{A Year-End Review, The Best of 2009}

Thursday, March 04, 2010

It's hard to describe (lists are still easier for me sometimes) how wonderful the past 12 months have been; a year marked by spontaneity, gratitude, and learning how to focus more on the right things. I know it wouldn't have been as great had it not been for God's mercy and grace experienced best through the friends and family in my life. 2009, I'm archiving you away as one of my favorite years ever.

So here are some highlights (in no particular order) ...

1. Writing daily letters to Mr. Loerke (bet you didn't see that one coming)
2. Winning our P90X pool at work
3. Becoming faithful recyclers (finally)
4. Riding 42mi in the Cleburne Goatneck
5. Taking Spiral Diner's Dessert Cooking Class
6. Having Thanksgiving dinner in June
7. Running on the beach in Santa Cruz with the Twinner
8. Camping in CO with dear friends
9. Seeing my first Bon Iver show at the Ogdon
10. Tagging at Cadillac Ranch
11. Entering AT's Small Cool Contest
12. Sudan 5K Foot Race
13. Taking pictures with my Holga
14. Serving in the pre-marrieds class with Mr. Loerke
15. Getting my tattoo
16. Reconnecting with a dear friend from college, AKD
17. Eating my first cupcake from Hey Cupcake! with Molly Haverly
18. Riding 54mi in the Wish100 with Wendy Miller
19. Going to the Big Orange Pumpkin Farm with the Grubb's
20. Tim reaching the halfway mark of PA school
20b. (The best memory of 2009 has yet to happen, but shhh ... it's a surprise)

People often ask me for music recommendations, and although not all of these songs were released in 2009, they will forever remind me of the last 12 months. And as always, I started with 40 something songs but narrowed my list down to 20 (for those of you who like round numbers).

Favorite Songs (in no particular order)
1. What If I Leave - Rachael Yamagata
2. Brackett, WI - Bon Iver
3. Blue Ridge Mountains - Fleet Foxes
4. Never Think - Rob Pattinson
5. I Turn Red - Leona Naess & Ray LaMontagne
6. Rake (Greenpoint Version) - Sufjan Stevens
7. Laundry Room - The Avett Brothers
8. Service Bell - Feist & Grizzly Bear
9. Whimper and Wail - The Wheel
10. Solomon - The Wheel
11. Dream - Priscilla Ahn
12. Temazcal - Monsters of Folk
13. Rosyln - Bon Iver & St. Vincent
14. Poison & Wine - Poison & Wine
15. That Year - Brandi Carlile
16. Denton, TX - Damien Jurado
17. I've Got Ideas - Amy Seeley
18. Low Rising - The Swell Season
19. Slow Hands - Zee Avi
20. Time Flies - Lykke Li

Best Album(s) of the year:

1. Live at Eddie's Attic - The Civil Wars
2. Desire and Dissolving Men - The Wheel
3. Blood Bank - Bon Iver
4. I and Love and You - The Avett Brothers
5. Strict Joy - The Swell Season

Favorite Concerts / Live Events:

1. Indigo Girls (Lakewood Theater, Dallas)
2. Bon Iver (Ogden Theater, Denver)
3. Bon Iver (Fox Theater, Oakland)
4. Xavier Rudd (HOB, Dallas)
5. The Swell Season w/ Rachael Yamagata (The Palladium, Dallas)
6. Brett Dennen & Erin McCarley (The Loft, Dallas)
7. Jim Gaffigan (Majestic, Dallas)

Favorite Movies

1. Bottle Shock
2. Julie & Julia
3. Blind Side
4. 500 Days of Summer
5. Twilight: New Moon

Favorite Books:
1. The History of Love, Nicole Krauss
2. Sacred Companions, David Benner
3. In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan

Favorite Eats:

1. Spencer Sundae, Legal Grounds (Dallas)
2. Tacos al Pastor, Guero's (Austin)
3. Chocolate Coconut Mango Paletas, Paleteria Chihuahua (Dumas, TX)
4. Coffee Cake & Chai Latte, The Pearl Cup (Dallas)
5. The Simpleton Sammy, Spiral Diner (Dallas)
6. Crisped Salmon, Mercury Grill (Dallas)
7. Sundae Sack, Eno's (Dallas)
8. Pumpkin Pancakes, Magnolia Cafe (Austin)
9. Tom ka Guy Soup, Plearn Thai (Walnut Creek)
10. J.C.B. Burger, Brother's Bar (Denver)

Favorite New Websites:
1. Smitten Kitchen
2. A Cup of Jo
3. Nienie
4. Desire to Inspire
5. 1,001 Rules for My Unborn Son

Favorite Bargain:
Finding 8 antique Ball Jars for $3 each in Canton, TX

Looking forward to 2010 because ...

1. Tim starts rotations in March (which means 14mos left of PA school)
2. I get to spend my 30th birthday in Maui with the best Twinner in the world
3. We'll be celebrating our 5 yr anniversary
4. Mom will be celebrating 15 yrs of sobriety
5. Even more late night dance parties with the Mister

2010, come out and show yourself. We're ready.
E & T


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