Tuesday, January 17, 2012

talkin' 'bout a resolution

Last year in my resolutions post I featured a photo by Anne Marie Musselman, a Portland photographer whose series on the Sarvey Wildlife Rehab Center I really love. This year I decided to do that again. 

In spite of the cold and general bleakness, January is one of my favorite months of the year. It seems set apart from the other eleven somehow, a month of new beginnings and hopeful futures. Eileen Joy, a scholar I quite admire, described it here as heralding 

[if even as a mirage] new beginnings and re-tooled ambitions and second [and third and fourth and so on] chances as well as a chance to pause and rest and refresh. 

I love it (the quote and the month). I know many, many people find New Year's resolutions an exercise in futility, and while I understand that, I love them anyway. Longtime readers (defined here as people who have loyally stuck with me in spite of my apparent inability to consistently post), however, will know that the only thing I love more than making resolutions is sharing them. Hence the ill-fated week of living resolutely, which went well until I crashed on my sister-in-law's bike. Hence also last year's New Year's Resolutions, and the following, my resolutions for 2012 (many of which will be familiar):

1. Exercise three times a week. I actually did rather well on this resolution this past year, and especially during Fall term. Last year I became much smarter about how I set up my schedule, and I was able to go to yoga class at least twice a week (more than that, I've discovered, and I'm just too darn sore). Over the summer I also "ran" several times a week for nine weeks. This year I'd like to keep up that progress, and possibly even find a way to transport my things to campus so I can continue running.
2. Drink enough water (64 oz. daily). Always and forever.
3. Continue to improve the way we eat. Last year I became a vegetarian, which has been wonderful. But it's also been challenging, and it's often hard to think of ways to give myself (and more importantly, my meat-loving spouse) enough of the right kind of food. A few sub-resolutions will hopefully help me break this down:
     a). Eat less sugar. This has the pornography definition: I know it's too much when I see/eat it.
     b). Eat three food groups at breakfast (courtesy of this great article at Runner's World, which I read     even though I totally don't qualify as a runner). I don't often get to eat a full breakfast, but when I do, this will be my guide.
     c). Fill half the plate with produce (courtesy of the same article. Also, really difficult, even for a veggie eater like me).
4. Write daily. Like many of these resolutions, this will probably be on my to-do list until the end of time. This year, my goals are: 1) To write short weekly responses to the things I'm reading for class; 2) To write 10-15 posts for this blog a month. I really love this blog and love knowing that people are out there reading it. I've been a bad online host, and I want to work on that; and 3) To blog at my cherry amour once a week, and to try to make my posts as cool as Kathayoon's.
5. Find a summer job I won't hate. I failed epically at this last year. This year, I am determined.
6. Be more generous to people (mostly Ross).
7. Make time for adventures. Of all types.
8. Relearn French. I've got to say, in terms of enthusiasm, this resolution tops the list. I've been thinking about trying to re-teach myself for a while now (Ross' continued facility with Polish is inspirational). Armed with a bunch of books and tapes from the library, I'm finally ready to give it a go.
9. Carry less stuff. I mean this literally, in terms of the sheer amount of heavy s**t I carry back and forth to school every week, but I mean it figuratively, too. I've been trying for years to shed a lot of negative emotions and anxiety, and for the most part, my efforts (bolstered by the incredible amount of support I've received from, oh, everybody) have paid off in slow and steady progress. I want to keep that up. Earlier this month, I hit a milestone in regards to a persistent and irritating problem I've been facing for a while now (sorry to be vague, but there it is). So I'm already making progress on this one.
10. Keep up with old friends. You are the hummus to my carrot sticks, the frosting to my graham cracker, the nap in my long day. Happy New Year.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2011 in review

Happy 2012! Every year, I try (oh boy, is that ever a key word) to post a year in review. By try, I mean that I created such a post for 2009 and began, but never finished, another such post for 2010. Ah, well. But here it is, 2012, a new beginning, and here, for your reading pleasure, is 2011 in review.

January began, not very auspiciously, with some winter blues and sleepiness.

We also saw (and loved) The King's Speech, Creature had a seriously unfortunate poop explosion, and this incredibly charming thing happened.

In February, Miss Kathayoon Khalil and I started a design blog (still going strong!), Creature helped us celebrate Valentine's Day, and Mr. Chris came to town!! (Please excuse the poor quality of this photo. It was dark).

In February, I also officially became a vegetarian. It's been good. 

In March, I presented at my first ever conference, Ross was in the midst of reading the Harry Potter series in Polish, I wrote some acknowledgements, and we had some more friends come to town:

We also celebrated Earth Hour by playing candlelit boardgames, which was lovely. 

In April we went to the cherry festival, I wrote (a lot) and I traveled to Salt Lake City for a conference and to see my family. 

We also broke ground on a garden we made with some dear friends. 

In May, we had an amazing day with yard sales and good stuff, I didn't blog (at all), I started my wretched job, and best of all, we went to Charleston and Savannah

There were also ducks in May. 

In June I missed the zoo, and hated my job (although Creature liked the materials end of it):

Also in June, Ross' brother and family moved away. June sucked. 

July was awesome, though! In July we went camping near Harper's Ferry and got our Civil War reenactment on.

My birthday was (and remains) in July, and Ross took me here for an amazingly delicious dinner and then surprised me with tickets to Harry Potter. Which was awesome. 

August was busy! We drove to Chicago to visit Ross' grandparents and got to see the city from Joe's boat. (Can you find Ross-first picture-and the two of us?) 

For Ross' birthday I staged a scavenger hunt, and Ross' obsession with plants hobby began to really take off. 

Oh, also, there was a hurricane which wasn't, really. Not for us, anyway.  

I didn't blog at all in September or October because I am the worst. Also, because I was trying to be super student. But we still did stuff! 

In September we went to the National Arboretum...

and I went to the National Book Festival... 

In October, we spent our second anniversary in New York. 

Also in October, Ross gave me the best present I've ever been given. I'll try to blog about it soon (it will require me to come to a better place with our scanner). 

Also also in October, we celebrated Halloween with our new friends, Katie and Evan. I went as a fox...

Ross went as three hole punch Jim. I didn't get a picture of Ross, but this is kind of what he looked like:

In November I went to a really boring conference (but at least it was in Miami)...

we hung out in DC...

and we drove Shenandoah with our friend Chris. Can we talk about Shenandoah for a second, by the way? People here LOVE it and think it's the most amazing thing ever, but the three of us--spoiled Northwesterners all--were somewhat unimpressed. Anyway, here are some pictures:

In December I wrote like a madwoman for a while, and then we left for Portland, where we visited beloved people...

(Next two photos by the fabulous Nicole Dewey)

and places...

It was the best.

Since we've been home (January bonus!!!), we've been doing a whole lot of blissful, wonderful nothing. Lots of movies, lots of books, and lots and lots of food. Last weekend the weather was incredible, so we went rollerblading at a park near the University of Maryland. It was, as the kids say, "rad." 

Happy New Year!