Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 in Review

For the past several years in my journals I've filled out this same Year-End Review. I think it's neat to read over last year's answers and fill in the new, to see how I've grown and changed, and now how my family has grown and changed. And so, in keeping with my own little tradition, here is my 2009 in Review.

Age you turned in 2009: 23

Was it a good year? tough but good

Where were you when it began? At home with Eric and Caleb, drinking champagne

Where will you be when it ends? With Eric, Felicia, and Laurence

What were your favorite moments? Spending so much time at the zoo and Library! downtown, both camping trips, BUYING OUR HOUSE, the rose-petal bath Eric surprised me with on a really bad day, seeing Ingrid Michaelson's concert, dance class

Did you have a New Year's resolution? Did you keep it?
-Lose weight - a little
-Eat healthier - Yes!
-Read 100 books - Yes! Grand total is 115!

Do you have a resolution for 2010?
-Lose 50+ pounds
-Read 150 books
-Find a good network of friends

Did you change your hair this year? Nope. I let it grow out.

Did you make any friends? Felicia

What was your favorite month of 2009?
May- for going to the zoo and Library! nearly every day
September- for going camping
December- for realizing birth-control problem and FINALLY starting to lose weight, and Christmas!

How many states did you visit? none

Did you lose anyone close to you? Thankfully, no

What were your favorite movies? Pineapple Express, Rocknrolla, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Henry Poole is Here, Stardust

What was your favorite song? "Hey I Love You"

What was your favorite album?

What was your favorite tv show? The Office, Chuck, So You Think You Can Dance, Flight of the Conchords, Gossip Girl, Grey's Anatomy, Sex and the City, Project Runway, America's Next Top Model, Weeds, Deadwood, Glee (my goodness, that's a lot!)

What was your favorite hangout? The zoo and the Library!

Did you do anything you're ashamed of? Being so self-centered and bogged down in self-loathing. This year I want to love myself so that I can better love Eric and Caleb.

Funniest moment of 2009? Caleb eating dirt, and bugs, and dog food.

Most embarrassing moment? I can't think of anything this time.

Any new hobbies? still dancing

Did you get a job? Lose a job? Still at the bookstore

Did you get in a car accident? No

Did you get any tickets? No

What song will always remind you of 2009? I'm still working on this answer...

Something you couldn't leave home without: Diaper bag, library card

Any last thoughts on 2009? I finally feel satisfied, secure, and settled. Buying this house was huge! Keeping all my resolutions is amazing; I've never done that before. Bible Study and dance class were hugely instrumental in bringing me out of my depression.

Any plans for 2010? Continue hiking and camping, walking around the neighborhood. Generally living a more fit lifestyle. And loving. I plan to love everyone I encounter, and love deeper and truer- including myself.

So there you have it. This year I omitted some questions that I deemed redundant and unnecessary:
Did you get arrested?
Did you fall in love?
Did you break up with anyone?
Did you have a valentine?
I don't expect the answers to those questions to ever change, so why bother?

What about you? Any thoughts? I'd love to hear your 2009 observations.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I am so proud of this, I just can't hold back.
Due to the arrival of our fist-time home-buyer's tax refund, today I was able to pay off ALL of my remaining debts! I cannot tell you just how wonderful it feels to be suddenly released from those burdens! I do know that I've certainly learned my lesson(s) regarding smart credit card use, and will NOT be making those mistakes again. My goodness, it is a wonderful day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Caleb's 2nd Birthday

...was two days ago, the 25th. I still can't believe my little one is a whole two years old now! Here are a few pictures from his big day:

Daddy helping with presents




Decorations for his party

Friday, October 23, 2009


Caleb loves ravioli.

And steak with home-made french fries.

And playing the ukulele.

And his sombrero.

And playing the ukulele some more.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Quick Update

I need to make this quick because I am at the public library, seeing as we no longer have internet at home.
Why do we no longer have internet at home? Because we've spent the past week moving!
It's been about the craziest two weeks ever, and I'm exhausted. All the packing, moving, unpacking, not to mention the incredible amount of roller-coaster emotions I'm still trying to sort out...

Two Fridays ago, Eric closed on the house.
The following Monday we got the keys.
Tuesday we hired piano movers and rented a U-Haul truck to cart all our heavy furniture, etc. across town. We also got Caleb's room set up so he would be comfortable and unafraid in this new setting.
Wednesday I spent six straight hours cleaning up the rental. When Eric and Trisha got there, I was able to take off for dance class (which F. and I decided to skip in liu of pizza, wine, and Sex and the City).
Thursday unpacked the kitchen and living room.
Friday unpacked the music room and our bedroom.
Saturday I worked.
Sunday I helped in elementary Sunday school. And then I rested. That night Eric and I drank a bottle of champagne in celebration of our new home.
Monday I really rested.

So there we have it up until now. More details and pictures to come, soon, I hope. We'll see how the internet situation works out. For now I'm content to spend time here at the library. It's my happy place. :)

Monday, September 21, 2009


Eric and Dad safely arrived home from their hunting trip Saturday night! Even better, it turned out to be a successful hunt for the both of them! Eric got his 5x6 point bull on Wednesday morning; his first ever! And Dad got a bull calf on Friday; this was his first with his bow! I am so proud of the both of them, and so excited that they had such a wonderful time.

Most of Sunday, and this evening too, we've spent painstakingly butchuring Eric's bull. They've estimated that when we're done it will be between 100 and 150 pounds of meat. We nearly finished packing his tonight, and tomorrow will hopefully finish Dad's as well. It is such tedious work, but good, and oh so worth it.

I have a bit of a hard time being around all that raw meat; it's a little gory, and makes me feel like I'm in an episode of Dexter or something. But it's okay, and I help with what I can- which is mostly just wrapping the saran-wrapped meat in butcher paper; I won't touch raw meat if I can avoid it. (Earlier this week when I made fajitas and Eric wasn't here to cut the chicken into strips, I put sandwich bags over my hands to keep from fully feeling the raw chicken. Pathetic, silly, I know.)

We're all pretty exhausted, the men more than me, by far, so I'll post more later, when I have more energy to gush about just how wonderful it is to have my man home with me again. :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

First Attempt at Adding Photos...

Caleb loves to play the piano.

Favorite buddies.

We've been putting together puzzles a lot lately.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Highlights of the Past Few Days

  • Caleb ate a grasshopper. So. Gross. But, I figured people eat them all the time, chocolate-covered and whatnot, so I didn't bother to fish it out of his mouth. It still makes me shudder.
  • Looking at photos of our family. Caleb misses his Daddy, for sure. He's been sitting in front of the refrigerator, reaching for the pictures of him and Eric. And on the photo mobile in his room, he waves and says, "Daddy, hi!" or, "Daddy, bye!" when it's time for bed. So precious.
  • Playing cars, making car sounds. Our bodies have become the roads, and this makes Caleb laugh hard. We've been having a ton of fun with that game.
  • Caleb is putting together puzzles all by himself! Last week he could get two or three pieces together; this week he's conquering the whole thing! Sometimes he gets frustrated when he can't turn the piece to fit just right, but usually he figures it out without my help anymore.
  • Bible Study started back up on Tuesday. We're doing a book study on Why Not Women by Loren and Cunningham. I'm loving it so far. I'm so excited to get to know all the new women in the group. I've been craving this all summer. When I picked Caleb up from Mom's house (she babysat), he was asleep in bed with her. Mom and I talked for a while, then when I gathered up my little boy, he woke up and sleepily said, "Hi," and gave me a big hug, and touched his fingers to my lips and cheek. It was one of the most beautiful moments I've ever had with him. Incredibly sweet, incredibly precious. My heart soared.
  • Last night my modern dance class started up again too. Last fall I started taking a beginning modern class, and now our fantastic teacher has opened an advanced class for us. I don't consider myself advanced at all, but it's great to progress in what we learned last year, and through the summer. This class had a major part in pulling me out of my depression. The benefit of doing something I love again, and having that time to be out of the house and without worry is priceless. I'm so thankful Eric encourages me to continue.
  • Yesterday I read a gem of a book called My French Whore by Gene Wilder, the actor. It was simply written, short, but a beautiful story during WWI. I highly recommend it.
  • I need to take a break from heart-breaking movies. Slumdog Millionaire last night, American History X today (during Caleb's nap). Both were beautifully done, and so thought-provoking, but too much for me to handle. I don't think I could watch Slumdog again. I cried through the whole thing, shaking during the violent parts. My heart broke, knowing these things are not exaggerations or fiction; these things happen every day to living, breathing children. It is so difficult for me to accept this. It reminded me so much of The Kite Runner; wonderfully written book, but too heavy for my sensitive heart to handle. Edward Norton, as always, was stunning in his portrayal of a white supremacist. I had to close my eyes during several of the violent parts though. Not pictures I want in my head, for sure. I fell asleep watching Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. I am so in love with this. I'll probably watch it again tonight. Either that or Glee.
  • So tonight, to relax my mind and take a step back from all the heavy material I've been exposing myself to, I watched The Office. Not as funny as the second or third seasons, but still pretty good. Then I drew myself a hot bath, poured a tall glass of Ste Chapelle Soft Red, and read Gossip Girl in the bath for an hour. It was glorious. So relaxing, and felt wonderful on my achy muscles (the month-long break from dance made me lazy).
  • The best part of today was when Eric called. He and Dad drove into town to get more ice, and had cell service, so we got to talk for just over two minutes. It was so good to hear his voice, to hear how excited he is and about how much fun he is having. He sounded so happy. I'm glad to know he's having such a good time, and is safe. I worry; my imagination runs away with itself. I got a little teary after we said, "I love you," and hung up; it made me miss him that much more.

Not a bad week so far. It's had ups and downs, but overall we're doing good.

Off to watch Dr. Horrible. Or Glee. I can't decide.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Eventful Day

We were busy today!

Church this morning went well; better than I had expected. Without Eric or my parents there to help out with Caleb, I was a little nervous that I wouldn't get to hear the sermon, and that I would end up spending the entire time in the nursery with Caleb. He has a bit of a hard time going in there, super shy and scared to let go of Mommy and Daddy. Some weeks he's great and only takes a few minutes to settle in and get comfortable with the other kids and adults. Some weeks he does the serious monkey cling and won't let go for the entire hour. Thankfully, this week was a good week. I wasn't sure if he would be more clingy, what with Eric being gone and all, but he did great. I am so proud of him.

I really enjoyed the sermon on the Sermon on the Mount. Great perspective, and Tom always presents a new way of looking at things, be it an issue or the phrasing in a sentence. It was great to go over it as a whole, because it's usually broken down into chunks, and I have a hard time following the over-arching themes. It was a rich morning, giving me lots to think about and internalize.

Then a quick lunch at mom's before heading down to Art in the Park! This is one of my favorite things. We spent three hours walking around, wishing we had thousands of extra dollars to spend on all the cool paintings, crafts, photographs, jewelry, scarves, woodwork, handcrafted tows, etc. I think I'll have to start setting aside money for next year- a strictly "Art in the Park Fund." We were both very good, restraining ourselves from the many, many temptations. I did end up getting two beautiful 5x7 prints of paintings by : the first a hunter with an elk in the snow, and the second a hunter aiming at a pheasant in flight. We spent quite a while in his booth; I couldn't decide which one to get. I wanted all of them! I'm pretty satisfied with the ones I chose.

After three hours in the 90+ degree heat, we headed home. Caleb briefly showed off his toys before mom left. Then I made the oh-so-tasty Hamburger Helper while not really watching football. After dinner, Caleb was thrilled to take a bath, being the water baby that he is. In the past couple weeks, he's discovered the immense joy of splashing with the assistance of big bath toys, resulting in a very soaked bathroom. I couldn't have been more drenched even if I were in the tub with him! I probably shouldn't indulge that behavior, but his full-on laughs are too much to resist. He would stay and play in the tub all day if he could...

I just finished watching the movie Doubt. I thoroughly enjoyed it, to say the least. I thought it brought up great questions regarding humanity, difficult situations, judgement, and faith. So thought-provoking, so eloquent in its simplicity and depth.

So now it's off to bed, hopefully to force myself to sleep before 3:00am. Really, I have the worst trouble sleeping when Eric's gone. This is only the third night, and I'm already exhausted. It'll be okay though. It's so worth it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

New Facial Expressions

Well, the men are officially off, and it's now my second night without Eric. Last night, Caleb and I had a spend-the-night with mom, since she was going to babysit Caleb while I went to work today, and we would have had to drive back across town again in the early morning. I think it was too much excitement for Caleb, seeing as he woke up several times, then seriously woke up at 5:30am. WAY too early for my taste. But he ended up taking a good nap for mom, so it was alright.

Tonight we're at home, and I'm ready for a good night's sleep. It was a fairly crazy day at work, my feet are sore, and I am beat. Terry Brooks did a book signing, very exciting!

Caleb cracked mom and I up today with his newest facial expression. When he has a dirty diaper, he'll walk up to me, pat his bottom and scrunch up his nose in a "yucky" face. It is just so cute and so hilarious. He's never been one to fuss over a dirty diaper, so this sudden awareness, and the way he expresses it, is pretty darn adorable.

It seems like every day he does something new. And certainly every day he is learning a new word, or five. Today's new word was "ice." It's so, so wonderful to have this new avenue of communication with our little boy, and to see him realize the convenience and practicality of using words to convey his thoughts, wants, and needs. He's such a little sponge, soaking up new vocabulary words.

I am just in awe of this little person, growing up so quickly.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Out of Sorts

I'm having one of those days. I'm not exactly sure how to describe it. I don't feel as though I fit inside my skin, and I can't make up my mind on anything: what to eat, what to do, where to go... I feel as if I'm in a daze, going through the motions of any other normal day, but there's something missing, some key ingredient that makes me present. It's an odd feeling. Not depressed, I don't think. Not sad, not melancholy, not bored, not angry, more than indecisive. Listless maybe? I don't know.

Eric leaves tonight with Dad on their week-long hunt. It'll be a tough nine days, for sure. I miss him horribly when he's gone. And my sleeping pattern gets all out of whack. When he's not here I have to sleep with the lights on, and force myself to stay up as late as I can because I don't want to go to bed without him. It's also a strain on my patience, since he isn't here to help me out with Caleb in the evenings.

But these things aside, I am so excited for him to have this opportunity. He really seems to love hunting, and loves hiking around in the forest. My manly mountain man, bringing home the bacon. He's been waiting for this since he got home from his hunt with Dad last September. He'll have a great time, and that's worth a few sleepless nights to me.

Caleb and I spent the morning at the Library!, one of our favorite places. Traffic was pretty crazy though, due to Art in the Park going on across the way. Mom and I are planning on going Sunday, and I can't wait. It's one of my favorite things about this city. Then this afternoon after eating lunch, we watched Because of Winn-Dixie. It was pretty adorable. But then, you really can't go wrong with anything Kate DiCamillo has written; she never fails to touch my heart in some profound way.

Caleb is napping now, and I am going to curl up with a book and relax a bit before Eric gets home. I'm not looking forward to saying goodbye tonight. It's going to be a tough one, I think.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Finding My Voice

Yesterday I sat down to write a blog and found I had nothing to say. Or at least nothing I wanted to share online. I think this goes along with my not telling every personal detail to all of my coworkers- like I used to. I am learning the importance of keeping personal things personal, and am proud of it. I think it's a sign of my growing maturity.

Having a family is changing me, changing my priorities. I keep telling Eric I'm an old person now: I want to sit at a concert; I get mad at people who play their music too loud; I like watching Antiques Roadshow on PBS; I prefer classical music or classic books on cd to the pop stations; etc. I feel much older than I am, along with younger too. Still getting used to this whole "being a responsible adult" thing.

School is starting again. And, again, I am not a student. I want so badly to go to college, to study, to be educated. I want to study literature, linguistics, anthropology. A year or two ago, I started to feel discouraged, like it was already too late for me to go. But now I realize that's not the case. It's okay if I'm older than most freshman. I don't care about that any more. I just crave education now to the point where I know I will work hard, study, do my homework. I want it. This wasn't the case when I graduated high school, and I do still stand by my decision not to go immediately. But now... Now I want it. It'll be a few more years; when Caleb goes to school, so will I. Until then, I've started reading (or listening to in the car, in lieu of the radio) to all the classics in literature I never had the discipline to read before. Catcher in the Rye, Persuasion, Moby Dick, My Antonia... The list goes on.

Well, time to start the day; Caleb is waking up.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ups and Downs

It's been an up and down week. Thankfully, today is an up day.

We had a busy, busy weekend, seeing all of our parents at some point during three days, and managed to fit a pedicure party (just me, not the boys) and hiking in there too.
Monday was rough- no nap for Caleb makes for a veeeery long day for the both of us.
Tuesday was great! Caleb napped, and I was able to FINALLY organize my pictures into neat little files. Bible study was so good and refreshing; I'm constantly stretching and learning about faith and what it means to be a follower of Christ. It was so freeing to hear the other women talk about how their faith is not their parents' faith; this is something I'm just now starting to embrace.
Yesterday was rough; again no nap for Caleb. But then we went to my parents' house for dinner, and seeing Dad make Caleb laugh SO hard made up for the rest of the day.

Today got off to a great start: Andrea and I met up at Veterans Memorial Park and took a couple mile walk down the Green Belt. It was invigorating and so, so wonderful to spend that time with her. Caleb is napping now, and I'm about to get all the laundry folded. Then maybe, if we have time, we'll make a quick run to the Library(!). I'm still not sure what to make for dinner, seeing as we've needed to go grocery shopping for over a week now. Oh well; I'll figure it out later.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Within Reach

As usual, I've failed to keep up with this blog, just like all the others. In the past few years I've become more private and closed regarding what I put out on the internet for anyone to see; this is a good thing. I do miss the immediacy of blogging though, as opposed to how long it takes me to write by hand. I've fallen down on my paper journal too. I can't keep up with time anymore. The weeks just fly by, and I feel like I'm just barely hanging on.

It is exciting though. We are at an incredible time in our lives, with so many opportunities within reach. Since Eric started his new job, we've paid down our debts considerably, and are about to begin the house hunting process. It will be so wonderful to own our own home, to paint and decorate and landscape the way we want to- no landlord to decide what can and can't be done. We want to get a dog within the next couple years too; that will be way too much fun. I miss having a dog around the house; our cat just isn't the same.

Caleb is starting to talk- cat, kitty, dog, daddy, momma, and fish are the words he really knows. He's good at immitating us, but doesn't quite put together the meanings of any other words yet. Soon though; he's a smart kid and figures things out quickly. He's such a character, and amazes us daily.

So yeah, it seems as though everything is finally within reach. The world is ours for the taking, and we are making the most of it!

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