A few things I'll remember about 2012 as it recedes in the rear-view mirror:
Most apt quote I saw on Facebook: "Having a newborn is easy, said no one ever."
Best books I read (or reread): Caleb's Crossing, The Great Gatsby, Great Expectations, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Life of Pi, Angle of Repose, A Christmas Memory.
Best second-tier books I read and still nonetheless enjoyed: Death Comes to Pemberley, A Discovery of Witches, East of the Sun, The Snow Child, The Swan Thieves, The Secret Keeper.
Most conflicted realizations: I am not the kind of mother who posts lamentations on the Internet about how sad she is that her children are returning to school after summer "vacation" and winter "break." Also, I do not care for Pinterest.
Most spiritually-charged eighth birthday without a baptism: Jack's.
Most relief-inducing milestone birthday: Baby's first, as it marked a year during which we survived preterm birth, a month-long NICU stay, innumerable Code Browns thanks to a certain big brother, a long house-bound winter, another big brother whose latent social anxiety and OCD emerged with a snapping sort of vengeance, and something like 15 different strains of stomach flu which ravaged the family, among other things. Truly, it all happened and we survived it.
Most depressing realization: crappy kid food is still food, and sometimes (okay, frequently) it's dinner because I lack the energy to cook twice or die on the hill of trying to get morbidly picky eaters to eat normal fare.
Best new (to us) eatery: the downtown gem with the house-made pastas, particularly the carbonara and the stroganoff. We pilgrimage there as often as we can for date nights as it is gloriously "anti kid food."
Best part of the holiday season this year for me: packing up the trimmings and trappings of Christmas and pondering my resolution for the new year. It's personal so I'm not going to divulge it here, but it's spiritual in nature and it feels like a path to a fresh perspective. I've never been so happy for January to commence so I can work on this inner project.