1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
Got pregnant, went to Turkey, Belgium, and Las Vegas, gave birth via major surgery, took 3 months off of work.
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
50/50. Getting pregnant dramatically changed my plans for the year. I haven’t yet decided on my resolutions for next year.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
YES. In addition to our son, born in September, my sister and sister-in-law both had babies, as did Nicolas’s brother’s partner. A number of other friends also had babies. Babies everywhere.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
My friend Janet passed away in May. It’d been a couple of years since the last time I saw her, but I miss her all the time.
5. What countries (or new places) did you visit?
Turkey and Belgium with Nicolas in February and March and Las Vegas for work in June. I also explored new parts of Michigan, Seattle, and Chicago with Nicolas.
6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
7. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Not losing my mind during my pregnancy and postpartum period; keeping a small human alive with my breasts.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I had a hard first trimester emotionally, and that tainted our trip to Belgium and our time with Nicolas’s family. I wish I could do that over.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Mostly just normal pregnancy stuff, though I did literally swoon on a street corner in the heat in Vegas.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our 12 week Bradley Method course was probably the best way I spent money this year. Also we joined the cult of the AeroPress.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Nicolas is a wonderful father, and I’m so grateful to be parenting with him.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
14. Where did most of your money go?
Food and drink, rent, clothes that only fit me (or the baby) for a few weeks.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The water taxi.
16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
ii. thinner or fatter?
About 20 pounds heavier, though I will note that I’m at least 30 pounds lighter than a few months ago.
iii. richer or poorer?
Richer both financially and personally.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Sleeping. Taking long walks.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
20. How did you spend Christmas?
In Rockford with my family. Nicolas made Christmas dinner: stoofvlees, a very traditional Flemish beef stew, which he spent all afternoon and evening of Christmas Eve preparing. All three of us were a bit overwhelmed and overstimulated by the Christmas celebration with the whole family, so I’m glad we kept it low-key at home. In future years, I think I’d like to shift our celebration to St. Nicholas’s Day to space out the crazy and be able to form our own traditions.
21. Did you fall in love in 2014?
With my baby boy, obviously, and even more with his papa.
22. How many one-night stands?
23. What was your favorite TV program?
True Detective was amazing, and we watched all of Battlestar Galactica during my maternity leave.
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
25. What was the best book you read?
With the exception of Bill Bryson’s new book, my year in reading was either baby/parenting books or Game of Thrones. One of these days I’ll get around to blogging about things I found useful during pregnancy and “the fourth trimester”, so I’ll save the book discussion for then.
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Despite my good intentions, I really didn’t listen to much music this year. I suppose installing SoundCloud on my phone counts?
27. What did you want and get?
28. What did you want and not get?
The chance to run a marathon.
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 34, and did all of the things I shouldn’t have done given that I was 2-3 weeks pregnant and didn’t know it. I worked a half day, then took the train to Lakeview to meet Nicolas for lunch: fantastic burgers and beer at DryHop. We took a cab to the zoo to see the sand cat, where Nicolas surprised me with party hats and cupcakes and candles outside the small mammal house. (The sand cat didn’t want his cupcake, so I ate it later.) We walked to YogaNow in our party hats, and then I got a deep tissue massage, while Nicolas headed home to rest up. Megan, Annette, Stef, and Karina joined me for dinner at Oiistar (sake, ramen with mussels, a tiny creme brûlée), then I met Nicolas at Neo for a long, fun night of dancing and too many strong drinks. Nicolas was supposed to have class the evening of my birthday, so we celebrated the next night – wonderful food and cocktails in the library at Gilt Bar followed by Darkside at The Metro. Three days after my birthday, I found out that I was pregnant.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Peace of mind. Living closer to the beach.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
33. What kept you sane?
Exercise, friends, and sisters.
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
No one in particular.
35. What political issue stirred you the most?
The Case for Reparations
36. Who did you miss?
Friends in other cities. Our much more flexible life pre-baby.
37. Who was the best new person you met?
My baby, obvs.
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014:
Being a mother is harder and more wonderful than I could have imagined. Parenting involves falling in love over and over and over again with your child and, if you’re lucky, your partner. It’s challenging and humbling and completely worth it. But that doesn’t mean you don’t miss what your life (or relationship, or body) was like before. And that’s OK too.