I just got an email from WordPress about my blog’s year, and I apparently only posted six times in 2014. I’ve had this bjournal since 2005, and while it’s been a great way to capture little things that happen in life, updating it is not on my list of priorities. But SIX? I’m going to end this year by increasing by blogging productivity by about 16%. Here’s a seventh post for 2014 of some awesome things that happened this year.

10) I read 12 books.
I made good on this year’s goal of reading (an average of) a book a month. I finished book #12 in mid-December. It’s a great feeling to be well-read. I doubt I’ll keep it up next year, but I hope to at least read eight.
In addition to the six I mentioned in this post, I also finished:

  • Joan Didion – Blue Nights
  • Jeffrey Eugenides – Marriage Plot (I began Virgin Suicides again, but couldn’t finish it. I think I’ve seen the movie too much).
  • Martin Sixsmith – Philomena
  • Jonathan Tropper – This is Where I Leave You
  • Celeste Ng – Everything I Never Told You (the last two book titles sound like early-2000 emo band album titles)
  • Jonathan Eig – Birth of the Pill
  • Lucy Knisley – Relish (this is a graphic memoir, which I don’t count as a read book because they don’t take up that much time, but worth mentioning because I liked it a lot).

The best books? Middlesex, House of Mirth, Birth of the Pill, and Blue Nights.

9) I found a new cooking blog I like a lot. It’s Budget Bytes, and really gets that I don’t like spending money and want corn and beans in every meal.

8) I discovered the joy of nachos from Bellytimber. My husband, daughter, and I ate here on Valentine’s Day and I ordered the nachos for the first time, and I will always want to go there and eat nachos, in case you need someone to join you. My pal Susan co-wrote a cookbook called 804ork that includes the recipe, and I have the ingredients on my shopping list, ready to try this weekend (don’t worry, Bellytimber, I’ll still come visit).

7) We actually went to San Francisco! Who knows if we’ll ever afford to visit again. It was fun, and my kid was able to enjoy it and spend some QT with her aunt and uncle and watch me eat a lot. Which she never gets to do at home.

6) I ran another half marathon. And it went great-ish. I’ve barely run five minutes in a row since then, but I’ll get back to that eventually.

5) I got a fun writing gig. Val passed Raising Richmond, a weekly parenting column on rvanews.com, to me in January after she’d written about her adventures in parenting for several years. Yes, it’s the reason for only six (now seven) posts to the blog this year, but it’s been a lot of fun having readers and sharing things. And it paid for San Francisco. “You get paid for that?” you ask in amazement. Yes, back off. I’m delightful.

4) My daughter counted to 130 by herself. I don’t know when kids typically count to fifty and then 100, but my girl is good with counting. I bet it’s been all those hours she’s spent with a number picture book that I hate, so I can’t try to talk her out of reading it anymore. Plus she’s gotten into learning Spanish and is still considered by me to be a baby genius.

3) My husband and I went out three times in less then two months. And one of those times wasn’t even planned, we just got a surprise sleepover and got to see a movie and get dinner. I think we’ve been out at least twice since then. We tend to get a babysitter and then are ready to come home in less than two hours. We aren’t good at going out, but it’s still fun.

2) I had a good year at work. I’ve been able to try more new things in the last year than I’ve done in many years combined.

1) My sister and her family moved back to town. This has been the best. Not only has it been good to see her once a week instead of maybe once a month, she’s been a good backup for when our kid has been out of school, and I’ve been able to spend lots of time with my nephew. I love that she lives about 15 minutes away now. I can add on to the list of things borrowed and never returned to her. I’m a great little sister.