Year in Review: Looking Back, Looking Forward

With the end of 2011, I am also nearing the end of my first year of blogging.

January

Middletown CTCounting on Salsa

I published my very first blog post in the end of January, having dragged my husband along to take this Salsa dance class with me. We were pretty bad. I didn’t know what I was doing when writing a blog post either. I went back and revised the post a few times to try to make it sound less textbook-y. My son punked me by secretly giving me my first-ever comment from cyberspace. I was so excited, but I was suspicious immediately since he used a different spelling of his middle name.

“I just need to walk back and forth to the beat, but I get mixed up repeatedly. It helps when the instructor has us close our eyes. To really tune in to the music, we practice clapping on different beats, and I can manage to count to eight again.”

February

Vegan for a Week, Part One

This was an interesting challenge, and I learned a lot. It also allowed me to “meet” other bloggers. I felt great and didn’t really miss meat very much, but by the end of the week, oh, did I hanker for a hunk of cheese.

“I was shocked to discover that Guinness (along with many other beers) is not vegan. Guinness especially shocked me since I had toured the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, which has exhibits based on its famed four ingredients: barley, hops, water, and yeast. There is no exhibit on isinglass, a substance from the bladder of a fish.”

March

Internet Exile, Part Two

I gave up the Internet for a week. I read. I talked to people face to face. Very strange.

“My students were born in 1998. They are shocked to hear about the world I grew up in, the world before the Internet, ATMs, and cell phones. (If they do picture it, it is a hazy world with horses and buggies traveling down the dusty road and overly fancy children churning butter.)”

 April

It only took me 13 days to stop complaining for a week

Or did it? This was probably the hardest challenge and also the most valuable. It really raised my awareness about how useless it is to complain, and I did cut down on my complaining. I also made this cool cartoon.

“I survived the computer lab fiasco that is detailed in the above cartoon without complaining, only to be done in by ice cream, so I started over. And over. And over.”

May

Ride that bull

This challenge was really a blast. Getting on the mechanical bull was the hardest part (aside from staying on or posting photos of myself on it, that is).

 “I have an inordinate love of the movie Urban Cowboy. Little did I realize that there is a full-fledged Gilley’s-esque country Valhalla right in my midst at Cadillac Ranch.”

June

Raw vegan savory ice cream sandwiches

My vegan week went perhaps too well, giving me a false sense of security that I could make decent vegan savory ice cream sandwiches. They were truly wretched.

“It was time for the taste test, and that’s when things took a terrible turn for the worse. My husband and son David volunteered. I set up my camera on continuous shooting mode and watched them trying my lovely creations. It appeared at first that they were less than thrilled with the flavor.”

July

New Haven Apizza: Pepe’s vs. Sally’s

Two famed New Haven pizza restaurants battled pie to pie, with Pepe’s coming out on top. So good.

“Pepe’s white clam pizza was sublime. Huge, juicy chunks of freshly shucked clams were all over the pie, interspersed with big chunks of garlic and swimming in olive oil.”

August

World of WarcraftA noob gets pwned: Giving World of Warcraft a try at my children’s insistence

For this post, I jammed as much gaming jargon into it as I could, the language of my teenage boys these days. My oldest son tried to be patient with me as I played, but I just couldn’t get the hang of Warcraft.

“My two sons and husband were amazed I could even die so early and thought I should get an achieve* just for doing so at level 1. I couldn’t help it. I was totally OPed* by the mob* that I attacked. It was my first time trying an MMORPG*, and my first PvE* went horribly wrong.”

September

Slow Food and the Hunger Challenge

Two different budget related food challenges coincided in September.

“As for the Hunger Challenge, I know that eating for $4.72 every day would be much harder than it was to try it for only one day. It also makes me crazy that the U.S. government is subsidizing junk food through corn subsidies that end up pumping Americans full of high-fructose corn syrup while the cost of a fresh tomato is overly expensive for many people.”

October

10 movies you’ve never seen, but should

I would like to do another one of these posts one day. There are so many great movies out there that don’t get as much exposure as the big blockbusters.

“Oldboy is a hyper-bizarre Korean movie that’s uber-violent but also amazingly creative with many twists and turns that will leave you speechless. Think Kill Bill without all of the tender, cuddly moments.”

November

One-finger handstand

In November, I revealed the Photoshopping behind my son’s one-finger handstand at Four Corners, U.S.A.

“I took two pictures: One of my one son being held up by my husband and me and one of the same view without any people.

“Then, I used Photoshop to layer the two images, with the empty background shot on the bottom layer.”

December

Love in a Mixtape

This is my favorite “Scene from a Memoir” so far — rock, romance, the Iran-Contra affair. What more could I want in a post?

“Right before I was to leave on a trip with my parents, Randy asked me out to dinner. Away from the bank, our easy, never-ending conversation dried up into awkward pauses as we struggled for something to say. I convinced myself it wasn’t a date and went on my trip. When I got back, he handed me a new mixtape.”

It’s been great fun to begin blogging in 2011! This year has gone by so quickly and has been filled with so many different experiences. Looking forward to 2012, I would like to do more writing, and I am making a list of new challenges I would like to try.

What do you plan to try in 2012?

  Year in Review 2012  Year in Review 2013

About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.

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31 Responses to Year in Review: Looking Back, Looking Forward

  1. I was hoping the vegan ice cream would taste great!
    JDaniel4’s Mom recently posted..Mary Lee and New Year’s at Grandma’sMy Profile

  2. Cool! Love how you did the one-finger handstand pic 🙂 I must try this!
    The Mommies Made Me Do It recently posted..Blacklight BuzzMy Profile

  3. Loved reading through this. Glad you had a good year. 🙂

  4. Thank you for sharing this wonderful round up with the Gallery of Favorites! It’s lovely to read how you’ve grown as a writer and a blogger and I thoroughly enjoyed reading everything you got up to in this very eventful year. Wishing you and yours a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
    April @ The 21st Century Housewife recently posted..The Gallery of Favorites – New Year’s Edition
    Favorites from 2011
    My Profile

  5. Jessica says:

    What a cool year you’ve had. I love that you took on so many different challenges. Your vegan posts reminded me of when I became overconfident and tried to make a few vegan meals for the kids. It took a while to regain their trust that I could actually cook edible food.

    • Marcy says:

      Oh no, Jessica. I make meatless meals at least once a week and have had some that my boys really liked, but for some of them they sort of frown about them and realize it’s Monday, and they are not psyched about it.

  6. Lana says:

    I applaud your challenges and wish you many more successful blogging years. I did the Hunger Challenge last year (this year I was out of the country) and it was both difficult and rewarding.
    Happy New Year to you and your family!
    Lana recently posted..MovingMy Profile

  7. Alea Milham says:

    What a great round up! I missed It only took me 13 days to stop complaining for a week, so I am off to check it out. thanks for sharing your round up with the Gallery of Favorites.
    Alea Milham recently posted..Gallery of Favorites: Favorites from 2011My Profile

  8. Jackie says:

    This is my first visit and I have to say, kudos to you! 2011 seems like it was your year. I’m loving that photo of your guys w/the vegan ice cream sandwiches! Hysterical!!
    Jackie recently posted..12 in 11- The Photo EditionMy Profile

    • Marcy says:

      It was really funny to see their reaction, and I hadn’t tasted them yet, so I thought they were hamming it up just to tease me.

  9. What a great, reflective post, reminding the rest of us how awesome your site is and that great things are ahead for 2012! I hope you have a wonderful new year and thanks so much for sharing this with us at Rub Some Dirt On It!

  10. Rahmath says:

    Congrats on completing one year of blogging Marcy.It was fun following you.
    I used to do something like this with my diary. On December , I used to go through the months and write a small poem or something …like a summary….You have done a lot of amazing things this year, Salsa, Going Vegan for a week, Gaming,Photoshopping, Internet Exile????? and my fav. Love in a Mix Tape….

    Wishing you a great year ahead…. “Happy New Year”

  11. I’m thinking you are full of the awesome and am glad I found you on FYoB! Your husband is a good sport! I love that pic of the ice cream sandwich faces. Fellow bull rider here. One time. That’s all one needs in one’s life. One bull ride. That is all.
    Kristy @PampersandPinot recently posted..Our Christmas Story, Part 1 (“You’ll shoot your eye out!” and other bad decisions are highly probable.)My Profile

    • Marcy says:

      I’ll tell my husband you said he was a good sport. Yes, I think one bull ride was enough for me, too! It was just as much fun watching other people as it was to ride it, though, so I could probably have my arm twisted if I went again to watch.

  12. Jennifer says:

    That’s amazing to me that you’ve only been doing this for a year. Your posts have such wonderful content. I only discovered you through a common linky party shortly after I started blogging in October. I sincerely look forward to going back and reviewing each of these posts individually.
    Jennifer recently posted..Searching for my identity over Christmas breakMy Profile

  13. totsymae1011 says:

    You certainly made great strides and discoveries this year. This is encouraging and it also seemed like fun, which kept you on a path of trying something new.
    totsymae1011 recently posted..Debunking the Mythological Hell TheoryMy Profile

  14. My goals for 2012 include building my platform for my January 2013 YA debut and writing three new manuscripts. Three seems to be my target for each year.
    Kelly Hashway recently posted..Mirror, Mirror by Majanka VerstraeteMy Profile

  15. sammy says:

    Congratulations on an awesome year Marcy – I’m looking forward to following your adventures next year! Happy new year to you and all your boys. xx Sammy
    sammy recently posted..And let the countdown begin…My Profile

  16. “I gave up the Internet for a week. I read. I talked to people face to face. Very strange.”

    LOL. This sounds like something I would write.

    You really seemed to challenge yourself this year via your blog. That’s really cool. Here’s to seeing what 2012 has to offer – Happy New Year!
    Kristin @ What She Said recently posted..The Joy of the SeasonMy Profile

  17. You’ve had a great year! I may need another vegan week soo 😉
    Shannon ~ My Place In The Race recently posted..Looking ForwardMy Profile

  18. Mellisa says:

    All of the challenges you took in 2011 rock. When I got to your post about 10 movies you’ve never seen but should – I was shocked to see Old Boy. Watched it last year. 🙂 Wishing you the best in 2012!
    Mellisa recently posted..In 2011 I was incredibly blessed.My Profile

  19. Galit Breen says:

    What a full year you’ve had!

    {I adore your blog name and this post sums it up perfectly!}

    Happy 2012!
    Galit Breen recently posted..Kissing WonderMy Profile

  20. How cool! That’s a really great way to trying new things. You don’t sound timid to me at all! 😉

    Sounds like you had a totally fun year.

    Thanks for linking up with me, and all the best for 2012!
    Robin | Farewell, Stranger recently posted..To Make an End is to Make a BeginningMy Profile

  21. I’m so glad I found your blog — I’ve had such a great time reading your posts and I look forward to following you in 2012. Happy New Year! –Trish
    Patricia Ellis Herr recently posted..The Friday (Saturday) WrapMy Profile

  22. Chibi Jeebs says:

    Between the pictures and challenges, this was a great post!

  23. Nolie says:

    Thanks for sharing these posts. I have never even heard of any of the movies in that one post.
    Nolie recently posted..First baby of 2012My Profile

  24. I’m amazed by technology sometimes. My daughter will grow up with video calls being normal and not the stuff of sci-fi. I also remember the day when I realized I’d been watching The Simpsons longer than they’d been alive.
    Samantha at ShesNotBroken recently posted..Pictorial Year in ReviewMy Profile

    • Marcy says:

      Yes, I feel that way too. My kids Skype regularly and do homework and projects with friends, all in their own houses, through Google docs/chat.

  25. Pingback: Peanut Zombies and Squeamish Vegans: My First Blogoversary | | (Don't Be) Too Timid and Squeamish(Don't Be) Too Timid and Squeamish

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