1. What did you do in 2008 that you've never done before?
I think spending a month on bed rest counts. I also attempted to mother two children simultaneously!
We also sent Harper to school for the first time.
2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I love Christine's Kane's idea about choosing a word to commit to, rather than a list of unrealistic and lofty expectations. Unfortunately life was pretty derailed in early '08 and I don't even remember what my word for last year was.
I am going to choose a new word for '09, but I haven't made my final choice just yet (I have things narrowed down).
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
So many people! We are definitely in the age of babies.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
I don't think so. . . which probably seems like an odd answer. People who are close to me lost people who were close to them, which makes me feel vaguely like the answer should be yes.
5. What countries did you visit?
None, and no international travel planned for the near future, but I guess you never know.
6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
More alone time with Matt - this has not been a good year for being together without the children.
7. What dates from 2008 will stay etched in your memory, and why?
February 8th, my friend Erin's birthday, and the day I first went to the doctor because something seemed wrong with my pregnancy.
February 10th, the day I drove myself to the hospital because things still didn't seem right, and ended up on bed rest for the next month.
March 9th, the day Michael was born, nine weeks early.
April 8th, the day we brought Michael home from the hospital.
May 6th, my original due date.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Staying mostly positive during that month of bed rest, followed by a month of having Michael in the NICU. Staying a little bit sane, period. Life with a baby is hard, especially when the baby is not the only child.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Oh, there were so many, it is hard to choose the biggest. One huge failure was answering email, at all, I have been horrible this year. And it's a shame because when our family needed support many friends, and friends of friends, reached out to me that way. I'm so grateful and totally failed to acknowledge many of them.
I'm also lousy at keeping up with the laundry/housework/and preparing decent dinners for Matt.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
The big ones were the partial placental abruption and the kidney infection that sent me to the ER.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I can't think of anything! We switched our TV service to U-verse and are really happy about that.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Our family, especially Matt, my mother, and my mother-in-law who really had to step up when I was on bed rest and Michael was in the NICU. We are really fortunate to have such supportive relatives who are willing/able to drop everything to help us. Can't imagine how we'd have gotten through without them.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I won't point fingers, but I think we all need to figure out how to judge less and make decisions that consider the greater good.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Medical bills, mortgage, etc. Aside from normal monthly expenses, I'd say a fair amount of our money went to Hallmark, the post office, and Amazon.com.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The presidential election.
16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
"Hello Neighbor" a song Harper learned in preschool or "You are My Sunshine" which emerged as an early favorite of Michael's.
17. Compared to this time last year are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Probably a little sadder, but still pretty happy.
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?
Probably poorer, but richer because of the way our family grew this year.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Read and wrote.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
20. How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas Day was spent opening gifts with the kids at home, then going to Nana and Dziatku's for breakfast, then driving to Matt's Aunt Patty's for more gifting and dinnner. But our Christmas goes on and on - we are still celebrating in Wisconsin.
21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Of course, with Michael. And I definitely love Matt more deeply after all we've been through this year.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
I like a lot of them, but the one I most hated to miss was LOST.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No. There are lots of people who frustrated me, and people I don't like, but I really try not to hate - it's a waste of energy.
24. What was the best book you read?
I didn't read as much as usual this year. I'm having trouble coming up with any titles at all! I think the most enjoyable book I read this year was Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I know this isn't what the question means, but it has to be baby storytime at the library. This did not exist when Harper was a baby, but the program is awesome and I've learned a bunch of little songs/rhymes to do with Michael which he LOVES.
26. What did you want and get?
A healthy baby, a year free of severe allergic reactions, several great massages, a Nintendo DS - that covers a lot of bases.
27. What did you want and not get?
A full-term pregnancy. A minivan. A cure for food allergies.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
We just saw Marley and Me which I thoroughly enjoyed, and seeing Mama Mia made me really happy. (Though the word "film" makes me feel as though I should be choosing something with more substance.)
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 32 and I threw a party for Harper, who turned four two days later. My birthday happened to be on a Saturday this year.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Having a personal chef.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Does this shirt cover my stomach?
32. What kept you sane?
Family support, incredible friends (who manage to be incredible even from far away) and the great community I've found through this blog and others like it.
33. What celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I have been fascinated by Tina Fey this year. Obama is pretty interesting too.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The election in general - although I get really worked up about education issues.
35. Who do you miss?
My family in Wisconsin (though not right now, because we're in Wisconsin). Far-away friends, especially those who've just had babies this year - I always wish I were nearby to share in that experience. The women I got to know well as I went through grad school.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
Define "met". I got to know some great new people online this year, especially Sam, who had pregnancy/bed rest drama while I did and was a great sounding board. We totally bonded.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
It's one I should have learned many times over by now. . . things don't always go the way you'd like.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
It's a sad and a strange thing.
But it's time and I am changing.
Into something good or bad, well that's your guess.
I'm my own sovereign nation,
Dedicated to a transformation,
Marching on with this target on my chest, oh yes,
And it's alright, it's alright, it's alright.