Thursday, December 31, 2009

Decade in Review

I am shamelessly stealing this idea from Beth.

2000 began at a random bar with Di in Markham (before she and Mike got together!), involved spending the day with Katie and her Michigan girls, then attending a Hip concert with Dave and the Georgetown boys. Dave and I were not together, but I'd just broken up with Josh and the Mac/Mc reunion took place just over 1 week later. That year, we both finished our undergrad degrees, graduating the same week that Leah was born. In May, I went to Thailand, Korea and Japan for my 2nd study abroad through Michigan State (this time for grad school credit). Dave moved back to Georgetown, Ben moved to Chicago, Beth to Vancouver. I visited East Lansing, MI several times and went to Cooperstown. Leanne (not my maid of honour, the other one) moved in with me and I started grad school, once again at Guelph. Dave started working for the company he still calls his employer.

In 2001, NYE was spent in Montreal with Sarah (before she was with Kevin), Dave and assorted Guelph friends. I was still in graduate school, working as a research assistant and TA and receiving some great scholarships. I was done classes, though, so my schedule was my own. As a result, I travelled A LOT! In February, Dan and I visited Ben in Chicago. In March, I went to Paris with my folks. In April, Dave, roommate Leanne and I went to DisneyWorld (my first time). And that summer, Katie and I embarked on an amazing road trip - NY, DC and Boston - visiting friends and playing tourist. We spent time at the WTC (in line at the TKTS booth) and a couple weeks later, I was a mess when I watched the towers fall. In November, Dan and I headed back to Chicago for Ben's birthday. And at Christmas, Beth and her then husband came back to Ontario. They were with us when we got the call that Dave's grandfather had died after a battle with Alzheimer's.

2002 did not have an auspicious start. Dave and I spend NYE on the couch in my parents' basement, suffering from strep throat and getting psyched up for his Poppy's funeral. The year improved, though. In March, I went to Belgium with my parents. Dave and I went to Michigan several times. I submitted my thesis in June, and immediately went to the DR with Di and Dawn. I successfully defended my thesis in early August, and Sierra was born a week later. I moved back to Georgetown. In September, Dave and I went to Ottawa (I chatted with a future boss at Health Canada), and Jorge got married. In October, I celebrated my 25th birthday with my Nonna in Italy. And I spent the fall doing occasional supply teaching and applying for jobs in the government.

2003 was rung in at the apartment of Jorge and his new wife; they hosted a party. Soon after, Dave and I went on a trip to DisneyWorld. Happily, I was offered a job with the CFIA in February. I worked part of the time in Guelph and part in Ottawa. In late March, I found out that I'd been accepted into the MTP with Health Canada, and waited on details. In June, I found out that I'd start language training in Toronto in the fall, and would move to Ottawa after I finished. With details FINALLY in place, Dave was given the ok to ring shop ;). His Nanny died at the very beginning of July, though, so the ring was burning a hole in his pocket until July 6th. We set the date for the following Thanksgiving of 2004. In August, Dave and I visited Ben and Erin in Chicago. In October, my parents took us on an engagement trip to Baltimore and DC on the -1 anniversary of our wedding. I also left the CFIA and started language training in downtown Toronto. That's where I met Tania (and eventually Mark). In December, Sarah and Kevin got married.

2004 began in Woodstock at the apartment of Sarah and Kevin, who'd just returned from their honeymoon. It was a stressful year, with language training (if I didn't demonstrate proficiency at a very high level, I would have no job - a fate that awaited several of my friends). Wedding planning took place throughout the year, and I took a week of unpaid leave in March to go to Paris with my parents. In May, Blaine and Colleen were married. In June, my bridal party converged in Vancouver for a bachorette weekend; it was amazing. It was also the weekend that my maid of honour - Leanne and bridesmaid Justin started dating. It didn't work out, but it was a riot to see! In early August, my parents and I went to Quebec City, and I went through a stress-related near breakdown as I prepared for my oral interaction exam (I'd breezed through the written ones). I did very well on the exam, though, and got my level on the 20th of August. Plans to move to Ottawa were set in motion. September was a blur of finalizing wedding details and moving and job plans. Di and Mike got married on the 25th. On the 27th, movers packed my stuff. On the 28th, I moved. I started my new job on the 30th and on the 6th of October, I flew back to the GTA to get married. Talk about a crazy week! Our wedding was on October 9th, one week after my 27th birthday. The next day, we flew off to Venice for our honeymoon, a Med cruise. We got back at the end of October, and headed back to Ottawa. Dave started to work in the Ottawa office on the 1st of November. And at the end of December, my father retired.

We rang in 2005 at Tania's apartment, dragging Jen and Greg along. By early in the year, it was becoming clear that the spot I was working at Health Canada - a place I thought I'd be doing my dream job - was more of a nightmare. I spent months trying to come up with ways to improve the situation, but I was thwarted at every turn. Happily, I was on a developmental program and was able to leave without too many problems, although I stuck it out (fighting depression) until August. I started a job in another policy shop, but soon realized that policy was not for me. I did some soul searching and realized that maybe, just maybe, I'd like Human Resources. And one of my acquaintances -- also on the program - called me out of the blue because she was in an HR assignment and thought I'd be a great fit to replace her. Dave and I did some travelling, too. In April, we went to Quebec City to vouch for Jen and Greg so they could get married in that province. In July, we had a big trip to Michigan for Ben and Erin's wedding and to visit Katie. In August, we celebrated Jen and Greg's wedding in Quebec. And over Labour Day, we went to Las Vegas to celebrate Dave's 30th. I expected to tolerate Vegas, but I LOVED it! We celebrated our anniversary in Vermont. In November, we went to Nova Scotia (I went to a conference and Dave tagged along) and Beth came to visit us. Oh, and in family news, my Mom retired in March, and my parents moved to Almonte, only 45 mintues away. They love it and we are so happy for them!

2006 began in our apartment, once again celebrating with Greg and Jen. And two days later, I began my new MTP assignment, one that would change to course of my career. It was baptism by fire - running recruitment campaigns and job fairs, then taking over as coordinator of an elite recruitment program all in 6 months! My director was amazing and I clicked with the team. I was exhausted, though -- from January to May, I worked 7.5 weeks of OVERTIME (you know, in addition to my normal work week). Dave and I managed to squeeze in a trip to the Caribbean in early February. Jacob was born at the very end of that month. And then, things started to go off the rails. My Aunt Flo had what we then thought was a stroke in early March. It turned into a series of brain bleeds that completely incapacitated her and forced her to live the rest of her life in nursing homes. Beth's marriage fell apart, and her long-awaited PhD defence was blocked by a vindictive external examiner. Dave and I had booked our trip to Vancouver already, though, so we headed out to distract her. In April, I went to a conference in St. John's and my parents came out to play tourist with me. And in June, Dave, my parents and I went England and embarked on a cruise of the Baltic Sea. Russia was amazing, and my parents fell in love with cruising. In August, I flew back to Vancouver for Beth's rescheduled defence. We celebrated my 29th birthday and our anniversary on a cruise to Bermuda. And we wound down the year with the decision that we wanted to start looking for a house - in Blackburn Hamlet.

2007 began quietly in our apartment. January was my busiest time of year at work, and the overtime was nuts. As usual, I had strep and/or a sinus infection for the better part of 2 months. At the beginning of February, we headed to Vegas for a week-long getaway, including a side trip to Utah and one to urgent care for my illness. And we started looking for houses with our amazing agent, viewing everything that came on the market in the area. In early March, we were outbid on the first house we'd liked. At the end of that month, I flew out to Vancouver to see Beth. Several days later, we flew to Calgary to meet up with Dave and hang out with Justin for a week. Calgary isn't my favourite, but the Rockies are amazing and we liked Drumheller too. In May, we found the house we ended up buying and made an offer right away. We celebrated with an already-planned trip to Vermont. We spent most of June trying to pack up the homes of my Aunt Flo and Nonna - both pack rats - after my Nonna sold her houses in what had become the Queen's student ghetto. We helped her move to a much nicer neighbourhood at the end of that month, inheriting a great deal of Flo's furniture and her amazing book collection. That all went into storage as we prepared for our move in August. And right in the middle of the move, I had to go on a mandatory MTP graduation course outside of town. It was an amazing week! In July, we visited Dave's family in Newfoundland and attended Tania and Mark's wedding while in September, we went to Edmonton for Deepa and David's big day. And we celebrated my 30th birthday in Vegas with Blaine and Colleen. In November, I flew to Chicago to see Katie and for Ben's 30th birthday. And in December, I suffered a miscarriage at 12 weeks. Happily, Beth came to visit us after Christmas!

2008 was another quiet night at home as I prepared for my busiest time at work. January was brutal and I was once again ill, but a treat was around the corner. On February 1st, Dave and I flew to Auckland for a cruise of New Zealand and Australia. It was AMAZING! We met awesome people, too, and we flew to Atlanta to meet up with them in July. By then, I was pregnant with Teddy! In August, I flew out to Vancouver to see Beth (poor Dave was out of vacation time) and my parents joined me for a cruise to Alaska. As the year wound down, it was clear that big changes were happening at my work, but I didn't feel right changing jobs with only a month or two left to work before my maternity leave. The horrible transit strike in Ottawa was the straw that broke the camel's back; I went off on leave at the very end of the year. And at Christmas I made a sad prediction - that neither Flo nor my Grandma would be with us at Christmas 2009.

2009 began quietly at home because I was VERY pregnant. I spent early January nesting and on the 20th, Teddy was born. After his tongue-tie became apparent - and the release didn't really work - I began my romance with the pump. The thrush and mastitis made that romance short-lived, but the expressing continues to this day (nearly a year!). By February, it was clear that Flo was fading; she died in early March. We brought Teddy to meet Great-Grandma Mary and Great-Grandpa Jack in April, and they weren't looking well. Grandpa died in August and Grandma in October. And our dear friend Greg - husband of Jen - fell ill in the Spring and took his own life in July. I hope that I attend far fewer funerals in 2010. In August, my job evaporated. The job functions moved elsewhere and 3 people (who make more $) are now doing the job - no wonder I was so stressed! In a positively providential turn of events, I found another interesting job - one for which I was their number one choice - 2 days later! At the end of August, Teddy was baptised. In September, we flew to Vancouver to visit Beth, Deepa and other friends. My parents joined us and the 5 of us embarked on a cruise down the coast to LA, visiting Maggie and Katie en route and celebrating my birthday and our 5th anniversary. We welcomed lots of new friends into the world. And we had a lovely Christmas.

2010 promises new challenges. I head back to work on Monday the 4th of January and Teddy will be off to Daphne's every day. We'll have several weddings - Katie and Nathan in July, my cousin Erin and Ashley in August. And we've a big trip planned in April/May. I am sure that there will be more surprises, too!

I wish all of you a Happy and Blessed New Year!


  1. For the record: this post is just shy of 2,500 words, and she churned it out in about two hours. ALL OFF THE TOP OF HER HEAD, PEOPLE!

    Baby, I look forward to another ten years of you being smart and efficient. So I don't have to be.

  2. Your cousin Erin is getting married? Isn't she, like, 12 years old???

    @Dave - This is why Sarah is my resident historian. I don't need a memory because Sarah has memory enough for both you and her and then some leftover for me too!

    Happy New Year!