My 2011

January 11, 2012emily 1 Comment »
    I’m a little late getting this posted, for obvious reasons, but I wanted to do it nonetheless. Happy New Year, everyone!

  1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

    Wow, so much! I defended my dissertation. I graduated with my PhD. I (we) saw the cherry blossoms in DC. I (we) rented a beach house for a week. I got pregnant! I (we) had a baby. The list goes on!

  2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for 2012?

    January of last year was too difficult (having just lost Edgar) to make resolutions, I’m sorry to say. But we did make good on certain goals (finish the dissertation, get pregnant), so I guess that counts? As for making more in 2012… I’d love to say “get an academic job,” but I think that’s too much of a long shot to be realistic. How about “sell the house” and “move back to Kansas.”

  3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

    Who’s got two thumbs and is sitting next to a baby? This gal! Also, my BFF Sally.

  4. Did anyone close to you die?

    No, thankfully, but a number of dear friends suffered tragic losses in 2011 and I hope that 2012 is a happier year for all of them.

  5. What countries did you visit?

    Having spent a good deal of cash and vacation time in 2010 visiting England, we remained stateside in 2011. BUT, we visited DC for the cherry blossoms and that was breathtaking.

  6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

    A home closer to family and friends.

  7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

    February 28th, when I defended my dissertation. Early May (though not technically a date, I know), when I found out I was pregnant. And December 25th, when Henry was born.

  8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

    I’m sensing a theme here: Becoming Dr. Casey. Natural childbirth. Learning patience.

  9. What was your biggest failure?

    I’ve really struggled to balance the teaching part of my work with the research and writing part of my work. It’s like I can only successfully pull off one or the other, but not both.

  10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

    Not really, thank goodness. I returned from our summer midwest trip with a nasty flu that lasted several weeks, but I was able to not-so-silently suffer through it in bed (the benefits of being unemployed, holla!).

  11. What was the best thing you bought?

    This isn’t really a thing, but: our homebirth midwives. These three ladies visited our house every couple weeks during my pregnancy, did all of their tests from the comfort of our own home, and made my pregnancy and Henry’s arrival completely blissful. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation.

  12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

    John, a thousand times over. In the early part of the year, he did a yeoman’s job reading, editing, and commenting on my dissertation. When I told him I was pregnant, he learned everything he could about natural childbirth and homebirths. And throughout my pregnancy, he did everything in his power to make me more comfortable.

  13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

    I’m going to say it: the Republicans. Yes, there’s plenty of blame to go around and I certainly don’t exclude the Democrats from that, but wow, yeah, the Republicans.

  14. Where did most of your money go?

    Other than the obvious (mortgage, bills, and other similarly un-exciting things), our various trips (DC, beach, midwest). Totally worth it.

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

    I got really, really exited about defending and then graduating. It was the culmination of eight long years, after all! And then I got really, really excited about the prospect of having a child. I’d fought the idea for so long, but when it became a reality after I saw those two lines on the pregnancy test, I got really jazzed about it.

  16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

    “Let’s Go Fly a Kite,” from Mary Poppins. Also: “Get Ready for This.” They play it at the start of college basketball games (at least at K-State), and I had it on repeat on my iPod while I was waiting for my dissertation defense to start, then again while waiting for my committee to decide my fate.

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

    Happier and, yes, chubbier, but also richer in so many ways.

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

    I wish I’d taken more photos. It helps me to slow down a bit and appreciate what’s going on around me.

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

    I spent (spend) too much time worrying about what other people think, instead of just not giving a damn.

  20. How did you spend Christmas?

    For the first time since we’ve been in Florida, we spent Christmas here, at our house. We had an enormous tree, a pile of presents, and lots of good cheer. Oh, and then my water broke. So I spent the rest of Christmas Eve and part of Christmas Day in labor.

  21. Did you fall in love in 2011?

    Oh my goodness, yes.

  22. What was your favorite TV program?

    Not really a program per se, but we sure had a great time watching the Stanley Cup tournament.

  23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

    No, but the next person who asks me about my milk supply is going to get a punch up the bracket.

  24. What was the best book you read?

    The Wordy Shipmates, by Sarah Vowell.

  25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

    Rebecca Zapen.

  26. What did you want and get?

    My PhD and a healthy baby.

  27. What did you want and not get?

    A job for myself, which I’ve said every year for the last several. *sigh*

  28. What was your favorite film of the year?

    Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. Hah! Just kidding. In truth, I don’t really like movies. In fact, I didn’t set foot in a movie theater in 2011. I did see HPDH2 on dvd and thought it was miserable. So, there’s that.

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

    I turned 34 on my birthday. I opened presents in the morning, talked to family and friends, and turned in my grades for the fall semester. I’d intended to bake a pie, but at that point in my pregnancy, pie was the furthest thing from my mind.

  30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

    As I’ve said before: Being closer, geographically, to family and friends.

  31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

    Maternity clothes! I finally cobbled together a decent wardrobe of maternity clothes that did not make me look like a) a desperate hooker or b) my grandmother’s curtains. Win!

  32. What kept you sane?

    Hard to say. After a lifetime of being a real type-A personality, pregnancy actually mellowed me quite a bit. I have no idea why. But finding that kind of internal peace helped a lot. Oh, and yoga. Lots of yoga.

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

    Fancy, huh? Hmm. I’ve never figured out how to answer this one. Kate Middleton?

  34. What political issue stirred you the most?

    Contraception, probably. The idea that people are thinking it’s a good idea to ban contraception and take us back to pre-1965 makes me feel very stabby.

  35. Who did you miss?

    I missed Edgar, on an almost daily basis. He lived his life on his own terms, which made him a difficult companion at times, but I loved him like mad.

  36. Who was the best new person you met?

    Henry. Can you blame me?

  37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

    You’ll never know whether it’s the right decision or not. The only strategy is to jump in with both feet and hope for the best.

  38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

    “Once in a while, now and then/You’ll meet a guy or a girl/That makes you smile/You’ll never know, who knows when/You’ll meet the her or the him/That makes you smile.” Smile, by Rebecca Zapen

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