Monday, December 31, 2012

Year in Review

I answered these questions last year, so I thought I'd do it again. This year was a bit...quieter than last year, because I didn't, you know, have a new baby.  This is okay by me, though. Also, I deleted a few  questions I didn't feel like answering. Happy New Year!

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

Experienced all of Clare's firsts: crawling, walking, talking, her first birthday party. Went to a Packer game at Lambeau Field. Oh, and I ate sheep's testicles at the Minnesota State Fair. Never done that before. Don't intend to do it again.

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

Last year it was to be cleaner and more organized at home. I think I accomplished that, although my home is nowhere near as clean and organized as it was before Clare was born. I have learned to be okay with that, though. I do have some specific goals for this year, including the usual: eat less, exercise more.

3. Did anyone close to you have a child?

I had to wait until the last minute to answer this one: no, but several close friends will be having babies in the near future. The very near future.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No. Thank God.

5. Where did you travel?

Fort Myers Beach, Florida. The Twin Cities. Chicago.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

Date nights with my hubby. We finally started doing these, and I wish we had started sooner. It is so nice to go to a restaurant and not have to share my meal with Clare, or worry about keeping her entertained. Oh, and some alone time with Ben is nice, too.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory?

June 9. This was Clare's first birthday party, and also the day that I fainted and fell into the shower, lacerating my lip and destroying my front tooth. I have since had a root canal to fix the tooth, and have lost feeling in part of my lower lip. Yay!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

It is small, but probably just finding time for everything, and feeling like I finally have a good balance in my life with work, family, and myself.

9. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Countless colds - we have been the house of sick. Also, the previously mentioned fall.

10. What was the best thing you bought?

My new iPhone! I use it constantly. Also, I bought a bunch of Clare's clothes at garage sales, so I feel pretty thrifty.

11. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Voters in many states, including my former home of Minnesota. My family and friends have been wonderful as always.

12. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

There are several, but I don't really want to dwell on that. I have shed many tears this year while watching the news.

13. Where did most of your money go?

Daycare. Baby supplies. Target really got a fair share of my salary this year.

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

Is it lame to say going to a football game? I was so excited for my first trip to Lambeau Field, and it didn't disappoint. Also, watching Clare grow and change over the last year has been a thrill. I am always excited to see her at the end of the day.

15. What song will always remind you of 2012?

The theme to "Elmo's World." Also, "Home" by Phillip Phillips. That song is freakin' everywhere.

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

I don't think I am happier than I was last year, but probably not sadder either. So I guess the same. I am thinner, but not as thin as I'd like to be. I think financially we are about the same, too.

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

Cooked! Now that I've come out of the fog of having a newborn, I really miss my old hobby of puttering around in the kitchen. Maybe I'll get to do more of that this year.

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

Here is what I wrote last year: "Wasting time worrying about things I can't control. That is something I always do, though. I don't think it will change." And no, it hasn't changed.

19. How did you spend Christmas?

We had several different celebrations, including two Christmases with my side of the family, Christmas Eve at Ben's Uncle Pete's house, and Christmas Day with Ben's parents.  We spent several days in the Twin Cities after Christmas, and Clare got to play with her friends Archer, Alice, Adam, Ben, Gabriel and Jonah. (And Mom and Dad got to hang out with their parents!) She also had a great time chasing after her second cousins on Christmas Eve. She even shared her new Elmo doll. Who says she's a bad sharer?

20. What was your favorite TV program?

Same as last year: Parks and Recreation. The final season of 30 Rock has been brilliant, too. I also really enjoyed watching the Olympics.

22. What was the best book you read?

I read a lot of fluff this year, and wasn't all that excited about many of the books I read. I did manage to put together a top five, though.

1. The Tiger's Wife, by Tea Obreht
2. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
3. Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri
4. The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
5. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

23. What was your greatest musical discovery

The Avett Brothers. The Lumineers. Regina Spektor's new album.

24. What did you want and get?

Taking the totally materialistic approach to this question, I got a new Coach purse.

25. What did you want and not get?

A house. I really want a house. We are bursting at the seams in our little place.

26. What was your favorite film of this year?

I didn't see many! I think I only saw four total in the theater. My favorite was Skyfall, the new James Bond movie. I also really liked Hunger Games and Friends with Kids.

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

Ben and I went out to eat at the delicious farm-to-table restaurant Graze in downtown Madison. It was lovely. I turned 33. Wait, 34. No, 33. Yes.

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

Not having our super annoying cat wake me up nearly every morning at 3:30 a.m.

29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

Comfortable clothes. I did update my work wardrobe a bit - I got a few super cute new blazers.

30. What kept you sane?

Ben. Yoga, which I just started doing this fall. Conversations with my family. Martinis.

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

No one in particular, but since I loved watching the Olympics I guess I'll say Michael Phelps, the U.S. Women Gymnastics and Soccer teams, and Bob Costas.

32. What political issue stirred you the most?

Since it was an election year, all of them! I am still so happy about the results. There are a few things that are currently pissing me off, but I am trying to keep this light.

33. Who did you miss?

All my girls in the Twin Cities. 

34. Who was the best new person you met?

Clare's new daycare teacher Tiffany. She is a sweetheart!

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

There were several different events that happened this year that made me realize how lucky I am. I am going to try hard in 2013 to appreciate what I have - live in the moment more, and just be grateful for the health and safety of my family. I spend way too much time worrying about things that have happened in the past (that I can't change) or may or may not happen in the future (which I mostly can't control). I'd really like to stop doing this.

At the light display at the Rotary Gardens in Janesville.

Meeting Santa.

Reaction to Santa. She even refused his presents. (She opened them later and was thrilled with her Elmo stuffed animal and Fisher Price rotary dial phone.)

Playing her favorite game: "Wear Grandma's Glasses."

Her "I don't know" gesture. I think I asked her where her pants are.

Ripping open her presents on Christmas morning. This one was her favorite: an old-school push popper.

Helping Daddy with the Christmas puzzle that Ben's family puts together every year.

Yay eggs!


  1. First, I have to say finding balance is NOT a "small thing." That is AMAZING that you can say it and mean it and feel good about it. Congrats!

    Second, I got a Coach purse too! Again, we're like the same person some times. :)

  2. I loved, loved, loved this blog post! Such interesting, honest, intellectual answers.

    #6 is a GREAT tradition to start now, while Clare is young. Date nights are so important!!

    #7 I forgot about the fainting episode!! In the shower, no less. Why do these weird things always happen to you? (Didn't you also choke on a bratwurst at a picnic?) I'm glad your tooth (and you) are ok now.

    #15 Now I have "Elmo's World" in my head. And speaking of Elmo, who will be the puppeteer/Elmo voice now that the original Elmo is an accused pedophile?

    #19 Such a fun visit!! (We both know who needs to work on sharing, and it's not Clare!)

    #27 Classic Emily. You make me laugh.

    #33 We miss you, too.

  3. Um yeah, finding balance? If you did that by 33 or 34 or 33 or 34 or whatever, that's pretty damn amazing.