Vampire Hunter (although the movie rendition was the worst I've ever seen) and nonfiction would probably be Raising Your Spirited Child because it taught me so much about Addison and how to help her in some of her more... challenging moments. 
Best place I've visited this year: We didn't really travel this year but taking the kids out to my parents beach house was definitely a great trip and Addison still talks about it ALL THE TIME.

Highlights from 2012

Greatest lesson learned:You just cant ever be ready for some of life biggest changes - they happen and you react and adapt. Life goes on, whether you are ready for it or not. 
Hardest thing to overcome: My spending problem - I got out of debt and got right back into it... It's a point of contention in this house on nearly a daily basis. 
Favorite memory: Giving birth to Cohen is definitely the first... but being there to watch my dad be inducted into his high school hall of fame was a close second. That was really special for all of us.
What I loved most about 2011: My dad completing his STEM cell transplant and watching him recover and return to the man he was a few years back. I'm so proud of how strong he has been throughout this whole process and how he has never given up. I'm thankful every day that he is still with us.

Goals from 2012

A new skill I want to learn: I want to create an emergency preparedness plan for my family and have an emergency kit in place in the next year.

*The plan is created and the kit is 1/3 complete, I didn't realize the financial side of putting together a kit like this, but I'm working on it every month and will continue to until it's complete. As of now, the medical kit is nearly complete and I'm moving on to survival tools next.

I want to improve at: Being financially responsible... and be credit card debt free by the end of the year.  

*Not even close... will be working on this much harder this year.

Biggest goal: Be back in my pre-pregnancy clothes a year from today

*DONE!! Woot, woot!!

Goals for 2013

A new skill I want to learn: Carriage driving... I learned this year that I have several issues in my spine that will probably prevent me from riding competitively in the future. I would like to take some time this summer and take driving lessons to find a new way to stay involved with an old hobby.

I want to improve at: Finances - getting and staying out of debt and building savings.

Biggest goal: To have Addison preschool ready by the fall by working with her each day on numbers, letters, counting, following directions, etc.

I still feel a need to list the events that had the largest impacts on our family this year...

1. Pregnancy and bed rest (and thankfully disability insurance)
2. The birth of our son Cohen
3. My dad's STEM cell transplant and cancer treatment
4. Changing childcare providers in the fall 
5. My best friends pregnancy and birth of her son, Owen
6. Derek's decision to leave the Department of Revenue and move to Domex - a COMPLETE career change
7. Buying a lot to build our new home on and settling on a house plan
8. Putting our house on the market
9. Parting ways with old friends, becoming closer with existing friends

There have also been world events that have changed the way we look at the world this past year...

1. Hurricane Sandy
2. The 2012 presidential election
3. Sandy Hook Elementary Shootings (and subsequent shootings)
4. The 2012 "Apocalypse"
5. The current "fiscal cliff" that our nation is teetering on

The media that we (okay, I) have been hooked on...

1. Facebook
2. Twitter
3. Instagram
4. Blogger
5. Redbox Movies
6. Kindle
7. Pandora
8. The Walking Dead (AMC)
9. Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
10. Teen Mom (MTV)

So there it is... a brief year in review. Next up... what's ahead for me in 2013. 

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