(Last years starts here, if you are so inclined)

Initial Summary:

Where were you when 2010 began?
At home. I had to work at 6am so I went over to Leslie’s house for a few hours early in on the night, then came home and went to bed. At some point in the night I rolled over, gave Justin a kiss, prayed for a better year and went back to sleep.

Who were you with?
Justin.

Was 2010 a good year for you?
Yeah, I think so. It definitely didn’t have the bone-shattering tragedy to my immediate family that 2009 did, which was great. And my son was born. So yes. Yes it was.

What countries/states did you visit?
Oaklahoma, Tennessee and California. Drove through Arkansas, but I don’t know if I should count that since we just basically drove through.

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions?
I don’t really make them, but last year I said I wanted to have a baby and visit California and I did both those things. Honestly I just wanted to survive this year.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, I did (Benjamin!). So did Annie, a friend at church (Gwen!). So did a friend I work with, Robin (Brayden!), and my friend Kristie’s daughter gave birth something crazy like 18 weeks early (Hayden is doing just fine though!) And if I’m not mistaken, another lady at church will be giving birth here in just a day or two to twin boys. I’m telling you, during a down economy nothing else to do…

Did anyone close to you die?
Yes. Probably the one that hit me the hardest was Officer Leonard Reed who was a brother in the faith, a coworker, and a dear friend. He is sorely, sorely missed by many in the community.

Michael Spencer, AKA Internet Monk, passed away of cancer in April. He helped me with my faith in ways that no one else had, gave me so many good things to think about, and his wisdom is definitely missed.

My cousin’s daughter Sadie passed away tragically at the age of 2 years old (she drowned). I never had the chance to meet Sadie and I’m so heartbroken for my cousin. I can’t even imagine.

What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
June 15th. The day Benjamin was born!

Experiences:
What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
Gave birth. That was kind of a big one, ya know? I mean I carried a child for part of 2009 but the big stuff – the getting huge and dealing with constant heartburn and the actual labor itself – that was almost all in 2010.

I got to meet one of my favorite bread artisans, Peter Reinhart, which was definitely the highlight of my January. Justin and I stayed in a bed and breakfast in early September, it was a beautiful vacation away from the baby and I wish I could have another! I had never stayed in a b&b before. It was a good experience but next time we’ll probably just go with a cheap hotel since most of the time we were out exploring anyways. In October I ran a 5k which was pretty much awesome (and exhausting).

Did you have fun in 2010?
Overall I would have to say yes.

What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish I had been more present in my conversations with friends and family. I feel like I spent a lot of time distracted, and I feel like that has impacted the quality of my interactions with other people. I tend not to look people in the face when talking with them, and I’m not sure why. Definitely something I want to work on more next year.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Oh, I always have such a hard time with this question. I wish I’d sinned less, doubted God less, spent less time avoiding conflict, went to less funerals, been grouchy at my family less, etc etc. I usually have a hard time narrowing it down. I wish I’d spent less time being a sucky human being.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 26 and I worked. I talked pirate to a bunch of people. It was pretty low-key.

What did you want and get?
Natural childbirth. A healthy baby. A mini-vacation with my husband. A work schedule that means we don’t need childcare. An e-reader!

What did you want and not get?

A year without death.

Others:

Whose behavior merited celebration?
Justin! Having a child is rough, especially for someone who is bi-polar. Justin has really been a champ at trying not to let his moods affect his home life, working hard at work, and trying to get the hang of the baby thing. Honestly most days he’s doing a better job than I am!

Also, Megan and Derrick’s for moving to Texas!

Whose behavior made you appalled, depressed, or sad?
Oh, so many people. And I don’t think I’m so appalled or depressed as just sad and disappointed. Mostly in my younger siblings. No matter how much I try I can’t be their parent and I can’t make them behave. So when they misbehave I want to smack them around and tell them to straighten up and fly right! But they’re adults and hopefully one day they’ll start to act it.

Did somebody treat you badly in 2010?
Not really.

Who were some new people you met?

Sorry everyone else, but I’m gonna have to say Benjamin who is my favorite new person I’ve met!!

Favorites/Least Favorites:

What was your favorite month of 2010?
I’d have to go with a tie between August and October. August I got to visit California and spend time with lots of old friends and my sisters. October is the month that Benjamin really started to smile and coo and giggle a lot, and I swear I think it keeps getting better every day.

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

Meeting Peter Reinhart

Seeing Justin’s grandparents renew their vows after 50 years of marriage.

Eating Mexican food with my family before going to the Birthing Center to have my son.

Seeing Benjamin for the first time.

Sitting on the wall at Galveston beach with Justin at night just reflecting on how far we’ve come from the first time we said “I love you.”

Crossing over the 5k finish line.

Getting the email saying the sellers accepted our offer on the BEST HOUSE EVER (we don’t have it quite yet, but we’re halfway there!)

What was your least favorite moment of the year?
At least one of the moments I was pushing.

Getting the text message from Sara telling me that Reed didn’t make it. I was standing in the parking lot of Raley’s and I just burst into tears.

What was your favorite TV program?
Lie to Me. It’s AWESOME.

What was the best book you read?
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan and Mere Churchianity by Michael Spencer.

What were your favorite films of this year?
I really enjoyed the heck out of A-Team and Inception.

What was your favorite video game you played this year?

ANGRY BIRDS

What was your favorite new technology/application?

My droid.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Bootie!

What was the best thing you bought?
A birth at the birthing center. Seriously, I can’t say this enough; the birthing center was AN AMAZING place to give birth. They were fantastic. It was more money than a standard hospital birth but I wouldn’t trade my experience for the world.

Self-reflection:
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Giving birth without drugs. Wooo! Go me!

What was your biggest failure?
Not sticking with exercising.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Not really, I mean I had a baby so there was all the pain and recovery from that, but overall we did pretty good. Few sinus infections, runny noses, etc. Nothing too intense.

Where did most of your money go?

Having a baby, buying a car.

What kept you sane?

Love.

What political issue stirred you the most?
Healthcare and its implications bother me; I don’t like keeping a ridiculous amount of people on welfare with no incentive for them to go back to work; but honestly I just vote “NO” on everything and watch the country go to hell.

Who did you miss?
My mom and dad. Reed. My siblings who are not gone, but just far away.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Benjamin being here! And buying a house!

Compared to this time last year, are you:
I. happier or sadder? Happier!
ii. thinner or fatter? Sooo much thinner than before. I’m hoping to get down to my ideal weight in 2011!
iii. richer or poorer? Poorer in the fact that I have a car payment, richer in the fact that I actually qualify to buy a house!

Did you fall in love in 2010?
Every year I say “over and over and over again” but every year it’s true. I love my husband so much, he’s my best friend. I also fell in love with a tiny guy named Benjamin who is a lot of fun to hang out with now.

Did you lose anything important this year?
If we’re referring to property, then no. I’m learning to let go of things, actually, and it’s quite liberating.

What was your proudest moment of 2010?

Walking out of the birthing center with Benjamin and Justin. I duddits!

What was your most embarrassing moment of 2010?
Probably giving birth, but it’s one of those great things that there’s so much else going on you don’t even realize you’re “exposed” in front of half your family. So it works out.

Gauge your:

(On a scale of: Very Good, Good, Fairly Good, Fairly Bad, Bad, Very Bad)

• Relational Health – Good (honestly it would be better if I had more time with my hubby)

• Emotional Health – Good

• Physical Health – Good

• Social Health – Fairly Bad (Oh, I’m sorry, I’m supposed to have time for my friends w/a baby!?)

• Spiritual Health – Fairly Bad (I suck, God, I’m sorry, maybe better tomorrow?)

• Intellectual Health – Fairly Good

• Financial Health – Good

In the future:

How will you be spending Christmas?
Well, we already celebrated Christmas. Almost all of my extended family came up from Houston and we had a Christmas party where my Aunt made me cry and we had lots of laughs and great food.

How will you be spending New Years?
At home with family.

What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Stamina to keep up with little Jam!

What are your plans for 2011?

Buy a house, move, visit Justin’s family in TN, spend a LOT more time building positive relationships with my friends and family, throw Benjamin a great 1st birthday party that will hopefully include my best friend coming to visit, go to a zoo, go to Schlitterbahn, take a vacation with just my hubby again.

Will you make any new years resolutions for 2011?
To honestly make a good attempt to stop smoking. I know most of you don’t know, but I smoke. I have off and on for years and while I didn’t smoke when I was pregnant with Benjamin I started back up when he had colic. I don’t smoke around him but I know even the presence of the smoke on me is bad. So, we will see. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to do that with so many smokers in my house, but I’m going to try.

In Conclusion:
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:
That having a child really is an amazing thing, but that people didn’t tell me a lot of stuff that would have been nice to know. Like, babies fart ALL THE TIME. Just get used to it!

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Cranky little Jammin!

Happy little Jammin!

Cute little Jammin!

Fartin’ little Jammin!

(one of the many songs we’ve made up this year.)

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