Happy New Year! I know some people can't wait to move on to 2011, and for some 2010 was their best year yet. Mr. Mustard and I were just talking about our year over his birthday dinner, and we came to the conclusion that 2010 is a hard year to sum up. You know that saying, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times?" Well, that's it in a nutshell.
This year my 21 year old cousin died tragically in a car accident. My grandpa was diagnosed with cancer and died two weeks later. My mom lost her job just around the time my stepdad's stage 4 cancer returned. My dad and stepmom couldn't lose their jobs because they lost them the year before.
Our house sale fell through three times, after we had already moved out, and we never were able to sell it (but we rented it out for less than our mortgage- oh well). We thought Ginger had lead poisoning and had to move out of our new house temporarily. Oh yea, and I almost forgot, a crazy stalker stole photos of Paprika and started a blog about her pretending Paprika was her child.
What a year.
There have been many good times this year, despite all the hardships. Here is a little look back at our year!
This was our first year since 2004 that I have not been pregnant at all. True.
January we started hiking and getting Ginger used to the great outdoors:
We saw a lot of stage shows this year. Paprika went to Mary Poppins in February, and we followed it up with taking both girls to see Annie on stage, as well as Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Wiz, and finally The Nutcracker just a few weeks ago!
We took a lot of trips to Disneyland. We probably went 20 or 25 times this year.
I think we have enough Disneyland pictures to wallpaper our bathroom.
Okay, maybe our whole house.
In February, we decided to put our house in Pasadena on the market and move to the beach.
We said goodbye to our house in Pasadena, as well as Paprika's very loved preschool (I don't think there is a preschool teacher as great as Ms. D on the planet). There wasn't a dry eye on Paprika's last day.
We were in our new house by March and spent most of the month unpacking!
March and April were spent in a series of DIY home-improvement projects that I did while Ginger was napping. So, in other words, in 20 minute increments!
The kitchen floor "after":
Paprika's room "after":
Ginger's room "after":
In between fixing up the new house, we went to the beach a lot since we're just down the street now.
The beach became hangout numero uno, and we spent many afternoons there soaking up the sun, rays, and lots of sand!
Mr. Mustard had the month of June off, so we took a trip to Maine for a few weeks with his mom. We all fell in love with Maine again while we were there! How could you not? It is a gorgeous dream.
In June, Ginger turned one year old! We celebrated with a party in Indiana with my family there. It was the best!
We made some great memories, including chasing fireflies in the sunset hours...fireflies are something California is missing out on - big time!
In July we celebrated two years since Vivian and Annemarie went to Heaven. I don't know if celebrated is the right word...no words seem to fit how much we miss them.
August brought Mr. Mustard and my 7 year wedding anniversary. That weekend my 21 year old cousin, Steven, was in a horrible car accident. He died on August 8th, and we were all shocked, horrified and inconceivably sad. For someone so bright and young to die so suddenly, it was just an injustice we can't even comprehend. I think about him and his family every day and wish I could change the events of that night. What an incredible man, gone too soon.
We made a trip on short-notice to the funeral and memorial service and got to see my family. Although it was brief, it was one of those events that we could not miss.
Mid-August brought Paprika's 4th birthday and an intimate birthday party at home with her two best friends. She is growing up!
In September, we raised butterflies in our backyard. It was amazing!
We started going to the Aquarium a lot during the summer, and by Fall, it was one of our favorite hang-out spots.
We all especially enjoyed the bird sanctuary and Paprika had lots of long talks with her feathered friends:
Paprika enrolled in Pre-K in September, and after a few bumps, ended up in the perfect classroom for her (one that doesn't meet in the morning- ha!) She has really blossomed in her class and has made a lot of friends there!
In September, my Grandpa was admitted to the hospital for what they thought was gout, and within a week he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. He died at home, peacefully, two weeks later, on October 16th. We travelled to Indiana for his funeral, and got to spend some time with my family remembering his life. When he was in the hospital, I had a great conversation with him on the phone, probably the best I have ever had, and I will treasure it always. He was an incredible man and he is so dearly missed.
October brought an Indian summer to our beach community. Oh, what am I talking about, it's always summer here:
Halloween was magical on our new street, where everyone goes all out. Paprika wanted to keep trick-or-treating for weeks afterwards and it was only when she started thinking about Christmas was she able to let it go.
November brought Thanksgiving up in Santa Barbara, and me crossing off one of my big goals of 2010: giving up my precious Coke. Yup, that's right, I quit The Black Death the day before Thanksgiving and haven't looked back. My poor mother-in-law, husband, and daughters had to put up with me when I was in withdrawl over the holiday. They must really love me...or something! ;-)
In December, we visited Disneyland for the gazillionth time. It was awesome to see all the Christmas lights and get in the holiday spirit.
For Christmas this year, we stayed home (one of our first years not travelling 2000+ miles). I am happy to say that it was a magical Christmas, and so relaxing to just wake up in our own house this year. Cozy. Quiet. Not quite like our year, but good.
And then, just like that, it was 2011!
Thinking of you all, and wishing you a happy, healthy, blessed, and fulfilling new year!