I want to wish all my blog friends near and far a Very Happy New Year. I hope it is a happy and healthy one! I’m not making any real resolutions. I just want to live life SIMPLY!
I have made so many friends in the blog-o-sphere this year. I hope each one of you know how special you are too me. It is strange I guess, for folks that don’t blog, to understand how relationships are built through blogging, but since you all blog too, you get it! I check several times a day to see if any of my blog list of favorites has updated, and get concerned when the time between updates seems unusually long! You all have made me laugh, made me smile, and sometimes even cry! I’m hoping 2010 will bring more friends, and hopefully I will get to met some of my friends face to face!
Ann’s throwing the VGNO party a night early since tonight is the big party night of the year!
2009 has been a really big year for my family. I knew as we headed into 2009, that changes were on the horizon, as I had decided to retire from my job of 29+ years, and relocate back home to PA.
The first three months seemed like they would never end, as my retirement date was March 27th. This changed several times, so there were many days that I didn’t know what end was up.
I not only retired, but I pulled Tara from public school, and we home schooled for the remainder of the school year in Florida. Too much “tween” drama was distracting her from her studies, and her stress level was off the charts! Not having to worry about structured learning was very helpful in our preparations for returning home.
By the end of March, we had secured a fabulous new flat for our residence. The only downside was we had to find new homes for more than 1/2 of our beloved pets, but it was necessary!
April and May found me spending time sorting, organizing, purging, recycling, donating, and trashing. We had so much stuff spread out over our house, we just would not have that kind of storage room in our new home! You can read about that adventure on my New Adventures blog if you go back to the beginning!
I bought a new (pre-owned) vehicle – a mom-mobile – mini van. To replace our 12 year old Blazer. We loved that car, but it was starting to show it’s age, and there was no way we could make the 1,000 mile trip with three people and five pets.
My mother arrived on May 20th, for the final two weeks of packing. We worked very hard and were exhausted every day by night time!
On June 3rd, we left our Florida home of 6 years and 3 days, and began our journey home. Two days later, we arrived in the rain at our final destination.
The unpacking and getting settled began. We spent the summer getting reacquainted with the area, and our friends and family. It was my first ever summer as a SAHM. I enjoyed taking my great nephews and Tara on outings each week!
August found us in Ocean City, NJ reuniting with more family.
September brought us to school. Tara was enrolled in Connections Academy, virtual school in lieu of traditional school. It has caused some tension in our family, but I think it was the right decision at this time for Tara.
In October we enjoyed the beautiful fall weather and foliage. I had a great time with my camera.
I spent most of the first two weeks of November not feeling well. Then we made a weekend trip to VA to visit my former boss, and Tara’s best friend (our neighbors) from Florida, who now live near Charlottesville. We had a great time. Thanksgiving was spent with family, at my nephews home, where we also celebrated his engagement to Tasha!
Our first snowfall came on Dec 10th, and again we had a bigger snowfall on Dec 19th. We had a white Christmas. We hosted our first family function in our home. It was nice to have an apartment full of loved ones!
Now 2009 is coming to an end, and my hiatus from working must come to an end. I have been applying for jobs that will supplement my pension, without too much stress. I want a job I can leave behind when my work day is over! Keeping fingers crossed I hear back about the job I interviewed for on Tuesday.
Woke up this morning, and shortly after I realized it was SNOWING! Great way to close out the year. I guess it’s not good if people have plans that require them to be on the road, but my plan is to stay home! (I ran out and picked up a few things we needed shortly after the snow started!)
END OF THE YEAR MEME
I found this meme @Ramblin’ with Roger, who found it @Spatula Forum and it was also part of @Sunday Stealing. So now that I have given it proper credit as far back as I can trace, on with my answers.
1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before? Drove from Orlando to Philadelphia with 3 cats, a dog, guinea pig, one twelve year old and my mom. When we did the reverse trip in 2003 to move to Orlando, we had just two cats, and 3 people.
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I did not make any resolutions as such. I knew it would be a year of great changes for our family, and it was. It’s been exciting.
3. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve? At home. A nice meal, and some yummy snacks. I hope to watch some of the Three Stooges Marathon on AMC. It starts at 7am on 12/31 and goes for 23 hours. I grew up watching these reruns, and Tara has never experienced them. It is her kind of humor! I prefer quiet New Year’s celebrations. (It was a quiet night, we did watch the ball drop with all three of us together)
4. Did anyone close to you die? Not this year thankfully.
5. What countries did you visit? Just the good ole’ USofA. I had not left the state of FL for 5 years, so traveling through GA, SC, NC, VA, MD, and DE were exciting for me. We also went to Ocean City, NJ for a couple days, and to VA for a weekend. Oh, and does the World Showcase at EPCOT count?
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? A new job. I retired in March, so technically I had it in 2009, but I am now looking for part time employment. Keeping fingers crossed I get an answer this week from an interview on Tuesday.
7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? March 27th, the day I retired from my career at AT&T, it was 29 years, 4 months, and 12 days long.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Getting back to PA to be close to family. We had been working on it for two years.
9. What was your biggest failure? I don’t think I really failed at anything. I might have managed money a little better…. but that’s the story of my life.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Thankfully nothing serious. I had the flu in November, not sure if it was swine, but it had me down a week, and not feeling myself for two. My family has stayed fairly well.
11. What was the best thing you bought? My Canon Rebel Xsi.
12. Where did most of your money go? Wow, I wish I knew. Moving expenses, getting settle expenses, I paid cash for a pre-owned car. Lots of technology – 2 laptops, 2 IPhones, 2 cameras…. like mother like daughter! Cash, cash, cash, no credit cards were used!
13. What song will always remind you of 2009? I’m not sure. Music is something in the background to me most of the time. Maybe something Brittney, Tara got to go to see her in concert and we listened to Circus all the time!
14. What do you wish you’d done more of? Saved money. Slept.
15. What do you wish you’d done less of? Spent money.
16. What was your favourite TV program? This is a hard one. A new show? Glee. I found this show late. Monday Night CBS shows are some of our favorites. Big Bang Theory is the top favorite there.
17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? No, I try not to hate.
18. What was the best book you read? Read or finished? Sadly I think I only read one full book this year. It was a book from a series about the Amish. I have six days to read a book for book club on 1/6 – Black Dahlia! Reading more is one thing that I would like to do in 2010. I just have to stay off the darned laptop!
19. What was your greatest musical discovery? I don’t have an answer for this. I listen the music of so many blog friends that I really like, but sadly music is not big on my list. I mean I listen when in the car, but that is about it. I was so much different when I was young.
20. What was your favorite film of this year? We saw 24 films in the theater this year (see list below), and many more for the first time on DVD (I wish I had kept a list, that was one great thing about Blockbuster and Netflix on line!) We saw Star Trek 4 times, that was hands down Tara’s favorite. Movies that I came away from saying I totally enjoyed were Blindside and Julie and Julia.
21. What did you do on your birthday? Hmm, good thing I have a blog or I would have to say I don’t remember… be right back – oh, I should not have had to look. We spent the day in Magic Kingdom. Disney was giving you a free day of admission this year for your birthday. Since we had annual passes, I got a $75 gift card to be spent at Disney. We had fun, at lunch at Tony’s. If you want to revisit that day you can go here, here and here. Tara got to spend her free day at Animal Kingdom.
22. What kept you sane? Blogging and photography.
23. Who did you miss? Okay, my who are our pets that we had to give to knew homes. Maia the yorkie, Daphne, and Emmie and Cassie the cats (the latter two live local, so we can visit them, but it makes me sad, and I want to bring them home!)
24. Who was the best new person you met? I’ve met so many fabulous new people on line this past year, the list is too long to mention, in real life, I think I would have to say our neighbor Vivian. I am just getting to know her, but she is so full of life and positive energy.
25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009: That I really do love being close to family. When we lived in FL, I tried to tell myself that we weren’t missing out on much being away from family, we kept in touch through pictures, etc., but it has been so nice being able to spend time with them all – for holidays and special occasions, and just for the heck of it! Also, that we can do with less!
A cup of coffee shared with a friend is happiness!