Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 in a bottle

I couldn't remember if I had managed a year-in-review post last year. Turns out I did a brief one. It's a tricky business, attempting to sum up and make sense of a year, to feel good enough about it. I get caught in that tricky place where it all just seems too familiar, too similar, and then I have to remind myself that it's a good thing, this little life here with my family our our cherished routines.

I do try mostly to find images I haven't used here before, but find it's difficult to tell stories I haven't told before. The blog is the ongoing reflection, right?, so it should seem that whether told in the course of one post or over the course of one year the stories are familiar.


I generally do start each year with crafting energy ablaze; I met Kym through a swap that was all about handmade toys. (Now that could be interesting -- keeping track of the new people I meet through the course of a year...). This bear pattern came from a Japanese craft magazine, and I'll say now that in 2010 I'd like to spend less time noodling around on the computer and more time crafting.


My birthday is in February and this was my self-portrait last year. I think I look a little sad, and maybe it's because the lousy weather made it impossible for us to carry out all the plans we'd had for the day. It was a very snowy, rainy, slushy wet winter.


Hard winters make the first rays of spring sunlight so precious -- even being able to unzip a jacket feels miraculous. I tried carrying my camera with me a little more often last year and would like to put more effort this year into photographing the everyday world.

We were finally able to go out for my birthday dinner in March -- Korean bbq. We made an effort last year to avoid chain restaurants (and we're pretty sure we went McDonald's free the whole time); we're all interested in pushing ourselves further this year in the support of local businesses.


Dean's birthday is in April, and there always seem to be several opportunities to celebrate it and light candles and wonder how on earth each Dean Year passes so quickly.

He got these cones for setting up soccer practice zones in the yard but seeing as he IS my son, afterall, he figured they'd make a good hat first thing.

We had a magnificent trip to my homeland, Chicago. I wished we lived there, or at least closer. This trip was way too short but we had just a wonderful time with family and I was able to connect (hurray for Facebook!) with some of my childhood friends. There is something deep -- tangible -- about being home, about being in the place that I truly know.


Dean's class had a family camping trip to Cape Cod. We explored salt water marshes like this one, and the ocean, and all the things that can be done with marshmallows, sticks, and open flame.

A wet winter followed by a long wet spring meant spectacular things for the garden. Ken and Dean are both passionate gardeners -- Dean even successfully set up a hummingbird feeder and garden this year -- which gives us yet one more thing to enjoy doing together.

Dean's primary philanthropic activity so far has been his annual walk to raise money for Dog Orphans. I'm sure he'll do this again next May, but meanwhile he's added sponsorship of a child through ChildFund. We hoped we were raising a child who would be caring and empathetic, and it just warms our hearts (and makes a feel a little better about some of the areas we haven't done as well) to see him make these kinds of choices on his own.


This could be my favorite picture of Biscuit. I probably posted this one before, but I think he's telling me he loves me here.

We crack ourselves up. PhotoBooth fun for the one-eyed boy and his two-headed mother.


Dean always does a variety of day camps over the course of the summer and zoo camp has been a particular favorite. What's not to love about taping a net to a long stick so you can explore a swamp?

I appreciate the Massachusetts sense of humor. For those who aren't familiar, this is how the word 'smart' is pronounced by the locals.


Ken turned 50 in August, as improbable as that still sounds to me, and it was his heart's desire to spend his big day in Disney World.

Oh it's goopy touristy silly and I still love it. I still mean to post a whole slew of pictures so that I can show you the other side of Disney World -- the pictures of things you'd never expect to encounter. It's a deeply beautiful place, although you have to be willing to slow down and dig a little to see it that way.


And this was the last mini-golf game of the season. Yeah, what can I say, I love that shirt....

Gina actually gave away one of her amazing quilts in September and I was the person who actually won it. Can you see how incredible her fabric choices are? I can't imagine life, anymore, without my blogging friends. I have to think about how to honor and extend those connections.

This was Dean's Hope Banner, made on the first day of school. And he meant it.


We managed to take in one professional soccer game -- MLS just doesn't quite have the panache of the European league play but we cheered on our local boys and vowed that if the European clubs send any teams over for friendlies this year then we're definitely going. SO exciting to think that 2010 is a World Cup year....

I caught this shot of Dean as he got home from a field trip.


Dean and I went to Boston in torrential downpours to see the Harry Potter exhibit (primarily of props and sections of sets from the movies). It's almost enough to call it a bona fide curse -- if we've purchased tickets in advance for something, it seems to guarantee horrific weather, or illness, or some other calamity that often leaves us unable to use the tickets. We weren't going to get driving rain keep us from going this time, though.


From the poem Snow Day, by Billy Collins:

In a while I will put on some boots
and step out like someone walking in water,
and the dog will porpoise through the drifts,
and I will shake a laden branch,
sending a cold shower down on us both.

Biscuit does porpoise through the drifts, dragging his boy after him with both of them laughing and gasping for breath. They come in cold and utterly encrusted in snow and tired and thirsty and ready to curl up and get warm again.

A toast to the year, to the stories ahead, to you and to me.


Natalie said...

Some day I hope to spend a day or more in your company.
Happy New Year... as beautiful or better than the last.

Lesley said...

Happy New Year, Jen!
And lots more monkey business, please.
And more craft time - yay! Love the new stand-up polar bear, too.

Garnered Stitches said...

Happy New Year, Jen.
What a lovely review of your year
best wishes

Gina said...

What a lovely look back at the year.

Happy New Year to you all from a cold, but sunny South Wales

Love and hugs Gina xxx

Maroussia said...

It will be great to watch US Open Golf , i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.