This time last year I was hobbling down State Street in downtown Chicago trying to get to work for the last few days before Jack was born. I didn’t know it but I only had one day to go. “Are you carrying twins?” a woman shouted at me as I crossed Washington. I smiled. Nope. I shook my head. (Just one baby.) “You about ready to be done with this?” said a co-worker eyeing my ever-expanding belly in an ill-fitting shirt. I smiled. I knew what he meant. I was large. And to anyone on the outside it looked like quite the ordeal. Gaining weight. Uncomfortable. Sweating. “Good Lord girl, do we need to get you to a hospital now?” said a well-meaning CTA worker as I walked into Walgreens. “Nah. Just headed to work.” It makes me laugh thinking of all the random conversations I had with Chicagoans just because I was pregnant. Fast forward one year and so much has changed. This year has been the most tremendous, magical year of my life. I thought I would be giving up a lot having a baby: time, sleep, freedom, high-heeled shoes. All true BUT I just didn’t realize everything I would be gaining. In addition to a love like no other, I personally feel that I have become sharper, stronger, more compassionate, wiser, more creative and more on-fire for life than I have ever been in my entire life. I owe it all to Jack. Happy Birthday little man!