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Here I am at the edge of 2009.

December 30, 2009

Somehow (as we are all saying…) the last drops of 2009 have quickly arrived. This year was the quickest time has ever passed for me. Lots happened.

In January we took in a stray cat. Nico. She has turned out to be the most joyful creature I have ever known. She was very sick when we found her- but after a few months and several (several) hundred dollars, she is fat and happy. I didn’t think that such a little animal could make me so happy- but I am so in love with her and glad that she found us that night.

In February I got my first bionafied real grown-up job. I had been temping there since November, and they hired me to do marketing and event planning for them. This job has required me to be consistently on time to the same place every day. It has required me to shower every day.

March was one of those months that it didn’t seem that much happened. I adjusted to new job responsibilities. My old ibook G4 had kicked the bucket the previous fall, and we were finally financially stable enough to purchase a new one. That month started the hundreds of photos that I have forced the cat to take with me in the photo-booth application.

In April David, my handsome husband turned 25. We also started to realize that we wanted to move. Reasons became clear in May.

I also made a quilt for Katie’s Comforter Guild in April. If you sew, you must help out. If you don’t- you still should help. Check out Karen’s (Katie’s mom) blog here. What a wonderful, sweet strong blogger!
The quilts that are made are donated to the Seattle Children’s Hospital in Katie’s memory. I made 2- and told myself after the move I would make more. Well, I think that it is time again. I really enjoyed sewing for a purpose.  If you like to sew, and are looking for a good project (whether or not you live in Seattle) drop Karen a line!!

In May we moved into our first real place together this year. Our old apartment was too small, did not feel safe, was too noisy, and there was nothing we could do to fix it with out moving.

So… we moved. We broke our lease. We fought with our previous rental management company about what seemed to be everything… the security deposit, the dates we could move, the potential people who would want to take over the remaining 3 months of the lease. It proved to be the most exhausting, stressful experience- but in the end… also the most rewarding. We live in a beautiful place that we feel comfortable in. We are free to play rock band until 2 a.m. without worrying about our neighbors banging down our door with threats. Our new place is full of light, tall ceilings, and feels safe. My old kitchen was dark, had no counter space, and tiny appliances. I am so grateful to have been able to upgrade!!

I went from this…

To this!
And I am very, happy about it 🙂 I made one more modification to the kitchen, but that is a separate post for when it’s 100% complete.

June was busy. I worked as a coordinator for my friend, Shelby’s wedding in Toledo. It was a great gig- I learned a lot. Most importantly I made sure that the day went 100% smoothly for her and her family. I would love to have the opportunity to do that for more people.

Also in June, my company made me get my license to sell insurance. I went to a week’s worth of classes, and had to get into the mode of being a student again. The weekend following the classes, I spent doing nothing but studying.

It paid off, and I passed. I’m still not sure there are any apparent reasons for being licensed- but my company paid for the classes and the test, so it is what it is. It’s something that I will always have- and honestly, I never know what the future holds. I may actually need it some day.

In July, the car I had been riding in since 1992 and driving since 2001 finally gave up…. the same day cash for clunkers started. Victor the Van did not let me down, and made one final trip from a AAA service center to the Honda dealership across the street.

Me, grinning like an idiot next to the giant gash I gave Victor by crashing into the side of the old apartment building. {funky parking lot design was another reason that the old place was not ideal}. The door was unable to open after that day… which made moving a little tricky!

The new car! It’s been GREAT to drive in the winter knowing that it will in fact start, AND go faster than 35 when it’s cold out, have functioning windshield wipers that actually have cleaning solution in them, and have a modern day CD player and audio jack. No more tape cassette adapter to play my iPod in the car!  No more holding my breath that it will start! No more worrying that I will be left stranded alongside 315 on the way home from work. Again, so very grateful.

Also in July, I was a bride’s maid in my good friend, Carrie’s wedding. I acted as pseudo coordinator for that wedding too. Her wedding was here in columbus, at the Park of Roses. It was a beautiful FUN day, full of friends, family, and most importantly LOVE.

In August David rode in the Pelotonia… 180 miles! He trained, raised all $2000 (mostly from the fabulous local businesses that are the heart and soul of Columbus) and inspired a community {along with thousands of fellow riders AND Lance Armstrong}

A photo of the back of his jersey that he sold ad space to raise the money for the ride. Down the center, we included tribute names of cancer survivors and those who lost the fight, from all the donors.

September was hard. Our dear friend Mike, was riding on a bike path and a girl ran a red light, hitting Mike. He broke almost every bone in his body, sending him to the ICU for two weeks, and then to a rehab facility for 3 months. September started the hardest time in Mike’s short life (he is 25), and it killed us that we couldn’t be there to support him. His amazing family and fiance, Jenn kept us in the loop

October came, and Instead of going on a trip  (like we had planned) to celebrate our first anniversary, we made a trip to Maryland to stay with Mike for a couple of days. We brought a pumpkin, watched movies, and tried as much as we could to keep his spirits light. The visit was just what he needed though, he told us that he was the happiest he had been since the accident. We went with him to physical therapy, and found that he was in the best hands possible.

Here we are with him after we decorated his back brace with sharpies. He showed us all of his injuries, all the stitches he had, where they had put titanium plates to hold his bones and joins together. It really is incredible that all of his organs were 100% okay. I also realized just how amazing that modern medicine is… The very idea that he would be walking by Christmas absolutely blew my mind. I was just so grateful that he was alive, and going to be okay.

Also in October, I turned 24 on the 16th, and David and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary on the 18th.

I got a Slanket for my birthday 🙂

we went to Notre Dame for a game where it POURED!

Halloween also came, and boy did we have a great time! We went to High Ball, a fashion show / circus / giant costume party on a very blocked off and alcohol soaked High Street. David and I went as Team Zissou because it seemed like the warmest idea. It was so cold that it may not have mattered if I was wearing 2 layers of thermals under my blue sweatpants.

Our friends… MW (Sue from Glee), Kirsty (masked lady), Jami (cutest witch ever), Ryan (bearded lady in town for the circus) I really regret not getting a photo with me in it too. We had an amazing time

November came, it was filled with studying, football and food. David was preparing himself for his qualifying exams in December. I was preparing myself for my first ever Thanksgiving. We went to Notre Dame the first weekend, where we met up with David’s roommate from college, his wife, and their 6 month old (Kate). It was a perfect sunny, warm-ish day. The only problem was… we lost the game to Navy. To me, that didn’t ruin the wonderful day we had with old friends, and David’s parents.

Thanksgiving was the single most time consuming thing I have ever done in my kitchen. I cooked the entire meal. I spent all of thursday and friday preparing, and then we had the meal on Saturday. My sister, Lydia, was unable to make it, so it was just myself, David, and our parents. Our menu was…

  • Olive and Pickle tray for appetizers
  • Turkey brined in stout and apple cider
  • Roasted Banana and Sweet Potato Mash
  • Lumpy Mashed Potatoes and Dad’s Turkey Gravy
  • Roasted Root vegetables (beets, turnips, carrots, onions)
  • cornbread, apple and Italian sausage dressing
  • Rutabaga and nutmeg puree with pear
  • Caramelized kombucha squash
  • Rolls, Salad, Cranberry and Orange Marmalade Jelly
  • David’s home made pumpkin pies (from real pumpkins!!)

All in all, it turned out wonderfully. We had way too much food for 6 people. I’m not sure I will ever volunteer to do it all again. My mom has photos… I’ll post them when she gets them to me.

December seems like it started so long ago for the year to have gone by so quickly. On the 4th, David passed his qualifying exams. We celebrated that night, going to dinner at Kihachi, a Japanese restaurant. Rumor has it that Anthony Bourdain made no reservations and went there for dinner as well when he was in town. Apparetnltly his trip there will be featured on an upcoming episode of his. This Japanese restaurant was the best one either of us had ever been to. The menu was all in Japanese, and one of the waitresses had to read it to us. We had several small plates of the most delicate, delicious food I’ve ever had. We had sake, wine, tea, and were regrettably much too full for any dessert… which I’m sure would have been lovely.

The Happy PhD Candidate at Kihachi.

The next day, we woke up and jogged downtown to run in the Jingle Bell 5K. It was our first race, and while we ran it so slowly- it was a great time!

efore the race, in the convention center while we stretched

fter, SO happy, exhausted, freezing, eating chilli 🙂

Finally, Christmas. We drove up in a mini van with David, his parents, my sister, me, and my parents to Cleveland. Yep- that’s right. 7 adults in a mini-van. For 2 hours. to Cleveland. We just went up for the day to spend christmas eve with my mom’s side.

There are now 9 grandchildren. 10, counting David.
Back Row: David
Second Row: Samantha, Lydia (my sister) Mike, Kevin
Front Row: Gracie, Me- holding Abi, Keith- holding Paul.

There were around 30 of us crammed into my Grama’s house. The three boys, Mike, Kevin and Keith, my sister and I grew up with. I am so happy to have such a strong relationship with my cousins! We ate and ate, and drank and laughed. It was such a great Christmas Eve.

That night, the 7 of us piled back into the mini van and headed back to Columbus. David and I got out, and slept at our own house and had christmas morning to ourselves. Then, to add to the whirlwind… we got back into the car and drove to Dayton where we spent the morning with his parents and the rest of the day with my parents and sister. That night, my parents hosted a big christmas dinner, where the 7 of us and the McGinnis Family ate and ate and ate some more.

They strung Christmas lights from the ceiling, we had champagne and laughed, and filled our bellies. We ended the night by lighting off fireworks in the back yard, like always. What a wonderful night 🙂

L-R Clockwise : Loretta, John,  Katie, JP, Maggie, Mom, Me, Lydia, David, John, Taki.
Not Pictured: My dad and his new ponytail. (That’s a whole other post all together!)

It’s been a fantastic year. I am so blessed for everything, and everyone in my life. I decided that I want to start writing more- and I will.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 30, 2009 5:58 pm

    What a wonderful post. Loved it! Talk about a busy and eventful year. Such a blessing 😀

  2. December 31, 2009 3:57 pm

    I love this recap, and your marvelous photos. It sounds as if you can look back and be very happy indeed about 2009. Congratulations on your anniversary, your new home, David passing his exam, and both of your birthdays. I pray that 2010 will bring more happiness, growth, love and learning.
    And thank you for the note about Katie’s Comforters Guild – you are such a wonderful supporter. XO

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