There comes a time in every child’s life when the parents realize they are in trouble: they now have to hide the chocolate.

We received some nice chocolate for a gift (rather several gifts) and it was disappearing at a mysteriously rapid pace. After some serious dinner table sleuthing, we determined that it was likely an in-house job.

Unfortunately, the hairwashing torture session yielded no confessions, but rest assured, we shall get to the bottom of this!

And Continuing the New Year Theme

This comes via Mandajuice, one of my favorite ‘life’ bloggers.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

Started a master’s program. Learned Powerpoint. Earned money blogging. (Not much though. Don’t get jealous.)

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Yes! Surprisingly, at least some of them. And I’ve made quite a few, but realistic ones I think.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Some acquaintances really. Not close, close friends. But enough to be able to snuggle some sweet-smelling newborns.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, thank goodness.

5. What countries did you visit?

The US! Woot!

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

Patience. Courage. An emergency fund. Unchewed fingernails.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

The election, no doubt about it.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

My blog: Almost Frugal. I had hopes for it, but I’m so pleased with the results! It’s been a lot of hard work, but worth it. Without a doubt, blogging has been the big revelation of 2008; it has influenced how I see the world, what I would like to do in my next job and how I feel about myself.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Being patient with my kids. I’m not so nice sometimes. And they don’t deserve it.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Blogging related tendinitis. A bout of the stomach flu. And worms. Don’t ask.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My laptop. Plane tickets to the US. And my crocs.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My kids.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

My kids.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Food. Student loan payments. More food. More student loan payments.

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

Starting school. Although I don’t know if it merits three ‘reallys’.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

I’m not really that into music, much to Eddy’s eternal despair.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Neither.
b) thinner or fatter? A bit fatter. To work on.
c) richer or poorer? Slightly richer, in the sense that we have very slightly less debt.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Playing with my kids. More sewing. More reading.

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


20. How did you spend Christmas? (And I’ll add Hanukkah).

With my kids and my husband and my mother. Opening presents, watching good TV and eating.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

Nope. Only my husband, who I have to admit, I still love dearly.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

The same as ever- West Wing. Although I’m going to have to get Mad Men on DVD from somewhere.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Still can’t stand the evil neighbor lady (although I don’t hate her). But that’s been going on for a few years now. Let no one say I can’t hold a grudge with the best of them!

24. What was the best book you read?

Ummm. Something on marketing, probably. Nothing great enough to remember at 10:30 at night, after two glasses of wine.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?


26. What did you want and get?

My Ikea couch; used on Ebay for about €40. Crocs. A laptop.

27. What did you want and not get?

To win the lottery.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I don’t think I saw a movie this year.

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

I turned 34 and I spent the day working at my icky job and the evening giving a French presentation. Not the best birthday ever.

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

Sleep. And less debt.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

When will stained lounge-wear come back into style?

32. What kept you sane?

My blog. Red wine. My kids (without whom I’d probably be saner). A few dear friends.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Josh Lyman.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The election. Sarah Palin. Healthcare.

35. Who did you miss?

My family in the US.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Does my new cat count? I didn’t really meet new friends this year, but I deepened some other friendships which have become quite important to me.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

If I am passionate about my work I will work massive hours, for free. This is a big change for working massive hours for next to nothing because I wasn’t able to say no.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Again, not so much into the music. Again, to my husband’s eternal dismay.