This list of questions has been going around the web for a few years. And each year that I’ve see the list, I have wanted to sit down and fill in my answers. But alas, life, you know. But this year life is crazier than ever, which instead of making me run screaming from my blog (which it has for the past 6 months), has made me decide to just sit down and do it already. I am in a very reflective mood lately, what with the new year. But it’s not just that. It’s so many things and ideas and emotions floating around in my head. It’s my kids being at ages where they can finally interact (and me finally getting a video cam so I can remember exactly what this all looks like). It’s watching close friends go through incredible pain and not being able to lessen it. It’s losing a dear uncle this week to cancer. It’s the feeling of accomplishment for many things this year. It’s also the mental list making that I inevitably start doing this time of year. Because of all of these things floating around in my brain and so many more, I decided to fill out the questions and remember this moment in time. So far, the past two days of the new year have been great: relaxing, filled with family and joy and hope. Here’s to a whole 2009 filled with those very things for all of us!
1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Took many, many pictures; birthed a son; stopped working for a paycheck.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Last year I didn’t make resolutions, I just focused on two words: delight and expansion. And I have to say, I tried as hard as I could with both of them and, for the most part, I think I did OK. I did, however, make a goal for myself at the beginning of 2008 to sell my photographs at some point during the year. And I did! So that was satisfying. For next year, I’d like to sell even more photos. I’d also like to be present and aware wherever I am at the moment. When I’m with my kids, I want to be completely focused on them. I think I could have done that a little better in ‘08. I’d also like this to be the year I focus back on myself a little bit. For all of last year, I’ve either had another human growing inside me, or a baby/toddler attached to my hip. I’ve loved it, of course. But that has left a few things neglected in my life. I’m looking at you, muffin top.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Besides me, several of my close friends also had babies. So many adorable and new little fingers and toes out there in the world right now.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
My Uncle Bob passed away of colon cancer. Not actually in 2008. He died on January 1, 2009. He will be really missed.
5. What countries did you visit?
Ha. Well, being pregnant and then having a newborn did not allow me much travel time outside of my own county, let alone country. Here’s hoping someday soon I can explore the world again, brood in tow.
6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
A little more patience with myself. A little more patience with my kiddos, at times. A lot more sleep.
7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 6 was the day Ian was born. November 4 was history in the making.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Giving birth. It’s quite an achievement, really. I also took a picture every day this year. I still can’t believe I did that. It is so rewarding to look back over all the pictures of this extremely eventful year.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Having a short fuse with people I love; being impatient.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
A few colds passed on lovingly to me from little noses.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Oh man, I LOVE (really, really love) my 50mm lens. Definitely my best photography purchase this year. We also just got ourselves a cute little Flip Video Camcorder for Christmas so we can finally record Sophia’s ABCs and Ian’s attempts at crawling. I love that thing.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My husband’s. That guy is a saint. He had quite a year of ups and downs and yet he still always thought of me before anything else.
(I think you could say this household also celebrated Obama a little this year, too.)
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Oh, Sarah Palin. How did you happen?
14. Where did most of your money go?
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Having my son was about as cool as it gets. I think adding on a second child rounded out our family in such an amazing way. I think, though, that besides holding him and nursing him and just generally staring at him, what made me most excited about having him around was watching Sophia become just the most incredible big sister. She adores her little brother and really looks out for him. It’s incredibly sweet for a mama to watch that kind of love between her kids.
I kind of got really excited about photography this year, too.
16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
That “You’ve got to move it move it” song from Madagascar. Sophia and her dance parties. And any song by Elizabeth Mitchell. We’re big fans at our house and anytime I hear her voice, I will always think back to last year.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier, much
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner. It’s only because I was pregnant this time last year.
c) richer or poorer? I think we’re actually about the same.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Sleep. Really, I need to get to bed much earlier.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
I read too many blogs, get caught up on Flickr for too long, and generally just get way too distracted on the internet. I need to unplug a little.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas Eve dinner at my parents’ house. Christmas Day at home with my family and a few close friends. Christmas and the whole advent season leading up to it was magical this year, especially through the eyes of my 3-year-old.
21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Yes. I met this new little guy in May, and I brought him home to live with us. He’s adorable. We’re definitely keeping him.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
30 Rock, definitely. And Battlestar Galactica. I also got really into Biggest Loser.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
24. What was the best book you read?
Man, I read a lot this past year. Not so much in the beginning of the year when I was busy as hell and commuting 3 hours a day. But once I was home and had time in a rocking chair nursing my baby, I fell in love with one of my favorite pastimes again. I really liked Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time and Water For Elephants. OK, fine. I also enjoyed the Twilight series. Yes, I am 14.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Rhapsody. The greatest thing ever! I can’t even describe to you what this has done to my music listening.
26. What did you want and get?
A happy, healthy baby. He is very much both.
27. What did you want and not get?
Besides a whole new wardrobe (not likely!), I can’t think of anything. I am really happy with what I have.
I know I’d love a Roomba though.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I really liked Dark Knight, Iron Man and Wall-E. Also, I did see Twilight twice, if you must know.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
It was only about 2 weeks after I gave birth, so I wasn’t out dancing or anything. But I did get to go to a really nice lunch with my parents, mother-in-law, husband and kids. That night, Chris and I left the kids with Grammy and headed out to dinner and a movie. It was pouring down rain outside and was so romantic to be out with just him having wonderful, uninterrupted conversation over a glass of wine and some hearty Italian food. We saw Indiana Jones, if you were curious. And I turned 31.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Being completely debt free.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Hooo boy, not much style for me this year. My wardrobe/waistband was pretty much elasticied for much of the year. Then, in this order: easy to nurse in, comfortable and fits, not stained, hopefully cute.
32. What kept you sane?
Photography, the cathartic glow of my laptop, laughing, wonderful and wise girlfriends, having fantastic parents and mother-in-law who would babysit whenever I needed. But mostly, my husband.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Can I say Obama again? Yes, I can.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Pretty much the whole 2008 election. Man, that was intense and deeply moving. I got pretty peeved about the whole Prop 8 outcome, too. Ugh, California.
35. Who did you miss?
I missed some old colleagues and friends from my former workplace. I missed my husband a lot when he got a job that didn’t require working exclusively from home anymore.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
I’d have to go with my new baby. But I met a couple cool new friends this year, too.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Being persistent and dedicated with my photography not only paid off, but it was also highly satisfying and fun. Also, adding another kid to the mix was a fantastic idea.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“Don’t worry about a thing
‘cuz every little thing
is gonna be alright.”
- from “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley (And also by Elizabeth Mitchell. She does a good cover.) It’s Sophia’s favorite song and she always wanted me to sing it to her at night before bed. It was pretty much the perfect song she could have latched onto. I can’t think of a better matra for a tired and sometimes-stressed new mama of two to have to sing over and over again.