Friday, January 2, 2009

Best of 2008

(Wow it has been AGES since I've posted!)
In random order, here are thirteen of my best moments from the past year:

  1. Lego with Jack. Amidst the bustle of the holidays, we found ourselves with nothing planned on a Thursday while Ethan was at school. Instead of rushing out to get some errands or Christmas shopping done, we spent the entire day at home. Laying on the floor building Lego with our foreheads touching, I thought to myself: This is a pretty perfect moment.
  2. Swimming with the Sharks in Belize; and really, travelling to Belize in general. Hanging out with Mar and Aaron, Kim and Gene – we really did have an awesome time and brought home some unforgettable memories. Swimming with the sharks and rays was only one of those memories (but the one that impresses people the most) but gathering up the courage to first jump in the water almost on top of them and then touch these predators in their natural setting – that was A Moment.
  3. Falling Asleep with Ethan. This Moment came about because I simply took the time to lie down with him for 30 minutes at bedtime. I am always rushing off after storytime and tucking-in to do something mundane like laundry or dishes or blogging. This time, however, I just stayed. We whispered about our day, about tomorrow, about what to dream about that night. We cuddled, played the kissing game (where you “accidentally” miss and kiss the other person’s cheek or eyelid instead of the mouth), and had a “forever hug” (where we joke that we will never let go). Eventually, wrapped around his Stripey, his breathing deepened and I watched him relax into sleep. Sigh.
  4. Seeing Twilight the movie (the second time). I read this series of books with Jen, Sonia, Shannon, Breanne and Tracy in August. We all loved them (I know they were written for teenagers, shut up) and so of course Jen got us tickets for opening day at the movies. Opening day was NOT an optimal experience as there were (surprisingly?) a lot of teenaged girls there who appeared to exist specifically to ruin it for me. Why this makes it to my top 13 is because less than a week later, Sonia called me on the off chance that I wanted to see it again. Did I?!?!?! I ditched the kids after soccer and met her at the theatre, where we had an idyllic movie-going experience: fresh popcorn, a blanket for our knees, an enjoyable movie, and only about 15 other people in the whole theatre. We loved it!
  5. Weekend in Seattle. This was the ultimate 25 Club. Chantal, Marzia, Kim and I escaped to Seattle for two nights, where we stayed at the best hotel, had fabulous meals, shopped until we dropped, pampered ourselves, and in general just enjoyed the heck out of each other’s company. It was a great girls’ road trip and we will definitely be making it an annual tradition. Next year: Maui! (In my dreams anyway...)
  6. Lounging Poolside in Portugal. For one thing, it was great to have our whole family together for a week. Secondly, to spend the time together in a place as perfect as our villa in Portugal – nirvana. Although we spent some of our days apart, visiting different local sites and so on, by the evening we were always together again. All 14 of us dined together every evening and it was a fantastic opportunity to chat. And virtually every morning started with us all trickling out with a coffee or tea and pastries to read books in a poolside lounge chair. If you don’t know me, Pastries + Tea + Pool + Book = Best of the Good Times.
  7. Kicking Rock Band’s ass. Nobody was more surprised than me to find I had a talent for belting out the tunes. I got a little obsessed last spring with completing my World Tour, but I have calmed down somewhat. Although now that I got a mic stand and a custom-decorated guitar (thanks kids!) for Christmas, prepare for me to rock out a little more often again!
  8. England. Although I was there for Gran’s funeral, which was certainly NOT one of my best moments of 2008 (or of my entire life), the opportunity to spend time with my extended family was priceless. Briana, Ben and I had a terrible flight over but even amidst all the jet lag, migraines, airports and funerals, it was a bonding experience I won’t forget. Also, the English make the best tea and I had a lot of it.
  9. Helping in the classroom. I was fortunate to help one day a week in Ethan’s kindergarten class, reading in French with each child individually and doing one-on-one work with them according to what Madame wanted to get accomplished that week. Although I haven’t been able to do as much in his Grade One class (the teachers are very nice, but less receptive to a weekly role) I am there every Friday to hand out Hot Lunch and I volunteer for every special day that comes along. Same for Jack’s class, where I have been lucky enough to accompany them on field trips and special days at his school.
  10. Palette of Doubt. It is very rewarding to help with this production. Over the past two years we have raised a boatload of money for World Vision – I believe $65,000 – and I have met a great group of people. Added to which, it’s been pretty exciting to be an official part of a theatre crew!
  11. Knocking more than 9 things of my 40 Before 40 list. I’ll have to dedicate a post soon solely to update my 40 Before 40 status, but in short, here are the things I am very proud to have accomplished this year: Swim with Dolphins Sharks, Religion for Dummies, Random Acts of Kindness, Cuisines of the World, Surf, One Week no TV, Afternoon at Driving Range, Read 3 Classic Novels, Archery.
  12. Going green with Green Earth Organics. I am really glad I signed up for this. We get a beautiful box of fruits and vegetables every two weeks, and I am proud to say we are supporting the local economy by buying BC food. (And Ecuadorean bananas, but you can’t buy local and enjoy the tropical at the same time!) I have tried many new recipes based on the surprises that arrive biweekly. Even the kids have tried new things! (I know, who’d have thunk it?)
  13. Surprising Mike. While he was working in LA one week, Ethan and I cooked up the idea to surprise him by practicing our hearts out on the bike. It worked, and by Saturday when Mike returned, Jack led him outside blindfolded and ta-da! Ethan rode by with no training wheels! It was a proud, proud moment for Ethan which made it one of my best of the year.

And next post, you’ll have to suffer through my resolutions for 2009!

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