For the past several years, I’ve taken time to look back on the year I’ve had and reflect a bit. I tend to find myself a bit in the dumps post-holiday, so this helps me to realize where I’ve been, and what’s happened – good or bad, and perhaps even share some thoughts and hopes for the coming year.
2010 started with a visit from my best friend Kristi. Though it was a short visit, it was so nice to spend time with her! Wayne and Sean both celebrated birthdays. Sean turned 9, which means he’s turning TEN this year, which just absolutely doesn’t seem possible at all. We went bowling with a few of his buddies for his birthday, which was nice. Very relaxed and no- fuss, which I like more and more these days. January also brought my deadline for the book. I was furiously working toward that deadline, wrangling designers and trying to make sure I had everything I needed to make this book a reality. At times it was frustrating, keeping track of 17 designers and communicating between them and the editors, but we did it!
In February, Wayne and I took our first adult only vacation and went to New Orleans for a weekend. It was the first time we’d left the kids with my parents for a whole night, and they did great! We had a great time and basically ATE our way through the city… and got to experience some of the Mardi Gras craziness (we left the day before Mardi Gras, but there were festivities the whole weekend prior.) In February I also started working in the 3rd grade, teaching them how to knit. It was as educational for me as it was for the students. I continued with edits on the book, and started to feel exhausted, depressed and forgetful, but wasn’t sure why. I figured it was just because I was working so hard and sleeping so little, but it was really hard to hold it together sometimes. I did find a comforting distraction in LOST. As silly as it sounds, watching that show was a bit of a highlight for me, and pretty cool because I finally got to watch it in real time, rather than watching rented dvds or streaming it on the internet.
In March, we went to the Wistaria Festival. I don’t remember anything else being outrageously important or of note. I could just be forgetting things, which is more likely the case. We helped my dad celebrate his birthday, and passed a few colds back and forth. At the end of the month, I did get my first galley in the mail. THAT was exciting! However, on the day I did the big edit, I forgot to bring my kids lunch at school. This was telling to me, and I found out in April why I’d been so off.
In April I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, which explained a lot of my symptoms. We discovered two old parks we’d never been to, and I was reconnected with my former students from IHM… in fact, my FIRST class I ever taught, which is crazy. They are the same age now that I was when I was teaching them. (Yes, I feel old.) In April we also started Maddie with a 5-day schedule at preschool to get ready for kindergarten. It was harder for me than for her, I’ll say.
In May we learned some lessons about life, when our butterflies were eaten by the birds in our backyard. The book was sent off to the printers, and I still had a hard time believing it was really going to happen. I remembered my grandfather on what would have been his 84th birthday, and celebrated my 9th Mother’s Day with my incredible kids. We also got a great visit from Kristi and her daughter Kailey which was lots of fun! Not only was it great to see her again after our visit in January, but we got to know her oldest daughter Kailey on this visit. It was so incredibly cool to see our own kids playing together. (Can hardly believe we’ve been friends for 30 years!) We had a nice relaxed visit and took a trip into Hollywood and did a bit of sightseeing.
June brought Gracie’s 7th birthday. She wanted a rainbow birthday, which presented me with a challenge – making a 6-layer rainbow cake. I did it (after the second try, and with lots of help and advice.) Her birthday was full of fun, thanks to Uncle Pat, who did science experiments with all the girls (and Sean). June brought Maddie’s preschool “graduation,” hikes in the park, the end of school for the kids, my mom’s birthday, and a vacation across 3 states. We started with a trip to Arizona to visit Wayne’s mom, then continued to the Grand Canyon (we got to see both the South Rim and the North Rim, which were both different but amazing). We headed to Zion and Bryce Canyons after that, and finished up in Las Vegas for the 4th of July.
Once we were home from our vacation, we celebrated Wayne’s grandmother’s 90th birthday, which was pretty cool. I can’t imagine being 90 years old. You should have seen the turnout! She’s quite a woman, with a lot of family and friends surrounding her. July also brought us to our first Comic Con in San Diego. We bought tickets so we could take the kids, but I ended up promoting the book while I was there, which was being featured at the Potter Craft/Random House booth! In fact, I got to go an extra day and even did a video interview which was utterly surreal.
In August, I remembered my grandmother, who would have been 84. My kids had swimming lessons and did so much better than they ever did in their previous years of lessons! Sean started learning how to dive, and Gracie finally put her head under water and realized it was really fun. August also brought our 13th wedding anniversary. It’s as hard to believe we’ve been married for 13 years as it is for me to believe that my oldest child is turning 10. Somehow, despite how old I really am, most of the time I still feel like a kid. We also took in a few shows at the old Hollywood Bowl, which has become a true tradition in our family.
September was a bit on the exciting side. The kids started school – Sean in 4th, Gracie in 2nd, and Maddie in kindergarten – the same day that my book came out in stores. I was so worried about Maddie all morning that I called up my friend Miho and asked her to help get my mind off my worries and see if the book was in our local bookstore. She’s such a good friend, not only humoring me, but also truly celebrating with me. (By the way, the book was in the store, and I was appropriately geeky, thanks for asking.) We had a big party to celebrate the book, which was lots of fun! The party brought my friend Suzanne – all the way from the East Coast! She was in SF for work and made a special trip down here just for the party – she came with an armful of books to sign, which was just amazing! I also finally met two internet friends – Katie and Kristy – which was great! And it brought two blasts from my past – Brian, a former roommate and Chris, a former co-worker at Universal – to the party, which was really great.
In October we went apple picking, which we didn’t get to do last year. It’s become one of those traditions that I count on. It means Fall is here! On Back to School night, my friend Lizze told me about an acting class she was going to take, and I joined up. It has been so much fun getting back to doing something that is creative and fun and completely outside of my “regular” life. I also (with great help from my mom and my friend Michelle) made the girls’ Halloween costumes. Halloween was lots of fun, even though we didn’t go to any parties. Perhaps next year we can host one. I also did an interview for an internet craft radio show, and started working on a few projects for a fellow designer’s upcoming book… Will let you know if they’ll make the cut when I find out!
November brought my birthday and Maddie’s birthday. (I realized that during this decade, the two digits in my age will equal her age when added together. How’s that for some numerology. Of course, you can figure out my age if you know how old Maddie is, and perhaps I should be more coy about things like that. Haha.) November brought a surprise visit from Dwayne – a great friend who lives across the country. There’s nothing like chatting on the phone with your friend, thinking he’s miles and miles away only to see him strolling down the street right towards you! November also brought a quiet but lovely Thanksgiving, and a performance of my acting class at the theater, which was lots of fun.
December seems to have gone by in a blink. It started out with another great surprise visit – this time from Diana (Dwayne’s wife). This time I was roller skating at the park when I got a call from her asking what on earth we were doing to our house, as she was standing outside the front door! Though our visit was very short, it was just so lovely to spend some time together! I also did a lot of knitting for a craft show that didn’t go so well in the $ department, but was lots of fun and very social. It also made me able to send some of the things I made to some people I love, which was great. Parties in all 3 kids classrooms, the usual holiday madness with shopping, baking, Christmas cards and such… and spending Christmas with all of my brothers and my 2 sisters-in-law, which was fantastic.
This year brought some bad news. Several people I know have cancer, or returning cancer. My aunt, my sister-in-law’s dad, Kristi’s mom, Shannon’s brother, and Diana’s dad to name a few. There’s far more, and it breaks my heart. I hope against hope that the doctors working in research can find a cure for the many cancers that are making so many wonderful people so sick.
My wish for 2011 is that those who are sick can recover. My wish is that all of us can cherish our families and friends and find something to be thankful for, and something to look forward to, every day.
Happy New Year!