2:19 p.m. - 2006-01-04
so Christmas. was really good. And now I'm kicking myself for not writing about it earlier, because I know there were about a thousand things I wanted to get down here. Oh well, they're mostly gone now. a few snippets though: quoting Dave Chapelle with my little brother as we shop for last minute gifts at Ace Hardware; standing in the front yard with my Grandpa, throwing a tennis ball to his spazzy german shorthair; Christmas Eve service the same as always: solemn, happy, tearful; teaching my niece how to call Ditka a "funny doggy," and so much more.
and presents!! a williams sonoma baking cookbook, hooded sweaters, a subscription to Cottage Living. From Mike: blank canvases, an art table, and Sofia Minis. One of the best hauls in recent memory.
I think if 2005 taught me one thing, it's that what Douglas Coupland wrote about in Girlfriend in a Coma is true: (and I paraphrase). . . . no matter how hard you try, you can really only change 5% of yourself. In 2005 it felt like my entire life turned upside down: marriage, moving, new job. . . . though I still feel pretty much exactly the same as I did one year ago, unmarried, living in the city, slaving away at the 'worx. My thoughts and my outlook and my personality remains unchanged; I'm SO still ME.
1. warm august night in des moines, sitting in a circle in my best friend's backyard (with old friends, new friends, even the most well behaved little baby), passing a bag of Franzia around, everyone enthusiastic, determined, and sticky, and Bill and I paper-rock-scissoring over who got to kill the bag. it was truly glorious. all in all, one of the best nights of the year.
2. sufjan stevens at the metro.
3. 2005: the year of engagements. wow, everyone's getting married next year.
4. my old job, with all it's downfalls, had one major thing going for it: my commute on Lake Shore Drive. I still miss it, the sparkling lake, the changing beauty of the seasons.
5. lunch hours in Andersonville: the sandwiches at M. Henry and browsing at Presence. honorable mention: lunch hours in Rogers Park, digging through the old postcards and photographs at The Armadillo's Pillow used bookstore; and bare toes in the hot sand of Pratt Beach.
6. i know this might sound shallow, but for the first time in my life I feel like I actually am developing a style, becoming more stylish. And it makes me feel so much better about myself and my life in general. 2005: the year I became obsessed with fashion.
7. bachelorette party in Iowa City. yeah, that's all I'll say about that.
8. saturday mornings at the "french market" / farmers market in wheaton.
9. creating more: getting sparked by blogs, books, and just some internal urge to DO SOMETHING with myself, to MAKE something. to actually be moving towards a goal in a tangible way. This has been one of the best things about 2005 for me.
10. puggy!!! Ditka is my best little puppy friend. What better what to start a day than a five minute cuddlefest with your weinery little dog?
11. buying our first home. (holy crap, that sounds sooooo grown up.) I'm listing this as a good thing, even though we STILL haven't sold the old condo and that BLOWS, but really: I'm so lucky. I love our fireplace, I love our backyard and can't wait to garden this summer, I love the possibilities that a house presents and look forward to carrying on in my mothers and grandmothers traditions of constantly redecorating. wheee!!
12. "Romaha '05," a weeked reunion in Omaha with my Rome roommates. Always a highlight of every year.
13. my yoga classes in wicker park last winter: one of the first new year's resolutions I've ever kept. And the super healthy feeling of walking home four blocks in the snow, the cold fresh air so much more potent after two hours of intense breathing.
14. kings of convenience at Schuba's, getting my tickets at the last minute, buying the last pink t shirt.
15. songs which will always remind me of this year: "canyon girl" by the fruit bats, "in state" by kathleen edwards, "everyone" by van morrison, "chin up cheer up" by ryan adams, "my mathematical mind" by spoon. and all of richard buckner's "bloomed."
16. though I still have mostly ambivalence towards my career, my new job. it affords me more than 8 hours of sleep every night, lunches at home, and never being stuck on 290 for three hours a day anymore. It's changed my life in a large but non-dramatic way, and isn't that what we all want in changing?
Okay, so. Rounding out the list with some schmoopy stuff, of course.
17. Honeymoon: San Francisco. Walking around Golden Gate State Park as the sun was rising, Seeing Lombard street first thing in the morning, dinners in North Beach, and acquiring my new nickname: Cobbler Gobbler.
18. Honeymoon: Monterrey. Eating wings in the least touristy bar of all time, waking up early to watch the seals on the beach, visiting one of the best aquariums in the world.
19. Honeymoon: Sonoma. The most charming hotel of all time, our tasting at Cakebread (I will officially declare it the best 20 minutes of my entire year, seriously: higher plane of existence); meandering around downtown Sonoma; having a picnic at the Jack London State Park, so pretty.
20. Honeymoon: Mendocino/Little River. We stayed in a little hotel/resort on the northern coast of California, had an entire section of cabins to ourselves, and did little more than sit on the porch drinking wine and watching the ocean and the steller's jays flit around in the trees. And the resort's restaurant was amazing, definitely the best meals of our honeymoon.
21. the days leading up to our wedding, being home and comfortable and surrounded by my family and best friends. walking late in the evening to the Dari Barn with my old dude friends from high school and my old girl friends from college. . . ultimate friendship.
22. then we got married. . . .yay!!! it's too hard to wrap up that day; it's too big, and to be honest I sometimes still can't believe it actually happened and is in the past. And I marvel at all that happened within those 12 or 13 hours. Though I will say, on a sentimental note, being married by your father is pretty amazing, and something I feel very very lucky to have experienced.
23. the best thing about a wedding day: every single person you care about being with you and being happy for you. I loved my bridesmaids. I loved seeing everyone's faces as I walked down the aisle with my dad. I loved the next day at our memorial day picnic, all my friends sprawled out in the grass, and that the Brandt team actually beat the Licht team in our softball tournament. eat it, Licht!!!
24. Being married. I know it's cliche and everything, but it really is all the little things that make marriage so great. Getting my feet rubbed on a regular basis. Mike and I watching episodes of The Soup and Family Guy over and over, and still laughing hysterically together every time. Just the inconsequential little stuff. I mean, I really do get to spend every day with my best friend. Which leads me to. . . .
25. I feel like I'm forgetting about a million good things. Really, in the place of all these 25 things, I could have listed 25 friends or family members or groups of people. I've learned a lot this year, and one major major thing is that without strong connections with people, I'm nothing. So for number 25, it's gotta be the old standby. Friendship.