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Looking Back on 2009…Looking Forward to 2010

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I remarked to Paul this morning (yes, I’m writing this on New Year’s Day, not New Year’s Eve, as I’d hoped to) that I feel like every year since we met has had something momentous happen in it. And, although the past two years have not seen a new job or a new baby, once you have kids every year has some sort of milestone for them in it because they change so much. I though I’d do a little recap in a few categories, with a favorite photo or two for each. Here goes:

Family: Nothing really momentous to say here. Kids change and go through stages (oh, four and a half, how trying you are!), both kids looked a little older, less babyish, Tabby really started talking a lot, Clark started writing his name and spelling and reading some words, we immersed ourselves in all things dinosaur (something I discovered fascinating and I really liked learning about), Tabby gathered baby dolls and lavished them with love, we made new friends, the kids fought like brothers and sisters will do, but also warmed our hearts when they were sweet and loving to each other.

Travel: This year I traveled to Chicago and Denver, and as a family we traveled to Williamsburg, VA, and Vermont for a weekend.  It was practically nine months ago that we went to Virginia, but we all still talk and think about it as if it was much more recently.  It was a wonderful vacation and we are considering returning this year! We liked going by car, the good fortune we had about being at Busch Gardens when it opened its new Sesame St thing, visiting different aquariums, and a little visit to the beach. For this section I choose a couple pictures. Me and Clark in Colonial Williamsburg-I don’t know what I like this picture so much, but I do.

Clark at Virginia Beach. I loved all these pictures with his dinosaur sweatshirt hood up, and the greyness and windiness and chilliness definitely is apparent, but we all had so much fun cavorting on the sand anyway.

We have often had serendipitous good fortune on trips, especially when not planned to greatly.  This picture of Paul and Tabitha with the Capitol behind them will always remind me of the our drive home from Virginia and how well it worked out.  Cherry Blossom Festival going on in D.C.-driving over the Potomac could see all the trees in bloom, drove into the city and despite it being crowded just happened to find a spot on the Mall, went to the Natural History museum, saw dinos, sat on the Mall with lots of other people enjoying a gorgeous early spring day. It was perfect.

Food: Sadly when I think of food in 2009 I think about how much less I baked. That is because last January Paul and I set about to lose weight.  Happily, I lost 25lbs and he has lost well beyond that.  We pretty much stopped dieting by the summer (but are looking to get back on the horse!).  I didn’t do as much canning, but did can apples, which was awesome.  While reviewing the book of this blog I noticed that I did used to post much more often about recipes and things I made.  I’m thinking I’ll try to get back to that. Incidentally, my favorite picture of myself this year, the one I even use for my Facebook profile, came out of the canning session.

Sewing:   I think of this as the year I really started to enjoy sewing and learn how to follow patterns and make clothes.  It has given me great pleasure and I’m starting 2010 looking forward to the many things I can make. This year I made shorts, dresses, leggings, a skirt, tops, Halloween costumes,  a top for me, a tote bag, did applique, made a baby quilt, embroidered, bought lots of fabric, bought patterns,  organized my trims, and made lots of aprons. I found a friend who also likes to sew and we learned together, something that was really helpful.  This picture is Tabby wearing the first top I made this spring, out of a cheery red and white fabric.  While the Thanksgiving dress was probably my favorite thing I made this year (the fabric, the velvet ribbon, the pattern-I just loved it.), I choose this picture because of how happy she is in it and how perfectly the top goes with it.

I’m really excited to sew more clothes and projects this year and am inspired by my new books. (In truth, I already did one project today, which I’ll hopefully post about later.)

Garden: We really pushed ourselves with the garden this year. We doubled the size and really put in much more effort than in years past.  In some cases we were rewarded (peas!), in others not (the corn was beautiful, but tasted dreadful.)  I think the whole U.S. knows that all gardening and food production was affected by the rainy summer.  Just like everyone else our pumpkins failed and so did our zucchini.  Our lettuce also did not work out well.  However we did grow tomatillos for the first time, beautiful birds’ egg gourds, had great tomatoes, and lots of delicious butternut squash.  We’re looking forward to doing even better next year, and also to really put in our long planned bird/butterfly garden.  Flowers-wise I grew dahlias for the first time (beautiful and easy), the pond was practically out of control it was so lush, my marigolds mysteriously all died, but my daisies were pretty. It’s hard to choose which are some of my favorite pictures since photographing flowers and the kids became even more of a hobby for me this year.

Chickens: Well, we lost one chicken this year but gained six.  We watched our pullets grow up and start laying big beautiful eggs, painfully watched the pullets and the adult Australorp hybrid hens establish a pecking order, were sad (just a couple weeks ago!) when one disappeared, and made the switch to completely free range this summer.  Our chickens bring us so much pleasure.  To see them pecking around happily is a joy.  They are completely tame and follow us around, and would certainly come in the house if we let them (we don’t!). As of now we get 7-8 eggs a day and just last week sold our first dozen (to a stranger, that is, Paul’s co-workers often buy them from us.) We are seriously thinking we will get even more next spring/summer.

So what’s ahead for us in 2010?  Another vacation (as yet to be determined), I hope a little more time at the beach, more sewing, more time for hobbies (I hope.), and either having a garage sale or finding another way to clear out things we no longer need/use.  It will be the year Clark starts kindergarten and Tabby starts nursery school, but really I can hardly bare to think about those things yet.

I have one New Year’s resolution this year, and this is to stop comparing myself to others.  It can be awfully easy when you look at other people’s blogs and look at your friends to think “Why don’t I do that?”, or “That person works AND manages to have a clean kitchen floor!”  But keeping this blog has actually helped me see just how much I do manage to do, and more importantly, that the things we do and the way we live are just right for me and my family.  So if next year is just like this year, well then I will be quite satisfied.  Happy New Year!

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About Sarah

I'm a librarian living with my lovely family in a gorgeous spot of New Jersey, where we raise chickens and love the outdoors. I try to find enough time to indulge all my hobbies-cooking, photography, gardening, sewing, and I write about it all on my book blog & personal blog.

3 responses »

  1. What a great post! You have so much to be proud of and thankful for in 2009. It’s so neat to see how the year progressed in your pictures. I also love your resolution – we could all do to compare ourselves less to others. I’m borrowing it for myself!

    Reply
  2. Happy New Year!

    This is a wonderful post — full of so many beautiful pictures (I love that one of Clark on the beach, and Pookie and I agree that the one we took at the apple canning party is one of our favorites of the entire year for us, too!), beautiful accomplishments, and beautiful memories. I’m looking forward to what 2010 holds for the Debraski family!

    Reply
  3. Thank you Anne and Eleanor! It was fun to look back on the year and try to wrap it up in a summary.

    Reply

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