1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Visited Colorado; we'd driven through it before but I hadn't really seen anything. It's a beautiful state and Jason and I had a hard time leaving!
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't really make any specific resolutions, I just had general things I wanted to focus on this past year. In some areas I did a great job, and in other areas I didn't. So I'm refocusing on those areas that still need improvement this year.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! Kellie had Carli (shown below), Nicole had twin girls, and a TON of my friends are pregnant (two with twins!). And Erin gave birth to Tommy on the stairs in her house, which I'm mentioning because if you haven't read about it before, you really should now, it's hilarious and amazing! And I can't believe I live 3000 miles away from this baby, isn't she adorable? Miss you, Kel, and I can't wait to meet Carli!
4. Did anyone close to you die?
My amazing friend Shannon was a Chemo Pal for a little girl named Natasha. I donated to Shannon's runs and triathlons to raise money for Leukemia & Lymphoma, and I followed along with Natasha's CaringBridge site. I never met Natasha but I feel like I knew her, I sent her presents, and I was heartbroken when she lost her battle.
5. What countries did you visit?
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A fitter, healthier, skinnier body; more willpower; a more organized house so I'm comfortable having people over.
7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
For better or worse, I'm not a big "date" person. I don't really have strong emotional ties to certain dates other than birthdays and anniversaries of immediate family members, and even have a hard time remembering those sometimes! I think of people who have passed (my friend Doug, my Grandpa Earl, my Grandma Evelyn) all the time, and I remember the time of year that they passed, but not the dates. So when I think of things I'll remember about this year, they're not really tied to specific dates. That said:
- Most of July of this year is pretty memorable, for both good and bad reasons.
- I remember the exact moment that Jen found me at Inspired and I realized that she was as excited to see me as I was to see her (below is a photo of Jen, Aimee, and me at Inspired)!
- The whole Miracle on the Hudson thing will stick with me, too, because I happened to have the TV on when it happened, and I was truly terrified for everyone on board; I sat watching and praying and crying and it was almost too good to be true when they announced everyone was safe!
- My friend Jilliene in California had brain surgery and I couldn't do anything until I knew she was okay, to the point that I started calling hospitals until I found out where she was, kept calling back until she was out of surgery, and finally talked to her husband! :)
- I remember the moment when Jason called me from Georgia and told me "I'm okay, but I wrecked the bike... they're taking me to the ER now."
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finishing the Avon Walk (photo below, yes, it was pouring rain) and raising $4000 was pretty big, as was meeting my goal to list 30 new items in my Etsy shop in September!
9. What was your biggest failure?
Not getting as much done in the house as I wanted.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I think I was sick for the first three months of the year.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Hrm, this is a tough one. I'll say plane tickets, I bought a lot of those!
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Jason was a truly amazing husband this year (photo below); my sister Tauni made a parenting decision that really impressed me and is really helping her family; Jilliene stayed positive and active despite enduring crippling pain and brain surgery and the disappointment of the crippling pain coming back. I don't know how she does it!
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Most people on the news, which is why I don't watch! Politicians, celebrities, and the fact that they spend so much time on the media reporting it all. BLEH.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Traveling to visit friends and family, jewelry supplies (although I made that back!), arts & crafts supplies.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Seeing Kellie in Seattle, the Avon Walk, Inspired artist workshop and seeing my friends again, CHA with Lori, seeing my nieces (photo below), my 15-year high school reunion, going on a vacation with Jason, making it out of DC during the big snowstorm!!
16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Black Eyed Peas' I Got a Feeling.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier I think
b) thinner or fatter? fatter for sure
c) richer or poorer? richer by a smidge
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exercising, calling friends, blogging, organizing the house.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Eating!, being annoyed, watching tv, being depressed.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
With family at home in Oregon. We spent Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas Day with Jason's family (part of the spread, below).
21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
Over and over again with Jason... cheesy but true!
22. What was your favorite new TV program?
Glee! I also love The Good Wife, and I became addicted to Criminal Minds even though it's not a new show, it's new to me... same for Bones, I love that show! :)
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Yikes, hate is a very strong word! I don't even think that I dislike anyone this year that I liked last year.
24. What was the best book you read?
I love The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. It's not new but I read it last January and it is amazing.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I love music but I'm so out of it when it comes to who's new and knowing who all the cool bands are. My sister gave me a Brandi Carlisle CD for my birthday, though, and I love it!
26. What did you want and get?
A new camera (below), a new vacuum cleaner, a new mattress; new friends; to travel to visit friends and family.
27. What did you want and not get?
More local friends; to travel abroad; skinny. :)
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
We didn't see that many new movies because we rarely go to the theater, but I loved The Blind Side.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 34 this year. A couple weeks before my birthday we went out to dinner at an amazing Italian restaurant in DC called Tosca and then went to see our favorite comedian, Mike Birbiglia. It wasn't on my birthday but I always forget that because it felt like a birthday date. On my actual birthday we went to a local Italian restaurant which was more expensive and not as good as Tosca. :) My awesome sister-in-law, Angella, got me gift certificates to Tosca for my birthday and Christmas so I'm excited to go back! :) The photo is not great but it tasted divine; the best Italian food I've had since we've been back.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
[This answer is not suitable for public posting.]
31. Describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Do yoga pants count as a fashion concept? I hit my heaviest weight (ever!) in November and most of the clothes in my closet don't fit, enough said?
32. What kept you sane?
Hope. And talking to trusted friends on the phone/via e-mial/via online chat/via text. And wine. And hot, hot baths. And good books. And making art. And eating, obviously, damnit!
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Mark Wahlberg, same as always. :) I mean, c'mon!
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
35. Who did you miss?
My nieces, they're growing up so quickly and I really hate that I'm missing so much. I saw them twice this year and I hope to visit again in the Spring. I also really, really miss all of my artist friends who live all over North America!
36. Who was the best new person you met?
It's kind of a tie. Technically I met Lori in 2008, but we became a lot closer this year and she's one of my best friends now (photo below). And technically I haven't met Erin, but after she ordered a necklace from me we found each other on Twitter and Facebook and our blogs, and through her I found a bunch of other awesome ladies who all live in NW Indiana (NWI) and are on Twitter and have blogs. I feel like they're all new friends even though I haven't actually met any of them, but I'm constantly inspired by them and they make me LAUGH more than anyone else online! Maybe I'll have to make a trip to NWI this year! :) Oh! And when I was in Orlando I met Lori's friend Anke, whom I adore and wish the three of us lived on the same cul-de-sac.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
Oh, Lordy. I guess I'll just say that hope springs eternal.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I can't say that it "sums up" the year, but it certainly came to have a lot of meaning to me, even more than it did before. I wanted a necklace for myself so I made it and listed it on Etsy, and it sold, like, immediately--within minutes--to a husband for his wife's birthday. So I made another one and re-listed it, and a woman ordered two matching ones as a very, very special gift for two twin teenage girls who had just lost their older brother; the three of them used to sing this song together, and I put little hearts on the back with the brother's initials. Then I made it again and it encouraged someone to ask me for a custom piece with her special song on it. And people just kept buying it, telling me how special it was and how they were so excited to have it or give it as a gift, which is my favorite thing about my business. Finally I did make myself one to wear, and I wore it all through the holidays. I love it.
Rise up this mornin'
Smile with the risin' sun
Three little birds
Perch by my doorstep
Singin' sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Singin' this is my message to you:
About a thing
Every little thing
Is gonna be alright
--Three Little Birds, Bob Marley