2017 in Review

As my final blog entry of 2017, I’ve decided to create a Year in Review. Following my own review, I have included a fill in the blank for you, should you wish to copy and paste it into your own blog, Google doc, or into a journal. It was fun to sum up the year. Feel free to share your thoughts! 

Amandy’s 2017 in Review

Best film

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Because the title doesn’t say anything clear, I went into this one trusting Chas and a review he read and then reported back to me. Frances McDormand. Wow. This was a rare film in which I had no idea what would happen next. It is a delightfully unpredictable that makes you feel feelings. Had I not been so engrossed, it would have been neat to see my heart rate rise on my FitBit as the story unfolded.

Three_Billboards_Outside_Ebbing,_Missouri

Best book

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (which was not published this year but I read it this year). I’d been meaning to read this for a while. Coates is a son of Baltimore. He writes this book as a letter to his son (a grandson of Baltimore I guess). It’s essentially his life story strewn with lessons. His writing is painterly, honest, and so visual. I had a hard time putting this down. I’d be curious to speak to someone who isn’t from or familiar with Baltimore City to hear a different perspective on this book.

Between the World and Me

Best show

Chas and I have been watching for a few years but I just love John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight. I know he’s not everyone’s fave. But we laugh OUT LOUD to the point that we worry what our neighbors think (something we consider quite often). Aub and Chris bought us tickets to see him on Monday in Baltimore! Eeks!

John Oliver

Favorite new friend I met 

Khadeja is a friend I met through AWE. She’s a 25 year old dynamo. She arrived to the US in January from Kabul. Without putting too much of her story out there without her permission, I will tell you that you’d love her too. She’s now in law school at the University of Dayton and visited us this Christmas and stayed with Cindy for a few nights. She’s brilliant, warm, lovely, and so inspiring. Plus we took her to the Helmand in Baltimore for dinner this summer and she weaseled us free appetizers! She fits right in!

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Something I learned

French fries are actually Belgian. During WWII American soldiers found themselves in a French-speaking place eating fried potatoes. As Americans are wont to do, they assumed they were in France and called them French fries. The name stuck. But they were really in Belgium. (Now, you should know I got this information from Sophie who is featured in the next category.)

A time I selected not to enact revenge

When I rented an Air BnB in Brussels while sitting on my couch the week before our trip, I rented an entire apartment. But when our unique host Sophie greeted us, she was wearing a cell phone necklace, took several phone calls, and wasn’t quite done mopping the floor. Oh and she offhandedly mentioned that we would have a roommate from Japan named Chen. She showed us his profile on Air BnB and said that his guest reviews were high. “He likes baseball!” said Sophie, as if Americans are enamored with baseball fans worldwide. Chen was a nice guy but his room was through the apartment’s only bathroom. Need to bathe in the all-glass-walled shower? Make sure Chen’s in his room for at least 20 minutes. Gotta poop? Hope Chen doesn’t mind! On our last morning there, Sophie stormed into the apartment with a Colombian man holding two motorcycle helmets saying that they hadn’t yet gone to sleep. She asked if she could take a shower. “Ask Chen,” I thought. Initially I thought it’d be hard to go back home after such a great trip but Sophie solved that for me. I thought about writing a review to warn others of Sophie’s strangely imposed expectations but thought better of it. I basically wanted to write the description above in the AirBnB review page. But I decided to let her be. That said, if you’re in the market for a $40 per night apartment in Brussels, do email me first and I will tell you which one to avoid.

Something I thought I’d never do

Get on social media. But actually I really like Instagram. Now I need to learn how to limit it a little. It is pretty addicting which is the reason I didn’t want social media in the first place.

Athletic feats

I ran a few races this year, all enjoyable, all shockingly doable. In addition, our football team, The Secret of the Booze, won our championship in the spring. That said, my basketball team, The Light Blue Fly Girls, lost every single game–first time in 20 years of the league that a team has lost every game. Now that’s a feat. What up team?!

Best moment of humanity

In the spring Khadeja told me she had a friend who had just arrived from Afghanistan with two small children. They were escaping an abusive domestic situation, seeking asylum, and had to leave their previous home quickly. They had nothing. I posted this situation on NextDoor with a call for clothes. Within two weeks, I had over 20 bags of clothes from neighbors and friends (thanks, all!) for the woman and her daughters. I had to borrow my dad’s van in order to bring the items to her and to AWE. Thank you, society, for restoring my faith in our world.

Something I totally slipped in and I need to get better

Being on time! I can say to myself, “Wow I have an hour before I need to leave and nothing I need to do!” Next thing I know, I’ve got the vacuum out, a podcast pumping on my phone, and brownies in the oven. Help!

Something bad I have never stopped doing

I still bite my nails! What the heck?! Now I am 30 years old and chewing like a 7 year old. I know all of the science against it. The only thing that works for me are manicures. Oh well!

Where lots of my anger has gone

To the apartment people who park on our block. It just bothers me. Use your damn garage.

Something positive that has gotten out of control

My succulent garden. Call me Cindy Eby. I’ve got a whole kingdom. And I love them all.

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Something I wish I had not done

Brought a glittered holiday product from Michael’s into our home. We may will never rid our house of gold glitter.

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A goal for 2018

Chas and I are going to build A Little Free Library to put in our front yard. I hope to be finished and operational by the end of January. I wrote this one so that I can be accountable to all who read this.

Low points (in no particular order)

I lost my dear grandmother in 2017. I miss her constantly. Her priest said during her funeral that she taught us how to die. And although it was incredibly painful to sit vigil with her in the hospice for a month, Father Sal was right. She showed us how to reflect, pray, draw people together, share her thoughts, and then gracefully let go. She gripped her rosary for her entire month at Stella Maris. She gave advice. She said “I love you” thousands of times. Her death was the most difficult of my life and I know my mom and sister would say the same. If you ever need an angel to pray to, Mary Lou is most certainly available.

Both 2017 events of my allergy to fatty pork.

Everything done by the Trump administration.

Per usual, most things related to my car. In February a piece of machinery punctured an actual HOLE in the back passenger side. I also continue to have slow leaks in half of my tires. While these strange annoyances seem to seek me out, generally she’s a good little car!

High points (in no particular order)

Even though it happened after Gram’s funeral and wake, Aubrey and Chris told us about their/ her (I forget their preference) pregnancy. Auntie Amandy and Uncle Chas can’t wait to meet our niece-phew (they’re not finding out) in May. Gram’s birthday was May 1st so it feels very full circle.

At the start of 2017, I was in a pretty bad place. I was waking up at 11:30 p.m. three nights per week, only to lie in bed and ponder existence. I’d get out of bed at a normal hour and chug through my day on two hours of sleep. It was hideous. Over MLK weekend, I started going to Core Power Yoga. I was going to use the free two weeks and never go there again. Skip ahead to June, I began yoga teacher training with CPY. In September I earned my certificate, in October I passed my audition, and in November I started teaching yoga. I’m obsessed. Come to my class.

On January 21 with a group of incredible people, I attended the National Women’s March in Washington, D.C. If you were there, you understand. If you weren’t there, we either have different views, or you wish you were there.

I started a new job in August. As the Director of Scholar Development (a job I invented myself and a title Chas helped me create) I am able to help the “whole child.” I’m truly enjoying it. I feel less stressed, I don’t work on Sundays for the first time in 9 years, and the massive pay-cut is totally worth feeling like a human. Look at me, I’m a human!

This summer Chas and I went to Crete, Athens, Ghent, Bruges, Amsterdam, and Brussels. We sat on beaches, rode bikes, ate delicious things, drank wine from tin jugs, slept on two different house boats, hiked, swam, spent 48 hours on a sailing, napped everywhere, and lots more. It was among the best trips of my life.

Meeting, getting to know, and gawking at photos of my friends’ babies. It’s that time. My friends are giving birth. Shout outs to Teddy, Jaiden, Bodhi, Eli, Everett, Nella, Harry, and Cooper. They’re almost all boys for some reason.

In April I decided to return to writing. I began this blog. I have posted every Friday for 38 Fridays. I love writing it. I love when people read it. One of my best Christmas presents ever was a book Chas made at Staples of some of my blogs. He tried to include all of them but it would have been over 500 pages so it comprises some he really liked. Looking at the pages that I’d written makes me feel like I did something. Tingles.

Chas and Shar both spoke at The Stoop this month. Chas’s was planned, Shar’s was on the fly. I felt like the most proud wife and sister sitting in the audience soaking in their words. You can listen here.

Piper and Joe and videos of animals sent by Lauren and Aubrey. Also pet voice, Karen’s kittens, and taking care of Maggie.

There were a lot of high points this year but I sort of feel like I’m bragging so I will stop here.

It’s been a YEAR. Looking back I can’t actually believe everything that has happened, but really everything I have done. While the world and our country feel tumultuous, I feel like I have the reigns of my own life for the first time in a while. And being better myself can allow me to be better for others. What do you need from me? I’m here. Happy New Year.

❤ Amandy

2017 in Review

(Fill in the blanks)

Best movie

 

Best book

 

Best show

 

Favorite new friend I met

 

Something I learned

 

A time I selected not to enact revenge

 

Something I thought I’d never do

 

Athletic feats

 

Best moment of humanity

 

Something I totally slipped in and I need to get better

 

Something bad I have never stopped doing

 

Where lots of my anger has gone

 

Something positive that has gotten out of control

 

Something I wish I had not done

 

A goal for 2018

 

Low points

 

High points

 

11 thoughts on “2017 in Review

  1. I’m with Miss Sue! I also cried. You’re amazing. I also thought I would go to core Power for the first free week in September enterig January now and I’m addicted…thanks to you. Lol xoxo

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  2. Love to hear about your world!

    Congrats to Aubrey and Chris…”Aunt” Amanda and “Uncle” Chas will be wonderful, fun relatives… indeed!

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  3. Still trying to get over you having an entire year without me. (not in any photos)
    But yes it was interesting the way the year started with the wonderful Women’s March on Jan. 21, 2017 (I was there!!) And then a whole bunch of stuff happened the rest of the year, not all good.
    I loved the story about the Air BnB and Chen, hilarious! And I loved that book Between the World and Me. I agree that it was difficult to stop reading it. I never heard of that movie. I love Khadeja…what a sweetheart! I love your new job that you created and that I still get to help with Crochet Club! Stoops was a lot of fun! Aubrey’s and Chirs’s news is a highlight! Your 30th birthday was awesome! My computer doesn’t let me fill out that form. And sorry, you will never be able to get rid of the glitter!
    Love,
    Mom

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