Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Summary of 2013

So, I keep a daily pen-and-paper journal, and I don't know if anyone will ever want to read all of that. I've summarized this last year mostly for my records, and you can read it if you like. Throughout the year I practiced organ, studied kanji on WaniKani, and tried to get exercise (usually with yoga or DDR). I helped my sister a little bit with her upcoming relationship-sim called Personal Space.

January: I had every intention to learn how to ski, but all my plans fell through, although we did go cross-country skiing. I watched the anime GOSICK. I visited Portland with Adam and enjoyed the Japanese garden, science museum, and Powell's.

February: We played lots of Ni no Kuni, helped Adam's sister build her computer, and played some board games (like The New Science and Pandemic). I felt sorry for myself for not getting pregnant. We visited Adam's friend and his family in Austin, TX, where we had some excellent BBQ and enjoyed the sunshine.

March: We got called as cub scout leaders in our ward. Adam gave me a blessing that said I needed to learn patience (re: having kids thing). I suffered from sinus pain and baked a lot. I hosted a party for some of my online friends, which was fun. My gallbladder pain started, so I spent the last half of the month on pain medication and watched lots of Downtown Abbey and played lots of videogames.

April: I had my gallbladder removed. During my recovery I watched Kino no Tabi and probably a lot of other TVWhen I made it back to church "everyone kept asking me how I was and I was tired and didn't want to deal with it" (my journal). I came to appreciate how easy it is to ask people about and assist with their physical health (versus asking people and helping with their emotional health). I really did love how much support I had from my ward and family after my operation. At the end of the month I found out that my uterus is normal.

I bought The Modernist Cookbook: Home Cooking for Adam's birthday, which has greatly influenced our culinary lives, including inciting us to buy a sous vide cooker. We had my grandparents and cousins over for a big dinner where we cooked sous vide steaks for everyone, which was a bit stressful but turned out well.

I got to play some multiplayer DS games with my sister-in-law, including Diamond Trust of London (I'd had the game for a while, but hadn't had a chance to play it with someone--it's cutthroat!). We rode the Heber Creeper on their "chocolate lover's" night--the chocolate was okay, and going with our friends and my in-laws was pretty fun too. Going up the Salt Lake's Japan festival was also fun. I decided not to write for a videogames site because it didn't pay very well.

May: I started taking walks with my neighbor and got to know her better. Adam bought a gas grill, which he loves. We had a cub scout BBQ where we let the kids dress their own burgers and pour their own soda, which might have been a mistake, but hopefully they learned a little about how much ketchup they like.

I bought some Icehouse pyramids and became fascinated with teaching myself games from reading the rules and how to write clear instructions for games. My breadmaker died and I became interested in sourdough bread starters and eventually managed to make my own. I decided to stop reading so many games blogs and stopped following Twitter for a while. We had various people over for BBQ, which was delicious. I visited a sinus doctor who said I should have sinus surgery, but I decided not to get surgery. I got tested for allergies too (I'm allergic to shellfish, but not other kinds of fish). I did some hiking with Koko, supposedly in search of wild mushrooms.

June: Adam went on a business trip, and I hiked Squaw peak while he was gone. I read an issue of Real Simple, which "has lovely pictures but it doesn't really explain how to do anything." I felt self-conscious about not working or being much help to people outside my house. I interviewed for a part-time job at the library, which included tests in spelling and shelving, which was a little more intense than I anticipated (I didn't get the job).

We looked at some houses in Provo, potentially to buy them, but I didn't really like how all of them seemed ginormous and had two kitchens, so we decided to buy land and build on it instead. We hosted a dinner for Adam's family for Father's Day. I bought a Bosch mixer to help with baking bread. I went to Colorado with my cousins for my other cousin's wedding, and it was fun to hang out with family. I started to play Animal Crossing because peer pressure. I visited my parents in California, which was fun, except my temporary crown fell out and I had to go to the hospital for an ulcer I had. But I treasure the memories of biking around the bay and eating Mom-cooked food.

July: I started taking ulcer medication, and my self-consciousness about my usefulness as a person continued: "I wish I could confidently and competently perform some valuable task for others." I had a root canal (part of the reason I got an ulcer was because I was taking a bit too much ibuprofen for my tooth pain). We went to Jackson, Wyoming for a vacation with Adam's family. I went horseback writing and whitewater rafting, and we played lots of fun games together. I got to see Belle & Sebastian live in Salt Lake. My extended family had a reunion at a lodge by Aspen grove, and Adam and I were in charge of food (although lots of relatives helped). It was a little overwhelming, because my extended family is pretty big, but I think no one got food poisoning or went hungry. I played Magic: The Gathering with cousins, as well as other games with other people.

August: Our church time changed to 11, which made attending church less miserable. I went to a weeklong organ workshop where I learned a fair bit about organ technique and playing, and also got motivated enough to take private lessons. Also I learned that Richard Elliot is the angel of the organ. We went to some friends' houses for dinner. I dealt with more stomach and tooth pain. We dogsat two dogs for a week, which was sometimes fun and sometimes a little overwhelming.

September: An EGD found that I didn't have an ulcer, so I decided it had healed and I would stop worrying about it. I made 100% rye sourdough, which was a disappointment. We went to SLC Comic Con, which was fun but also super crowded. We had a fertility consult with a doctor in Sandy (the other fertility center wasn't completely covered by our insurance). I edited some fiction for two people I know. I played some dating sim games on my Vita (research!).

October: I found out that I was pregnant, but I didn't want to get too excited yet. I was really tired most of the month, so I played lots of videogames like Pokemon and watched lots of TV. I built a lego haunted house for Halloween. We saw Richard Eliot play the Poulenc concerto up in Alpine, which was amazing. My dad visited for a weekend. I felt pretty (morning) sick on my birthday, so Adam did his best to make it fun. I stopped taking organ lessons. I craved sour things, like borsch and lemon bars.

November: I started taking Zofran for my nausea (along with unisom and vitamin B6), which helped me throw up less. I wrote, "I feel so discouraged when I read about my pregnant friends actually getting stuff done."  I ordered a cheese pizza one afternoon and ate it the rest of the week. I watched Adam play Skyward Sword. I read a bit of research on evidence-based birth practices and started doing some prenatal yoga. We announced my pregnancy to our families/friends, and lots of people were happy for us. I started watching lots of Bones.

December: I started listening to the Book of Mormon while doing jigsaw puzzles, and then Adam and I did some jigsaw puzzles. Adam likes to look at the box and pick up a piece to find exactly where it goes, whereas I like to find a piece that fits into a particular gap. I'm still pregnant, so I guess I should plan on having a baby next year? I've been researching things like breastfeeding and cloth diapering. We're looking forward to Christmas and spending time with Adam's family, and visiting my sister and my family afterwards.

Analysis: I've learned a bit about baking and cooking, and I kept practicing organ and studying kanji all year. My goal for my life right now is to have a healthy pregnancy and baby, as much as I can influence that. I've also been thinking about how I can get overly attached to my own opinions, and I'm trying to be less attached to my opinions (it's kind of hard). I should also probably try to be more social, although with getting pregnant I think my hermit tendencies have been amplified. I almost feel like I have no idea what my life will be like after I have a baby (assuming all goes well), so I don't want to disappoint myself into making goals I might not be able to reach. I'm pretty happy with my life the way it is now though.

Merry Christmas!


Andrea Landaker said...

Wow, you had a lot of illness going on this year. :-( I want to see your haunted house! :-) This kind of summary is a great idea.

Tangerine said...

How do you like your Bosch mixer? Did you write about it sometime and I missed it?

Rachel Helps said...

No, I didn't write about my mixer. I like it pretty well, although I was hoping I would be able to just leave it kneading more, and most of the time I have to sit and watch it and prevent the dough from creeping into the turning mechanism (if this happens some of the lubricant can get into the dough). Baking bread is more of a production too, since I don't want to bake just one loaf if I'm using the Bosch.

I'm kind of wary to put the parts in the dishwasher, since they take up so much room and our softened water can wreck havok on metals (plus it takes up half the dishwasher). So cleaning it is a little bit of a pain. Otherwise, I'm pretty happy with it. I can bake four loaves at once, which makes me more likely to give one away since it doesn't feel like as much of a sacrifice (yeah, I'm selfish).