I'm a big fan of a blog/page called Operation NICE and this week's NICE Assignment (as seen here) is to list 5 of your favorite things from the past year. I'm always looking for fun and creative ways to memorialize the year gone by, so I jumped at the chance. But to pick only 5?!?! Yikes! That'll be the real challenge. So here goes:
1. My Trip to NYC to visit Tiffany in March. To me, this trip stood for a whole heck of a lot more than just visiting one of my best friends on this planet. To me, it was a challenge, a goal, and a success!! I had serious anxiety over making that 6-hour drive, alone, in winter, with two boys under the age of 4. I still remember seeing the City skyline come over the horizon and crying instantaneously. A feeling of pride, accomplishment, and power surged over me when I realized I had done it. And done it well! We had a fabulous stay with Tiffany and Brielle that (blessed!) weekend! The weather was horrible but the company was warm and inviting and the memories were priceless!!!
2. My trip to Arizona with my sister to see my cousin get married in April.
Another trip of a lifetime was the plane ride I took with my sister to Arizona for my cousin, Todd's wedding. We were both fortunate enough to leave our children home with our husbands to make the cross country trip as solo sisters. What fun we had! For 5 days, we shared a room, hung out with our cousin, Billy and his daughter, Clara, went shopping, took the hotel shuttle into town to sight see and bonded with family. It was good to have that undistracted time away with my sister to reconnect.
3. Moving to the new house. While there was much stress and anxiety over making this move, I am so glad we did it! We found a great house on 5 acres of beautiful land, in an area that has a great school for the boys, family nearby, and great neighbors! I miss our old house and hold tight to the memories we made in the 6 years we lived there, but love where we are now. It feels like home and is comfortable to just be here.
4. My nephew, Ian, joining our family. For a long time we thought my brother, Noah, would never agree to having children. He was holding out for all the stars to align and finally, while on my trip to NYC, I got a call from him to announce they were having a baby!!! I was so excited! A few months later, we learned that they would be bringing a BOY into the ranks to grow up with my two and I was even more excited! Then, when we found a house (literally) 42 seconds up the street from my brother and sister-in-law and moved in the month before my nephew was due, I was elated! Now that Ian is here it feels like he's always been here and I don't know what we'd have done without him. Wendy is the mother I always wish I had the time and patience to be so I knew she'd have this role down pat. I can't wait for my boys to grow up with their cousin just up the street.
5. TIE - F-H-M Fire Department visit (and the outpouring of love from the whole FD Community) and Taking a Photoshop with my dear friend, Heidi. I couldn't decide which was more profound in 2010 so I picked both for the individual, yet equally important meanings they held.
As for the Photoshop class, I chose it not so much for the class itself, I mean, yeah it was great stuff to learn and rounded out a whole slew of positive steps forward that I took in my photography in 2010, but i was thinking of it as my favorite more for the fantastic chain of events taking that class set off. During this class, Heidi's husband, Joey, managed to single-handedly save my butt from the potential disaster of computer failure or data loss. Not only did he volunteer to take all the kids (5 of them total!) while Heidi and I attended class 3 hours a week for 6 weeks, but while these weekly gatherings were taking place, Joey overhauled my entire computer and storage system and set me up with a permanent and secure copy of all my digital files - in one place! Now it backs up automatically and is safe from all sorts of potential dangers! The relief that brings me is indescribable! I can't thank the Ciravola Family enough for all they have done for me, my boys, and my mental well being in 2010!
Regarding the fire department love Nathaniel received this year, you can read about it all here, but in summary, the single actions and grand gestures these firemen and women expressed the last few months has given me a whole new respect for people in their line of service and restored my faith in society as a whole. It's truly remarkable and Nathaniel nor I will ever forget it!
Of course there were other moments in 2010 I'd like not to forget. We did some boating, camped with friends, spent a lot of time up North at Mom and Dad's new camp, attended a Stanton family reunion, went to State and County Fairs, spent a lot of time with friends, and I was proud to be asked to take photos for a few separate events through work and for friends. 2010 was very good for us. As we settle into our new home and new routines, I look forward to ringing in 2011 with some of the best people I know and starting off the new year with a fresh spirit, renewed energy, and recharged motivations! Stay tuned for some of my goals, aspirations, and plans for the coming year! Happy new year!