Monday, January 02, 2012

Ten for 2011

Oh, hi there.

*Cough, cough* Excuse me. Just blowing the dust from this here blog of mine. I've been away for ever so long. And Blogger has made some changes in my absence! When I logged in, I was asked if I wanted to try the "updated Blogger interface." I'm unsure. Will there be new and exciting fonts for me to try? Will Blogger simultaneously post everything I write to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest? If I update, will I be given the option to blog in 3D?

Perhaps I'll see to updating of my interfacing later. In the meantime, I thought I'd begin my re-entry into the blogging world by typing up one of those newfangled Top 10 lists all the kids are talking about these days. And so . . .

My Top 10 Happy Things of 2011
(not so much in chronological order)

#10 Steve graduates!



When we began our wedded life together eight years ago, Steve was none too happy with his career path. He was convinced, however, that he was too advanced in years to go back to school. Until four years later when we decided that was ridiculous and life's too short and you only live once and he should follow his dreams! (Well, one of his dreams. Most of Steve's dreams involve being a Formula 1 driver or a fighter pilot during the 1960's, and those dreams weren't quite as feasible as going back to school.)

And so, on an unseasonably hot and muggy day last June, family and friends gathered in the middle of a field to watch a little black dot later identified as my husband cross the stage and accept his diploma in aerospace engineering. And there was much rejoicing! Except for Viv, whose feelings about the experience are best summarized in this photo:



She was hot and tired and terrified by Steve's graduation cap.

Speaking of Viv . . .

#9 Viv's 1st birthday



Our daughter began her life as a teeny tiny preemie, but celebrated her first birthday in the 99th percentile for pretty much every measurement a pediatrician can measure. (Overachiever.) And though my attempt to create a butterfly birthday cake resulted in a trampeled-looking, frosting-speckled failure, the day was still a success. Viv was surrounded by adoring grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles. Lucky girl. And the replacement cake we bought last minute at Albertson's didn't taste half bad.

#8 The Importance of Being in a Play Every So Often



At the beginning of the year, I was invited to return to my MFA stomping grounds as a guest artist in their production of The Importance of Being Earnest. It was during this experience that I came to realize the following:

1) When I was in grad school, I was young.
2) Currently, I am old.
3) I really miss performing.
4) When I am performing, I miss Steve and Viv.

I'm not sure how to reconcile those four things, but I do know that I was so happy to have the experience. And I still don't like wearing a corset.

#7 Steve's new job


(Actual job not pictured)

It is an amazing thing to work hard toward a goal and see it realized. Steve's a real live aerospace engineer! He's earning money doing things he likes to do! He is among his people! (People who like to talk about airplanes and how to make fast things go faster.) I am so grateful for his gainful employment, and so incredibly proud of him.

#6 Sleeping through the night

We finally managed to convince Viv that she might like it if she tried it. And lo, the heavens parted, the angels rejoiced, and I was once again able to form complete, coherent sentences. For the most part. Sort of.

#5 Cup4Cup

On Christmas Day, Steve presented me with a new gluten free flour mix, and it may have changed my life. I can now make cookies that have the texture of actual cookies! Pancakes that don't resemble sawdust! It's a Christmas miracle. (It's also $20 a bag and only sold at Williams-Sonoma and possibly made of gold and dragon tears, but still! Cookies that taste like cookies!)


#4 Vivi speaks



Viv's first official words were the requisite "Dadda" and "Mama." (Dadda when she was happy, Mama when she was sad or angry...) She has since expanded her vocabulary to include "Go!" and "Outside!" and "Go, go, GO! OUTSIDE!"

Steve and I have never been particularly outdoorsy (let's be honest - we're hermits), but we're grateful we can satiate Viv's adventurous spirit with the parks and lake near our new home. Which brings us to...

#3 Our New Home



For the first time in our marriage, we are living in an actual house instead of a "luxury apartment home" (code for "cramped, overpriced place with noisy neighbors, a leak in the wall that will never be fixed in your lifetime, and a view of the parking lot.")

After 8 years in 850 square feet, our new place feels positively palatial. It even has a garage! And more than two windows! My favorite spot in the house is the living room. Viv's, too.



#2 Viv in general



Sometimes I see me traits or Steve traits in Viv, but mostly she's her own unique little person.



I've loved every stage, but these toddler months are the best yet (and not just because I'm sleeping through the night). I love watching her discover new things and develop new abilities.



Mostly, I just feel so lucky to be her mom.

And finally . . .

#1 Family and Friends


I had a miscarriage the day before Christmas Eve. I'd had a feeling for several days that something wasn't quite right, so when everything started happening, I wasn't completely surprised. It was early in the pregnancy, but I felt a sense of loss all the same. But as I sat curled up on the couch that weekend listening to Christmas music and watching Viv gleefully throw wrapping paper around the room, I had an overwhelming feeling of peace and gratitude. I thought of my family and friends; the amazing people who I'm privileged to know and love, each with their own struggles, losses, and trials. And I thought of our Savior, who came into the world to comfort and bring peace to us all. I knew that everything would be okay, that everything was okay. And in the midst of those thoughts, I felt a gentle admonition to be better, to try harder to do good, to forgive, to uplift, and to serve. So those are my resolutions for 2012.

And I'll also try to blog a bit more, too.