Every year I take the time to reflect on the past year and look towards the new year. I don't really do resolutions, as they are mostly excuses for me to fail - I mean, seriously - how many times have we all joined the gym in January only to be reminded in May that you have spent $200 so far on one workout. No thank you.
But, I do find that reflecting a cathartic experience, and because I know you are all voyeurs (or you wouldn't be here), I now present Peanuts 2009 Year in Review. Enjoy.
In January I was rear-ended on my lunch break, which resulted in back and neck injuries and therapy. While not completely disabling it was a struggle and a total pain in the ass to fit 3 weekly visits with a chiropractor into an already busy schedule. My insurance company cut me off months later, resulting in my first hiring-a-lawyer experience. But it all worked out in the end - turns out, my lawyer kicks some major tuchkas and now I can afford to eat.
In February, although still having physical trouble, I tried to snowboard for the first time. I suspected that I would be pretty terrible at it anyway, considering I can hardly walk without hurting myself, but was excited to try. Needless to say, the results had to do with me on my ass for most of the day, followed by more back pain. Good times.
Also in February, I hired a stylist. Yeah, you read that right - my own personal stylist. I had found a New Years special for Inspired Style, a company that focuses on determining your body style and the type of clothes that fit, at any weight. I figured that since my weight has fluctuated my entire life that I could at least learn to dress it better. So, Anne came over and took some horribly embarrassing photos and measurements and we went over my personal preferences. Other than the photos that have since been burned, it was a good experience and I learned some things - not that I've really done much with the results... you'll still fine me in jeans most of the time.
In March, Jayna and Eric came for the weekend and we went to Newport for the Seafood and Wine Festival. Veronica also came, which was such a nice treat. The 5 of us rented a house on the beach and had some good times. The festival was a bit of a disappointment for me - too crowded, too expensive and poorly planned - but we had fun anyway. We also climbed a lighthouse, and say some seals - I like seals so, good times.
In May, Rob and I went out to Bend and spend the weekend with my cousin Scott. It was my first trip to Bend and I was surprised to discover how much it reminded me of Flag - I was delighted. We drifted down the river on our inflatable Walmart rafts, which we named Full Sail and something else beer related. Scott taught Rob to shoot a bow & arrow and introduced us to the Red Beer. Excellent times were had. Oh, and we saw Star Trek - while no one will ever surpass Shatners acting capacity, I thouroghly enjoyed it.
At the end of June I departed for an amazing 2-week trip to China. It was simultaneously the most wonderful and most annoying trip of my life. I loved China - I mean, really loved it. To the extent that I was daydreaming about spending a year living there, learing the language and getting driven around in my company limosine by my personal driver. On the other hand, I learned that traveling on a guided tour sucks - and that's putting it mildly. While it's great that you get to see a ton of stuff, you spend most of your time on a crappy bus with no freedom to explore - I felt that I had minimal exposure to the real nitty-gritty. We were shuttled from one tourist trap to the next and one gift shop to the next. My favorite parts were the few times we were able to venture out on our own, and the beautiful countryside near Yangshao. I won't take a guided tour again, but I will gladly return to China any day.
In September, for my birthday, Rob took me one a wine tasting tour and night at the Hotel McMinneville. It was really a cute little town and we loved touring the wineries and taking photos of the countryside. Unfortunately, being the clutz that I am, I took a nice little slide down half a flight of stairs resulting in a really lovely set of stair-step bruises on my backside. Other than that, it was a really nice trip.
In October, Rob and I took a day trip up to Seattle - while not a first for me, Rob had never been and it was fun to experience the city through a newbies eye. It was really way to short a trip, but we managed to take a ferry to Bainbridge, hit up Pikes Market, ride the monorail and have a nice dinner. If only we had been there late enought to hit the hot-dog stand in pioneer square - mmm, hot dog with cream cheese - WIN!
In December, I finished my first year of grad school, and my first business plan - one that will lead to my eventual fame, fortune and internet domination. I'm currently working on two more, but I don't want to brag. December also brought me the Swine flu - something that was not so cool, and that caused my mother endless hours of worry. Obviously I survived this "vicious killer" and lived to tell the tale.
Not So Much Firsts, But Still Worth Noting
This last year also brought some weddings, some babies, some engagements - it seems that they go in cycles. Two years ago I was invited to seven weddings. Seven! This year I witnessed the fallout - babies galore. It seems that everyone I went to high school or college with popped out a kid or was talking about popping one out, and yet, I still don't feel the uterus kicking. Ce La Vie. But, weddings I like - can't complain about free booze, food, love and dancing.
Repeats from last year include Dogtober Fest, the NAU Alumni game, and the International Beer Fest - some of my favorite events. Storm Large also reappeared, when X and I went to see Crazy Enough,which was stellar, BTW.
In July, Rob adopted Bailey, my 2nd favorite dog - well, technically she's my favorite living dog but don't tell her or it will go to her head. It's surprising how much she reminds me of Beanie, and I sometimes wonder if she didn't guide her home to us. She's made everything so much more fun, if not dirtier.
The Best and The Worst Day, Ever
On December 11th, everything went to hell. Well, not everything, but it was the most emotional day I've had for awhile. It was my last day at work, my grandmother died, my niece Ameila was born, we celebrated Jenny's upcoming move to Eastern OR/WA and it was the anniversary of Sabines death. I'm not sure I've ever gone through more emotions in one day. The result was that I was reminded of how thankful I am for everything and, more importantly, everyone in my life. Thank you all for making this year a great one!
New Year, New Life?
No, but a lot changes - that's for sure. I plan to start it off the same as last year, with good friends at Stedman & Brians, although it wont be the same with Steddles being preggers and all! Woot!
After that, it's down to business. Literally - it will be my last year of business school, the start of a freelance career and hopefully the start of a new company for me. I'm excited, scared, hopeful and a wee bit cocky. But, hey, what else is new?
I think I'd like to try snowboarding again, and maybe this year I will start that marathon training that I've been thinking of for years. But, probably not - perhaps I will strive to complete the Shamrock Run without a stop for coffee instead. I also plan to ride my new bike a lot more and generally focus on my health, instead of striving to lose weight. I would like to get back to the point where the muffin top ceases and the chub-rub desists.
There will be a few more weddings (three announced so far), several more babies and getting to meet my new niece - maybe I'll even change a diaper. I'm sure that will kick the uterus into overdrive, yes?
Finally, I look forward to the sale of my house, possible cohabitation and a Caribbean vacation with the man I love. I also hope for visits from friends (yes, Monkey, that means you) and to visit others in Walla Walla, Anchorage, Denver and anywhere else I can afford. This year is all about change and spending time on things that are important to me - friends, family and beer festivals.
Happy New Year to You!