Best of 2009

I think the Best of 2009 Blog Challenge is a fantastic way to look back on 2009…I hope you enjoy reading about my best moments.  I can’t wait to read yours!

December 1 Trip. What was your best trip in 2009?

My best trip was my trip to Portland back in May.  I had known Sarahndipitea for about 6 years online but hadn’t ever had the opportunity to meet her in person.  We had a BLAST together!  In addition, I got to see my cousin Heather, whom I hadn’t seen in over a decade, meet another bloggy friend Sara #2 in person, and hang with Mrs. Gonzo.  It was this trip that I got my jacks tattoo, as well.  All around a fantastic experience!

December 2 Restaurant moment. Share the best restaurant experience you had this year. Who was there? What made it amazing? What taste stands out in your mind?

There were so many!!  I think the best, though, was on my birthday in Vegas just a couple weeks ago.  I went to Mon Ami Gabi (in Paris Hotel) with David, Sarah & TheMister, Al_pal & her man, and Mr. & Mrs. Jones.  It was a comfortable, relaxing, and delicious experience!  Being at one of my favorite restaurants and surrounded by friends on my birthday was absolutely fantastic.

December 3 Article. What’s an article that you read that blew you away? That you shared with all your friends. That you Delicious’d and reference throughout the year.

I think the article I’ve shared with folks the most is Moxie’s Quick and Dirty on Sleep.  I’ve shared it with the breastfeeding moms I mentor, friends, and I read it over and over again myself.  Sleep is a HUGE issue for parents and Moxie is so very matter-of-fact and reassuring on the subject.  *LOVE*

December 4 Book. What book – fiction or non – touched you? Where were you when you read it? Have you bought and given away multiple copies?

All I read this year were self-help books and blogs.  The book I’ve recommended the most, though, was Sexual Healing Journey.

December 5 Night out. Did you have a night out with friends or a loved one that rocked your world? Who was there? What was the highlight of the night?

Our friendly foursome (Sarah, TheMister, Dave & me) all went out to the Plough & The Stars to see an Irish Folk band called Culann’s Hounds play.  Ali & her man met us there later on in the night.  It was such a relaxed, fun night with good music and friends.  I got to dress up and the best part was the way that David looked at me.  Awwww.

December 6 Workshop or conference. Was there a conference or workshop you attended that was especially beneficial? Where was it? What did you learn?

I took four college courses through the University of Phoenix.  This got me a little bit closer to maybe one day getting a degree in something…

December 7 Blog find of the year. That gem of a blog you can’t believe you didn’t know about until this year.

One Sentence – this goes along with my love of things succinct (like Twitter).  There is another called Dear Old Love that is similar.

December 8 Moment of peace. An hour or a day or a week of solitude. What was the quality of your breath? The state of your mind? How did you get there?

Christmas morning was just awesome.  David and I lounged late in bed and then went to get breakfast at the only local diner we could find that was open.  All of the holiday craziness was done and I realized in that moment that I was relaxed, happy, and looking forward to the new year.

December 9 Challenge. Something that really made you grow this year. That made you go to your edge and then some. What made it the best challenge of the year for you?

Oh man, there were so many things!  I think my relationship with David provided the most opportunities for growth this year.  We had a busy and tough year dealing with some physical and mental health challenges, my divorce proceedings, financial difficulties, and school…I think we’ve done an impeccable job keeping our shit together and our romance alive among all of the craziness but there were several times when I felt like we had reached our breaking point.  We survived and are stronger because of it.  These challenges have really taught me how to have faith that things will work out.  I realized this while watching Miracle on 34th Street for the first time ever just a few days ago…

December 10 Album of the year. What’s rocking your world?

I am surprisingly addicted to Lady GaGa…she is so much fun!

December 11 The best place. A coffee shop? A pub? A retreat center? A cubicle? A nook?

Q Restaurant in our neighborhood is freaking fantastic!  I love the atmosphere and the fact that they have both home-style cooking and some fancier dishes.  Their burger is my all-time favorite and I can’t get enough of the Rico Suave French Toast!

December 12 New food. You’re now in love with Lebanese food and you didn’t even know what it was in January of this year.

Sushi!  I still don’t care for cooked fish but I love raw tuna.

December 13 What’s the best change you made to the place you live?

I moved from Alameda to San Francisco which reduced my rent, my work commute, and my overall stress level.  I love the flat where we live and our neighborhood is the best.

December 14 Rush. When did you get your best rush of the year?

I won the Momversation Style Me contest and the makeover has really helped to boost my confidence level at work.  I regularly have eyelashes and eyebrows now, too.

December 15 Best packaging. Did your headphones come in a sweet case? See a bottle of tea in another country that stood off the shelves?

Well, I discovered the delight that is boxed wine.  Did you know they can fit four bottles in one box?  I’m not suggesting you go out and stock up on the cheapest box out there, but there are some very tasty wines (try Black Box) in a box that are reasonably priced, too.

December 16 Tea of the year. I can taste my favorite tea right now. What’s yours?

Pumpkin Spice is my favorite for sure.  I need to stock up at Adagio.

December 17 Word or phrase. A word that encapsulates your year. “2009 was _____.”


December 18 Shop. Online or offline, where did you spend most of your mad money this year?

It’s a tie between Amazon and Etsy.  I love the ease and all of the gadgets on Amazon, but I love the creativity of everything on Etsy!

December 19 Car ride. What did you see? How did it smell? Did you eat anything as you drove there? Who were you with?

I had a lot of fun showing Sarah around San Francisco.  The best part was surprising her with buffalo!  Yes, they do exist here!

December 20 New person. She came into your life and turned it upside down. He went out of his way to provide incredible customer service. Who is your unsung hero of 2009?

Jack’s daycare provider is amazing.  We moved to the city in February and Jack started the new daycare in March, I believe.  G is bubbly, conscientious, fun, organized, and really pays attention to my kid.  We adore her!

December 21 Project. What did you start this year that you’re proud of?

I started therapy again this year and I’m really happy that I did.  It’s a great reminder that I need to take care of myself if I am going to take care of anyone else.

December 22 Startup. What’s a business that you found this year that you love? Who thought it up? What makes it special? – a coupon blog that I use regularly to save money all over the place!  Between that site and ebates (which I’ve been using for years) I never pay full price for anything.

December 23 Web tool. It came into your work flow this year and now you couldn’t live without it. It has simplified or improved your online experience.

I love Twitter.  My pea brain can actually follow the short updates of all my friends and I can feel fairly on top of things!

December 24 Learning experience. What was a lesson you learned this year that changed you?

I recently learned that red wine is a migraine trigger for me.  For this reason and many others, I am making it my new year’s resolution to nearly eliminate my consumption of alcohol.  Actually, I already started doing this.  Maybe this will help curb the weight gain I’ve been experiencing since David moved in and started cooking for me.

December 25 Gift. What’s a gift you gave yourself this year that has kept on giving?

I gave myself a lot of plane tickets for travel this year.  I got to have fun in Seattle, Portland, Las Vegas, and the east coast.

December 26 Insight or aha! moment. What was your epiphany of the year?

I received some insight from my therapist about how I process information.  In order for me to know something, all of me must know it.  Because of this, it takes me time to integrate the physical, audial, and sense-based information and really understand it.  I might react one way to a situation in the moment and then a few weeks later figure out that I really felt differently than I first thought.  Knowing  this information has helped me because I no longer feel like I must decide immediately how I feel about something.  I was able to give myself permission to ask for more processing time.

December 27 Social web moment. Did you meet someone you used to only know from her blog? Did you discover Twitter?

I started writing for Savvy Source and managing the San Francisco Parents Group over there.  It’s a lot of fun and keeps me in touch with my local goings-on.

December 28 Stationery. When you touch the paper, your heart melts. The ink flows from the pen. What was your stationery find of the year?

A former boss gave me some letterpress notecards and now I am totally in love with the look of letterpress!

December 29 Laugh. What was your biggest belly laugh of the year?

HAHN!  This video inspired some amazing stuff between Sarah, David, and me when we were all together in Portland…I could try to explain but really you just had to be there.

December 30 Ad. What advertisement made you think this year?

Well, this is terrible but every time I see that AT&T commercial with Luke Wilson I can’t stop thinking about how much unfortunate weight he has gained…

December 31 Resolution you wish you’d stuck with. (You know, there’s always next year…)

I didn’t make any resolutions!  That is definitely true but I did promise myself that I would pay off all of my credit card debt this year and I succeeded!!  I ended up with school loan debt instead which is a tad unfortunate.  *This* year is when I’ll pay that debt off.

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