Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reflection on 2009

Oh Wow...2009. So much to say about this year. It started off just as any new years does. Fireworks, cabbage, resolutions, goals for the future, hopes, dreams...blah, blah, blah...
Then right off the bat, I got the wind knocked out of me...
I lost my job in January and I thought my world was over. I was very sad for weeks.
But I got out there and pounded the pavement looking for another job the very next day.
I got to spend time having lunch with friends and such but the burden of finding that new job was so stressful.
Since blogger places pictures wherever it wants to sometimes, some of these are not in order so just roll with it...ok?
Well I finally found a job in March but had to deal with a commute and traffic that I was not happy with. It was a rough patch of getting used to it and accepting it.
I began going to the gym regularly and became very happy with the results. Granted I haven't been in quite some time but with the new year I'll pick back up on that again.
I discovered making my own lattes at home with good 'ol Community Coffee and Starbucks syrups...when I was laid off I made one everyday to get me through my disappointing days.
Another thing I did while laid off was volunteer. I went to the church and helped the ladies prepare for the St. Joseph's alter by rolling and baking cookies. Such a wonderful experience that I would not have had if I were working full time. I learned some wonderful Italian culture that i will cherish forever.
I reflected a lot. Questioned things in life that I never thought I would question. Wondered why things had happened they way they did. Things were going wrong in my life both personally and professionally and I wanted to know why.
My grandmother was diagnosed with lung cancer and a brain tumor and she was fighting a hard battle. My mother was struggling with coming to terms with it all and was carrying the burden of caring for her when she was sick. Why was all of this happening to us at one time? I questioned my faith but stayed strong and attended mass more than I have in a long, long time.

Received my ashes on ash Wednesday to be reminded that from ashes I came and to ashes I shall return...like I needed that reminder at that point in my life. But it was fitting and a good reminder none the less.

My husband was a HUGE support to me as he always is. One night when I was laid off before I went to bed I wrote on our chef's chalk board that i was hopeful...the next morning when I woke up and went to the kitchen to make some hot tea I saw his response..."Be Hopeful Everyday". It made me smile and teary eyed all at the same time. That man loves me.
So we did what any well adjusted couple would do to make the best of things this year. We went out with friends, saw bands play, listened to music, ate good food, drank good drinks and just tried to enjoy ourselves.
Surrounding ourselves with wonderful friends was the best thing we could do and one of the things that turned this year into a success despite the hardships.
And in the true spirit of our family, we continued our traditions and threw the best Easter Tea to date. We had a black and white theme and all our guest showed up dressed for the occasion!Then I got the opportunity to take a last minute trip to TN for the Scrap In Style scrapbooking retreat...well I jumped at that much needed get away! I met these beautiful girls and did a lot of scrappin' and cutting up...pun totally intended!
I also got to meet this beautiful soul. She has been so amazing to me in my life this year. When things were down and out she would send me a text, shoot me an email, make sure I was ok. She made me smile, sent me happy mail, made me amazing handmade pretties and was just there when i needed her despite being thousands of miles away in St. Louis! Crazy how things work.
Well we get to hang out in just one short week where were we will take a much needed trip to New Orleans to have tons of fun!
Another person who as been a great presence in my life this year was an old friend, April. April too had a lot of issues in her life to deal with this year but through my helping her with our "coffee talks" I found that she was a huge help to me too. For the life of me I can't find a picture of us on my computer so I'll have to post that one later!
So, speaking of NOLA, we made a few trips this year to the big easy...
Had some great times...
saw some friends I hadn't seen in years...
and caught some amazing concerts...

simply amazing and so much fun!
Also reconnected with an old high school friend who has become a great friend this year...
Nicole is going through a bit of a rough patch in her life right now too and for her to be there for me when I need her is amazing. We had many nights where we all piled in the car and went out for sushi, or music or just a quick photo shoot.
Like this one...She took some amazing pictures that day and I look forward to our next photo excursion!
But sometimes our best excursions were right in our own backyard...
Zane became quite fond of picnics this year. He's like his momma and loves cheese and crackers and party foods. So as long as the weather held out we had picnics in the yard and just enjoyed each other as a family.
Sometimes the weather wasn't so nice so we would create fun nights like the night we made our own pizzas. he loved that! Well he loved eating the cheese out the bowl. I told you the boy loves cheese.
I also made a lot of time for crafting too...
Both scrapbooking and jewelry making. I joined the design team at Scrapgal.com and will be working on projects for the new year soon! My jewelry also did well this year and I didn't even have to do one single craft show. That was a blessing because after being laid off for two months we needed that extra income!
David had a brief love affair with a skateboard...his fads never last long...a couple years ago it was a guitar...this year a skateboard and for a short period it was a vintage bike...
But one thing he started I think he will enjoy and stick with for years to come...
He began doing some serious home improvement projects. I mean we have worked on them off and on since we bought our house 7 years ago but this year we kicked it into high gear. Replaced the roof, built a fence and arbor, expanded Zane's playground, installed french doors in anticipation for our closed in garage turned dining room, built and installed built in cabinets in the living room and so much more including yard work!
Remember how I mentioned blogger mixing pictures up...this is an out of order one...
Zane enjoying his Easter egg hunt at the Easter tea...one of my favorite pictures of 2009.
And this is another one of my favorites...
It was Zane's first trip to the beach and although it took him a day to warm up to the sand between his toes, he loved it! And was SO proud to see his name written in the sand!
Then the dreded happened, my grandmother gave in to her battle with cancer and passed away.
I miss her. I'm still sad. My heart still hurts just to think about it. An amazingly, wonderful and selfless woman is gone. There is a huge hole in my heart.

I attended her funeral with mixed emotions, glad she is at rest, sad she is gone and a little angry that I will never get to enjoy her company. All the while I felt so calm and even pretty as I got dressed up in my black dress to attend the service. I kept thinking that she sees me and is saying "look at meme all dressed up" and giving me that nervous laugh she would give when she told me I looked pretty. That was her. So sweet.
So on we go...Zane had his first chocolate dipped Dairy Queen ice cream cone. Can I just tell you he was in heaven?! Loved it. We don't give him chocolate a whole lot so he was wild with excitement!
Remember that arbor I mentioned...her she is in all her glory. The hubs did an excillent job!
But just when we though we were done with the sad stuff, this come around...
They tore down my great grandmother's old house. So many wonderful memories...gone in a couple of days. Very sad indeed. I still pass and look as if I expect it to still be there. now it is just an empty lot.
As I mentioned we got to see a lot of great live music. We were lucky enough to see one of our favorite bands, Flyleaf, twice this year. The second time we saw them was at an outdoor concert called Rock on the River.
It was a rainy mess but they still rocked it!
More outdoor food fun...I created some great little kid friendly cheese and cracker snacks and we enjoyed our afternoon outside eatting and talking and just being together. Those moments are fleeting with an active 2 year old you know!

There were a few additions to the Sanders residence this year.
This is Molly. She is a South West Box turtle and she now calls our yard her home.
Also this summer we brought Zane to see the glow of the hot air balloons at the balloon festival. He was amazed and sat there with his mouth wide open the whole time they flickered!
Speaking of amazement, he was pretty impressed with himself when I taught him how to use the remote for the camera. And he took some pretty good shots.
Ahhh the first day of preschool. Some parents cry...I suprisingly enough did not. i was excited for him though. I knew he would be so thrilled with learning all the stuff they had in store for him. He has truely enjoyed this year and I know he will continue to love it!
Zane also got bit buy the crafty bug too. I discovered that he loves to paint! This is another project we will have to do more of this coming year!
And his first big screen movie...we took him to see Where the Wild Things are. He was so good! Well he had to pee four times but other than that he was wonderful and loved it. We are planning our next one...may The Princess and the Frog.
Another first for our little guy..and for us as well. We took Z to the Circus. It was a cute little one ring traveling circus and it was just perfect! So fun and Zane sat there in amazement and took it all in!
This year Zane started getting into sports, he played a bit with is T ball set and kicked around the soccer ball too. Although plans to enroll him in soccer didn't pan out this year, we hope to put him in either t-ball or soccer this year for sure!
He also fell in love with sunglasses this year. It seemed like this summer we couldn't go anywhere with out his sunglasses. I was so sad when he broke this pair...they were his favorite and mine too! LOL!
This year we had two really fun photo shoots, this one Alissa and I did in my mom's backyard wearing our vintage finds thrift shops! TONS of fun!

And the second addition to the Sanders house...meet Zoe. She is a teddy bear hampster.
The fair was another one of Zane's favorite things this fall. It was the first time he got to ride the rides and he threw a fit when it was all over. But the nice man at the duck hunt booth let him win an inflatable spiderman and he was all happy again....that and the consumption of a corndog.

Oh and lets not forget our little guy turned 3 this year. He was quite grumpy at his party but managed to have some fun once most of the crowd had left.

Now that Zane is getting older I am seeing another side of my sweet hubs. A fun, light and playful side. Not that he wasn't fun and playful before but this is different. Example: the other day he was dancing around zane in a circle in the middle of the Wal Mart parking lot, singing! Now you have seen my pictures of my husband...and I'm sure you are getting a visual. That is just funny stuff. And he could care less is anybody was watching. I just had to step back and watch and enjoy that moment.

Then there was Z's first field trip. They went to the pumpkin patch at a local nursery and he got to pick out his very own pumpkin...big hit with him!

*another misplaced pic*
I turned 32 in December...and don't feel a year over 21! It was an amazing day dispite having a horrible week that week...my birthday was wonderful and filled with lots of love and fun!
We managed to score some tickets to an LSU football game and brought along some great friends...this is becoming an annual thing as well. We are not huge football fans but there is something about tiger statium that makes you wanna keep coming back for the expereience!
Another tradition, we attended the annual Pitre Cochon de Lait and family reunion...
Then halloween was fun...Zane dressed in one of his three costumes we had for the season. He really did make a great little dinosoar! David dressed as Kerry Heart (motocross star) and Zane requested that I dress as a witch...so I did!
And we dressed a little darker that night for momma and daddy's halloween night out!

Two great friends, Rita and Micah got married. And David was honored to participate as an usher at the service.
Then Thanksgiving where we continued the tradition of going to North Louisiana to the cabin to have dinner with David's family.
And then to see the lights Thanksgiving night...So beautiful!
Then the Christmas season was upon us and this years decorations were by far my favorite...winter white.
See that built in cabinet/bookcase? That's one of the home improvement projects David tackled this year. And I'm very pleased!
Which brings us to Christmas...
And now as I sit her on New Years Eve, I think of all the hardships and sadness but keep thinking to myself, this has been a blessed year with more than our share of happiness too.
Have a wonderful and blessed new year!