And, again

I am not a fan of Year in Review lists, posts, and stories.  I don’t need to be reminded of all the things I’ve already seen multiple times throughout the year.  But, sometimes, it’s nice to reflect on what the year has brought, and so I have slogged through another What Did I Do list, also known as the Sundry meme.  If you’re curious, you can also look up my 2008 and 2007 lists.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

We tackled a complete kitchen remodel (even if we didn’t move walls or do any major reconfiguration) and survived.  I learned that the stove/oven/fridge is not the most important thing in the kitchen for someone who cooks; it’s the sink.  The sink where you clean things up.  Without a sink, you may as well not even bother with a kitchen.

We also spent our vacation with a couple of friends on a road trip.  I’ve gone on a cruise with Cami before, but it’s the first time we’ve spent a week with only 2 other people crammed into a car.  I’m glad to say it went well and we all (I’m pretty sure) had fun.

I also got to see my name in a cookbook, even if it’s only as a tester.  But, as a result, we took a trip to New York to meet the other testers (and, of course, David Leite) in person after years on electronic communication.  And, it made me want to get more involved in the food community and meet more people.  Which I also got to do when a bunch of bloggers were totally lavished at a Suite & Tender dinner event.

And, I actively started making an effort to lose weight.  I actually started in January, did really well, then let it all go while we tore out and rebuilt the kitchen.  Then there was some other excuse, I’m sure, and I picked it back up a couple of months ago.  It’s not that I’m terribly overweight, and it’s only 10-15 pounds I need/want to lose, but it’s something I want to get a grip on while it’s still manageable.  I don’t want it to creep up to 30 pounds of excess before I get off my butt and do something about it, you know?

Oh!  And I got chickens!

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

Last year I said I was officially done making resolutions, so I guess it’s fair to say I did pretty well with that?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes!  And it has been such a treat getting to watch Adam grow up this year.  He’ll turn 1 just a few days after my birthday!  He is amazing and I love him, but he doesn’t make me want one of my own.  It’s pretty nice letting someone else clean up baby puke.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Oh, we lost our sweet Clair this year and sometimes it still makes me cry.  I think another cat would help fill that void a little, but Travis is still in mourning and says he isn’t ready.

5. What countries did you visit?

We did not use our passports once this year (not even to go to Mexico), but we’re going to try and plan an international vacation next year.  Which reminds me, I need to renew my passport.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

Maybe more discipline with my budget?  We tend to have lax saving habits and just do whatever we want, whenever we want.  I don’t rack up any debt (and I put a lot away into various retirement accounts), but I think I’d like to start putting more in my short-term savings accounts.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

None… dates are such a blur to me. 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Honestly, I’m just glad I made it through another year.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I have not mastered the art of keeping dog fur off the couch.  There’s just so much of it!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I did get a cold at the beginning of the year, but I think that’s about it.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

The kitchen.  Every day I’m in there, it makes me happy.  It’s laid out better, it feels nicer, it’s more organized, and it’s totally more accessible.  I don’t even mind putting dishes away because everything has its own little place.  Best purchase ever.  Thanks, mom!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Cassie has continuously proven to be a very good dog and has given us no trouble at all.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The entertainment community in general?  As much as I enjoy the trainwreck that is Jersey Shore, I can’t believe how much time and effort is spent on stupid stories.  Is Tiger Woods the first guy to cheat on his wife ever? Did we really need a Behind the Story: Tiger Woods special?  Can we stop talking about Balloon Boy yet?  I mean, it’s all gotten so bad that I’ve started listening to NPR in the mornings now.  NPR, people… that’s where I’ve been forced to go.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Who knows… new kitchen stuff, chicken coop materials, a new treadmill.  Groceries and eating good meals in good restaurants.  The usual places, I guess.

15. What did you get really excited about?

The new kitchen (I know I keep talking about it, but it’s been amazing!)  And getting the chickens, who were so cute as baby chicks.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

I would say Poker Face, except if you were to play it in a couple of years, I don’t think I would associate it specifically with 2009.  I’m probably just thinking about it because I’ve been hearing it all over tv.  Maybe Single Ladies, because they did a little dance to it in Glee and the Chipettes sing it in the “squeakuel” (I didn’t watch the movie, it’s been in the commercials).

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

  • happier or sadder?  I would say I’m as happy as I was last year… consistent rate of happiness.
  • thinner or fatter?  Definitely thinner than last December, not as thin as I got mid-2009.
  • richer or poorer? Hmm… my overall net worth has grown, but my day-to-day bank balance feels tighter. I won’t even go there with the sappy “but I have a richer life due to wonderful friends and family, blah, blah” (even if I suppose it’s true)

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

More walks around the neighborhood, more visits to the farmers market, more walks with the dogs, more dog brushing.  Those poor dogs are so neglected!

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

Less feeling like we were always on the go or out of town on weekends.  Less sitting on the couch in a stupor because I was just so tired after being at work, making dinner, cleaning up, etc.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

We spent it at home, by ourselves, in the quiet.  It was actually really nice.  I made baked French toast, bacon, and coffee.  We opened presents, then started playing with our presents.  We took a nap.  We had Peking Duck for dinner and rented a movie to watch at home.  It was relaxing and just us.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?

Oh, whatever… I could say that I fall completely in love with Travis all over again each year, but that would just be a big saccharine-filled lie.  I mean, I love him and there are moments where I’m reminded why I love him so much, but we really haven’t fallen into a phase where I wake up one morning and realize that I love him all over again.  I will say that we’ve been reading a couple of books and we’ve learned how to better communicate and express our respective love to each other, which has been nice.  It’s an interesting concept, reading relationship books as a way to improve your relationship, instead of using them to try and fix something that went awry.  I recommend trying it, even if you think your relationship is awesome.  It can always be better.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

I totally enjoy Big Love and only order HBO so we can watch it.  I also got into Glee, but mainly as something to watch while on the elliptical and Dollhouse, the concept of which I find amusing and interesting.  And then came along Jersey Shore, which is like watching a social experiment or something.

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


24. What was the best book you read?

A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog, by Dean Koontz.  It makes me want a Golden Retriever.  It also makes me want to read the books the dog wrote.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Does Beatles Rock Band count?

26. What did you want and get?

A new kitchen, some chickens, more time at home on the weekends (mainly the last couple of months).  A treadmill (so I didn’t have to worry about running outside). 

27. What did you want and not get?

A few more years with Clair.  A Clair-clone, or even a Dollhouse-cat imprinted with Clair’s personality (how awesome would that be?)  A meal at WD-50.  And Ben still hasn’t moved back to San Diego.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I don’t think any of the movies we rented are worth “favoriting”.  And I can barely remember what few movies we saw in the theater.  So, I’m going with Up, because it was really cute and I am dying for the day I can buy those talking dog collars for our pups.

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

I turned 30 this year and we went to Disneyland.  It was simple, fun, and a perfect way to spend my birthday.

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

Less working, more cooking.  Winning the lottery without even having the play.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Let’s try to fit into the clothes we already have and if they don’t fit it’s time to stop eating so much.  That, and how many outfits can you pair with heels?

32. What kept you sane?

Travis, pure and simple.

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

I’m going to go with Hugh Jackman, because you can’t ever go wrong with him.  And, while Wolverine may have been a silly movie, it had a scene of nekkid Hugh Jackman running across a field, which you have to admit it pretty awesome.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

All of them.  They should just let me rule the world… I can’t possibly do a worse job, right? I take that back.  All this TSA/airline safety/3-oz bottles crap is just lame.  Some dude gets by you and your 1-quart clear Ziploc baggie rule because he’s stuffed it down his pants and now you’re going to make airline travel even more annoying for me?  Hasn’t this just proved that people with threatening ideas are just going to find a way to get by your “security” no matter what you do?  Why not go back to the good old days when I could have a full tube of toothpaste and a peanut butter sandwich and let’s see how that goes, huh? 

35. Who did you miss?

I miss Clair.  For such a relatively small cat, she sure took up a lot of space in our lives.

And I miss Ben.  As long as he’s been in Seattle, and as much as we’ve gotten used to him not being here, when he comes to visit it feels like we’re a whole group again. 

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Adam – it’s so cool to get to watch a little baby grow up into a little person.  It’s hard to imagine that almost a year ago he was tiny and barely moving, and now he’s on the verge of talking and walking. 

And I met Darlene this year!  And then we had dessert at Chocolat and brought out matching purses (not on purpose) and it was a fun visit. 

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

Just because you want something, doesn’t mean you need it.  And as long as you’re truly happy, that’s all that matters.  And sometimes being content is just as good as being happy. 

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

Umm… I’ve got nothing.

It’s been a good year, but it’s rare that it isn’t.  I continue to be blessed with a loving family, good friends, and a wonderful boy who loves me.  There’s really not much more a girl could ask for.


4 responses to “And, again

  1. Um. I take back anything I said about Hugh Jackman and Wolverine…

    It was fantastic meeting you and sharing experiences. Hope that 2010 and the rest of the decade bring you and Travis much happiness!

  2. Happy New Year! My new years resolution is to be more sociable, as well as signing up for recipe girls 10 in 10 (which I dont entirely understand yet, I promise to work it out later! So it would be great to have another meet up like the one at suite and tender, except maybe without the extremely extravagent meal which I found myself unable to review!

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