In case you were wondering what's wrong with the world...

So last week, Murray, Gulliver and I headed over to the church building where I could be set apart for my new calling (Ward Newsletter! Awesome!) and Murray could have a home teaching interview. I was finished first, so I waited in the foyer with Gulliver. There were other men who were also there, waiting around. And there was one boy who looked about 14 years old. I didn't interact at all with anyone, but I was privy to any of their conversations. And this is what I overheard.

Man: So I see that you're pretty popular with the girls. It's like, any time I see you in church, there are a bunch of girls surrounding you, and it doesn't matter what ward they're from either. They all know you and can't say enough good things about you. You just wait till you're 16. Your phone will be ringing off the hook with all these girls asking you out.

Boy: Yeah. Uh... I thought that guys were supposed to ask girls out.

Man: Yeah, that's not really how it is anymore. These days, the girls do all the asking out.

Boy: Oh. Well. I think I'd rather be the one to ask the girls out on dates.

Let's pause here to congratulate the boy, by the way. And to note that this could have been a very good moment where a thought like this was properly encouraged and nurtured. Just like a tiny little seed that needs good soil and water and light and love.

Man: Are you kidding? Do you even know how much a date costs? Once you've done just basic dinner and a movie you're already out thirty bucks. Do you have that kind of money to spend? Trust me. You can't afford to ask girls out on dates. It's easier to just let them ask you.

So instead of getting soil, water, and light, that tiny little nugget of a good, proper thought, was poisoned. Poisoned. I weep for the future.

In case you hadn't heard...

A few people on my maternity question post a little while back had mentioned Aflac as supplemental maternity coverage. (Which, if it relates to my whole "do I pay $2000 for an epidural" question still doesn't solve it because even with Aflac, not having an epidural would still be cash in my hand.) We have known about this and have been planning on taking advantage of it. Unfortunately, every single other would-be pregnant woman in Utah also knows about it and takes advantage of it, which is why it will no longer be offered in Utah.

So if you want to get it, you need to get it before February 15th. Murray, Gulliver and I met with an agent today so that I'm all covered. Luckily we can defer the start date by 90 days. What that means for you is that you can expect a pregnancy announcement from us sometime this summer or fall. Yay!

Oh, what it also means for you is act now if you want one of these policies. Now that we have it, we can keep it in effect for all of our children. It pays for itself as long as the children are born within three years of each other.

If you want to contact our agent, here's his info:

Patrick Pecoraro

Busting out the Bubbly

It's true that I'm still on cloud nine after having submitted my book. (Even though I need to make an edit and resubmit the cover artwork.) I'm working on other crunch projects, but for the first time in months, I actually feel like I can enjoy these projects again because I don't have this pressure of having to get through them quickly to get back to my bigger priorities anymore!! Phew!

So I'm having a celebration drink right now, and here's another gift I give to you. Here it is: I love Izze drinks. BUT they're expensive. All they are is fruit juice and sparkling water. So here's my solution. I buy 100% fruit juice. Then I buy bottles of cheap mixers in the alcohol section---just the sparkling water. (And I hope that no one in my ward catches me. I bet they'd think, "Oh. That's how they roll. Well, I guess it's to be expected, since they're artists.") Then at home, when I pour myself a drink, I mix the mixer and the fruit juice! I get a drink that's half the calories and twice as good! (And not nearly as expensive as Izze.)

A Heart Breaking Work of Staggering Genius...

... is what I would have titled my book but some shmo already took it. Tonight, I printed a draft of my book at Kinkos. To hold this manuscript in my hands... well... it's topped by only two things in my life: the moment I met Murray, and the moment I held Gulliver for the first time.

Basically Murray and I have been in crisis mode since October. And we're technically still in crisis mode (I have a couple projects I'll need to address but I'll have them done by the beginning of next week) but the end is really, really, really in sight.

And so I present to you a video of me presenting my book to you. I couldn't narrate the video for some reason, so I had to do it all silent. But I'm showing you my disheveled, unshowered hair, my no-makeupness, the bags under my eyes, and my manuscript. My precious, precious manuscript!

UPDATE: Here I am, four hours after writing this post, at 1:00 a.m., after having done an edit on my heartbreaking work of staggering genius. I think that my video says it all. (Note: I use paperclips to mark the pages that have edits.) Please note the more disheveled hair, the deeper bags under my eyes, and the unexplainable red splotch on my forehead. Also, notice my general will not to live. Also notice that the shoulder angels are back, both of whom are now telling me to go to bed. (Realistically, I can breeze through implementing all of these edits in less than 2 hours. It's not the end of the world.)

Reflections on Tragedy

I have to admit that I hardly know what's going on in Haiti. We're still under the gun work-wise over here and hardly surface from our computers. I swear the only reason we even know that anything happened is that we were torn from our computers and dragged to our HOA gym by Patience and Viktor Wednesday and the tv happened to be playing the news. It's so sad and it leaves me with mixed emotions. First, I feel horrible for the people who have suffered and who are suffering. It feels like in the wake of such a tragic event, life and all of the good stuff that I'm doing should just stop. I look at Gulliver and Murray and wonder how it would feel to lose them. I wonder how it would feel to lose a lot of the people who I love, all at one moment. And I also feel really helpless. Like there's nothing I can do to fix it or make it better or take it back. It makes me feel bad for the prosperity that I enjoy, guilty for being safe in my house tonight.

How are you coping with this? What are your thoughts?

I also wanted to direct your attention to a couple who are doing an auction of goods and services and are donating the proceeds to Haitian relief efforts. It's worth checking out!

I Don't Do My Hair

So here's a funny story that I haven't shared yet. A little while ago---like a couple years ago maybe---I went over to my friend Jenny's house after getting a haircut. She said something along the lines of, "Your hair looks so cute like that, and you never do your hair!"

I took the compliment and thought long and hard about the insult part of it. It was true that sometimes I wasn't 100 percent at my hair routine, but to say that I never do my hair was going a little too far! I don't even think I was a work-at-homer at the time. (Now, it would be fairly accurate to say that I never do my hair. Sorry Murray. I'll be better.)

In December (in fact, the night I got together with everyone at the Communal) I got another new haircut, and when Jenny saw me, she again complimented me on my great hair and said something like, "But you don't do your hair. You did it tonight, though, right?"

I finally decided to address the issue and said something like, "Jenny. I do my hair. You've mentioned me not doing my hair before, but I do my hair!"

And then Jenny's whole weltanschauung totally fell apart. "What?? You told me you don't do your hair! This whole time, I've believed that you have this fantastic wonderful hair where you just wake up and it looks like that! And you don't have to do anything! That you just get out of the shower and it does that! I've told every single friend I've ever had about you. I talk to my hair dresser about you, and she tells me that people like you don't exist but I'm like no, my friend Cicada! She just wakes up and her hair is amazing!"

And two years of hurt and heartache were instantly healed. Hearts were touched. Tears were shed. A friendship was restored to its fullest measure.

I don't know how Jenny ever got the idea that I don't do my hair, but I have two possible explanations.

1) There are very very few times when the stars align and my hair dries naturally, and it actually looks presentable. If Jenny saw me on one of those days and asked me about my hair, I may have told her that it just dried like that, but not stressed the astronomical involvement in that happening. And then she may have assumed that that's what my hair always did.

2) Sometimes my hair is straight. Sometimes it's wavy, since my friend / old mission companion Jill taught me to scrunch it while blow drying. So if she happened to see me on a scrunched day, and asked me if that was "natural" I would have said yes, because I would have thought she was referring to the curls, and my hair is technically naturally wavy. (As opposed to becoming curly by using a curling iron or curlers.) If all I'm using for my hair is a blow dryer and/or brush, I classify whatever happens as "natural." If I use a flat iron, curling iron, or curlers, I will not classify it as natural.

So there you go. Contrary to popular belief (of Jenny's entire circle of friends and hair dresser) I am not the (mythical) type of person who can just get up and go with perfect hair.

My Gift to You...

In December, I went to the Communal in Provo (a restaurant) with my cooking club, and we had a DELICIOUS acorn squash, filled with apples. It was divine, and ever since I've been wanting another. Well, last night, I made my own, and Murray and I each got our very own half. I swear I could have eaten the whole thing. It's a VERY easy, basic recipe that anyone can try. (Yes, that means you too, Lynette. This isn't anything extra special, but it looks and tastes extra special!!) Here's what I did. (I kindof made it up as I went along.)

1 apple (I'd do 2 next time)
1 acorn squash

Cut acorn squash in half, remove seeds. Fill a baking pan with 1/4 inch water and place squash face down in pan. Bake at 400 F for 35 minutes.

In the meantime, peel and slice apples into 8ths. In a frying pan with a bit of butter and a bit of maple syrup, cook the apples. (I made sure they were browned on both sides. Yum!)

When squash has finished, remove water from pan. Turn squash face up, put a small (or large if you're not on a diet) amount of butter and maple syrup in the "bowl" of the squash. Fill with the apples. Broil on high for 5 minutes or until the apples and squash are a little bit browned.


In the future, I might try other fun things like adding some spices like cinnamon. It was already almost dessert-like (anything sweetish would seem like dessert to two people off of sugar), and adding some spices might make it even MORE delectable. Also marshmallows. Just kidding.

Take a Break

I don't know if everyone already knows about this, but just in case you haven't seen this, it's definitely worth listening to. And yes, that's him singing both parts. (You might want to actually click over to YouTube since it's getting cut off in blogger.)

Happy Birthday Gulliver

About a year ago right at this time, I started pushing. Is that TMI? Let's see if I can write a birthday post in the amount of time that it took to push out my baby. (One hour.)

Today, and in the week or so leading up to today, I got a new insight on birthdays. As I've been thinking about Gulliver and his big day (1!), I realized I have a whole new perspective now on a birthday! Up until now, I've typically celebrated my own birthday, or the birthday of my husband, family members, friends, etc. But you know, I have never actually been around for anyone's actual birth moment. Gulliver on the other hand. I was an active participant in bringing him into this world. And all of a sudden, I get the whole concept of celebrating this person's existence, because he hasn't been around our whole lives. I remember when he joined us, and life has been even better ever since, so today is a day that we celebrate him and his being a part of our lives.

It's hard to imagine life without Gulliver. It's hard to imagine him not being a part of us. We're a great little perfect unit. (And we'll just become more and more perfect as we add more, until all our hearts explode because we can't handle all the love anymore.) This year, he has made our transition into parenthood very easy. His sweet little personality and spirit brighten our home and bring us indescribable joy.

I've never been a birthday party person before, but my mothering instinct kicked in big time and I knew that I just had to properly celebrate my baby's birthday. Even though he won't remember it. I wanted to share it with as much family and friends as our home could hold. (So please don't be offended if you weren't invited; we really kept the list to immediate family and a few friends who have been involved with Gulliver.)

There were some who unfortunately couldn't attend. Ootise and Outsie (my parents) called in the morning and my mom sang Gulliver Happy Birthday for the first time in his life. My dad sang him "Happy Birthday Mhaa You" for the first time in either of their lives, or anyone's life for that matter. (Mhaa is the sound that Gulliver and my dad like to exchange.) Gulliver also got a special voice mail from his Uncle J that I wish I could save forever. He sang an Elvis birthday song to Gulliver and it's worth listening to over and over. 

The party was a lot of fun and worked out decently well. There were no major meltdowns by anyone in attendance. So here's kindof how it went:

The set-up: 

We brought out pretty much every single chair in our home.

We made a poster of Gulliver's head and taped it to the empty canvas we've had as a placeholder on our gallery wall. (Find it in the pics below.)

Murray made a slideshow of a lot of our Gulliver pictures from birth until now, and a coordinating playlist of Gulliver-appropriate songs (including Do Do Do Da Da Da by the Police, and Bohemian Rhapsody by the Muppets, among other classics, like Octopus's Garden, which is Gulliver's song). This played on our tv during the evening.

We bought balloons. I had wanted the whole room full of balloons, but we decided our car could probably only hold 6. When we bought the balloons, we realized that the Honda Civic could have easily held at least 20. What can I say? We're young parents and have a lot to learn.

I made two cakes. One was a coconut sheet cake, available all night, and the other was Gulliver's special Octopus Cake (made with a Williams-Sonoma cake pan that has been waiting for a moment like this for over a year now). I had planned on decorating this cake ahead of time, but ran out of time and powdered sugar.

I made a [GULLIVER] banner to go above the food table. Because banners are very hot right now. And because [GULLIVER] has fewer letters than HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

I wrapped Gulliver's presents. One I wrapped with him right there. I know. I'm a terrible mother. It was a ball. And he played with the wrapping paper while I wrapped it. And then when he was napping, I wrapped his other gifts. (Clothes and a box... more details later.) (FORESHADOWING: The box gift elicited the best reaction ever.)

Murray set things up and tidied up.

Murray (a few days before) painted a 1 painting after the Beatles album. Murray is awesome. (Look for this in the pics below.)

The guests arrive: 

I knew that a baby's 1st birthday would end very badly if planned too late. So we decided to hold our party "open house" style, where people could come and go any time between 5 and 8. (Hence the sheet cake, available all evening.) This was also more accommodating to the elderly and to the youngerly attending the party, since they could come early. Although the pep and vigor of the youngerly might not have been the best mix with the elderly :)  At least Murray's grandparents didn't get any bean bags thrown at their heads. (Just a few near misses.)


Thanks to the help of friends and family, we were able to serve mini quiches (don't be too impressed---I bought them frozen from Costco), bread + dip, veggies, fruit + dip, cheese ball (a special request from Murray) + crackers, beverages, and sheet cake.

We opened gifts in two rounds, so that the early crowd and the late crowd could participate in a bit of gift opening. In both crowds, there were many eager kids to help Gulliver open presents, which worked out well since Gulliver obviously doesn't fully get it yet. (He might not need help next year, and I pity the fool who tries to help him two years from now.) Gulliver got some awesome things. It was fun to see his eyes light up opening the gifts, and I'm excited to bring these all out again in a normal, calmer setting, where he can invest some quality time playing with them!

Cici and Steve saved the day and the special Octopus Cake by bringing new powdered sugar. This was my first formal attempt at cake decoration and I am pretty darn proud of myself. Many thanks to my wing-women, P and Ali.

We finished decorating it, we snapped some pictures, lit the candle, and then destroyed it, all within 3 minutes. I was winging a lot of this (since I'm not an experienced party planner) and actually didn't know exactly what to do when we presented Gulliver with his one-candled cake. But luckily his cousin Bean (3.5 yrs old) was there to help us out and he blew out the candle for Gulliver. Problem solved!!


Gulliver got his cake, and did not destroy it in a typical 1-year-old fashion. I suspect that this might have to do with the fact that it was almost 8 and technically past his bedtime. But he enjoyed being fed his cake in a calm manner.

At this point, there was still a remaining batch of presents, and again I wasn't quite sure what to do, because it seemed to me that Gulliver was winding down. I was wondering if I should just leave the presents till tomorrow during the day, when he could more fully appreciate them, but I had left his big present until this time, and I really wanted to have him open that on his birthday, even if he was a little too tired to appreciate it. Thankfully, kids stepped up to the plate again to enthusiastically help Gulliver unwrap his presents. He somewhat happily acknowledged the gifts that he received.


And then came the big box present, which the other kids were also most excited about seeing (since it was the biggest). I had wrapped this so that it was very easy to unwrap, so that Gulliver would have no problem unwrapping it. But I was beyond expecting him to be capable of unwrapping it at this point, so as it played out, while Gulliver watched, Bean and C whisked away the packaging quickly to unveil the Zany Zoo! (To give you an idea of size, the top of this is about waist height when Gulliver is standing up.)

And Gulliver GASPED the funniest and most adorable baby gasp ever and his whole face lit up and he reached for it and started playing with it immediately.


(To a mother, a reaction like this probably releases the same amount of dopamine into your system as the best drugs on the market.)

In fact, at this point, Gulliver got a second wind and played with his Zany Zoo for the next 30 minutes at least. And quite determinedly shoved away any other kid who tried to play with it too closely. (It's big enough that other kids could play on the other side and be outside of shoving range.)

If I ever need a "happy place" in my life, it will forever be in the precious moment of his baby gasp.

Thank you to everyone who celebrated with us! We're so happy to have Gulliver in our lives and so happy to have you to celebrate with! (And thank you to YOU blog reader(s) who made it to the end of this post!! Leave a comment if you made it this far because then we'll really know who loves Gulliver the most.)

(And it took me less than an hour to write this post, which means less time than I spent pushing... but to be honest that part of labor only seemed like five minutes at the time. To be fair, I now need to check on Murray for pictures, so uploading pictures will take a little extra time.)

(Ed. note: Downloading, prepping, and uploading pictures is like the not so fun afterbirth part of the whole birth process. By this time last year, Gulliver had had his first bath and they were maybe wheeling me into my hospital room.)

Gulliver Loves

Time for another Gulliver Loves post! Here are some things of note lately:

* Today Gulliver did his first sign. He signed "more" in regards to yogurt. He kept signing more as long as he still wanted more. (He loves yogurt!) When he was finished, I wouldn't clear things away until he signed "all done" but he did finally sign "all done" and I think he's getting it!!

* Gulliver loves music. Recently he has started bobbing to music, which is adorable. The other day, I caught him on the floor sitting in front of two music-making toys. He'd set off one toy, then set off the other, and once both toys were playing songs, then he'd start bobbing. If one toy stopped, he'd stop bobbing and set it off again. Perhaps Gulliver is going to be a DJ?

* Gulliver loves stairs. This is a recent development. He can easily climb all the way up the staircase. Previously I have never had to worry about my stairs since he's been absolutely uninterested in them. He'd play at the bottom of the stairs lots and never venture up even one stair. But now he loves them, so we had to get a baby gate. (Thanks, Azùcar!)

* Gulliver doesn't love going down for naps or bedtime. He still cries almost every time. But these days it's rare that he cries more than five minutes. We have some toys and stuff in his crib. What we've found is that in those moments that he's still awake, he throws things out of his crib. And tonight, when I went to peek at him after he'd fallen asleep, I even realized that he's throwing everything he can AT THE DOOR. Our poor baby boy has temper issues, apparently. Good thing he never seems to remember this anger when he wakes up.

In less than a week, he'll be turning 1! That is crazy to think about. This time last year, I was doing jumping jacks and bowling---anything to get that baby to come! Now it's hard to think of our lives without him.

Maternity Advice: Go Nutso (but don't, really)

First of all, I'm not pregnant. Let's just make that clear.

BUT, here's the deal. Murray and I are trying very hard to work out health insurance. (And I will break the knee caps of anyone who claims that our system isn't incredibly, incredibly broken right now.) By the way things are looking right now, it seems as though we may end up with a high deductible plan that doesn't cover maternity. So basically we'll pay for 100 percent of any future babies to come, unless something goes wrong, at which point, we'll be covered.

So we will need to make some decisions based on money. And the big one we're wondering about right now is natural vs. epidural.

Now I KNOW that even saying that, all of your fingers are starting to itch to press the comment button. BUT PAUSE FOR ONE MOMENT TO READ THIS. I welcome any and all comments. But the only ones that we really, REALLY care about are the ones from women who have done it both ways. I know that there will be people who have strong opinions about this, and I just ask that you be respectful of others who have different opinions. This blog has never once been the site of comment nastiness, for which I thank you, my valued readers, and I would hope that we can maintain that record.

As for myself, I loved my epidural, and if I had proper insurance, I'd more than likely do it that way again. But if I'm going to pay $1000-$2000 out of my pocket (read: out of my babies' mouths) to get an epidural, I might start to think about how much 5-6 hours of pain (I'm just giving average here, although I know it could come faster or slower) is really worth to me. Also, I've heard that the recovery from a natural birth takes less time. First of all, what recovery does that refer to? And, again, for those women who have done it both ways, did you find this to be true? Because I figure if that's true, then maybe it really is worth it to trade greater pain upfront for less pain afterwards (also, I looked like a TOAD when I woke up the next morning--true story) especially if that trade meant that I was spending much less money.

So let's have your opinions! I'm anxious to know! And again, preferential consideration is given to women who have done it both ways.

2009: A Year in Review

For the past couple of years (2007, 2008), I've been reviewing goal success on my blog. Here's the review for 2009!


2009 goal: Don't go into hermithood because of baby.

Result: I think that we've done fairly well on this. We have been out socially a lot. We have missed seeing a lot of movies in theaters, but that is more due to work hermithood, I think. We have also done some traveling, not letting Gulliver slow us down!!

2010 goal: Don't go into hermithood because of work. In fact, establish very clear boundaries. Like no working on weekends and holidays.


2009 goal: Have a baby. Like, really really soon.

Result: Done! And he is awesome.

2010 goal: Work out insurance solution so that we can have another baby. Get pregnant as soon as insurance solution is worked out.


2009 goal:  Get down to undisclosed goal weight, five pounds at a time. (So I'll focus on this goal monthly rather than setting a large goal for the whole year.) Hopefully I will kick-start this weight-loss with at least a 15-pound jump! A friend said she actually weighed less after delivering her baby than she did when she got pregnant because of her gestational diabetes, so here's hoping.......

Result: Lost baby weight and more. Got down to Kick-A weight within a month of having Gulliver. And then started putting it all on again in diabetes-free carb splurges that lasted almost the whole year. Went off sugar at the end of the year, which went really well up until my birthday.

2010 goal: Don't set a goal weight at all. Simply make a chart that helps me to focus on correct behaviors and reward those behaviors with points. I will focus on one behavior a month that will give me triple points!


2009 goal: Read 15 books, at least 5 of which should be baby/family related.

Result: I have no idea how many books I have read, because it's probably under 5. But I have at least read lots of parts of different books, including baby/parenting books. 

2010 goal: Read at least three books for leisure. And others for personal improvement and business stuff.


2009 goal: Set up proper website, market myself, and design some baby announcements and Christmas card templates before September 2009 so that I can get in the game.

Result: Website, check. Marketing, check. Design baby and card templates, sortof check (although I've decided that filling orders like this isn't really what I want to do with my time).

2010 goal: Start to learn Web Design so that I can increase my marketability. Increase my rates to hopefully maintain what I make, but in half the time.


2009 goal: Read the Sunday School and Relief Society lessons each week, even though I will be teaching some other primary class that I don't know about yet.

Result: I was not so much good at this. But at least I didn't have a primary calling!! Yay! 

2010 goal: Same. I still really want to read these lessons each week, and that should be easy with my iPhone app. I can find time to do this while I watch Gulliver take baths, for example.


2009 goal: Shower, brush my teeth, and do my makeup at least 5 days out of 7.

Result: I don't want to talk about it.

2010 goal: Shower, brush my teeth, and do my makeup at least 5 days out of 7. (Good thing today is still 2009...) (ed. note: most of this post was written yesterday, Dec 31)


2009 goal: Focus on work that frees me up (like templates vs. custom work).

Result: Ideally our online classes and textbooks should do a lot of this. Now if only we could finish those... 

2010 goal: Sit down with Murray and aggressively plan our time and projects for the new year. Make sure that we're focusing on what matters most. Plan projects that will be less time-intensive to maintain and work out new, more efficient systems.

New 2010 goals, not based on goals of previous years:

Meal planning! Plan meals weekly so that we make efficient use of our groceries and don't waste money to spoiled food.

Budget, budget, budget! Set a budget and actually stick to it. (To kick start this, we are doing a January spend-freeze where we will not make any purchases [other than a modest birthday present for Gulliver] other than groceries for the month of January. This includes eating out, entertainment, and clothing purchases---which is a biggie, considering that I'm going to a design conference this month and would normally buy all new outfits for such a thing.)


Other tidbits:

* Had a baby.
* Had two foot surgeries.
* Did some traveling (see below).
* Helped to plan and host an Art Weekend.
* Taught legitimate classes in San Francisco and people paid to learn from us.
* Went to a couple of business-related conferences, perhaps beginning a conference addiction that some of my friends (that's you, Ali) suffer from.
* Wrote a whole book. (Just working on laying it out now.)
* Recorded all the content for an online course. (Just needing to submit the files now.)
* Grew my own business enough that I'm too busy. That's a good thing, sortof.
* Sold art at Beehive Bazaar.
* Have product sold in Target.
* Have product sold at Deseret Book.

Places traveled:
St. George
San Francisco
Maryland again (incl. Pennsylvania)


How we did on our 2009 other plans of note:

Learn how to be good parents.--Check! We are awesome. (Except for this.)
Take lots of pictures of us and our activities and our baby.--Check!
Use lots of cool and different cameras.--Needs Improvement.
See Wicked in Salt Lake?--Nope! Way too much $$.
See Love in Vegas?--Nope. Deferred to 2010!
Go to San Francisco.--Yep! It was awesome and I can't wait to go back!
Make a new calendar for 2010.--Yep! And it's awesome!
Set up business properly and legally.--Yep! I just need to buy a business license, but I'm waiting till Monday to do so.
Make lots of art just for us.--We did make SOME art just for us. Yay!

Here are our 2010 other plans of note: 

* Go on a cruise?
* Get online classes and textbooks launched!
* Do three more Art Weekends in fun cities.
* Do the Purging of a Decade, and really really pare everything we own down to the essentials. (I have already given away two beloved coats, lots of high quality wonderful fabric, and we actually sold some clothing to Plato's Closet before donating the rest to DI.)
* Go see Love in Vegas. Seriously this time. (Maybe for Murray's bday?)
* Go snowshoeing. (Switchback? Do you hear me?)
* Go camping. (Ali? Jenny? Want to come?)
* Learn to use our camera better.

And finally, for a big moment of schmoopiness, in 2009 I am extremely grateful for my wonderful, perfect, doting husband. Sometimes I spare you the schmoop because I'm aware that some people are resentful that I used to be a single blogger, blogging from the trenches of singlehood, and now I blog about my perfect life with my perfect husband and my perfect baby. But in all likelihood, those readers who were legitimately bugged by my finding True Love aren't reading my blog anymore anyway. So here goes. Marriage to Murray just keeps getting better every year. He is my best friend and the one I want to tell everything to. He makes me laugh every day, dances for me whenever I ask him to, accepts me as I am, and is the best dad ever. (And in return, all he asks is that I buy him Muppets for Christmas.) Since being married to him (stop reading if you're still single...) my life has been happier, richer, fuller, and not even remotely bitter. Murray, I am absolutely in love with you. Thank you for a wonderful year and for our wonderful perfect baby boy, who lights up our lives. (And who has played happily all morning by himself, allowing me to finish this blog post and even read a little bit of a magazine, which I haven't been able to do forever.) (And Nicole, if you're reading this, I PROMISE that in addition to doing a bit of relaxing today, we will be hitting our courses again hard as soon as Gulliver goes down for the night, and I promise that we have legitimately been working on them as hard as we can every moment we can spare!!)