Category Archives: Blog Obsessed

fifty things that made my year, 2016

Last year was Not Kind. But in the midst of the madness, I think I can come up with fifty things for this list, as I have for the past couple years (2014, 2015).

  1. obviously, buying our house
  2. getting my tattoo
  3. hanging out backstage during Cloud Cult
  4. new car!
  5. Cloud Cult’s album and film, “The Seeker”
  6. my fancy new coffee maker
  7. Paul McCartney at the Target Center
  8. seeing Dave Chappelle at First Ave during his Minneapolis takeover
  9. Little Red Porkette
  10. paying off one of my student loans
  11. having a woman on the presidential ballot
  12. voting for said woman, even if she’s not going to be president
  13. Rebekah’s wedding. Table 7 for liiiife
  14. growing my hair out…
  15. …and then cutting it off again because long hair is annoying
  16. the Chicago Cubs
  17. The Crown on Netflix
  18. six years of marriage ❤
  19. learning how to make scones
  20. the Tony-Award-winning musical Fun Home
  21. hot chocolate
  22. the TSA’s Instagram
  23. the strange and wonderful art we bought
  24. another West Wing re-watch (that is continuing into the new year)
  25. a coworker gifted me a Christmas tree
  26. chocolate & peanut butter brownies from Pizza Luce
  27. Leslie Knope’s letter to America
  28. the Bob Ross Twitch channel
  29. Halloween cat onesie
  30. several successful DIY projects
  31. silicone baking sheets
  32. Julia Turshen’s Small Victories
  33. night coffee
  34. all coffee, actually
  35. so many HGTV shows on Netflix
  36. Delete your account.”
  37. learning grasshopper pose, kinda
  38. becoming better friends with our now-former apartment neighbors
  39. moving out of said former apartment
  40. pretty sunrise views from our bedroom window
  41. my solo one-day trip to see some of my WI family
  42. the super-sweet thing (about being a family) that Darren said to me on his birthday that made us both cry
  43. Enli being Enli
  44. Amazon Prime (34 orders in 2016, could be worse? lol)
  45. not being sick for Christmas break, for the second year in a row!
  46. my 11 day Christmas break
  47. TV marathons
  48. Harrison turned one and continues to be awesome
  49. Boca Chica’s Taco House
  50. that there were enough good things to make even the shortest list

2016 – the weirdest year

Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

None resolutions. I should do the burrito one again, that was awesome.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

A coworker & some FB friends.

Did anyone close to you die?

No.

What countries did you visit?

No trips this year.

What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?

A different president-elect. Alas, no such miracle exists.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Paid off one student loan and bought a muthafuckin’ house. Those things are unrelated but both super rad.

What was your biggest failure?

I was hoping it would be a cavity-free year. April’s dentist visit gave me hope, but November’s brought failure.

What was the best thing you bought?

Haus. The car is a close second, though, and has been less temperamental.

Whose behavior merited celebration?

The wonderful folks at Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

He Who Shall Not Be Named.

Where did most of your money go?

This friggin’ house.

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

Um, our house… there’s a pretty clear theme here.

What song will always remind you of 2016?

Maybe “We Didn’t Start the Fire”

Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or Sadder?

I mean, some good stuff happened this year but it has also been pretty stressful. Plus we’re about to enter into possibly a nightmare, so.

Thinner or fatter?

Fatter. Oops. My pants still fit though, so meh.

Richer or poorer?

This is a loaded question.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Adventure/travel, but we just had other priorities. Womp.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Stressin’

How will you be spending Christmas?

Christmas eve was in Pequot, Christmas afternoon/evening was in Farmington. Then we came home and had to smash a hole in our kitchen ceiling- blog post to come later.

Did you fall in love in 2016?

With our new car, lol.

How many one-night stands?

*obligatory joke about nightstands here*

What was your favorite TV program?

I don’t know, maybe Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I’ve still only seen the first season!

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Yeah, probably.

What was the best book you read?

Furiously Happy.

What was your greatest musical discovery?

Not so much a discovery, but Cloud Cult’s album “The Seeker” came out this year and it is everything.

What did you want and get?

House.

What did you want and not get?

A million dollars. This answer will never change, until I get a million dollars.

What were your favorite films of this year?

The Seeker. It’s an album and a film!

What did you do on your birthday?

Went to yoga, got a tattoo, ran some errands, then had a nice dinner.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?

Simple, neutral.

What kept you sane?

Netflix.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Hillz.

What political issue stirred you the most?

Um the entire election *crawls into a hole and dies*

Who did you miss?

My dad, actually. He’s been gone almost 25 years but I guess it’s been a long time since I overtly missed him.

Who was the best new person you met?

Some of Darren’s coworkers. I don’t think I can pick just one.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016:

just-do-it

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

There’s no use running unless you run like heck
The best things we’ve learned, we learned from the wreck…

taking stock

Hey dudes. I saw this “Taking Stock” post over on Making it Lovely (the idea seems to have started with Meet Me at Mikes) , and I liked the idea/I love lists. I was probably due for an update anyway, so here goes!

Making: nothing, but I could probably make the handkerchiefs I have fabric for.
Cooking: whatever I can scrounge up. Grocery shopping this weekend!
Drinking: coffee and water.
Reading: I just stared HP & the Order of the Phoenix. It’s been a while since my last series re-read.
Trawling: anywhere on the internet I can find a doorbell.
Wanting: an endless supply of dollars.
Looking: for a bedroom rug.
Deciding: how much I want to spend on a rug, hahaha.
Wishing: see “Wanting.”
Enjoying: the shorter commute I have now.
Waiting: for 5pm.
Liking: my Harry Potter re-read.
Wondering: if I should have a movie marathon once I finish the books.
Loving: the weather this week!
Pondering: curtains.
Listening: to the sounds of the office at the moment.
Considering: yard work.
Buying: dental work, soon- gettin’ a couple cavities filled, boo.
Watching: so much good TV lately! The Good Place is a new show worth mentioning.
Hoping: the election goes the way I’d like it to.
Marveling: at all the leaves on the ground (but also thinking some people need to rake).
Cringing: about the dentist appointment I have this afternoon.
Needing: a rug in the bedroom.
Questioning: how to answer some of these.
Smelling: nothing at the moment. Maybe my coffee?
Wearing: jeans and a sweatshirt, same ol’ same ol’.
Following: so many house blogs.
Noticing: the things people wear to job interviews sometimes, holy moly…
Knowing: the election will be over soon.
Thinking: this thing is hard!
Admiring: drawing a blank here, sadly.
Getting: nervous about the dentist even though I know it’ll be fine.
Bookmarking: Christmas gift ideas.
Disliking: all the political ads on TV.
Opening: multiple tabs of things to read.
Giggling: at the list I just encountered.
Feeling: a little sleepy, a little antsy.
Helping: only myself today.
Hearing: people in the conference room.
Celebrating: Friday! Oh, also the Cubs I suppose.
Pretending: winter isn’t coming.
Embracing: fall, at least for now.

things that made my year – 2015

Happy 2016!

I’m starting the year with a list, because lists are my favorite. Okay, really I just enjoyed doing this last year, so here’s my “Things That Made My Year” for 2015. Sticking with fifty:

  1. Nephew Johnston
  2. Disneyland
  3. playing in the ocean at Laguna Beach
  4. being in California in March while it was blizzarding here
  5. The Great British Bake Off
  6. finding a great YouTube channel for yoga
  7. playing WoW with Darren
  8. seeing a lot of touring Broadway with Rebekah
  9. Hotline Bling parodies
  10. cinnamon & clove coffee
  11. cinnamon & clove everything (ok, really just coffee and applesauce)
  12. Jon & Anna’s moment of fame
  13. when I saw that kid snuggling with his cow at the State Fair
  14. quote from Darren that made me cry laughing: “I don’t wear underwear, just a baby sock.”
  15. our 5th wedding anniversary ❤
  16. Pluto!
  17. marriage equality
  18. Grace & Frankie
  19. my super fun awesome 30th birthday
  20. Darren’s new job
  21. new ornaments full of symbolism for our tiny Christmas tree
  22. Boots Botanics products
  23. my brother keeping me from losing my mind on more than one occasion
  24. and letting us borrow his truck for a couple weeks. Who knew I’d enjoy driving it so much?
  25. homemade sweet potato soup
  26. drinking on the stoop with the good neighbors when our power went out
  27. quinoa lasagna
  28. Tyler & Kim’s wedding/mini HS reunion
  29. that picture of a bald raccoon
  30. spacetaco
  31. the Caroll Spinney (Big Bird) reddit AMA
  32. I started playing World of Warcraft early in the year and I am surprisingly into it (see #7)
  33. binge watching all of Master of None in one night… two Fridays in a row.
  34. so much more on Netflix: Tig, two John Mulaney specials, Aziz… it was the year of comedy.
  35. re-reading some favorite memoirs
  36. end of the year Star Wars marathon
  37. Penguin the Magpie
  38. donations to Planned Parenthood
  39. being able to make monetary donations occasionally without totally freaking out about our budget
  40. tumblr
  41. guided meditation, even if I’m not very good at it
  42. Sufjan Stevens’ newest album, Carrie & Lowell
  43. If Stanley Tucci Were Your Boyfriend
  44. The Small, Happy Life
  45. not being sick during my Christmas break for once
  46. Gaelic Storm at the State Fair
  47. making Darren a penis cake for his 30th birthday, because he asked me to
  48. dog snuggles, aka snuggz.
  49. Tim’s “Made My Year” list
  50.  A Brief for the Defense, which I found on Tim’s list. I’m not generally into poetry, but this one is unreal.

2015!

Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I think I forgot to make resolutions. I’m fine with that.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

A coworker, a coworker’s wife, many FB friends, but most importantly Jenna birthed Nephew Johnston!

Did anyone close to you die?

Grandma. ❤

What countries did you visit?

Just this one, but at least we made it all the way to the coast.

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

More money, as per usual. Ooh, also 100% healthy and cavity-free teeth plz.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

No babies in 2015! Finally went on a proper vacation. Paid off some debt too, so that rules.

What was your biggest failure?

I dunno, probably not paying off even more debt. Also, getting our rental car towed. I am still embarrassed about that.

What was the best thing you bought?

A new TV stand. Thanks IKEA! Our living room looks so much better.

Whose behavior merited celebration?

All the badasses at Planned Parenthood, fighting the good fight.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I CANNOT EVEN WITH SO MUCH BULLSHIT COMING FROM SO MANY DIRECTIONS with the Trump and the guns and PP doesn’t “sell baby parts” omg

Where did most of your money go?

It’s a toss-up between my dentist and the car.

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

DISNEYLAND

What song will always remind you of 2015?

Hmm. Something by TSwift, probably. Maybe Shake it Off, even though it was released last year.

Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or Sadder?

I mean right this second my face totally hurts so I’m probably sadder, but over all… same?

Thinner or fatter?

Maybe thinner? Maybe the same.

Richer or poorer?

Probably about the same.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Adventure!

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying.

How will you be spending Christmas?

Christmas Eve with my family, Christmas Day with Darren’s. Hopefully D doesn’t have to work Christmas Eve.

Did you fall in love in 2015?

Yes, with California.

How many one-night stands?

I have one night stand. It holds many things.

What was your favorite TV program?

Law & Order: SVU. I caught up on several seasons and regret nothing.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

My teeth. I turned 30 and they were like HAHAHAHA FUCK YOU AND YOUR FLOSSING AND YOUR FLUORIDE MOUTHWASH WE DON’T GIVE A SHIT ENJOY SOME PROBLEMS

What was the best book you read?

The Doctor is In: Dr. Ruth on Love, Life, and Joie de Vivre

What was your greatest musical discovery?

Sufjan Stevens’ newest album. So good. So sad.

What did you want and get?

Maybe I should answer this after Christmas. Kyle got my name in the drawing and I know he’s getting me something off my list!

What did you want and not get?

A million dollars.

What were your favorite films of this year?

I seriously cannot remember the last time I went to a movie. Maybe we’ll go see Star Wars.

What did you do on your birthday?

I threw myself a party at home and it was the beeeessssst!

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

Neutrals 4 lyfe.

What kept you sane?

Yoga. I confess I haven’t been to the studio in months though. Thanks, Lesley Fightmaster!

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

ADA Rafael Barba. In the non-SVU world you may know him as Raul Esparza.

What political issue stirred you the most?

WHAT DIDN’T OMG

Who did you miss?

The fam.

Who was the best new person you met?

Nephew Johnston! Literally a new person, and also the best.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015:

Listen to your dentist.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

I can sleep in ’til noon anytime I want
Though there’s not many days that I do

50 things that made my year

I got this idea from Tim, who was inspired by another blogger. They both went to 100, but I found 50 to be… well, easier.

In no particular order, fifty things that made my year in 2014:

  1. ringing in 2014 in Fort Kickass
  2. yoga
  3. headstands and the other cool stuff I’m learning to do with my body. That sounds dirty.
  4. construction of the Green Line finally finished and now I get to take the train to work
  5. my resolutions for the year: eat more cheese and eat more burritos. Massive successes.
  6. that time the White House had a real-life Big Block of Cheese Day
  7. that genius burrito Kickstarter campaign
  8. the even more amazing Reading Rainbow campaign
  9. we got rid of our janky old car
  10. I learned to knit
  11. PuppyCam happened again
  12. that time Enli and I encountered a squirrel in the yard carrying an entire egg roll in its mouth.
  13. RiffTrax Live was perhaps a life-changing experience.
  14. Clay Aiken ran for Congress, his opponent died, and he still lost.
  15. Finally took Darren to the original motherland of Bagley, WI. It was kind of sad, but I’m glad we made it there anyway.
  16. So many office happy hours.
  17. Peanut Butter Oreos
  18. I started making my own BBQ sauce and life may never be the same.
  19. The horrible upstairs neighbors broke up and moved out.
  20. that time I saw Derek Jeter in real life and spent the rest of the day singing Derek Jeter’s Taco Hole.
  21. Sharknado 2 and the existence of the Sharknado theme song
  22. the day of my oldest brother’s wedding, I learned that my Twinkle is gonna be a dad (in like 2 1/2 months, whaaaat!)
  23. So, yeah: Cody got married, Tyler got engaged, Kyle and Jenna are having a baby. I’m piggybacking off my brothers and their Big Life Events.
  24. that time a bunch of us only worked until noon and then went to a baseball game
  25. playing Goldeneye for the first time in probably 15 years
  26. midterm elections happened and I got to experience the joy of not voting for Mike McFadden.
  27. we went to a hunting-themed wedding where the groom wore a camouflage tuxedo jacket and it made my life.
  28. I watched so much good TV, thanks in large part to Netflix. Psych, Twin Peaks, all of Gilmore Girls, yet another West Wing rewatch… to name a few.
  29. the OMG Literally Dead Instagram account
  30. spending a day swimming and bar-hopping with Brenna, and more friends joining in
  31. lunch on the “patio” at the Blue Door with Kate, in the rain
  32. so many birthday cupcakes!
  33. I finally read The Princess Bride
  34. Other “made my year” books I read: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Hyperbole and a Half, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, The Ocean at the End of the Lane
  35. mom gave us copies of her pregnancy notes so I scanned ’em.
  36. watching Enli and Winston wrestle
  37. I saw a very impressive Beatles tribute show
  38. I made cheese
  39. yet another excellent day at the State Fair
  40. we put in new seats at the Orpheum and it was crazytown.
  41. I crocheted several adorable things for Fetus Johnston.
  42. these ladies
  43. this guy
  44. these little monsters
  45. air plants and my ability to actually keep them alive
  46. when Kelsey’s question for Nick Offerman ended up on the Tonight Show.
  47. this picture of me and my dad
  48. all the things that made (and continue to make) me laugh really hard, like this gif.
  49. meeting a bunch of new friends
  50. many, many excellent cups of coffee.