Wednesday, 5 March 2008

That Was the Year That Was

Hello. This is my new-look blog that I'm trying out. I got bored and depressed with the old one. I hope to add a few other elements at some point. This month marks my one-year anniversary of blogging. What an up-and-down year it's been.

Last March I wrote about not much at all, and I don't think anyone read them. I was timidly trying out a new forum, but didn't really get into the full swing for a while. I was a lonely blogger.

In April we went to Barcelona and London, where I saw Menopause the Musical. I also wrote about the VTech murders and David Halberstam's death and the death of journalism as I knew it.

May saw the kidnapping of Madeleine McCann, my daughter and her friends viewing something unsavoury on the internet, Bill Moyers' address to the graduating class of SMU, and my uncle's unfortunate death from cancer. Problems with my mother were starting to brew.

In June I ran in the Race for Life, argued with my daughter, argued with Colin, who used to contribute to Snuffleupagus' blog, got my first tag (from Debio, who sadly has ended her blog. Where are you, Debio?), went to my 30th high school reunion, celebrated my son's 11th birthday, met Pixie's blog, bemoaned the state of my house and the other gym bunnies' habits getting in the way of mine. I wrote about our local cross-dresser (there are several videos of him on YouTube, some a bit cruel), my daughter going to a disco, and the book "Falling Down" by Don DeLillo. I went to my son's primary school play, the last primary school event I hope to ever attend.

July came and Pixie tagged me to tell seven fascinating facts about myself. I uncelebrated the Fourth of July. The problems with my mother were in full swing and I wrote about what to do about her. The problems I was having communicating with my daughter were also coming to a head. I became a Rockin' Girl Blogger and wrote about rain, rain, rain, then one day of sun.

In August we went to Wyoming and Florida. While in Wyoming we took a side trip to Montana to visit the Little Bighorn Battle site. On the way back through Yellowstone we saw some black bears by the side of the road. Rhys Jones died in Liverpool in August, and still his killer has not been found. Hubby and I celebrated our 15th anniversary and I bought him a bottle of Cristal champagne (and proceeded to drink most of it myself). I started to read a book called "Freakonomics," which tickled me.

I did a poll in September as to whether we should get a dog. I also got up late on my daughter's first day back at school. I shared an article on the Holy Land theme park in Florida. I also got to meet Pixie for the first time in person. I remembered what happened on Sept. 11, 2001 and put some perspective on it. I wrote about Crazy Jill, a woman who made my life miserable for a while but now is not part of it. I won DJ Kirby's Wordless Wednesday caption. I pondered my blogging family tree, and I convinced hubby that we should get a dog. I expressed my concerns about Hillary Clinton (which I still have).

On Oct. 1, I wrote about Jake, our new puppy. He was only seven weeks old and only cost £30 (but a heck of a lot more in vet bills to come). I considered finally getting my British citizenship, but was put off by the ridiculous test questions you're expected to answer. I started to write about my experiences as an American ex-pat, but not in any organised fashion. I moaned, particularly about Frenemy. I explored a side of my family tree that I had known about but hadn't given much thought to (my dad, my grandfather, and my great-grandfather all remarrying women who didn't like the children from their first marriages much). My daughter turned 13 and the turbulence of the past year started to settle. I wrote about how hubby and I met. A frequent contributor to Snuffleupagus' blog made me contemplate Xenophobia.

November started with a bang as I argued with my daughter's head teacher over why she should be allowed into her school disco, despite losing her ticket. I got tagged by -ann to list eight things in different categories. It was a tough post to write, as I recall. I told the tale of our trip to Amsterdam in 2005. November was when hubby first heard he might be out of a job soon. Back then they gave him till the end of the year.

December and I was moaning about my sister. I was tagged by DJ to write a letter to my 13-year-old self, a rather difficult assignment. I also wrote of boyfriends past in between moaning, something I seemed to do a lot of last year.

Jake dictated his New Year's resolutions in January. Rob Clack tagged me to write seven unusual facts about myself. Kaycie and I celebrated a birthday on the same day (January 8). I participated in my first Fun Monday and wrote about the website that has changed my life ( In my second Fun Monday I took a very dark photo of the view from my front door. On my third Fun Monday, I revealed my inner (and outer) slob with photos of what's on my bedside table. I remembered reading "Cross Creek Cookery" in my mother's bedroom. I also revealed my support for Barack Obama and bemoaned the urban legend emails that won't die (this one allegedly from Johns Hopkins University).

February came, and well, what a month! I wrote my Kick the Bucket List for Fun Monday and started my erstwhile Moving to England series. My husband and daughter were in a car accident. I lost our passports in Italy. I got knocked down while skiing. My mother had a biopsy on a lump on her breast. Oh, and my husband was told his job is definitely going.

What a year! A lot of it was pretty boring. I moaned way, way, way too much. Along the way I made some blog pals. Some are still around; some have moved on. Such is life in the blogging world. But I'm still standing.


Rosie said...

That really was quite a year! The new blog looks great. I did something similar and ended a previous blog and started again, and many blog friends have travelled with me, and I've made new ones. I liked your mention of the blogging family tree - I haven't heard that one before!

Pixie said...

and I'm so pleased to have met the real you.
and looking forward to our next get together.

Kaycie said...

I remember lots of it. The first bits are kinda murky, though.

I wouldn't say you've been moaning, I'd say you've had a bit of a tough year.

Keep letting us know what's going on and days you feel like it, moan!

Kelly said...

Congratulations...I have realised that I must have started reading your blog quite early on, since I started blogging about a month after I have followed all the ups and downs the last year. I feel I know you better than I know a lot of my friends. That should be worrying me more than it does!

I am really loving reading about your 'Coming to the UK'...fascinating.

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

Still standing at the end of a year is always a good thing. You've had a tough old year and that you're still here is a testament to your strength.

And never worry about's what a blog is for!

Flowerpot said...

That was some year - and I like thenew blog look by the way. Let's hope this year is a better one for you.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

rosie: I love your toes, by the way. Starting over again in the blog world is so easy -- and refreshing. Thank you for reading.

pixie: I look forward to seeing you again, when you have some time off from your new man.

kaycie: You are so kind and you make me feel so much better. Thank you.

kelly: You probably know me better than a lot of my real-life friends do. We must meet up in person sometime, if you like.

aoj: Moaning can get monotonous though (a little alliteration never hurts). I want to be UPBEAT!

flowerpot: I'm taking it one day at a time. And it could be far, far worse.

Vi said...

Amazed at how quickly a year goes past hey?

MIME said...

Well, I'll de-lurk to tell you how much I like your blog, both the day-to-day stuff and your stories. And I really value your perspective as an expat. Your sense of humor is's to the next blog year. Oh! the new look is fabulous too. - ME

Anonymous said...

You did a lot in 12 months. Are you glad you started blogging? I think it's a fantastic way of recalling the good and bad times and a great way of hearing how other people view your experiences. Blogging is a lesson to be learnt.

Crystal xx

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

VI: Doesn't it just?Hope you're feeling better.

Mime: Welcome, and please delurk more. Thank you for reading.

CJ: It's like keeping a journal -- with an audience.