Since you were wondering...

This seems as good as time as any to write.  To start something new.  To dream.  To reach.  To dazzle, defy, and dance.

It is, after all, the first day of a new year.

It is, after all, the first day of a new marriage.

It is, after all, time to stop thinking about writing more, thinking about photographizing more, and thinking about how I used to be so much more fit and healthy … time to stop thinking and start doing.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Visited Iowa and Minnesota.  These are two places I figured would be last on my “Visit all 50 states” pursuit.  But heck, why delay when there were so many happy reasons to visit?

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I’ve had a trend for the last several years of making bizarre anti-resolutions, but apparently last year even that became too boring, and so I made none.  This year feels massively different, given mostly to the fact that I began the year, quite literally, with a marriage at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.  So I suppose this would be a good year for a few real resolutions.
So for 2010, I resolve to:
-- Get back on the healthy bandwagon – and drive that baby til the wheels fall off this lean, mean fitness machine. (Should wheels fall off if everything is running at top-notch fitness levels?  Perhaps that analogy lacked.)
-- Strive to learn from my mistakes and become as good of a wife as Isaac is a husband to me.  When it comes to patience, understanding, and tireless love in the face of adversity, he pretty much schools me every time.  Damn it.
-- Spend more quality UNPLUGGED time with the kids.  The week we spent where everyone was grounded from video games ended up being the best week of the year.  How sad is that?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
As always, yes.  The women in my life tend to have many babies.  Odd.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
I lost both my grandmothers this year, just a few months apart.  I never knew my grandparents well, and now with all of them gone I feel a strong desire to make sure my kids have strong relationships with theirs.  Having kids means living vicariously through them, right?

5. What countries did you visit?
This, being the year of poverty, was a year for staying within the confines of my own country.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A more consistent weight, stemming from a solid gym routine, is definitely in order.  Also, it would be a stellar year if we get the finances in order and don’t get screwed over on the purchase of a home, on at least 3 acres, set somewhere just outside of town.  Is that asking too much?

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Cripes.  I’m really more of a memory-blocking girl than a memory… uh… memorizing girl?  Had I known there was going to be a quiz I would certainly have taken notes…
12/31 Isaac and I exchange vows surrounded by a myriad of twinkling lights and a small party of friends and family, beneath a blue moon high in a clear sky
12/20 Seestah and I are playing jet plane bingo while Jes gives birth to Jaelyn Claire
12/16-20 Seestah and I spend 5 days in Illinois, supporting Mom through the death of grandma, and, I think, learning how to be sisters all over again
9/5 Isaac, completely done listening to me whine, snivel, and lament at the end of the world as we know it, proposes to me.
Jan-Mar All of the time Garrick spent in our home was precious.
Notice the complete lack of any world events.  Hm.  Don’t expect me to start watching the news anytime soon.  Next year’s list will be just as devoid of the happenings of the universe.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Standing, when I wanted to run.  Allowing myself to be held, when I wanted to hide.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Somehow this year I have managed to lapse back into the girl that doesn’t speak up.  I lost my voice this year.  This journal is the first step to finding it again.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I am fairly certain that my sister kept all the illness and injury in her home, thereby keeping everyone in my home safe.  She’s very self-sacrificing that way.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Oh, how I would love to say a home!  Or a car!  Two purchases that will hopefully be the answer to this question next year.  This year, I’m pretty sure Charlie, my so-adorable-it-hurts Havanese has to top this list.  Hm, and probably the D&D stuff that my boys can’t get enough of.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Well, I can certainly tell you everyone who did not merit celebration.  Of course, that makes me think I might consider adding, “Be less bitter” or “Stop focusing on the negative” to my resolution list.  Our new school librarian reminded me how important it is to show gratitude to someone, no matter how trivial the reason.  My mom came out of the woodwork as a less judgmental person than I have seen in a number of years, and of course, I just wouldn’t be the mushy sap of a girl that I loathe to show myself as if I didn’t mention Isaac, who picked me up and tended my wounds more times than anyone would have the decency to expect.  All in all, when I think about it, I have many people in my life to celebrate.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
A few family and friends showed some true colors this year that were rather upsetting.

14. Where did most of your money go?
I would love to say savings, but we definitely had a year of living paycheck to paycheck, and then spending what little we did have on frivolous fancies.  2010 will be better.

15. What did you get really excited about?
Definitely, the house we believed was ours, until it wasn’t.  That was a major focal point of the year – it broke our trust, our hearts, and our hope for longer than it should have.
Beyond that mirage of excitement, however, were other real things to be happy about: Garrick’s approval for social security, Daegan’s increasing levels of maturity, my marriage to Isaac (which, although it did not actually come to fruition til 2010, began in 2009!)

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Folding Chair, by Regina Spektor.  More specifically, it reminds me of the Ranch trip of 2009.  And Isaac.  And love.  And wow, am I a SAP this year.  Let’s hope that tames itself down in the months to come.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? Happier, definitely.
 -thinner or fatter? Fatter, DAMN IT.  That WILL change.
-richer or poorer? Financially, about the same.  In every other area – richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Working out.  Seriously.  How I ever managed to get so far out of that I just don’t know, but I have too many reasons to enjoy life to let it continue.

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

Worrying, certainly.  Although that seems to be a lifelong trend. Perhaps it’s time to work on that also.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Partially at home, surrounded by our 5, count ‘em, FIVE, children, and then with seestah’s family, for a grand total of 4 adults and 9 kiddos bustling about.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?

Every day.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I have many new favourites, and sadly Grey’s was not among that list.  But Modern Family is probably at the top.

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

24. What was the best book you read?
Sadly, this was not a year for avid book reading.  Her Fearful Symmetry began as a hopeful contender, but ended poorly.  I think I actually have to go with Jeff Anderson’s grammar books, which is an odd choice, but honest.  I learned a lot about how to teach writing in a much more exciting and efficient way.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I have a new love for Pearl Jam with their breathtaking Just Breathe.  That song alone made me a very happy girl.  I don’t think I have any new band loves, but I do dig Amanda Palmer’s music, and not just because she’s dating Neil Gaiman, though I can’t deny it doesn’t hurt!

26. What did you want and get?
Stability. The return of my ability to believe in people.

27. What did you want and not get?
A house.  I sure do seem to be complaining about that a lot, don’t I?  It was a major disappointment, but one we plan to rectify this year.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
For as much as I love to watch movies, I never can seem to remember the ones I love when asked!  The Proposal was fun and made me laugh, which always ranks high for me.  Coraline, of course, was an exciting experience, if only because it was already a favorite Gaiman book.  The Time Travelers Wife and My Sister’s Keeper deserve some recognition as well.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Celebrated an engagement, enjoyed many cupcakes, shopped with mamacita, and turned 35.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
You guessed it: a house.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Ha.  Hide the muffin-top, at all costs.

32. What kept you sane?

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I tend not to fancy the celebrities.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Again.  Not so much with the political issues.  Although I certainly heard about the gun issues a lot from my darling dear.

35. Who did you miss?
My mom.  My sister.  Happily, I am spending more time with the latter of the two these days.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
It’s a toss up between the two new powerhouses that joined our team at school this year.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
Don’t count your chickens, or houses, before they’ve hatched.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Yeh, I don’t wanna hurt, 
there’s so much in this world
To make me bleed.
Stay with me...
You’re all I see.
Stolen from Sundry Mourning

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