2009: The Year in Review

Ah, yes, it’s that time again. Oddly, I don’t have the trepidation I had last year. Last year I was still hoping things would get better. This year? I have no expectation of anything. At this point, things could utterly blow apart, or they could make a sharp turn and I might find myself in a sunlit glade for the first time in two-plus years. I’m not holding my breath either way. I’m living with the consequences of the actions of others, and myself.  There is no doubt the agency of others can bring agonizing pain and hollowing sorrow- but like glaciers, (and sometimes just as slowly, depending on our hearts), that carving pain creates a collection place; an internal cache and reservoir for understanding, compassion, reverence and love. That’s what I’m choosing to focus on. So, without further ado:

January– We made our way back home from California after spending Christmas with my family, amid one of the hugest snowstorms to hit the northwest in dozens of years. Abby learned to knit, and I showed you my sewing room for the first time. We made crayons in cupcake tins, and Jeffrey and I took a surprise trip to Seattle- where he kept confusing the Space Needle for the Eiffel Tower. My ward split, and I yelled at the first person to call me from my new ward. Aces.

February– Our car got t-boned at Walgreens, and I spent most of the month dealing with that nightmare, and writers-block visiting for the first time. Auntie Heather came to visit and I fessed up to loving pickle brine. I know, gross. Due to carpool snafus, I lost Jeffrey and my heart on the same day, and wept with joy when I found my little boy.

March– I took a leap of faith, and sent off my packet to register for Houston, and held my breath. The Hertz guy and I got into a big fight, and I won- and I got to drive Detroit’s finest- and could have foretold the auto-industry collapse. Winter malaise sets in, and fight personal and interpersonal demons, many of which I cannot yet write about. A second bird joined our family.

April– spring break eats me alive, and Easter comes early this year. My camera broke, along with most of the rest of my life. I dropped my basket and threw a couple of lamps, and spent the rest of the month going through the shards of my life and seeing what was worth saving. Garage sales started again, and the kids and I had that tiny island of solace amid my sea of broken things. Tiny little bright spots illuminated the dark pockets. Abby turned three. I fight the coming hell of my life blowing apart.

May– Yard and rummage sales are my refuge, and I seek out vintage goodies each weekend with the pocket-money my mother-in-law gives me. Mother’s Day comes and goes, and I make the boys some flaming jam shorts. Julia Child give me a lesson in following her recipes exactly, and I found out I was accepted into the International Quilt and Textile show in Houston. There was a surprise solo trip to Nauvoo, in there too, as well as a concussion from falling down Emma’s stairs.

June– Started out the month by fainting in church, probably from my concussion. Abby starts talking and hasn’t stopped yet, and school starts to wind down. We get the tummy bugs, and my boys discover film cameras and look with disdain on the olden days when you couldn’t see the pictures in your camera. Again, there are bright spots of happiness, sprinkled in like silver dragees on a dark cupcake.

July– The bounty of July peaks, and while I skip the jam making this year, we do make some cheese. We hit the eighteen month mark in our unemployment journey, and my tenuous grasp on hope grows weaker. I fess up to my picky eating habits, and some will never forgive me for hating on the watermelon. Beanie gets a bugle, and the neighbors lament. The heat and pressure continue to grow.

August– I share the priceless pickle recipe handed down by my grandpa, and I sew what I hope is the last bridesmaid dress ever. We discuss curries, and I show you with photos how to make Indian cheese. Em got a yard sale care-package, and I waxed poetic about growing in another’s shade. Jeffrey turned eight, and I showed you my favorite childhood memory- The Swing.The blog turned four.

September– Beanie began kindergarten, and Jeffrey third grade. Things at home get harder. Houston is fast approaching and I find out I have a wheat allergy- ick. My entires get cryptic, but y’all know all is not well. Some of my best writing has come this year. You get my guacamole tutorial- and you’re welcome.We have a dusty and hot trip to the county fair, and pass the ten-year milestone to being married. Barely. In a flurry of getting ready for Houston, I flip out and make Abby a to-scale Snow White costume. It’s worth it.

October– My brother and his wife come to visit, and I enjoy having family around for the first time in many months. Within a six-day period, I send my kids to my mom’s in California, have a birthday, file for divorce, and leave for Houston. The month is rife with emotion, depths and triumphs. Most of which I still cannot write about. But that won’t always be the case. I promise. Houston goes well, and I arrive home with the kids and begin to sort out the wreckage of what’s left. The Leaf Ninjas surprise me.

November– Playing Shove the Mattress, the boys hurt Abby’s arm and we spend days at the ER. I venture onto ETSY, and begin to look for ways to support me and the kids. Beanie delights in the chicken butts, and I suffer through Disney on Ice for the love of my children. There are little bright spots that keep pulling us forward.

December– Countless people pull together to hold my children and me up for the holidays. We are abundantly blessed by the kindness of others. Jeffrey makes up awesome songs in the bathroom about geology, and Beanie makes gingerbread houses at school. Abby makes me happy. We wrap up and wind down another year. And more than anything, we have hope for 2010.

Happy New Year.

14 thoughts on “2009: The Year in Review

  1. And out of this menagerie, I learned how to make cheese, received a beautiful Christmas quilt to hang on my wall, and said many many prayers for a woman I haven’t (yet) met. God bless us every one!

  2. Thank you for the guacamole. Thank you for writing. Thank you for sharing your talents. You have lived through a year others would collapse under, and are here to share it. Hope that 2010 brings abundant blessings…of joy, peace, less stress and pressure, and lots of laughter! New memories to come…

  3. Hooray for dragees!
    I’ve put your name on the prayer roll in 3 temples so far during my UT trip. I’ll keep going till I run out of time!

  4. I think my name has been on more prayer rolls than I can imagine this year- and I am grateful for every one of them. Does it take my breath away? No. I’m still in the middle of it. I’m still in “survival mode”- I just cannot write about it yet. I hope someday to have the luxury of hindsight, and some sunlight in my life again. For now, I just have to keep on going, and do what I can each day.

    Thank you all for the well-wishes. I really hope 2010 has some good things in store for us.

  5. In reference to your last comment— don’t “hope” for that sunlight, it *IS* there. It’s just impossible to see or think about. 2010 will have good things, but it will also have bad things. I would say (not trying to cut away any happiness- but…) it took my a good 3 years to be happy. Now, almost 10 years out of it, I have now come full circle. Where I am helping the man who broke my heart, make sense of having his heart broken. It’s weird– but I’ve finally figured out what it means & feels like to fully forgive.

    There is some sunlight, every day. Cling to it when those black clouds swarm.

  6. WOW, and I though my year was intense. Thank you for sharing all that you did. You have been a comfort and help to me more times than you’ll know. I am looking forward to my 2010 and hope yours gets brighter too.

  7. wow! We are so not alone, are we? 2009 has really thrown me for a loop as well. Talk about prayer rolls….wow! I have been on many as well. Here’s to a much happier 2010 than 2009 for all of us.

    Love ya even without knowing you! 🙂

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