Reflecting on 2013

Writing a year-end recap post like this sort of feels like one of those braggy Christmas letters but all the ladies of the internet are doing it so I’m jumping on the bandwagon. Here’s to getting to know you better in 2014! Cheers!

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
I appeared in the April 22, 2013 issue of OC FAMILY magazine, gave up drinking soda, talked about the Dove Beauty Sketches on Kludgy Mom’s Google+ Hangout and urged people to Act With Love. I also got hired as a social media assistant for a wildly popular blogger and landed my first paying freelance gig. The business of blogging blew up in 2013 – I’m not sure how I did it without Diet Coke.


2. Did you keep your 2013 resolutions, and will you make more for 2014?
I don’t even remember what my 2013 resolutions were. I’m sure they probably had something to do with weight loss, parenting and my marriage. Yes, I am making a few for 2014 but by the way of attainable goals.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
We had close family friends welcome sweet Lily-Grace to the world in 2013!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No one close, yet, two deaths that have left significant scars on my heart because of who they were as people and the loves they left behind.

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Definitely more patience and willpower, better health, bigger laughs, less jealously, thicker skin, deeper connections.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
My daughter’s first day of Kindergarten and celebrating my five year anniversary of being cancer free.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
In the late summer I flippantly put a call out on Twitter for breast cancer survivor stories. What came of that one tweet was something amazing: 21 truly inspiring ladies shared their struggles and triumphs on my blog. Humbled.

9. What was your biggest 2013 failure?
Not shedding those 20 lbs. I had wished to do before our trip to Hawaii.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing more than a cold and flu bug. I’ll take that over the alternative.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Spanx and eyeliner.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I think we all need more work. Let’s revisit this in 2015.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I won’t go there. Except, I will say, you get what you give.

14. Where did most of your money go?

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Spending $15 to see Chevy Metal play to a crowd of a couple hundred of people at the City of Costa Mesa’s 60th Anniversary Celebration and seeing Dave Grohl walk out on stage to join in. Epic night.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
“Tell Me A Story” by Phillip Phillips (great show at the Hollywood Bowl, by the way)

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? happier.
– thinner or fatter? fatter, for sure.
– richer or poorer? About the same.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Say no. Play more with my daughter. Exercise. This list can go on and on…

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Less late nights.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my heels dug in, as usual. Christmas Eve was spent at my parents’ house, Christmas morning at our home with just the three of us, and Christmas day with my husband’s family. The holidays are never as painful as I anticipate them to be. I need to remember that in 2014.

21. What was your favorite TV program in 2013?
Scandal. I watched seasons 1 and 2 back-to-back underneath the bedcovers on the iPad this summer. I couldn’t get enough! Season three has been less than great.

22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Frustrated, annoyed, dislike from time-to-time? Yes. Hate? No.

23. What was the best book you read?
John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars”

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Pandora. I’m not sure why I waited so long to start using it. My favorite radio station: The Cure

25. What did you want for and get?
I wanted Cartwheels and I got them.

26. What did you want and not get?
More organization!

27. What was your favorite film this year?
It wasn’t “The Bling Ring” even though I was so excited to see it. I can’t believe I’m going to name this as my favorite: “Frozen”.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 38 in 2013 and celebrated with a Starbucks coffee and an ice cream sundae from Farrell’s.


29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Less aches and pains and less worry would have made 2013 pretty fantastic.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

31. What kept you sane?
The ladies of the internet. They know who they are.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Top Chef Richard Blais. I love his Facebook updates and Instagram photos.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?
Gun control.

34. Who did you miss?
Complicated question. Skipping this one.

35. Who was the best new person you met?
Three cheers for Anna Hartman.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
Cancer affects the whole family.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“Scared of what’s behind you
And scared of what’s in front
Live with what you have now
And make the best of what’s to come”

You won’t have to suffer through another one of these for a whole year!


  1. Cheers back to you!! I hope to I see much more of you in 2014 than I saw did in 2013! <3 Happy New Year!

    • wendy nielsen says:

      Well, it was twice in 2013 so it has to be at least 3 times!
      The ladies of the internet need to get our heads together and plan something!

  2. Whew, what a year. Your 2014 feature of the kickass breast cancer thrives was a very moving piece of blogging. Good on your for all of the accomplishments. And good luck for 2014!

    • wendy nielsen says:

      Well, I have you to thank for participating! How are you doing, Catherine?

      • Doing well thanks. We’ve had a ‘get-away’ to Hungary with Zsolt’s family. This week we go back to Canada and back to the whirlwind of life. 2013 was such a mixture of high and low, but I think I left it on a high. Hopefully that continues into the new year 🙂 Thanks for asking, Wendy.

  3. What a great recap! I LOVE it, and you just may have inspired me to do my own!

    Happy New Year!

  4. Mary Killian says:

    Love this post! Once again, congrats on the five-year milestone. Here’s to many more healthy years ahead!!

    PS. Interested in how you kicked the diet soda habit…been addicted for way too long 🙁

    • wendy nielsen says:

      Oh gosh, Mary. COLD TURKEY.
      Days 3 – 7 were the hardest. By 10, it was all good. I had to though because it was just ruining my stomach. So many problems stopped once I quit soda. You can do it!

  5. This was a great way to get to know you better! I loved Fault in Our Starts and Frozen as well. You know they’re moving along with the Fault movie. I’m sure I’ll sob the entire time.

    • wendy nielsen says:

      I didn’t know about the movie. There is NO WAY I’ll be able to see it – at least not in a theater. Thanks for stopping by!!

  6. I love your fashion encapsulation – brilliant.

    Can I tell you how much I love Farrell’s and now that I’m back living in CA, I haven’t been yet. Must go!

    Happy New Year to you Wendy! I need to stay more abreast (yes, pun intended) with your blog. Keeping up with blogs is one of my resolutions for the year.

  7. This is a really great recap! You are such a beautiful person, both inside and out. Congratulations on 5 years!! I wonder if its too late for me to put one of these recaps together?!


  1. […] did one of these posts in 2013, […]

  2. […] did one of these posts in 2013, […]

Speak Your Mind