Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Years' Tag....and Happy New Year!

   Hey everyone! Christmas has come and gone, and the the new year is here! Wow, it doesn't seem like so very long ago that it was 2012, and now here it is 2014. What?! Where has the time gone? 2013 has been a  very eventful and special year for me and I'm rather sad to see it go, but I'm also excited about what the Lord has in store for 2014!
   Since this is my first "New Year" having a blog,  I've decided to do this fun New Years' tag to kind of reflect upon the year. So here goes!

What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?

    - I started writing a blog
    - I was in the Snow, Flower and Merlaton corps in The Nutcracker
    - I helped with a three and four-year-olds' Sunday school class :-)
    - I sang at a memorial service
    - I started singing in a college choir
    - My sister and I hosted a tea party for our friends
    - I auditioned for a summer intensive (but didn't get accepted)
    - I went to a summer dance intensive (of a much smaller and less grand scale than the one I auditioned for :-P)
    - I found out that I'm gluten-sensitive

Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make one this year?

   I've never been in the habit of making resolutions and I didn't make any last year (or the year before or the year before.) I probably won't make any this year either-- it's just not something I do. : P

Did anyone close to you give birth?

   No, I don't think so.

Did anyone close to you die?

   No one in my immediate family, but some close friends experienced loss this year, yes.

What countries/states did you visit?

   Except for the usual trips across the stateline into Pennsylvania, I didn't visit any other states. I pretty much stayed in the New York/Pennsylvania are the entire year, which is totally fine with me. : P

What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

    Honestly, there's nothing really that I "lacked" this past year. I have everything I need and much more, but one thing I would like to get sometime this year or the next is a laptop.

What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory?

   The week between Palm Sunday and Easter was pretty memorable: our computer died so we didn't have internet for about two weeks and I read Julie Klassen books and watched Horatio Hornblower and listened to Mark Knopfler-- good times. : ) Also August 19th, our tea party, April 5th, when my cousins and sisters and I did a program for a group at my aunt's church, and April 24th because it was just such a wonderful day.

Our tea party spread

Did you move anywhere?

  Nope, and I'm glad of it too!

What was the best month?

  February, March, April and May were among some of the best and have some very fond memories, but I really don't think I can pick a best month.  

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

   Um, *clears throat* well, I read East of Eden, which I definitely consider to be a big achievement! Hehe. Landing decent parts in The Nutcracker, working more at our family business, starting a blog, making new friends, growing in my relationship with the Lord.

What was your biggest failure?

    Not having matured as much as I'd have wanted since this time last year, not being as socially adept, not always being very tactful.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

   No, not really, unless you count severe allergic reactions as illness.

What was the best thing you bought?

    I bought a very nice bookcase to put all my new books on, which was definitely the biggest thing I bought. The best thing I bought was probably either my Lizzie Searches For Love trilogy or the Gods and Generals soundtrack.

Whose behavior merited celebration?

   My parents, my grandparents, my family.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

    A lot of people, unfortunatley. *Sigh*

Where did most of your money go?

  Christian Book Distributors. Seriously, if I wasn't careful, basically all my life's savings could go to CBD. After that, probably Amazon.

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

   I was really excited about going to see Les Mis in the theatre last January. (At the time it wasn't all that I had hoped, but it was still exciting.) I also got really excited when my Atonement piano book came in the mail. Honestly, though, this year hasn't been epic as far as excitment-- it's been a great year and I've been very happy and content, but there hasn't been a whole lot of things I've gotten really excited about.

I'm not sure if I hold this to be true, but I thought the picture was very cute. : )

What was the best concert you've been to this year?

   This summer my mom took us girls to a concert by the Five Browns, five siblings who are all amazingly talented pianists. That was a really great concert (and they played Atonement!), although I'm not sure it was the best. Hmmm. In December my sister Sadie was in a production of The Living Christmas Tree that our community does every year, and that was really wonderful too.

What song/album will always remind you of 2013?

   The Gods and Generals soundtrack will always remind me of the summer mornings when Sadie and I would connect our computer to the stereo and listen to the soundtrack on Youtube while we ate pancakes and played checkers. :-) As for songs, there are so many, but the three I thought of first are In the Sky by Mark Knopfler, Piper to the End by Mark Knopfler and Your Song by Elton John.

Compared to this time last year, are you:
1. happier or sadder? Happier.
2. thinner or fatter?  "Well, I ain't measured it."  -Loren Bray in Dr. Quinn
3. richer or poorer? Considering I was fifty dollars "in the hole" last year after Christmas, I'd say I'm personally richer. Not that I'm really all that rich or anything.

What do you wish you'd done more of?

    Writing. I began writing a novel this summer, but gradually I stopped working on it and nothing really came of it. This year I'm going to try to write more, and I have a new idea for a novel that I'm very excited about.

What do you wish you'd done less of?

    Complaining. *Sigh* It doesn't help anything, and as Lady Grantham says, "it's very middle-class."

What was your greatest musical discovery?

   Definitely Les Miserables. I saw the movie shortly after its release in January, and while I wasn't exactly thrilled with the movie at first, I completely fell in love with the music. (Before you start throwing rotten tomatoes, though, let me say that I AM coming around in regards to the movie. Slowly. I really need to watch it again. ; P) The musical is now one of my top favorites, and I would absolutely love to go see it one day! Also, I discovered Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, who are now some of my favorite musicians.

How did you spend Christmas?

   At home with my family! :-)

How are you spending New Year's?

  Same as Christmas, at home with my family. We don't usually do anything fancy on New Years', just spend the evening at home and watch a movie and then sometimes we go to visit family on New Years' day.

Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

   I don't really talk on the phone at all, mostly due to the fact that they make me uncomfortable (yes, yes I know, it's silly, but I just don't like them.) Taking messages from hay customers is about the extent of my phone activity. Probably the person I actually talked to the most, though, was my Grandma.

What was the best book you read?

  I've read so many good books this year-- you can't seriously expect me to name just one. : P I read a lot of new books for the first time, but I also read a lot of my favorite books over again for the second or third times. : ) Some of the best books I read for the first time were:

A Proper Pursuit by Lynn Austin
-True Grit by Charles Portis
The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen
The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich
Christy by Catherine Marshall

Did you fall in love in 2013?

  No, I didn't. (Excuse me, but I'm 14.) Unless you count Matthew Crawley and other fictional characters. In that case, yes, yes I did. I fell hard. :-)

What was your favorite TV show?

 Dr. Quinn: Medecine Woman. Forever and always. <3

What did you want and get?

    The Atonement score piano book, several wonderful soundtracks and lots of wonderful books. It would seem that this was a year for building my collections. :-)

What did you want and not get?

   There were a few little things I had wanted for Christmas that I didn't get, but nothing really important. :-)

What were your favorite films of this year?

  Well, I have several top-favorites that always remain the same, but I'll just list a few of the best movies that I saw for the first time in 2013.

- North and South (2004)
- Bleak House (2005)
- The Adams Chronicles (1970-something)
- East of Eden (1982)
- Little Dorrit (2008)
- Lonesome Dove (1987)
- Martin Chuzzlewit (1994)

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

   I turned 14 on February 2nd and had a lovely day with my family. We didn't do anything really special on my actual birthday, but the day after we went to my absolute favorite restaurant which was very nice because it's sort of far away and we don't get to go there very often. I also received a book I'd been wanting, Georgette Heyer's Regency World by Jennifer Kloester, and we watched a couple episodes of Northern Exposure. It was fun. :-)

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

   Um.... it really depends on my mood, actually! :-) Classic 1930s, '40s and '50s style, sort of vintage. Full skirts, flowered patterns, ruffles, Victorian jewelry. Kind of a mix of several different eras. :-)
What kept you sane?

   My family, God's goodness, sunshine and flowers, popcorn, Dr. Quinn.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy most?

   This gentleman, Mr. John Schneider.   

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

  Less stress. Most of which, of course, probably wasn't neccessary.

What political issue stirred you the most?

   Honestly, I didn't pay much attention this year because nothing really big was going on.

Who did you miss?

   Friends who have moved away and the ones I don't see any more.

Who was the best person you met?

  The best person? I've met several lovely people this year and quite a few as a result of starting this blog, but I'm not sure I can say who the best person I met was.  

Tell a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

  Be open-minded-- never assume the worst about someone, and don't think that they're assuming the worst about you either. Don't be afraid to take chances now and then. And just because cleanliness is next to godliness, that doesn't mean dirt is diabolical. :-P

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

  They say there's a place where dreams have all gone,
  They never said where, but I think I know
  It's miles through the night, just over the dawn
  On this road that will take me home.

  Love waits for me 'round the bend
  Leads me endlessly on
  Surley sorrows shall find their end,
  And all of our troubles will be gone.
  And we'll know what we've lost,
  And all that we've won,
  When the road finally takes me home.
  I'm going home, I'm going home.

      ~Going Home by Mary Fahl

Five personally significant events of 2013:

- I went to a big audition in a big city
- I started writing a novel
- I started writing a blog
- I read East of Eden, the biggest book I've read to date and the first real classic.
- I made new friends

Five things I want to do in 2014:

- Go to see Wicked live in January : )
- Write and FINISH a book
- Be in a musical
- Read a Charles Dickens novel
- Make new friends!

Five people I'd like to know better in 2014:

   My readers! Also the girls in my ballet class and some people in my homeschool group whom I don't know very well or haven't met yet.

    Happy New Year, everyone! I'm so grateful for all of you and I hope you  have a happy and blessed 2014!


  1. Love this post Emma! Can I steal the tag from you? :) Love love love it! :) Oh and yes you can do a sister vlog if you want to, I don't own it :P jk

  2. My goodness! What a busy year!

    I have had the same favorite TV show since I was 14, so if anyone smiles at you when you say that Dr. Quinn will be your favorite TV show "forever and always," tell them that you know someone who has had the same favorite TV show for 20 years (it's not DQMW, though that's in my top 10, it's an old show called "Combat!"), since she was 14. Some loves are for always.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Isabella,
    Sure you can steal the tag from me-- as a matter of fact, I stole it from your sister! Hehe. :-)

    I will definitely tell them that, thanks! Haha. And happy New Year to you too!

  4. I want your bookshelves!!!!!!! I want to read all your books- they seems so lovely! :)
    It seems like you had a very wonderful year- I hope 2014 will be every bit as wonderful- or perhaps even better still!!
    (By the way- I'm fourteen too:)

  5. What a nice wrap up post to 2013. I am so glad I found your lovely blog! I hope you have a wonderful new year!

  6. Naomi,
    Thanks! Yes, it is quite a nice bookshelf and I'm so glad I found it! I would recommend most of the books on it too, if you can tell what they are from the picture. :-P

    Maddie Rose,
    Thank you! I'm so glad I found your lovely blog too! And to think, I might not have if you had not commented. :-) I hope you have a very happy New Year!

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