With just a few hours left in 2009, I'd better type fast if I'm going to write a year in review post. We all know that writing posts was not my strong suit in 2009 (at least when compared to say, 2006). Here goes...Places We Went
Oh, the places we went. While not (usually) together, we managed to cover a lot of ground in 2009.
BGD went the most places by far, and to the farthest away places. He traveled by plane, train and automobile to places including MacWorld in San Francisco, New York city, & the Greenbush commuter rail parking lot. Many of his trips were work related (Chicago, Pittsburgh, Ohio, New Jersey) and some were sort of work related (dinner at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, CA). He also managed to combine business & leisure on a few trips to Charlotte, visiting with old friends and neighbors and even scoring tickets to Bruce Springsteen at Bobcats Arena.
While only one of my trips involved plane travel, I did get to visit one of my favorite places, Savannah, GA. Bubbe and I enjoyed the warmth, charm and live oaks in the 'Hostess City of the South' for 4 days back in March. I visited New York twice this year. In September, Ebby and I ventured to the Slyers house near Albany to be part of Aunt Kathy's 40th birthday semi-surprise party extravaganza. Just a few weeks ago, I Bolted to NYC on the bus to enjoy the holiday ambiance (and shopping) with Bubbe. Additionally, I've made countless trips to Target, WalMart and Trader Joe's--all in an effort to avoid the grocery store. I'm happy to report that I was fairly successful in that pursuit.
Ebby enjoys going places too. Countless times she accompanied Daddy to Starbucks on a Saturday morning, bringing along a book or her iPod Touch. Ebby was also lucky enough to go to Charlotte with Daddy to visit her bff Amanda (for Amanda's birthday no less). Daddy also took Ebby to her first Bruce Springsteen concert in August--at the Comcast Center. That was not her first or only concert experience of the summer. I took Ebby to see LeAnn Rimes at the South Shore Music Circus on her birthday. I wonder who got the short end of that stick...
While Will & Cuyler would be perfectly happy to stay within the confines of Bowlesville on the Hill, we did manage to get them out and about a few times. They went to Provincetown via ferry with the family, trekked to the beach countless times over the summer (including our odyssey to Skaket) and even went to the Ringling Brothers circus in October. Both boys even attended their first Red Sox game (separately, with Daddy). Of course every (non vacation) day they make the short yet adventure filled walk to the land of learning (aka elementary school) in the morning.
We did manage a few family trips, sledding at Coast Guard Hill last winter, Duxbury Beach in warmer weather and a couple of arts festivals. Mommy and Daddy also had a few memorable outings of their own, including our celebrity-laden trip to see Bill Cosby at the Music Circus and then Adam Sandler in Boston. And one time in August we went out to dinner in Scituate. That was tasty.Projects We Did
The first thing we paid someone to do, was install a pet containment system to corral the dogs. Yes, we got an electric pet fence. Maisy taking off to the neighbor's yard, eating 3 pounds of raw fish and then throwing it up all over her crate was the last straw. The pet fence works great, and since the initial training period, we've not really had any issues with getting zapped--BGD included.
A few of the other outdoor improvements we tackled ourselves, including fencing the garden, rebuilding the shed ramp, hanging the hammock, installing the zip line, taking down the overburdened wisteria arch and burning countless piles of brush. Ok, BGD may have completed most of those tasks (with some assistance from Uncle and some supervision from yours truly).
I'm an excellent supervisor. Just ask the guys that did the work on our deck extension. Or the crew that rebuilt our front steps, installed a stone patio, replaced our flagstone and grass front path with a stone walkway and dug us a dual pronged drainage system. Really, I'm an excellent supervisor.
Most of my house projects took place inside the house, that's where I shine. Actually, shining is more like dusting and I don't really do that unless absolutely necessary. I paint. I'm an excellent painter. And I mean that. This year I painted 2 bathrooms and my office/mudroom, along with countless pieces of rescued furniture and the ugly brass fireplace screen. I also sewed and/or hung several window treatments and affixed numerous 3-d letters to our walls spelling out words like 'woof', 'write on' and 'art'.People We Saw
Even with our (unheated) unfinished basement and compact BGD office/guest room, we still were able to attract a few out of town visitors to our abode. Our good friends the Slyers visited twice, including once in February (brrr...). The weather was much nicer when they came in May, except for the hour we took them to the beach. Amanda and her mom Stephanie were here for a 4 fabulous days in July. We had a great time showing them Massachusetts, they'd never been. We took them to P-town, downtown Boston and Duxbury Beach--a pretty accurate sampling, no? While a canceled flight by Jet Blue prevented My Cousin Laura from making her 2nd scheduled visit of the summer, she did make it once in early August. It was sunny, we explored a beautiful nearby area overlooking the North River, and she went to a wedding with Uncle Steven as her date. Could she have asked for a better trip, really? Later in August we hosted the 3 As Cookout as Alice (Lemieux), Aurora (Lemieux) and Ann (Townsend) were in town for a visit back to the homeland. Bob Ryder and the Brookses also attended and a good time was had by all--it's all on video.
Not every out of state visitor we saw in 2009 stayed at our house. Back in January we had dinner with my Washington DC cousin John Klein at Bertucci's. In February, my Weymouth to New York pal Marianne attended our vacation Pretzel Party along with her daughters Abigail and Isabelle. In June the kids and I hiked up to Burlington to attend the Ballou family picnic where we visited with Aunt Louise (Florida) and cousins Jean-Marie & Christin (Montana), along with several in-state family members.Milestones Achieved
BGD and I celebrated our 15th anniversary. Celebrated may be too strong a word, more like observed. They say the 16th anniversary is a big one, right?? I see a big love-fest in our future for 2010...
Ebby turned 12 and started 7th grade.
Will turned 9 and started 4th grade.
I turned a couple more years over 40 and BGD turned 2 more years older than that.
We're lucky to have all the grandparents close by and in (relatively) good health to celebrate all the big and small moments throughout the year. The eldest grandparent, Grandpa Bowles, turned 75 this year--on Easter. It's not important to mention how old Nana, Pa & Bubbe turned, except to say they're younger than Grandpa ;-).And That's A Wrap
We hosted holidays and a few parties. Found out our house is more suited for warm weather entertaining than kitchen centered events. Will and Cuyler became full-on Lego worshipers, devoting every inch of available floor space in their room to their plastic building brick creations. Ebby continues to maintain her straight A average at school and her (just about) teenage attitude at home. Jake & Maisy started the year sleeping on the floor and in a crate respectively and seem to have graduated to a king size bed by last night. Me & Ebby went to our first Life Is Good yard sale in February with Shelley and Allie in February. And then our 2nd one this fall. Ebby got a new bike and BGD got a kayak. I sold a few things on etsy and was employed by both Bubbe and Pa--they are in awe of my painting and organizational skills. BGD, me and Ebby all twittered. Me & BGD facebooked. One of us became a crime boss in Mafia Wars and a sheep farmer in Farmville. It wasn't me. Amazingly, I was the only one who had any surgery (had a cyst removed from the palm of my hand) though BGD did make one trip to the ER. Of course I'm not including Uncle, he outdid all of us on the medical front. Four of us had a seasonal flu shot (not BGD), one of us had the H1N1 vaccine (Ebby). One of us is ending the year healthy (Ebby), while the rest of us have a lingering cough and cold. Ebby and Daddy both learned how to play the guitar. A little. Cuyler started learning to play the clarinet and performed in his first concert. Ebby officially became the 2nd tallest member of our family.
All the best to you and yours and us and ours as we welcome 2010.