Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year In Review

Normally, I look back on the year and I think, "Wow, another year over - what the heck did I do?" Well, this year was a bit different, so I decided to borrow once again from other blogs and fill out this end of year questionnaire.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

Gave birth to my lovely Clare.

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

If I made them, I have no idea what they were. I will probably make some again this year, and promptly forget them. (I did tell my coworker that my New Year’s resolution was to stay away from the vending machine. So there’s that.) Actually, I do have one goal. I want to be cleaner and more organized at home. My house has kind of gotten away from me since Clare was born.

3. Did anyone close to you have a child?

Yes! Oh my. Several of my closest friends had babies, and Clare now has future BFFs/boyfriends Will, Archer, Alice, and Carter.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No. Thank God.

5. Where did you travel?

We took several trips to the Twin Cities, visited grandparents (Clare's great-grandparents) in La Crosse and Oostburg, and went to a wedding in the U.P. of Michigan.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?


7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory?

June 7. Everything else is kind of a blur.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Well, I guess I have to say giving birth to a baby! Also, I am proud of the way Ben and I are handling having a child in our lives. We are still mostly sane.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Ugh. I don't know. I feel like I failed in lots of little ways, but it doesn't seem healthy to dwell on them too much.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Does giving birth count as illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Clare's butterfly mobile from an Etsy shop. It was the first thing she really focused on, and still loves it to this day. Also, our new car.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Our families have been wonderfully supportive and helpful with Clare, but I have to single out Ben. Having a new baby is stressful, and he has been very patient with me throughout this transition. Also, he was a saint in the delivery room.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Scott. Walker.

14. Where did most of your money go?

New crib, new bookshelf, new baby clothes, sheets, towels, shampoo, toys, nuks, bottles, breast pump, books....I could go on. Oh, and daycare. And a new car. Wow, we spent a lot of money this year.

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

Clare. ALSO: my sister getting married! Her wedding was beautiful, and I adore her new husband. He is a wonderful addition to our family. Even though I think he might sometimes wonder what he got himself into. Don't worry, Andrew. It is worth it!

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

Mumford & Son's "Roll Your Stone Away." Anything by the ubiquitous Adele.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

Happier. I am not pregnant anymore, but I feel fatter. Definitely poorer with my reduced work schedule, but that is by choice so I am okay with it.

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

Talked to and spent time with friends, especially pre-baby. Spent time outside. Slept. Can you tell I am tired?

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

Wasting time worrying about things I can't control. That is something I always do, though. I don't think it will change.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

We ate our way through Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at my parents' house. I ate my weight in Christmas cookies at visits to both sets of grandparents. We all sat around watching Clare try to eat wrapping paper - it is funny how adults forget how to have a conversation when there is a baby in the room. Their little cheeks are just so distracting!

21. What was your favorite TV program?

Parks and Recreation. Hands down. I also loved 30 Rock, Modern Family, Community, Castle, Justified, and the New Girl. I quit watching Glee. The Office didn't make the list because I miss Steve Carell too much.

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

No.....I think I hated all the same people in 2010, too.

23. What was the best book you read?

The best book I read was "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand. "Bossypants" by Tina Fey was a close second. The two books are so different you can't compare them, but I enjoyed them equally for very different reasons. Rounding out the top 5:  "City of Light" by Lauren Belfer, "Moon Over Manifest" by Clare Vanderpool, and "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott (I know! I had never read this before. I am way late to the party.)

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I don't know if I discovered anything particularly new, but I love Mumford & Sons and She and Him.

25. What did you want and get?

Most importantly, a healthy baby. Earrings for Christmas. A new car.

26. What did you want and not get?

Oh, there are lots of toys I want and didn't get. I'll go with the new iPhone.

27. What was your favorite film of this year?

I didn't see many movies this year, but I adored Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. What a finish. I'll miss you, Harry.

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

I honestly have no recollection of what I did on my birthday. I know I turned 32. Seriously, what did I do? OH. I do remember. Ben and Clare baked me a chocolate chip date cake. It was delicious. They lit the candles in the garage and came in singing to me. It was very sweet.

29. What one [or three] thing[s] would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Dare I say more sleep yet again? Of course, more money would always help. Overall, though, it was a fairly satisfying year.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

Anything clean, or at least mostly clean.

31. What kept you sane?

Carving out little moments for myself here and there. Even just an extra long shower when I can get it.

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

Hmmmm....there wasn't anyone in particular this year but I almost fainted when I saw Ryan Gosling without his shirt in Crazy, Stupid, Love. That man's abs are no joke.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

Where to start? Actually, I don't think I will list anything because then this post will turn into a rant rather than a review of the year.

34. Who did you miss?

My friends who live far away. Sometimes I miss my pre-baby self. Is that weird? 

35. Who was the best new person you met?

Clare, of course!

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

I don't have anything particularly deep or insightful to say here, but I guess I learned that I can handle a lot more than I thought I could. My priorities changed a lot this year, and that is okay. Some things that seemed so important before, well, I learned that they just aren't. I have a whole new person to worry about, and she comes before anything else in the world. I simply can't imagine my life without her. 


  1. Great list Em! Your lesson at the end is so true. Once you have that kid, some of those things we used to worry/care about - they're nothing compared to our child!

  2. I loved this post. I noticed a resounding theme of feeling tired. I have been tired since 2007. I can't remember what it's like not to be tired anymore. (Is that good or bad?)
    Cute family pic, too. And I forgot to tell you on Friday that I like your new short 'do! (Not sure how new it is, but it's new to me since seeing you last.)
    I could just snuggle that sweet baby of yours all day. She is ADORABLE. Enjoy every cuddly moment before she becomes mobile!