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1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
Went to Ecuador and the Galapagos.
Touched a whale shark.
Swam with hammerhead sharks.
Hiked to 16,000 feet up a volcano.
Threw a baby shower and became a sort-of (sort-of because we’re calling ourselves aunts, though we aren’t related at all) aunt to Nate and Shelly’s baby Owen.
Began to seriously contemplate giving Owen a sort-of cousin.
Earned my PhD. Officially became a Doctor!
Published a paper from my graduate work.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn’t make an official New Year’s Resolution for 2010. Rather, maybe, the nebulous get healthy/stay healthy goal. And I think I’ve done pretty well. Mentally, I’m in a much better place now than I was a year or even two years ago. Physically, I’ve taken care of some healthy issues, really started exercising more, and have even lost a decent amount of weight. So all in all, I’d say I did pretty well. And frankly, I’ll probably make the same resolution. There’s always room for improvement.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yep, Shelly did! To a beautiful little baby boy on Thanksgiving morning. This is also the thing I’m most thankful for in 2010–that two of my best friends became parents to a beautiful, healthy baby. And that Owen is a wonderful baby.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, though we worried a lot about John’s grandmother due to all the things that contributed to her prolonged hospital stay, which included a heart attack and a pulmonary embolism. But she’s doing much, much better now.

5. What countries did you visit?
Ecuador and the Galapagos (same country, but vastly different). Both were amazing.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Health care through my job.
More financial security.
A larger living space.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Owen’s birth.
My fifth wedding anniversary.
My dissertation defense date.
My graduation ceremony.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Earning my PhD.
Getting healthy.

9. What was your biggest failure?
With the goal of mental health, I’m not answering.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I threw my shoulder out again on December 26th, 2009, and thus spent the first 3-4 months of 2010 re-healing it.
I was diagnosed with a fairly non-serious medical disorder that is now under control.
Mild aches and pains at times, especially when I took up running again.
But in general, pretty healthy, especially right now!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Baby clothes for Owen.
A trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos.
Perfect Christmas presents for everyone. It took awhile to find just the right thing for each and every person, but I did! This is, quite honestly, my favorite part about Christmas.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Rent and groceries and utilities and boring adult things.
Paying for my own health care for the second half of the year. Maybe I should have re-thought that whole graduating and no-longer-a-student thing. But it was worth it.

13. What did you get really excited about?
Owen’s birth.
Graduating with my PhD.
My new job.
Elizabeth’s residency here in the Bay Area, meaning she and Mark will continue to live here and we can see them all the time.
The San Jose Sharks pummeling the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL Conference semi-finals.

14. What song will always remind you of 2010?
Black Eyed Peas “I gotta feeling”. (Was that even this year?) But it was a good year and a good song.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

A bit thinner. Maybe happier.
Overall about the same. And happy with that.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Scuba diving.
Exploring California like we always say we’re going to do.
But in general, it was a really good year just the way it was.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Not much. Complaining, maybe, but I think it was a good year. I like it how it was.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
In Iowa, surrounded by family, extended family, and in-law family. Laughing, cooking, taking pictures, sharing memories, gossiping, eating, staying warm.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
Um, I didn’t watch much TV this year, honestly. Except for sports, like Sharks hockey and college basketball. John’s new favorite show is “Wild Justice”, which is pretty good. “Better With You”. “Better Off Ted”.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
“The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer. Love it. Highly recommend it.
Malcom Gladwell’s “Blink”, “Tipping Point” and “Outliers”.
Atul Gawande’s “Complications”.
I’m sure there were more, probably in the romance category, but none that come to mind.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

Songs on the radio I could sing along with.
Handel’s Messiah, as always.
Christmas music, at least for the last month or so.
The group Cage the Elephant, who’s music is great for exercising.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
I think I only went to see two movies this year. A chick flick with Elizabeth, though I can’t remember what it was. And “Eat, Pray, Love” with Shelly. Both were okay, neither were a favorite.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 28. My dissertation was due to my committee about a week later, so I probably spent the day working on it. Went to dinner with friends, if not on my birthday, then right around that time.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
It was great as it was. For others, better health for John’s grandmother. Less heartache in the beginning of the year for my sister. A Stanley Cup for the Sharks instead of for Chicago.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

26. What kept you sane?
John. My friends. My family. Scuba diving. Running. Graduating.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

Learn to be happy with who you are, or work to be who you can be happy being.


Thing One:

John and I are constantly quoting random snippets of things–books, movies, shows–at one another. They’re usually things that are relevant to the situation, but also we like to test one another to see if we can name the source.

One thing we did already, but with extra frequency, was quote Bill Bryson’s “In a Sunburned Country” at one another CONSTANTLY while in Australia. Neither of us could quite believe we hadn’t brought the book to read, but miraculously, the lady next to us on our flight home was reading it!

This book was (a) the first book to ever make me laugh out loud while reading, and (b) one of the reasons I so desperately want to go (back) to Australia and see it properly. Some day!

Thing Two:

I’m constantly making up songs that I sing to pretty much no one buy John and our animals. I have all sorts of songs, usually set to the tune of nursery rhymes, that I sing to the cats, and and an even larger repertoire that I used to sing to my baby bunny boy.

But while in Australia, I came up with a brand new one. While feeding the kangaroos and wallabys, there was a certain amount of material that accumulated on our shoes. Eww. Luckily, the zoo had a shoe cleaning station right outside, which was certainly handy.

Not perfectly clean, but good enough to pass muster.

However, this resulted in the following exchange the next morning while we were waiting to get on the plane to Port Moresby, PNG. I was singing. John wasn’t.

Me: I have ‘roo poo… On my shoe…
John: You’re cute.
Me: …What shall I do?…
John: You’re strange.

Good thing he’s learned to love my strangeness!

I’ve been wanting to write something, and I keep opening up a new draft, and nothing comes out.

So, you get pictures instead.

First, here’s the best birthday present I got: pink bike gloves from Amelia. Aren’t they purty? Especially the palms? I love that the pink stuff hasn’t warn off. And they’re awesome with my pink jersey! P.S. Pink? New favorite color, for, oh, no particular reason (Love you, mommy!).
Pink gloves!
Pink gloves!

Next, you think you’ve got tan lines? You don’t know the meaning of tan lines!! Turns out, the sticky bit of red elastic at the top of my bike arm warmers? Rubs off sunscreen. Even if I put the sunscreen on over an hour before the arm warmers, and only wore the arm warmers for about 20-30 minutes. It was a nice little burn line that’s turned into a nice little tan line. Also, umm, please kindly ignore what a sweat monkey I am immediately following a ride. Okay? Thanks. Oh, and that we didn’t wash out the pans from making sausages and eggs prior to going on the ride. Just ignore the mess in general, okay? Thanks!
Tan line

And last, but not least…..THE HAIR!!! Yes, I know you’ve all been waiting with bated breath. I kept doing my hair in the mornings and then making John take a picture of it. And it always looked funky. Finally, I decided it was misbehaving especially for the camera, and you all would still “ooh” and “ahh” with appropriate cuteness levels (please?) even if it was doing something weird. I’ll admit that the bobbed part in the back isn’t growing on me, but I do love it. Sorry I don’t have a “before” picture. Imagine me with long, straight, parted-down-the-middle hair. This? Much cuter.
Hair back
Hair front

A meme from Julie that it’s taken me awhile to do, but one I’ve been looking forward to over the last long week. Fun fun!

Here are the rules:

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Here’s the meme:

1) What was I doing 10 yrs ago?
Let’s see. Contrary to popular belief, I was not in junior high (or what I’m interpreting as middle school), but a sophomore in high school. Big difference there, I know. I was taking all the standard (honors, because I’m a dork) sophomore classes, running cross country and track, hanging out with all the same kids from freshman year in the beginning. I was in choir, and taking piano lessons, but not in band. I was in Driver’s Ed and waiting to get my license, and learning/practicing driving stick. I got the license by the end of April. I was taking photography and loving it, both for the art and for the cute guy. We started dating in mid-January, which created a rift between me and some long standing friends who thought I should be dating another guy in our “group”. So I lost some old friends and gained a lot of new ones that came with the new boy. However, we dated 2 and 1/2 years and are still good friends, so our gain/their loss.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
Giant experiment, Day 28: lots and lots of sciency stuff. CHECK
Watch the Women’s NCAA Championship game, if I make it home in time, and cheer on Stanford. CHECK
Bake something for John to take to work this weekend when they’re having a sale–I like to feed him and his coworkers with random baked goods all weekend. UMMMM….
Make haircut and pedicure appointments for Amelia and myself. UMMMM….
Figure out how much training I’m going to be able to do for the bike ride we’ve decided to do on the 27th. UMMMM….
Write up the Cinderella Ride for you guys. UMMMM….

3) Snacks I enjoy: 
Bananas with peanut butter.
Chips and salsa or guacamole.
Spready cheese with garlic and herbs.

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Pay back my parents for college.
Cure cancer. And all sorts of other things.
Buy John a fancy car.
Buy a house. And a dog. 
Quit grad school to do something I truly love. Scuba bum, maybe? Photography?

5) Three of my bad habits: 
Can I do three of John’s bad habits? Oh come on! Fine. Three of mine.
I sometimes refuse to talk on the phone unless I know you, like to order pizza, but other times I’m completely okay with it. This drives John nuts. I cruise through stop signs (but never stop lights, and only if there are no cars coming) when I’m biking. I’m messy at times, but I’ll also go on cleaning sprees when it reaches threshold-danger-will-robinson-danger levels. John wants to add to this that I don’t pick up the little rabbit poops that Fred the Bunny leaves around. Bah.

6) 5 places I have lived: 
Tucson, Arizona; Seattle, Washington; Ames, Iowa; Grinnell, Iowa; Palo Alto, California.

7) 5 jobs I have had: 
I fed/watered/changed cages for one of the animal facilities at Iowa State University for awhile, which was by far and away a nasty, smelly, dirty job.
I detassled.
I worked in the chem lab during high school–mostly during 8th period, so I did a lot of dishes. One time, they failed to tell me the survey chem class had been working with silver nitrate. Silver nitrate dyes skin black, for those of you who don’t know. Luckily the wash water diluted it a lot, but I still looked like I’d tanned my hands and wrists and completely missed the rest of my arms. Attractive.
I worked in the science library during college, which meant I got paid to do homework and once every couple of weeks, check out a book. I also was a tutor for Bio and Chem.
I worked in the men’s department at Younkers, a department store in the midwest that’s owned by Saks 5th Ave. Men’s areas are great to work in because (a) men hardly ever try clothes on, and (b) when they do, they usually try on one item, and (c) if they do try on more, it’s usually just jeans, which are easy to fold. And you make bank during the holidays selling to people who don’t know what to get their fathers.
Then there’s all the actual science jobs I’ve ever had that I won’t bore you with.
(Dear god, I really am a complete dork, aren’t I?)

8 ) 5 bloggers that I wanna know more about: 
There’s Al, who lives in Latteland and has an insanely busy time at work coming up so he may not be able to respond, but he’s always witty and interesting. There’s Lara, who’s always clever with words and looks funny in a clown nose. There’s Sass, who’s going to grad school in Chicago and to whom I wish loads of luck in dealing with that while being so far from AS. There’s Moose, who lives up in the city and reads trashy romances like I do–thanks for the recommendations!! And there’s Bratfink, who writes more in a day than I can read in a week, but is always entertaining and has fun links!


May 2018
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