A Year in Review

Dear 2009,

We've gotten to know each other quite well over the last 365 days, but dear bittersweet 2009, I can't say I'll miss you. Over the past twelve months, you've given me hard earned lessons, a few swift kicks, and countless memories...

The year started out with the removal of all my oral wisdom. After I recovered, River and I enjoyed his first light rail ride downtown in January when we cheered our way through an evening of snacks and Suns, a tradition I intend to carry on well into his thirties. The look on his face was filled with enough excitement and curiosity to carry us into February. Autumn still talks
about her 3rd birthday party at Makutu's Island {I don't think I'll be able to top that in 2010} and I had a fabulous time at the Matsuri Festival in Heritage Square.

In March, Emma lost her umpteenth tooth, got stitches in her chin, and enjoyed her very first Spring Break, Kindergarten style. I turned 29 in April and decided there wouldn't be a 30th party {I've since changed my mind}. May brought us a homemade kindergarten graduation ceremony, the kids welcomed their new baby brother, Hunter {definitely NOT mine}, and we started a wonderful YMCA summer.

River turned 5 in June and we celebrated at Tempe's Splash Park, which will definitely be a repeated adventure next summer. June also brought us a summer of baseball. Go D'Backs!
The kids enjoyed fireworks with dad, while I enjoyed vino and karaoke on the Fourth of July and in August, school began again. River teared up when we dropped him off at Kindergarten and Emma couldn't wait for us to leave her in 1st Grade. Also, in August, I redecorated the kids bedroom's. River now sleeps a'sea in his Pirate Captain room and the girls share a beautiful bedroom made for princesses. Also, I was incredibly blessed to be able to buy a 'made this century, less than 80k miles, new to us' vehicle. I love my Nissan Quest minivan; despite my inability to park it correctly.

September started a Jamba Juice craze and I took up redecorating our family room, which is still a work in progress.

Emma turned 7 in October and brought her favorite present home; a hamster named Pinkie Pie {thanks 4!} Pinkie Pie got loose in the car and stuck under the couch, she now resides permanently at 4 & Sarah's.

Mom and I Ya-Ya'd an October weekend away with the Mierkey girls in Fish Camp, CA; our first mini vacation since 2000 and shortly thereafter, we hosted a wine tasting fundraiser in honor of Grams and in support of The Alzheimer's Association.

In November, I enjoyed my first parade, participated in the 2009 Phoenix Memory Walk, and finally took the kids to meet their great granddad, albeit at the cemetery. After Thanksgiving, Miss J and I shopped our way into the holiday spirit continuing our annual tradition of the mall-idays at 3:30am. It's not holiday season without a Kohl's two hour line! December brought us chilly weather, an Italian circus, a pumpkin spice latte habit, pretty scarves, sparkling lights, and a lot of love.

I've learned that "to the point" is, most often times better, than taking the long way; Vicodin can be your "sometimes friend" {I had three surgeries this year}; that boyfriends will come and go, but my girlfriends will always be there; there are somethings in this world that you just can't change; learning about nutrition, preparing new dishes, and hunting for treasures in antique stores are my greatest pleasures; drama just creates more drama, which creates migraines; being strong isn't being the bitch, it's being strong; I'm pretty sturdy, for a girl; and although they drive me batty, my children are my own personal life bonuses.

So, 2009, thank you for sharing life, adventure, discovery, laughter, surprise, and love with us, but I'm ready to file you away in memory and welcome 2010 with open arms and the warmest smile.

~ M

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