2011 was a mammoth year. It really shook things up not just in the obvious ways – new country, new baby – but it also challenged me mentally and emotionally, shaking me to the core. I hope I’ve emerged a stronger person out of it. I’m not good at doing things outside of my comfort zone, so I’m surprised that I was able to push myself to do four things this year that terrified me.

Terrifying thing one: Moving to New York. While pregnant. On my own. It was so hard. Alec had moved over 6 weeks before me, so I was left to tidy up loose ends and fly over on my own, all during the first trimester. The flight was awful. For some reason, I didn’t tell the crew I was pregnant and suffered in silence sitting next to the kitchen on the flight while the smell of food and coffee made me queasy. On the LA – NY leg I threw up. And again in the can from the airport. Everything from there on in was hard for the first few months. Finding a place to live. Finding doctors. Making new friends. All while pregnant. It was the hardest thing I had ever done up until that point.

Terrifying thing two: Quitting my job. After trying to transfer to the NY office for a few weeks, I was unable to find a suitable position and so quit my job. I was scared that without a job I would be bored and lonely and lack purpose. Thankfully this was not the case. I made new friends, took up yoga and attended a great photography course.

Terrifying thing three: Childbirth. The birth was horrific. No more needs to be said.

Terrifying thing four: What to do with a baby?! Having no experience with babies prior to having Eloise, I had no idea what to expect. I certainly didn’t expect this tiny person who screamed non stop and wouldn’t sleep. Ever, it seemed. Thankfully things slowly improved as the months went by, and now, even though Eloise still doesn’t sleep well, she is a delight to have.

What will 2012 hold? The focus will be on Eloise – getting her to sleep better for a start, then helping her develop as she grows. We also hope to travel more, to the Caribbean and somewhere in Europe. I also hope to focus again on photography – taking more courses and improving my skills, as well as making more local friends in Brooklyn. I want to experience everything New York has to offer while we’re living there.

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