Saturday, January 2, 2010

Auld Lang Syne

A recap of 2009 (thank goodness it's over)!

I closed on our new home on January 5th. I say "I" because Michael was still in North Carolina so I had to go to the closing myself. Which means I had to sign all those billions of documents TWICE. My hand kinda hurt afterwards, but not so much that I couldn't put the house keys on my key chain :) It was exciting and I was so glad the wait was over.

Also in January, I had the hardwood floors in our new home re-sanded and stained. They hadn't been touched in 20 years and needed some TLC. I also purchased new carpet for the entire first two floors and had that installed before we moved in. I also purchased new tile for the master bathroom (which still isn't in yet as we are going to wait till after we rip out the vanity to do that).

As exciting as it was to get a new home in January, the best part of all was that Michael was moving to Utah. Our long separation of almost 3,000 miles had come to an end. He packed up his belongings and bid farewell to the Marines and North Carolina. He drove a UHaul cross-country and arrived at my door step. I can't even explain to you the relief I felt in my heart to finally have the man I love home. No more two week visits and then a trip to the airport. He was home for good.

As if January weren't full of enough changes, I quit my job at Stampin' Up! and started my new job on February 16th. Apparently life changes come in threes: new house, actually living with my husband, and a new job. I don't really remember February as I think it went by so fast. I was probably so busy adjusting to my new life that I didn't have time for the little details of the every day routine.

I believe March was full of house projects. I know we painted the formal living room a new shade of beige. We also painted the bathroom off of the kitchen, and the wall above the fireplace in the family room. The sink fixtures and counter knobs were replaced in the bathroom as well as the light fixture. We went from a sterling silver to a brushed bronze. We replaced the ceiling fan in the family room as well. I believe many hours were spent at Home Depot and Lowes as we tried to improve the little things in our home that were affordable projects.

More house projects! We painted the bedroom in the basement a beautiful sea greenish/blue color that I LOVE! Michael also installed bead board along the perimeter of the room about half way up on each wall. We also decorated it with all the things that reminded me of North Carolina. I love this room and we got it done just in time for a summer guest. Oh, and we purchased and installed new toilets for the master bathroom and the bathroom off the kitchen. When I say "we" I mean Michael, but I supervised :)

I participated in Westminster College's graduation ceremony. I walked across stage with a hood instead of a lapel to signify my accomplishments in the Masters of Professional Communication program. Although I'm not finished with my field project, I am done with all the course work that pertains to the classroom. I've procrastinated a good deal on my field project and hope to get it done this year. But in my defense, I was pretty busy adjusting to my new life and all. After my graduation ceremony, we went to the airport to pick up my step-son Kyle. He flew in from Hot-Lanta and was going to be spending the summer with us. Grandma was unable to travel up to Salt Lake for my graduation because earlier that month she had taken a spill at Wal-Mart and shattered her knee cap. We're so lucky that things weren't worse. She had to have two different surgeries, but she's walking full steem now.

Happy birthday to me! Spent with the girls and my hubby at the Melting Pot eating many delicious treats dipped in delightful chocolate. A very yummy place to celebrate my 29 years. Also, happy anniversary to Michael and I! We celebrated our second year of marriage (although finally having him home, it felt like just six months) by staying the night at the same hotel in Park City that we stayed in the first time he came to Utah. We spent way too much money at the outlet mall and ran into our good friend Marge who was also in Park City shopping.

June was also a month filled with outdoor projects. I spent many hours digging in the dirt, pulling up plants I didn't like that the previous owners had planted, and replacing them with colorful petals of reds, oranges, yellows, whites, and purples. We also hung an adorable white porch swing. I love my front porch. It reminds me of a southern plantation porch. Although it's not a wrap-around porch, the white pillars and porch swing, and the white Adirandack rocking chair help to pull in the southern vibe. I also hung three large hanging potted geranium plants that bloomed throughout the summer.

In the backyard, I planted more flowers, and prepped an island for a fountain that we later purchased which I love. It's a terra cotta color with a lion spouting water. It's so fun to sit on the deck and listen to it. There's just something about the sound of trickling water. And my favorite feature is that it lights up at night.

June was also full of fun because my good friend Jen flew out from Boston for a "workation" at my house and my friend Kim also arrived from Texas. She worked during the day (as did I) and played at night. There were many a cup of snow we purchased from the best lil snow cone shack in Utah.

We're gonna see the fireworks! And we did. Although we didn't have a themed party this year, I did have a large BBQ complete with yummy food, good friends, and a firework show in our driveway. July wasn't as hot as it typically is (which I was grateful for) so the summer was quite enjoyable. I believe July was spent consuming snow cones and re-finishing the basement after Kyle managed to flood a potion of it.

Because of the flood, and the stink that consumed our house due to 20 year old wet pad and carpet, we bought new carpet! And if you're planning on painting (which we were) it's always best to do the dirty work before your fresh clean carpet is installed, so we did. My basement is now a beautiful golden yellow accented by chocolates, kelly greens, and a reddish rust color. Jen was willing to help us paint, and when Kim arrived us girls went shopping for furniture and new curtains. There's now a comfy micro-fiber sectional with chase lounges on both ends. It seats 4-5 comfortably. I also have a new entertainment system complete with blue-ray, bose speakers, and a 52" flat screen high definition TV. I also love our custom made book- shelf with sliding doors (it makes me feel like such a grown up to have such a piece of furniture). I LOVE how everything turned out.

Kyle returned back to Hot-Lanta and both Kim and Jen were gone so I believe August was a quiet month for Michael and I. The yard work was done, we took a break from house projects as we were both exhausted and broke from the previous ones, and I believe we spent more time consuming snow cones and sitting on the porch swing. I think this was about the time I started to realize that my new job was starting to feel extremely unchallenging and I realized this was not a company I wanted to spend many years with. I participated in our annual international convention which just about killed me, and then began looking around for something new (which I haven't found yet).

Happy 39th birthday Michael! No, I didn't make an angel food cake from scratch, and no I didn't make seven minute frosting. But if he plays his cards right, maybe 2010 will be his lucky year...

I spent September back outside in the dirt. I love tulips and spring flowers in general so I spent many hours digging holes 4-6" deep to plant bulbs that may or may not come up this year. We'll see. I'm crossing my fingers, because if they do come up, my yard is going to be one beautiful sight to gaze upon come spring.

Celebrated Dave's birthday and went to see "Where the Wild Things Are" which was quite exciting considering 1- Dave's brother Paul chucked a fork across the Pizza Factory, almost taking out a cute old grandpa, and 2- Michael almost had a take down at the theatre with the jerk sitting next to him (his cell phone was going off throughout the movie, and every time he'd take a bite of popcorn, he'd jab Michael in the side with his elbow).

I also decorated the house with Halloween stuff and spent time at the hospital because both Mom and Grandma were having surgery to patch holes in their hearts. My uncle Brent flew in from Alaska to help out and it was good to see him considering it had been 15 years. Both Mom and Grandma recovered well.

I think this was the most difficult month of 2009. It was filled with death and sadness and triggered a pain in me that isn't quite gone. My friend Billy completed suicide on the 7th leaving behind two little girls and a husband. I've never really lost a friend to death until this point, and considering the circumstances of her death, it hasn't been an easy one to accept. Shortly after Billy's death, my next door neighbor from when I was growing up in Price, was killed in a car accident. Also, my good childhood friend's father suddenly died from a heart attack while on a bike ride and his body was found the next day in a ditch not far from his home.

Two good things happened this month: 1- I spent my first Thanksgiving in my new home with family (except for my brother who stayed in Price) and participated in Black Friday shopping in the big city for the first time ever, and celebrated my mother's birthday. And 2- we had new windows installed on our main floor and in our basement. They're awesome and energy efficient!

I loved decorating for Christmas and was so happy with how everything turned out in my house. It looked so festive and cozy. But shortly after I began to really get into the spirit of the upcoming holiday, I learned that my brother and his wife were getting divorced. This put a damper on the remainder of the year.

A blur to be honest. A blur of mixed emotions as I mourned the death of Billy, and a blur of mixed emotions for my brother as I hate to see him in pain but am glad he's no longer married to his ex-wife.

Christmas was a total wreck (see above post) and that's about all I have to say about the holiday.

New Years Eve actually didn't suck this year which was kind of cool. I made a delicious ham dinner, complete with tasty sides, and we rang in the new year with friends, card games, and Rock Band (one of our favorite past times).

So for 2010 my resolutions are:
  • Find a new job that challenges me, and makes me feel like I'm actually contributing something worthwhile to my personal career and the company I work for.
  • Finish my field project.
  • Pay off some debt.
  • Lose (or at least hopefully not gain any) weight.
  • Take at least one trip this year (either to Boston to see Jen, or back to North Carolina as I miss it so much).
  • Complete either a bathroom or kitchen remodel depending on our financial situation.
  • Either fix or purchase a new car as I'm currently driving a lemon.
  • Try to find peace of mind.
Whatever your resolutions, I hope 2010 is a safe and happy one for you!

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