It’s already January 4th and I haven’t done my year-in-review post yet?! I’d better get crackin’. This is my TENTH year doing this silly survey, so I am absolutely not skipping it.
Previous years’ answers are available here: (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015). Over time I have modified and deleted some of the original questions, but here’s what I’m working with this year:
1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
Took a semester off work for parental leave, been the primary caretaker for two babies during that time, visited the homes of three friends I met online, bought a Broadway musical cast recording (and enjoyed it!).
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Last year, I wrote:
“This year, I will no doubt make more goals, but I haven’t thought them through in enough detail to put anything down here yet. More on this later, I’m sure.”
I feel fairly certain, without going back and looking, that I did not ever make note of any official goals or resolutions. My unwritten goal was of course to keep everyone alive during my maternity leave and to survive the transition back to work in the fall. Which I did, so, yay!
For the coming year, I would like to focus on making more gains in terms of health and fitness. I made some progress toward that in the last few months of 2016, and, after taking a bit of a break for the holidays, I’m getting moving again now. Healthier, smarter eating and lots of activity, mainly running, yoga, and barre3 for right now.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
LOTS of folks had babies this year. A couple of local friends and my BFF Mel as well as several of my Internet Ladies. Lots of sweet new babies out there this year ❤
4. Did anyone close to you die?
My husband’s grandmother passed away this spring.
5. What places did you visit?
Atlanta, GA (work conference for my husband; we all tagged along); Ann Arbor, MI (same, plus I got to visit Arwen and Kori); Manchester, IA (family visit); St. Louis, MO (visiting Mel and family); Peoria, IL (Halfway Hoopla at Amy’s house, my first solo travel away from the twins).
6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
More time to myself and more autonomy when it comes to scheduling my time. It has been hard to have to discuss every little scheduling detail this year in order to make sure that the babies have care and that CW and I can meet our work & personal commitments. In 2017, we will have the babies in full-time daycare, so I think this will happen.
7. What days from 2016 will you always remember?
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Personally, I think it was making it through the first year with twins, especially my maternity leave, which was an incredibly wonderful and incredibly difficult time for me.
Professionally, I have made a lot of good progress toward a big work goal, which is almost, but not quite, official. Details forthcoming.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Not handling my postpartum hormones very gracefully.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing much, thank goodness.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems, by Richard Ferber. That book & method no-shit saved my sanity at a very difficult time.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My husband has been the best possible teammate this year (as usual). E&L have been amazing little people in every way. Hillary Clinton has shown more guts, grace, and tenacity than I think I ever could myself.
13. Where did most of your money go?
14. What did you get really excited about?
Baby stuff. Going back to work. Going to the Hoopla. The election.
15. What song will always remind you of 2016?
16. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier and sadder, both. Happier about my family and life, sadder (and more scared) about the world.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner.
c) richer or poorer? The same. But maybe less disposable income because babies.
17. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Sleeping. Running. Yoga. Healthy eating.
18. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Eating my feelings. Stewing.
19. How did you spend Christmas?
We were home with E&L this year, and we hosted both my family (Dad & P) and CW’s parents for visits (at separate times before and after the actual holiday). On Christmas Eve, we went to our first church service as a family. That was a ridiculously draining workout, let me tell you. The wiggling! We decided to try the Methodist church instead of the Catholic one, but it was largely the same, minus the stand-sit-kneel dance. Afterward, the babies went to bed and we had mussels and prosecco (and then a largely forgettable dinner; I am only here for the mussels, y’all). Christmas morning, we had cinnamon rolls, bacon, and Bloody Marys and the babies got to see/open their presents. The play tunnel was a big hit! Christmas with babies was an absolute revelation. I loved it.
20. What was your favorite TV program?
I didn’t watch much TV this year. I suppose I’ll say the Gilmore Girls revival. I’d re-watched the entire series during maternity leave, and I thoroughly enjoyed, despite the flaws, the four new episodes.
21. What was the best book you read?
Here are my favorites, listed in the order I read them:
Kitchens of the Great Midwest – J. Ryan Stradal
Bellweather Rhapsody – Kate Racculia
The Trespasser – Tana French
I didn’t do a ton of reading this year, and a lot of what I read was not anything too special.
22. What music did you get excited about?
23. What did you want and get?
Nothing material sticks out, really. I did get really excited about a new can opener. Our old one, you guys. It was so shitty. Also, new ankle boots and an iPhone upgrade. A new purse.
24. What did you want and not get?
Back to pre-pregnancy weight.
25. What was your favorite film of this year?
I saw exactly zero films in the theater this year, and I barely remember watching any at home. Pass.
26. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I had cupcakes and champagne at home. I turned 39.
27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
Old Navy. #sadtrombone
28. What kept you sane?
Coffee. Wine. My husband. Twitter. My job.
29. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Lin-Manuel Miranda and Hillary Clinton, tied. Honorable mention to Kate McKinnon.
30. What political issue stirred you the most?
The whole election and subsequent bullshit. Fucking Nazis, man. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK.
31. Who was the best new person you met?
A couple of sweet new babies. Some Internet Ladies I met in person for the first time.
32. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
Be really, really clear about your plans, needs, and expectations.
And, as I say every year, qui patitur vincit.
33. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
When you came into the world, you cried and it broke my heart
I’m dedicating every day to you
Domestic life was never quite my style
When you smile, you knock me out, I fall apart
And I thought I was so smart
You will come of age with our young nation
We’ll bleed and fight for you, we’ll make it right for you
If we lay a strong enough foundation
We’ll pass it on to you, we’ll give the world to you
And you’ll blow us all away
Yeah, you’ll blow us all away
–“Dear Theodosia,” Lin-Manuel Miranda