Inspired by Stephanie over at The Creative Mama, I'm going to attempt to narrow down all the awesomeness of 2010 (a little sarcasm there, yes) into my top 10 favorite things. Not including my wonderful husband and adorable child, of course ;-)
[I'm actually sitting here stressing out about how to order these things, because I don't want you to think that number one is somehow much more amazing than number ten. Sigh. Let's just agree that these are in no particular order, okay???]
1) Dancer Kilts, the web site I researched and designed this year, which categorizes various Highland Dance outfits by color and tartan. Yes, it is a very particular niche of interest. Yes, I spent hours researching it and putting the site together. Yes, I predict I will continue to spend hours on it for years to come. And it feels goooood!
2) The unexpected road trip my husband and I took from Texas to Oregon and back again, in barely more than a week, this summer. I had a job interview, my flight was canceled, and the rest is history. Out of an eight day trip, we spent five in the car driving like our hair was on fire. Well, so to speak - husband doesn't have any hair ;-) You get the picture, though.
3) BurdaStyle, one of my favorite new web sites to turn to for sewing inspiration, project galleries, and free patterns. I even entered a sewing contest there this year! Nope, didn't win, but did make someone very happy with the finished product and enjoyed every minute of it.
4) Our new-ish toothbrush holder from The Container Store, the Grassy Toothbrush Organizer by Umbra. I think it's extravagant to spend $10 on a toothbrush holder, and I spent about six months debating the merits of this item before deciding to purchase it. Now I smile every time I walk into our bathroom. Totally worth it :-)
5) Facebook is not, obviously, a new phenomenon (although I'm old enough to remember when you had to have a university e-mail address to join!), but I appreciate how it lets me keep in touch with all of my friends easily. From Hawaii to Switzerland and all points in between, time zones, work schedules, and long distance bills are no match for the festive, picture-filled goodness that is my Facebook network. Our parents really appreciate that they can log on and view innumerable photos and videos of Monkey Boy, as well.
6) Speaking of Monkey Boy, have I mentioned how **ECSTATIC*** I am that he took up Highland Dancing in 2010?!?! He has already done about a dozen shows and competed in three competitions and, I have to say, he is better at 5 1/2 with one year of dancing than I was after two or three years (I started at age 8). I love dancing myself, I love teaching dance and all of our students, but there is something really special about your child falling in love with something that you have spent most of your life adoring. Sigh of happiness...
7) I'm an Organizing Junkie, a great place to start if you're trying to organize your house, your family, your life. Laura is totally a friend in my head, as Wendy Williams would say. This web site encouraged us to start meal planning in 2010 and continually gives me inspiration to declutter, organize, and containerize our home. I also received Laura's new book for Christmas and am enjoying reading it slowly, savoring each tip and the gorgeous pictures!
8) (The Customer is) Not Always Right: Funny & Stupid Customer Quotes. This web site makes me miss working retail during grad school. It's just funny. It is. Sometimes you need something to laugh at that has nothing to do with your life, and this is where I go for that. Make sure to visit the restroom before you read it, and maybe save it for when your spouse isn't home, because otherwise he will get concerned (or irritated) when you periodically bust out laughing for what seems like no apparent reason.
9) My calendar and my planner. I literally could not function without them. My calendar for the past three years has been Sandra Boynton's Mom's Calendar. It's cute, it's funny, it's functional. It makes me happy and keeps us organized, and I can tell at a glance that I've remembered to pay the bills that month (ooh, speaking of - I know what I'm doing this afternoon!). My planner goes everywhere with me. I have been using the same one (with yearly refills) for eight years now and I will never give it up for a PDA. I'm just old school like that. I like my schedule safely in my hands, bound in leather and written in pencil so that everything can be rescheduled, if necessary. The pages outline each hour of each day of the week, perfect for keeping track of my clients, errands, appointments, activities, etc. Quo Vadis calls it the Academic Minister. I call it genius.
10) I know I have waxed poetic about Freecycle in the past, but it really can be part of a lifestyle change when you commit to keeping things out of the dump. Driving past the dump (or "Mt. Lewisville", as it is affectionately referred to by locals) each Sunday on the way to and from church reminds me of how many still-serviceable things are thrown away each day. Freecycle encourages each of us to go a step beyond the possible monetary value of items and focus on what's really important - lessening our environmental footprint so as to preserve the beauty of the Earth for our children. And yes, I was raised in Oregon!
So there you have it, ten of my favorite things from 2010. Make sure to visit The Creative Mama to read Stephanie's list and the lists linked up by other bloggers. And, if I don't make it back here tomorrow, enjoy a safe and festive New Year's Eve! See you in 2011!