Happy New Year!

:) It’s 2010! I rang in the new year with friends, loved ones, and Martini & Rossi Assi. It was good.

Many people are doing those year in reflection things–I did that already. But here’s my decade in reflection. ‘Cause you can’t go forward if you don’t know where you’ve been.

– I bought anywhere-is.net. This domain will be ten years old in November.
– Married Chris in August.
– I got obsessed with scrap booking.

– Lucy came to live with me.
– First flight ever.
– First trip to Disney World.
– 09/11/2001.
– Attended Britney Spears concert.
– Saw Janet Jackson in concert.

– I find out I’m pregnant. WHOA!
– Aidan was born in December.
– Chris and I buy a house.

– My life was seriously shaken up in 2003, and not in a good way. My “Christian” faith hasn’t been the same since.

– I got my driver’s license and my first car.
– I turned 30 in December.

– Disney World with Chris and Aidan!
– I quit my job at Nationwide after being there for five years, and became an editor at McGraw-Hill.
– Flew out to Los Angeles to spend time with my friend Amy, and to go to Disneyland!
– I got really serious about writing, and immersed myself in the writing world. Met many great authors and people.

– I got an agent for my book ONLY YOURS (ONLY YOURS did not sell after being on submit for two years. I still haven’t quite recovered from that blow, even though I know now that it wasn’t the right time or book for me to debut.)
– Attended my first writer’s conference.
– Met Adam.
– Went to Vegas, Grand Canyon, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Hoover Dam.
– Went to the Smokey Mountains in TN.
– Quit my job at McGraw-Hill to become a copy editor for Zaner-Bloser.
– Attended first Bob Dylan concert, in Ft. Wayne, IN.
– Saw Bob Dylan in concert in Philadelphia, PA.
– Chris and I separated.

– I got divorced.
– Had a year of sucky money problems, depression, and losing friends, but Adam and Aidan were my bright spots. I also learned who my real friends actually were.
– Met Laurie Halse Anderson!
– Flew out to San Jose to attend Rosa’s wedding. ♥
– Car got broken into, iPod and sunglasses stolen.
– Flew to Atlanta to meet Adam’s family.
– Attended my first Sci-Fi Con–Dragon*Con in 2007.
– Flew to San Francisco to hang out with Rosa!
– Atlanta for Thanksmas.
– Went to New York City with Adam; saw Rent!
– I got engaged to Adam in September.

– Aidan was in a very serious car wreck and needed 48 stitches. He bounced back well.
– Chris revealed a big secret (but it really wasn’t to all of us who knew him well).
– I moved to Chicago.
– Got to play on the set of Wicked.
– Lucy passes away May 30, 2008. :(
– Adam and I got married in July. ♥
– Helena joins the family July 11, 2008.
– Disney World honeymoon in September!
– The U.S. gets its first black president… HOLLA!

– Went to Los Angeles, Disneyland in January. Visited friends and family. Pretty awesome.
– Met Meg Cabot, Peter Yarrow, and Sharon Draper in February.
– Saw Rent in April. Got to play on the set!
– Bought first American Girl doll!
– I decide to go NATURAL with my hair. For real this time.
– Attended DucKon for the first time.
– Michael Jackson dies. :(
– Met SARAH DESSEN holy cow I still can’t believe that happened. Also got to see Laurie Halse Anderson again. :)
– Adam, Aidan, and I went to Disney World.
– Hung out with my teen crush Ricky Luna, whose new album is beyond awesome.
– Met many new and awesome people.

So many people have come in and out of my life. Some people I thought would be my best friends forever dropped me without a second thought when I made choices they did not agree with, and in all fairness, I have done the same to people. New people have come and gone. Some of the loss still hurts a bit, but I am moving on and I am embracing all the new friends I have made. Or the old connections that have rejoined.

When 2000 started, there wasn’t a Facebook or even a MySpace. FarmVille? If someone had told me I’d be addicted to a farm game, I’d have probably laughed. Then again, maybe not. I was into the Sims pretty hard core. Broadband internet was a new thing, and blogging was done mostly with Blogger. Then Greymatter. Then b2. There was definitely no Twitter, and LiveJournal was just getting its start. People could take full bottles of shampoo and body wash on planes, and we didn’t have to remove our shoes to go through security at the airport. Britney Spears was just blowing up, and there wasn’t yet a Hannah Montana or a High School Musical. People were breathing sighs of relief that the Y2K bug hadn’t destroyed the Earth, or at least all of our computers. The iPod came around. Everyone began carrying cell phones that became more and more sophisticated. Now our phones are like little computers, doing everything except going to the bathroom for us!

So many things have changed personally. I’ve gone through at least five computers. I’m living my fifth dwelling since 2000. Aidan’s grown from a tiny little seed in my body to an intelligent and kind little boy. He’s turning into a booknerd like me; once he starts reading, he will read for hours. My life is… well, I could not have imagined it being where it is now. It’s amazing what God can do. It’s amazing how life just… well, how you can’t even EXPECT anything because really, what do you know? I am filled with so much gratitude for my friends, my family, MY LITTLE BOY, Adam, the blessings I have that are way above and beyond what I need. I live in a great deal of comfort and I try my best to keep a gracious heart at all times. It’s important, and it helps my emotional well-being. :)

What’s in store for 2010? I don’t know, but it’s going to be fabulous and Legend… wait for it… DARY!

Here’s for a successful, prosperous, happy, secure, exciting, and amazing 2010 for all of us.

‘Til next time!

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Hibernation (Rambling, Long, Pictures, Survey)

The holidays are winding down. Aidan will be going back to Ohio soon. :( And all that’s left is the cold winter months. Is it any wonder that I feel less inclined to go anywhere or do anything except curl up with a blanket, an electric heater, and a large stack of books and read and sleep? Ack.

Today is Aidan’s birthday. My little boy is seven. Last night he told me he wouldn’t stop cuddling with me until he turned ten. So I guess I have three years to soak up all the cuddles and cheek holds. Right now, that little guy who was just a tiny newborn is now sitting beside me playing Lego Star Wars on the Wii and loving it. He’s a night owl just like I am, and he is a funny eater like me. We both latch on to something we like and we can eat it over and over and over and over without getting tired of it. He’d prefer to wear pajamas and hang out all day than run all over the place. He reads like a maniac. He loves Disney. And spaghetti. He’s such an amazing, incredible child.

We had a wonderful Christmas! We spent the week leading up to it trekking to the UPS store to pick up many packages, and we got our ham from Honey Bear Hams. It was amazing and delicious! Holy cow it was good! I got two pounds, and I am freezing one pound while we plow through the rest. It’s expensive but SO WORTH IT. Guess what I’ll be getting for Easter! Yum. When we got to the store, the bear was out waving, and the place was so festive and bustling. The owner gave Aidan a free stuffed Honey Bear! They had samples out and snacks. It was a fun trip. Christmas Eve, I made chocolate-cherry truffle cake, sugar cookie cutouts, and chocolate chip cookies.

Christmas Cookies! Chocolate-Cherry Truffle Cake

I also made part of the Christmas dinner so Christmas day would be more about relaxing than rushing. AND IT WAS! We didn’t have to go anywhere! Adam was the first one up, then I got up about 830 or so. We had to get Aidan up at 930 because we were too excited! Aidan was so excited and happy with his presents!

Aidan on Christmas Morning
Still a bit sleepy, though.

We had a good Christmas. I got Planet Earth on Blu-ray Disc™ (oh yeah!), The Boondock Saints, and Sleeping Beauty as well. Wii Fit Plus, gift card to Barnes & Noble, shirts and sweaters, more Wii games, pots and pans, The Sims 3 World Adventures, Kit’s Desk (American Girl), The Game of Things, tea from Lupicia, the new Enya CD, a Proofreading Exercise book, so much stuff that I’m not even remembering! But the best was that my little boy was here with me!

The food was yummy and seems like making Christmas dinner was way less stressful than making Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe because I did some of it the night before. Hmmm.

Anyway, the rest of break has been relaxing. Reading a lot (for my birthday I scored $75 in bookstore giftcards!), hanging with Aidan, cat sitting, all that good stuff. The other day, we lost Helena! I’d thought she’d gone in Aidan’s room to sleep, but nope. Crookshanks was pacing and wailing like his cat world was ending. That’s when I realized she was missing. Snowball was out and about, which should have been my first clue that something was off. She’d been mostly hanging out in my room under the bed. We figured that Helena was hiding (there are a lot of hiding places here) from Snowball and that she’d come out when she was ready. Then I heard a big catfight from above and instantly knew that Helena had somehow gotten upstairs with Stinky and Stinky was unhappy about it. I found her hiding behind a counter and lured her out by banging a spoon on a can, picking her up and bringing her back downstairs where she ran back inside her true home. Silly kitty.

Little Helena

I don’t know when I’ll get time/inspiration to journal again, so I’m gonna do my 2009 Wrap Up stuff here:

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