Whose behavior merited celebration?
So many people.  Ruby and all of my mom’s coworkers have consistently gone above and beyond helping us.  A day or two after my parents died we went to visit them (Jake and I in particular were always on friendly terms with Mom’s coworkers) and they LOADED the back of a pickup truck with food, cutlery, paper plates… everything you’d think to need for the huge amount of family that suddenly descended on us here in TX.  They took up a collection and if they couldn’t cook, they gave cash.  My boss, pastor and his wife and couple from the church all came down from Austin for the funeral.  My old coworkers and my old boss came from HCSO, and they took a collection up – money that helped get my sisters back to California, money that helped my Aunt pay her bills after housing a ton of extra people in her house.  The generosity and love that the people in my life and the life of my family just absolutely blew me away.  I’m tearing up just remembering it.  I was so thankful that they were there to remind me of the good in life, during such a horrible time.

Whose behavior made you appalled, depressed, or sad?
My step-sisters have, obviously, an entire side of the family that I don’t really know that well (I’ve met some of them a few times, but that’s it).  When we found out about my parents death I called my sisters and told them I needed them here.  My parents were always very insistent that “step” or “half” siblings didn’t mean anything to us – we were a family, period.

When my sister Jennifer came out to visit, the first night she was here she pulled me aside.  We’d spent several hours together already, it was very late – probably 3AM – and she pulled me outside to talk.  She looked like she was about to cry – started to – and said she just wanted to let me know how much she appreciated being welcomed to Texas.  I was confused.  I asked her why wouldn’t I have been glad she was there?  And through her tears she explained to me that her Aunt Lisa had asked them why they would bother coming to Texas, surely we wouldn’t want anything to do with them since their dad had killed our mom.  She said she’d worried the entire plane trip out here that we would be angry with them because of what Dad did.

I was just completely flabbergasted.  That word doesn’t even do it justice.  I was blown away.  I burst into tears and hugged her and told her that it wasn’t her dad and my mom, it was our dad and our mom and it sucked but no matter what the circumstances she was still my sister.  It was a really touching moment but I was absolutely appalled at the behavior of her Aunt.  I couldn’t believe that she would plant those horrible thoughts in Jennifer’s mind.

Did somebody treat you badly in 2009?
I think everyone felt too badly about all the crap I’ve been through this year to be mean to me.

Who were some new people you met?
Leslie!!! She is an absolute blessing to my life.  I hired her in Aprilish of this year as my personal trainer, and honestly she’s just been an absolute joy to hang out with.  Even if I don’t keep paying her to work out, she’s hopefully going to be a part of my life for many happy years.

Favorites/Least Favorites:

What was your favorite month of 2009?
August and September are tied for the least-sucky, I’d say.

What was your favorite moment of the year?
Again, as usual, several:

  • Relaxing on the back patio of the Schlitterbahn resort house we rented.
  • Seeing Amy when I walked out of my room on my birthday.
  • Seeing the 2 blue lines on the pregnancy test.
  • Hearing the heartbeat, seeing the ultrasound.

What was your least favorite moment of the year?

  • Getting the call about Daryl.
  • Seeing Daryl, laying in the hospital after everything that had happened.
  • Getting the phone call from my Uncle Rick telling me to “get here as soon as you can Nettie, something is not right”
  • Walking into the house, frantic, shaking, and hearing Jake’s sobs from the hallway.
  • The moment he said they’re both gone.
  • Seeing them in the funeral home.
  • That moment on Thanksgiving where I realized that I wasn’t getting any more holidays with my parents, probably not many more with my brothers or sisters (just because of distance if nothing else), and I just wept at what I’ve lost.

What was your favorite TV program?
House and Heroes (still).

What was the best book you read?

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller is definitely the best new read, but I also FINALLY found these 2 books that I had read years ago (when they were first published, I’d guess, which puts them at around 1999ish).  I had vaguely remembered this sci-fi book about a woman who survives on an alien planet and becomes like the creatures, only to return to earth and have to try and get back into society, I remembered LOVING it but could NOT remember anything about the titles or character names.  I had tried tracking them down several times before, but back in September I decided that the powers of the internet HAD to be stronger than they were in the past, and I searched Amazon for all sci-fi books involving “alien” that were published beween 1997 and 2004.  It took me a week, but I found them and they were as good as I remembered.  They were The Color of Distance and Through Alien Eyes by Amy Thompson, for those curious.

What were your favorite films of this year?
Zombieland and Star Trek were amazingly wonderful.

What was your favorite video game you played this year?
Dragon Age: Origins has an AMAZING storyline!  Highly recommended!!

What was your favorite new technology/application?
I finally got an IPod, that’s been fun to mess with.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
It was a rediscovery, The Lord of the Rings soundtracks, I forgot how amazingly moving they are.

What was the best thing you bought?
My SLR camera and my IPod.