This past year was so chock full of large and new and exciting things here in White Apples Land that 2010 already seems like it should be a year of slowing down and snuggling in, of small, peaceful moments, of growing roots and finding rhythms and enjoying all the little things. In 2009, we watched a tiny little newborn baby tumble headfirst into toddlerhood; we left jobs and moved across the country; we bought our first home and made our first mortgage payment; we adjusted to a whole new and very different city; we said hellos and good-byes.
All things considered, 2009 was the best year yet and I could go on and on about how amazing and precious and surprising and joyful each day truly was but, good grief, I gush enough on this blog as it is. Suffice it say that it was a memorable year. And in case I happen to forget all the awesomeness that was the oh-nine, I have thousands of digital photos backed up in three locations to remind me.
Since I can't possibly write a more detailed retrospective of 2009 without completely devolving into the sappy, saccharine creature that I have become, here is an End of the Year Meme (from All and Sundry and a girl and a boy):
1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
I baked bread. I decorated a caterpillar cake. I installed wood flooring. I made a baby laugh. I pureed vegetables. I used a rubber ball device to suck snot out of another person's nose. I used the word "boobies" every single day. I whipped out aforementioned boobies in public and became perfectly okay with it. I thought about one particular little person just about every single moment of every single day.
2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
The beginning of last year was a bit of a blur given the newborn baby's disregard for standard working hours. I think my resolution was something along the lines of keeping my shit together in the face of all that had changed and all that would change. I think I did okay. In the next year, I would like to fill our home with more things meaningful and handmade and environmentally friendly instead of random and disposable, mass-produced and forgettable. I would like to fill our days with more small, mindful adventures and less empty complaining and consuming. I would like to strike a better balance between the things I have to do and the things I should do and the things I want to do. I have several other little resolutions. They are all embarrassingly domestic. I will spare you.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
So many people I know had babies in 2009. I love watching them grow. Thank you, social networking.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
We stayed firmly anchored to the homeland.
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
I would like the ability to multi-task without feeling harried - for example, cook dinner AND keep the kid from injuring herself. I would also like to have my cake and eat it too. And not gain five pounds from it.
7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
January 20th - because, yes, we can. July 15th, my last day of work, because it meant a huge transition - the closing of one door and opening of another. December 14th, because, my gahhh, she is one year old!
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Ushering a baby through her first year of life without major incident must be some kind of achievement, right? Keeping two plants alive is also a big one for me.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Laundry. The mountains and mountains of clean laundry piled up everywhere, waiting to be folded.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No. Hooray for immune systems and risk aversion.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
A blue tufted wingback chair from Craigslist for $40 even though I coveted this one from Anthropologie.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Sydney, the dog. She is so sweet and gentle with Juniper, letting her crawl all over her and pull her lips and lift up her ears and kiss her nose and squeeze her middle. She is also very protective of us, especially when Charlie is out of town.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Sydney, the dog. Oh.My.Gah. She has entered some sort of mid-life crisis state that warrants tearing up any paper product within her reach. She digs through every garbage can and wastepaper basket in the house, liberating and/or consuming all manner of disgusting trash. I come home to a house littered with the spoils of her pillaging. And the diapers, oh Sydney, the diapers. She eats them. The used ones. Or rather she eats the tasty absorbent bits, leaving the rest scattered across the living room carpet. She does not discriminate between cloth and disposable. As long as they are soiled, they are fair game. The diaper pail, it is no match for her tenacity. I also haven't forgot that she gobbled down over two pounds of perfectly grilled skirt steak off the table at our Christmas party. Arghhh! And she just woke the baby!
Also, I agree with Leah. Jon Gosselin. Good grief, man.
14. Where did most of your money go?
This house. And food. Though let me just say that while we saved quite a bit of money cloth diapering and exclusively breastfeeding, clothing a child that grows faster than asparagus is overwhelming.
15. What did you get really excited about?
I get absurdly excited about each new thing that Juniper learns. Wheee! She pushed a button! She pointed to her nose! She put away her toy! She brushed her hair! She made a Vroom! sound with her car! She stuck her stinky toes in my face! At age 31, learning a new thing for me involves much googling and reading and trying and sighing. Juni seems to learn twenty new things a day. It's exciting! Oh, and we bought a house!
16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
You Are My Sunshine - a close reading will reveal that this song is about infidelity, but I like to pretend it is all sweetness.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
- happier or sadder? Happier. I was certainly happy at this time last year, but also overwhelmed and sleep deprived and nervous about the coming year.
- thinner or fatter? Thinner. I think I still looked pregnant at this time last year. Now I just look pleasantly chubby (my description).
- richer or poorer? Comparably poor.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Writing. Drawing. Pie-making. Photo-taking, for purposes other than recording the kid's every second.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Stewing about things that are in the past.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
I got to spend Christmas surrounded by my husband, my parents, my brother, and my sister-in-law, watching my Baby Girl delight in her gifties, both small and large. We ate homemade bacon for breakfast and had a feast of a dinner. It was a warm and cozy and delicious day, filled with those kind of moments that only come from time spent with loved ones.
21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
I was all floating around on huge pillows of baby love in 2009. I can barely stand me and all my sappy loviness these days.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Top Chef. And Castle.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
24. What was the best book you read?
It's not the BEST book I read by a long shot, but I loved The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. A plucky girl detective nerding out on science, a diabolical little mystery, charming period details, pie - it was a fun read. The best? Maybe The Anthologist.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
So sad. I don't think I discovered any new music in 2009. Unless the Johnny Cash Children's Album counts.
26. What did you want and get?
A sweet little house. More time with family. An angel baby who sleeps like a dream, smiles all the time, loves to read, and laughs at all my jokes. A Playstation 3.
27. What did you want and not get?
A winning lottery ticket.
27a. What did you not want and not get? The swine flu.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
We did not watch many good movies this year that I can remember. I really enjoyed Away We Go. And I'll go ahead and admit it. Star Trek was rad. There. I said it.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned thirty-one. I spent it painting walls and installing hardwood flooring. I think I ate some Bojangles fried chicken.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If it didn't fly by so darn fast.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Anthropologie meets Target, with a hefty dose of ugly nursing bras and old t-shirts.
32. What kept you sane?
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Barack Obama, duh. Nathan Fillion, because he is charming and geeky at the same time. Anthony Bourdain, because he is the bad-boy of food but gets all sappy when he talks about his little girl. George Clooney, because he successfully leverages his celebrity to highlight important causes. And because he is George Clooney. Will Smith. Because he is Will Smith.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
There are many issues that I feel strongly about. I also recognize that those issues are complex and nuanced and that it is important to acknowledge dissenting opinions. But I cannot, for the life of me, understand or tolerate the arguments against gay marriage. It is the one political issue (and I cannot believe it is a political issue) that makes me grind my teeth in frustration. Get it together, people, and let's move on.
35. Who did you miss?
All of my good friends who are now scattered across the country (and the globe).
36. Who was the best new person you met?
2009 was not a fruitful year for meeting new people. I did, however, watch my very good friend Ben marry a sweet little lady last year.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
When you become a parent, suddenly everyone's child becomes your child. We are hardwired for compassion. We should put it to good use.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
From Bob Marley,