2016 Year In Review

For this year’s retrospective, I’m going to lead off with the most important things:

What Made Me Happy (top 11)

(As recorded every night before bed)

  1. Talking with Aaron
  2. Cooking / Baking
  3. Hugs (mostly from Connor and/or Aaron)
  4. Working out
  5. Writing / Blogging
  6. Eating sushi
  7. Yoga
  8. Gardening
  9. Playing with Connor
  10. Date night/afternoon
  11. Being outside

If I’d consolidated some more specific things, like “working out” and “kickboxing,” the list might look a little different, but not by much.

Other notable one-off things that made me happy:

  • Wearing a sheath dress and feeling good in it
  • Watching Connor eat sushi with his chopsticks and enjoy it
  • Driving everyone (my grandparents, my Mom, and my son) to the Air Force Museum
  • Connor being super sweet about my boo-boos from giving blood
  • Watching the rain with Connor
  • Setting up a WordPress plugin
  • Watching Aaron and Connor play Mario


2015 Year In Review

The past couple of Years In Review have been pretty linear: able to be broken down into a chronology of main happenings, with other minor happenings thrown in. This year, there were a few main threads that seemed to tie the whole year together.

Abstract: I visited many health care professionals and got some lingering medical issues resolved (and discovered some new ones). The first half of the year was fraught with house and car issues. I rediscovered my love of film photography. And some other stuff happened, like gardening and being social and potty-training our son.

Now, for the long version…


2014 Year In Review

So, what happened last year? Not nearly as many life-altering events as the past couple of years, thankfully — not to say that things still weren’t interesting at times.

(And, yes, I know I’m getting this out a little later than usual… but at least it’s still January, right?)

snowDuring the winter of 2013-2014 (aka the Polar Vortex), Toledo got 7 feet and 2 inches of snow in total — that’s over two feet more than normal — and saw temps dipping down to -15°F. It was a particularly miserable and treacherous winter, and it killed several of my plants to boot.


sunroom furnitureWe bought furniture in the spring. In March, we bought a new bed: a California King. We’re sleeping better (for the most part), and we’re no longer stealing each other’s blankies, since there’s plenty to go around. Then, in April, we bought furniture for our sunroom, so we can all properly enjoy the outdoors indoors.

car accidentIn April, I got in my second-ever car accident — as with the first one, through no fault of my own. A semi driver didn’t judge the wet conditions properly and collided with me from behind on the expressway. That resulted in my first-ever trip to the ER, my first CT scan, my first case of whiplash, and my first dealings with injury claims representatives. I am now paranoid of not only being in another driver’s blind spot, but of leaving assured clear distance and being tailgated.

toddlers in a hammockIn May, we held our 2nd Annual Memorial Day Weekend Shindig. Ten adults and two toddlers hanging out in the sunroom on the new furniture, enjoying sausages and hot dogs and snacks and desserts and one another’s company. Good times.


don't drink the waterIn August, Toledo’s water supply got overrun with blue-green algae and its byproducts, rendering it unsafe to drink for a full weekend. Mass panic ensued all over town, of course. Aaron went out and got jugs of well water from a friend’s house, then handily found plenty of bottled water at the store, anyway.

flowersAll through the spring and summer, I got really into my gardening. I took two full days and two half-days off of work specifically for gardening purposes, in addition to spending many Saturday naptimes outside. I managed to rid my beds of the invasive Maypop vine (mostly) and get the front fence looking neat and tidy.

rashIn September, after one of my last gardening days of the season, I got into some trumpet vine and had a severe allergic reaction. A trip to urgent care got me a steroid shot, plus steroid pills and antihistamines, and the knowledge that I am exceptionally allergic to trumpet creeper. Luckily, a co-worker’s son (who isn’t allergic) came to my house and removed it for me, taking it home and transplanting it at his own house.

the flashConnor enjoyed his first real Halloween this year! On October 30th, he and I went to Harper’s house and handed out candy and enjoyed beautiful weather and a fire in the firepit. On Halloween, Daddy stayed home from work and we went trick-or-treating in our neighborhood in the rain. We only hit two houses, but Connor had a great time, all the same.

new specsIn November, I got new glasses for the first time in about four years. My prescription actually hadn’t changed much at all.



thanksgiving dinnerOn Thanksgiving, we drove about 2.5 hours to Grammy’s apartment and had a Very Nice Time. Aaron’s brother came along, and Uncle Phil made a cameo appearance. It was the first time we’d seen my Mom’s apartment, and hopefully it won’t be the last.



2013 Year In Review

Seems that The Universe is intent on keeping things interesting for me. The past two Years In Review have been full of major life events; this year, while just a smidge less hectic than 2011 and 2012, still smacked of change. The major events, in chronological order:

GravesideMy step-Gary died in January. I got the call from Mom on a Saturday, just as Aaron and I were heading out the door to go house-hunting. I flew down to Texas solo for the funeral the first weekend in February, and was glad I went.

First Day of Daycare!Connor started daycare in February, two days a week, and thus began the endless series of ear infections from his exposure to the unwashed mini-masses. Aaron appreciated having a couple days a week to get normal sleep and get things done, and Connor appreciated getting to be social and learn new things.

Home Sweet HomeWe bought a new house in March, with more space for Connor to run around (indoors and out) and in a better school system. And lots of plants and flowers. And lots of room for get-togethers. Moving to a new house also meant moving Connor to a new daycare, which he loves.

Connor and Grammy at WildwoodMy Mom moved back up to Ohio from Texas in July. I’ve seen her more this year than probably in the last three years combined. It’s been awesome; Connor really loves his Grammy.

I got into my first car accident in September. Everyone involved was OK, but the car needed a new paint job and a new wheel. And now I have a phobia of being in another person’s blind spot.

Old HouseWe sold our old house in late September, but not without some major speedbumps, including electrocuted contractors and copper pipe theft. We hope the new owners agree that the tranquil neighborhood outweighs all the neighbors’ leaves blowing into the yard in autumn and the distinct lack of snowplows in winter.

Before SurgeryConnor had his first surgery in November, to get tubes put in his ears after having six ear infections in less than one year. The procedure went well, and the tubes seem to be helping immensely. Unrelated to the tubes, but under the category of medical specialists, we also learned that Connor is allergic to eggs and to our cat.

I got promoted in November, after six years at my current job.

Now for the fun part: analysis of the everyday stuff — photos, workouts, doctor visits, etc. (more…)

2012 Year In Review

I started out 2012 as the mother of a tiny infant, and ended it as the mother of a rambunctious toddler. That in itself has made 2012 one of the most dynamic years in recent memory. Add to that some unexpected changes in my fitness plan, dealing with the death of a loved one, and getting more focused on my job, and you can probably guess that this has been one hell of a year.


2011 Year In Review

One of my photography professors once said that the only truly profound things in life are birth and death. If that’s the case, 2011 was the most profound year I’ve had in quite some time.

Normally, I summarize things like what music I listened to (Daft Punk still steady from last year at #5, Stenobot barely missing my top ten), what restaurants I ate at, how my weight fluctuated, that sort of thing. This year will be just a little different. I still have some fun and frivolous stats to report, but some of them fell by the wayside over the course of the year, due to me focusing on more important things.

I started back on the Pill in the Fall of 2010, due to some female issues I was having. As promised, it regulated my cycle and lessened my cramps and fatigue. It also made my periods lighter, and by January, they seemed to have nearly disappeared altogether. In fact, it was so light for January and February that I started to worry that something was amiss, so I called my OBGYN.

Long story short, I was pregnant.

Connor at 12w4d gestation


2010 Year In Review

Last year, I thought I’d join the infographics revolution and show my Year In Review in all graphs and numbers and stats. As it turns out, that doesn’t even work for me very well — it’s difficult for me to really pin down what happened and when, with everything aggregated to such a degree.

This year, I’ll be mixing text and graphics to spice things up. Hopefully it’s a little more engaging than either alone.

It’s also going to be a bit lengthy. You have been warned…


2009 Year in Review

Percentage of Miles Walked
Dining Out
Average Weight
Flickr Photos by Camera
Flickr Photos by Location and Month
Top Ten Musical Artists


This presentation of annual data is highly influenced by the Feltron Annual Reports. Nicholas Felton is a master of infographics and data visualization, and I continue to be influenced by his work.

Percentage of Miles Walked in 2009 only includes data from 27 April 2009 forward, since that is the date on which my Omron HJ-720ITC Pocket Pedometer decided to un-lobotomize itself and synchronize to my computer again.

Dining Out in 2009 is missing some of September’s and most of October’s data, due to my ignorance of the fact that Weight Watchers Online only saves 60 days’ worth of tracking data. I switched from pen-and-paper tracking to eTools tracking after 27 September 2009.

Top Ten Musical Artists of 2009 is derived from data at last.fm/user/dianaschnuth.

2008: Year In Review

It’s become a New Year’s tradition for me to write a retrospective of what has happened over the course of the past year, and I’ve found that I really enjoy going back and reading past years’ reviews. They tend to encapsulate the important things, the high and low points, and some things that I would normally have forgotten by the end of the following year.

For quick reference, I have Years In Review from 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and now 2008.

Instead of going entirely chronologically this year, I’m going to group the major happenings by topics.

Hot topic #1 for 2008: Weight Loss. I started out the year with a weight-loss challenge against my friend and former co-worker, James. We both started out strong, but fell off the wagon after about a month and a half. In March, we spearheaded a new Spring Challenge, which lasted for another couple of months before we mutually decided to call it quits.

I didn’t call it quits entirely, though. Shortly before we decided to end our Challenge, I joined Weight Watchers — on my 32nd birthday, in fact. Since then, I’ve lost about 20 pounds in eight months. Aaron’s joined up, too, with the online program, and lost over 60 pounds in six months. We’re both looking and feeling much better, and a “normal” and healthy weight is just within reach.


2007: Year In Review

Well, it’s that time again: time to look at the past year and check off the big and important things that happened in my life. Accomplishments, tragedies, travels, things like that.

Generally, it’s easier to do these things in chronological order, and I’m not going to break with that policy this year. It means, though, that possibly one of the worst things that’s ever happened to me gets to go first in the retrospective: my miscarriage. I was pretty vague about it at the time; I hadn’t made any sort of announcement to my blog readership in general, since I was only ten weeks along.

The whole experience was just tragic all the way around — it was the one doctor’s visit where I didn’t bring Aaron along, because it was a last-minute “emergency” ultrasound; at the ultrasound, I got to see, in no uncertain terms, that my child was, in fact, no longer cute and sprightly and waving its appendages like it had been a week before; I had to break the news to Aaron when I got home; we both went to the hospital that evening so I could have the products of conception removed; I got put under general anesthesia for the first time since having my tonsils out as a kid; and Aaron just about got his heart shocked into his throat when the doctor came out of surgery to see him and was apologizing up and down, before she confirmed that I was actually fine.

I spent a couple of days being muscle-sore from the general anesthesia, and another couple weeks of being seriously depressed. Now, nearly a year later, I’m dealing with it much better. It’s still tragic, but it’s tragic in a slightly more distant sort of way. I think that several things in my life helped me deal with the loss, including having to work with pregnant people and getting into Zen Buddhism.

Shortly after our loss, Aaron and I found ourselves dining at Red Lobster, facing a decision. We now had a second chance to do all the stuff we wanted to do before we had a kid. Ultimately, we decided to go crazy and take a trip to Japan.

We spent six nights in Tokyo in May of 2007, and it was the most amazing vacation either of us had ever had. We’re both enamored with Japanese culture, so being in the middle of it for a week was just awesome. We went on an all-day bus tour, shopped at various otaku meccas like Nakano Broadway and Akihabara, went to the Ghibli Museum, attended the Sanja Festival, stayed in a traditional Japanese inn (ryokan), took over 500 digital pictures, and used all the meager Japanese we knew.

In mid-June, I took an unexpectedly spontaneous leap and joined an aikido dojo. A few weeks later, I started sitting with the Toledo Zen Center, which happens to be led by my aikido sensei. Both practices have helped me to be more at peace with myself, and to get that mind-body-spirit connection that I was craving.

Meanwhile, I knew that I would be losing my job in September, when Sky Bank would be officially merged into Huntington. So, shortly after we returned from Japan, I started job hunting in earnest. I sent out dozens of resumes, got a few follow-ups, and landed interviews with two companies. Ultimately, I took a data warehousing job at HCR ManorCare in November. This job literally doubled my previous income, and got me further into the fields of information services and business intelligence.

Those were the banner events of 2007. Other things happened, of course: my one-time mentor, Tim King, passed away in February; I made a feeble and brief attempt to start the Body For Life diet after our Japan trip in May; my Uncle Donnie passed away in March, and I found out about it in August; I was outed as a non-Christian in the Toledo Blade in October; and I made my largest candle sale so far ($50) to my former supervisor in December.

In a word, 2007 was intense. More life-changing events happened in one year than I think I’ve ever experienced in such a short time. In the end, though, I’ve come out as a stronger and happier person for all of it.