Posted on January 4, 2010
This Is The Way It Went
While 2009 probably won’t win any “Best Of…” awards from yours truly, I can’t say it wasn’t jam-packed with memorable events, milestones, personal triumphs and more good times than I can stuff into a blog post.
I kicked off the year in usual low-key fashion but wasted no time getting my year on.
Feeding into our insatiable thirst for gun-play, Amy and I officially formed Team Extreme Pistol. To date, our chapter has yet to hold its first meeting.
Rebecca‘s got the first birthday of the year, so a few of her nearest and dearest gathered at the Opus to clink glasses.
Birthday number two belongs to Amy, so Alissa, Lindsay and I dragged the birthday girl to Las Margaritas for tequila and pitchers of margaritas.
What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than shredding the slopes of Mount Washington? I didn’t think so.
Some friendships were built for adventure and my friendship with Chelsea is one of those friendships. At the end of February we embraced the rain and hit the border for a hike and a raid on American candy in Point Roberts.
I spent a good chunk of March packing up my apartment after deciding to ditch the West End for newer digs in a pet-friendly building. I wish I remembered more of the end of that month, but it ended in a drunken love fest when Raymi took over Vancouver.
Mmmmaybe a bit awkward at first, but not really.
Beer helps, eh hosers?
I sobered up from that epic, whisky-soaked weekend just in time to welcome the birth of my first niece. On April 3, 2009, Sienna Lynn was born to my brother and his girlfriend Laura.
Shortly before that, three friends and I packed a tarp burrito three times in a pick-up truck and moved all my prized possessions to a new apartment.
The carpet, pre-dog.
Sometimes timing in life seems nothing short of immaculate. At three years old and full of both love and anxiety, I brought Jordy into his forever home on April 19.
He is nothing short of amazing.
One area in which 2009 certainly excelled was friendships. While some were lost, many more were gained.
(By the way, Andrea, I think we are long overdue for a Blizzard date.)
Each time the BC-SPCA holds an open house, I’m there with bells on. John, Rebecca and I stopped in during the May open house and said hello to our furry friends and our buddy, Special Constable Angie.
C’mon… you know you want to help and donate.
Simple as it may be, one of summer’s highlights was certainly this killer salad from Milestone’s paired with raspberry mojitos. My friends and I found ourselves on their patio more than a handful of times.
In June I dragged Andrea to Vancouver Island for her first visit in many, many years. No trip is complete without a sampling of Island Farms ice cream from the Coombs Old Country Market.
We love animals.
On the ferry we met Beth, the sweetest Rottweiler you’ve never met.
After how many years in Vancouver, I finally took in my first Canadians game.
Peanuts aside, when old friends get together, there’s more catching up going on than watching baseball.
While our fun times are many, one of my favourite days with Rebecca (and a few other fantastic people) was our Sins of the City Tour with the Vancouver Police Museum. We even found ourselves underground in a former Chinatown opium den at one point.
Come July, Rebecca and I traded our rain boots in for aqua sox when we took in a girls’ weekend on Vancouver Island in Parksville-Qualicum.
When we weren’t paddling our kayaks, we were indulging in luxurious spa treatments, lounging in the Grotto pool, dining on unbelievable food, wandering picturesque parks and whacking mini golf clubs. I’d go back and do it all over again in a heartbeat!
There’s nothing more important in this life than family – whether it’s the one you’re born into or the one you make for yourself. Needless to say, I was so happy that my brother, his girlfriend and baby Sienna made the move from Dawson Creek back to the Comox Valley.
Spending a summer with them all was priceless!
While it was a big jump out of my comfort zone, I’ve slipped into the role of doting auntie with far more ease than I gave myself credit for.
It’s not surprising to say that my own fur baby made more than a world of difference in my life since April. What was most fascinating to me was to see how much he had grown – quite literally – since adoption day. Though his personality has made leaps and bounds by shining through and his anxiety is almost non-existent, his body has grown too. Perhaps a lack of love stunted his physical growth, but since April he’s put on three pounds of muscle and a few inches of height. Or maybe his proud and happy heart just causes him to stand a little taller than he used to…
Vancouver Island holds many gems in its folds, but few seem to shine quite as bright as the West Coast. My mom had never been to Tofino, despite living on Vancouver Island for more than forty years, so the time was now.
Despite the fact that it was the month of August, cold temperatures kept me shivering the entire time.
I decided that next time I go, I’m taking someone that I can stay in bed all day with when the sun decides to hide.
I love wine – a lot. When Mount Washington held it’s annual wine festival, I grabbed Laura and we made our way up the mountain.
I’ll take five of everything, please.
August’s fun didn’t end there. For the first time ever, I took in the Big Time Out Festival in Cumberland. While it was Sam Roberts and his band that I was itching to see, I discovered some great new music with some great old friends.
Making your way to the top of the Grouse Grind is a rite of passage for Vancouverites. It was a rite, however, I had yet to claim. The same went for Craig, so we spent a sunny Sunday trekking to a gorgeous view of the city.
The hike was, uh, fun, but my favourite part was meeting the rescued grizzly bears at the top.
For two years now, I’ve made a point in raising funds for the BC-SPCA through their annual Paws For A Cause walk. This year my generous readers donated more than $1,300 to benefit the Comox Valley branch!
Jordy made some new friends but Charley was a bit more cautious.
October is all about Halloween. Since we hadn’t been to Playland in over a year, Rebecca and I found some thrills at the PNE’s Fright Nights. She even dared to enter one of the haunted houses with me!
We both fell in love…
…and on the big day, we gathered with a few of our friends for an exclusive party in the City of Vancouver’s former morgue.
It was a pretty tasty time for all of us.
What’s that saying some cynical blog readers abide by? “If there are no pictures, it didn’t happen.” While that could be true in some cases, I really did travel to Phoenix in November to spend a few days with an old friend.
I landed on Veterans’ Day and we went straight to the US Airways Center to catch the Phoenix Suns slaughter the New Orleans Hornets. Sadly, this was the only picture I took the entire time I was there. Pictures or no pictures, I had an incredibly memorable time.
Christmas rushed in and it was so nice to be able to trim the tree with my brother and his family for the first time in three years.
Before it was time to get merry, it was time to get happy as I celebrated my birthday with a few friends, strong whisky and an utterly fabulous pair of heels.
Pepper and I washed back our fair share of martinis, including the Sour Grinch.
I’ll take any chance to bake I can get! To get ready for holiday entertaining, Rebecca and I spent an entire day in the kitchen blending, stirring, rolling, baking and icing.
I won’t deny that it’s a bit cliché to spend time reflecting on the past and considering the future as the calendar rolls over, but it’s a moment not to be missed. While I am happy to see much of this year pass, I am beyond thrilled at the possibilities that 2010 holds for me and for my life. As I enter the next 12 months, it’s my desire to consider things from an outside perspective.
I recently read a captivating book that really helped me examine who I am, what I’ve been through, what I go through and the impact I can have on other peoples’ lives. Questioning what happens to us is a natural (albeit narcissistic) part of the process as humans, and it can be difficult to look outside of ourselves. We can ask any number of questions, wondering why things may have had to impact us, but neglect to ask how the effect we in turn have had on others. Sometimes life doesn’t happen to us; sometimes we happen to life. Sometimes the why has nothing to do with each of us but instead pertains to others. Sometimes life chooses us to stand in the gap for the sake of our family, our friends or even perfect strangers.
My sage and simple advice to each of you is this:
Give joy to others.