Friday, January 11, 2008

The Year in Review

I have enjoyed reading several year-in-review posts by family and friends so I decided to try my hand at writing one. My major drawback is my memory. I think that if I borrow or steal a few topics from others I can pull this off.

New things learned Life doesn't usually turn out how we expect it to. It takes courage to let go of expectations and live the life you are given. And that courage must be renewed on a daily basis.

Life doesn't usually turn out how we expect it to and it's a usually a good thing it doesn't.

Something I still haven't learned: How to maintain a healthy balance of hope while accepting my limitations.

Favorite new foods: Bakeapple berries, especially when served over a slice of cheesecake. And that chocolate dessert in PEI.

Books read: I counted this year and discovered that I read 87 books. That pleases me but I sure wish I could read faster.

Favorite books: This was very hard to narrow down because there were so many that I enjoyed. I've listed my favorites in no particular order.
I Am the Messenger
A Prayer for Owen Meany
Anne of Green Gables
My Grandfather's Blessings
A Thousand Splendid Suns
Scarlet Pimpernel
Ship Fever
Devil in the White City
Barometer Rising
Mistress of the Art of Death

Trips: Only one if you don't count the occasional trip to the city. BUT what a one it was! Our trip lasted 5 weeks, put 11080 miles on our car, and took us as far north and east as St. John's, Newfoundland. We drove from Utah to Wyoming, S and N Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ontario, Ottawa, Montreal, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado and back to Utah. It was fabulous.

Regrets: Only one and it's not anything I had any control over. There were several times on my trip I wished my family could be with me, taking in the splendors and experiences Candleman and I were enjoying. Twice my mother has taken her seven children and their spouses on trips (Seattle, Boston) and we had such a wonderful times. I found myself looking around a few times on this trip to gage my mother's/siblings' feelings, but they weren't there. It would have been grand if they had been. I also wish my kids and grandkids could have been with us some of the time. All that said, it was absolutely marvelous being on this long trip alone with my husband.

Biggest disaster: The entire basement flooded while we were in Canada. Family and friends had to move all our furniture and stuff upstairs and into the garage. Those people deserve years of rich blessings.

Biggest blessing in disguise: The basement flooding! With everything moved out and the drywall removed by the clean up crew, we have redesigned the whole area. We've moved the stairs which enlarged our dining room so we can have the whole family over for dinner or playing games.

Items I won on the internet: I've won several contests on book blogs. Most of the prizes have been books. It's always a thrill to win and receive a new book in the mail. During Dewey's 24-hour Readathon I won a cell phone. The phone was worth $70 and I received a $20 calling card, too. I gave the phone to my youngest daughter when she sprouted her wings and moved away from home. She says it's a great phone. It even takes pictures.

Sightings: I've been interested in botany for many years and only dreamed of seeing real lady slipper orchids growing in the wild. I actually stood in a small field of several while in Newfoundland. It was a giddy experience. We also saw big icebergs off the northwestern tip of Newfoundland - in the latitudes of melt. Most thrilling was seeing puffins, also in Newfoundland but this time off the eastern shore. I nearly cried when I saw hundreds of them standing outside their nests, flying overhead and swimming in the ocean. They are so unbelievably cute.

Meetings: We met 2 couples traveling together in Thermopolis, WY. One of the wives gave me a mystery, Alone by Lisa Gardner as we all went our own ways in the morning. We were treated very graciously to dinner at a Moroccan restaurant in Ontario by Lotus and her husband. Lotus is the first person from the blogosphere that I had met. I was a bit nervous, but she and her husband and daughter put us at ease instantly. We had a remarkedly pleasant evening that we shall never forget. Oh, also Lotus gave me a book I had been wanting to read. She had remembered me commenting about it on a blog post. Later we had the privilege of meeting Raidergirl3 in PEI. It was fun to hear of the trivia games she and her husband had been involved in. We wanted to start up some trivia groups when we got home. It hasn't happened yet, but we do play lots of knowledge-type games with family. Raidergirl3 graciously presented me with the 2nd and 3rd books in the Anne of Green Gables series. She remembered that we were going to listen to the first on iPod before arriving in PEI. Can you believe such thoughtfulness? In Aug (or Sep) Melissa the Booknut was visiting relatives in my Utah hometown and we were able to squeeze in a desert at JB's. We had such a good visit. I just realized that I dropped the ball by not having a book gift for her like my 2 book-blogging hosts had for me. I'm feeling pretty crummy about that! Good grief! Melissa if you ever make it back to my little back-woods area, I promise to be a better hostess. We might could arrange for my sister, Framed, to take her lunch hour and visit with us, too.

Favorite movie: Amazing Grace

Best TV episode discoveries: Prison Break season 1 and Numb3rs (one of the things I like is watching the seasons from Netflix because we don't get any advertisements. I probably will never watch a series on regular TV again. I take that back - I still watch The Amazing Race on tv.

Favorite live performance: Anne of Green Gables the Musical - truth be told, it was the only live performance! It was so, so very delightful and heart-wrenching.

Biggest lifestyle change: My husband retired the end of June and I retired the end of October. Wheeeee!

Number of guys kissed: Two - my husband has got to be the best kisser in the whole wide world. I had to say that to gross out our daughters! I'll let you guess who the other guy was I kissed.

The BEST part of 2007: Being in love with my husband of 35 years.


Alyson said...

What a great year-in-review! 2007 was quite the year for you. I really need to do one of these for two reasons. I need to write a new blog post because it has been waaaaay to long, and I think it's a good way to remember the year and count blessing, remember lessons learned, etc... I loved reading yours!!

Cardine said...

I also really enjoyed "Amazing Grace."

I'm going to guess kiss #2: Was it Bob Barker before he retired?

julie said...

My gues for kiss #2 is your darling little grandson. Am I right??? If not, I hope you tell us!!! Kissing and telling is totally acceptable nowadays. Right??

I enjoyed this post; it sounds like you had a good year! I love that you and your hubby are so in love. It makes my heart ache a little, but it also gives me hope. Thanks!

Candleman said...

I enjoyed reading that, it makes me feel so blessed.

Framed said...

I was guessing that the other kisser was Jeff, also. At least, it better be. What a great year.
Thanks for sharing.

Paula said...

What a fun post. Great to learn so much about you. Puffins are my favorite birds. We have them here off the coast of Oregon but we very seldom ever see them. They are so fun to watch, such little clowns.

alisonwonderland said...

it sounds like it was a terrific year! :)

Booklogged said...

You guessed it - the 2nd man in my life is my grandson and that's who I've kissed this year.

Cardine, I would love to know why you thought it was Bob Barker?

Anonymous said...

Ha ha! Julie was right on the money. I was going to guess Tom Elder. :P Just Kidding!

Congrats on a great year. I'm so happy for you!