Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Looking Back - Looking Forward

New Year's Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It's a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes.

What were the high points for you this past year? Perhaps a new baby, a new job or Obama winning the election.

What are you hoping 2009 will bring you? Did you make a New Year's Resolution?


Baby Mama said...

I gained all my weight back and then some, so I guess I need to tape my mouth next year. Every time I change the channel its another Biggest Looser marathon or all the gym commercials.

So next year, I wish everyone a year of success and happiness. And may everyone be able to have Frapp & a doughnut without feeling guilty!

Saint said...

Last year I resolved to read 12 classics that I haven't read. It was far too ambitious a goal for me.

Les Miserables stopped me in May, after I suffered through Dickens.

I am glad I read Frankenstein and O Pioneers! though.

So this year, I'll try to read 6 classics, but I am taking recommendations first. I'll try one, and if it isn't to my taste, I am tossing it aside, and trying another. I want to actually accomplish something.

I did lose 15 lbs. though!

Nina Bell said...

I would have to say that 2008 was an uneventful year for me. No major events to speak of. I am happy my family came through without major health problems.

We did celebrate my Mom's 80th birthday with a big family weekend and I flew back for that. That was definitely a highlight for me.

I think another highlight was meeting a lot of nice friends from this blog.

As always, I would like to eat healthier and live healthier in 2009. It's funny though, life always seems to get in the way.

I would also like to say that I will spend less time on the computer as a result of this blog, but I don't think that is a resolution that I will keep.

scarfoot said...

Saint, what a great idea! I once read through the list of most challenged books in a summer. It was difficult to a) finish in one summer and b) find all the books, but it was such a great project for myself. I really enjoyed it.

This year has been full of ups and downs. After working a full time job, a full time internship, and two night classes, I finally graduated with my masters. However, as a result of all that stress and work, I got rather, um, fluffy. So I need to work on that. We finally got a baby in our family, and that has brought such joy to everyone. And, I had the flu several times.

I fail at my resolutions each year. One coworker of mine made a resolution to use "air quotes" more often, because he was tired of never meeting his goals. It proved to be a LOT of fun, for all of us. So I've been thinking of silly resolutions such as "No Vomiting in 2009" or "Try to be More Patient with Elderly Drivers." We'll see how I do.

Rufus said...

2008 has been a blessing for me. March 21st is the day I came home from the hospital after being admitted to the hospital on Dec. 6 2007 due to a ruptured intestines. 2 months in ICU, 1 month in regular hospital and 1 month in the rehab unit. I learned to walk again 2 weeks before coming home.

Through all this, I learned the true meaning of family, friends and love. I thought I new before. I didn't.

The rest of the year was spent getting stronger and putting my life back together. A blessing to have the opportunity.

In 2009 I resolve to continue loving my family and friends, and to continue to get strong. I resolve to gain 10 lbs so that I can be healthy enough to have a final surgery that will complete my recovery.

I know that 2009 will be as good to me as 2008.

Nina Bell said...


Sorry to hear that. 2 months in ICU. But what a come back and what a great attitude you have.

Good luck to you in gaining that 10 lbs (how often do we get to say that?). I hope 2009 continues to see you grow healthier and stronger.

Rufus said...

Nina Bell,
Thank you for the kind words. I so wasn't fishing for anything, but I appreciate it.

As for the weight gain... Seriously! When has anyone EVER heard a woman say they want to gain weight, lol? I can tell you though, that it's been a hell of a lot of fun trying.

Saint said...

I had a brother who had a ruptured intestine and he also spent months in the hospital. It was so awful. Just before Xmas, a sister was also hospitalized for the same genetic defect, but not as bad. It was very painful, though. I know you have little ones, too, so that must have been so tough on them.
Scarfoot, I am open to suggestions about books, if you liked anything in particular. Congratulations on the Masters, too.

themrs said...

saint- if you're going with classics i would recommend "pride and prejudice" and "gone with the wind". i know you may have seen both of those movies but they don't hold a candle to the book :)
good luck! i lost 40 lbs this year so my goal is to find some way to do something about all this extra skin. plastic surgery isn't in the budget so not sure how that's gonna happen!

FIONA said...

I don't do resolutions so to speak.
I am a work in progress.

I eat healthy, most of the time.
I exercise regularly, but sometimes I do take a break.
I don't smoke or drink ever.

We are a happy and healthy family and for that I am so grateful.

Rufus, a speedy recovery to you as well.

MonicaW42 said...

My resolutions are to stop swearing like a sailor. I do that when I drive for some reason. I also want to be more tolerant of people. I have been really crabby in 2008 and I think it's due to the infertility issue and residual hormonal problems. Those are my biggest resolutions.

My husband and I do the book reading. He suggested 2 years ago that each month we pick the same book to read and then discuss it when done. We still do that and it can be fun seeing how we each interpreted the book. This past month we were on the Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer. We are still reading it two months later. I can't get into that book.

Saint said...

Ah TheMrs!
They are two favorites! Thank know my tastes! I love Thomas Hardy, too, though he's a little depressing. But keep suggesting classics.

I read the Odyssey in high school and loved it then. My daughter is reading it now and she hates it. So I thought I'd reread with her and you know what, I can't remember why I liked it! LOL! Maybe it was my teacher?

My husband just suggested last month that we share a book, and I LOVE the idea. We've narrowed it to a biography or true story of survival because he isn't interested in classics or mysteries, and I prefer to avoid "training for a marathon" manuals or engineering texts. We were supposed to have this picked out by today. Hmmmm....

Theresa said...


My prayers for a healthy 2009 for you. I admire your tenacity and healthy attitude. They are surely going to help your thru that last surgery.

Everyone-have a safe, healthy & happy new year!

BEE said...

My resolutions this year are to:

*set aside time each week to read the Bible and meditate

*to only say things that are uplifting to others...feel free to keep me in check here!! (that will be the HARDEST for me!)

*to eat healthier and exercise more

*to give myself a break more...NO ONE can do everything all the time!

Happy New Year to everyone! Be safe and have fun!!

MoreCowbell said...

Mine would be to take better care of myself and stop eating crap! I stopped working 60-65 hours a week this past month and now only work a "normal" 40. It hurt the pocketbook a little, but I think it will be better for me, stress and health wise, especially considering my last blood pressure and glucose readings! Oh, and I'd like to lose about 25 pounds, too, and maybe drop one or two sizes! I'd love to wear the size 8 jeans that I have shoved in a box in the basement, again. But I seem to have that resolution every year!

Anya said...

Well, I'll throw some thoughts into the universe. I hesitate to call them resolutions.

Like Nina Bell, this was a relatively quiet year for me, but that's good after dealing with some serious family illness issues over the last few years.

My first-choice candidate didn't win the Presidential race, but I am cautiously optimistic about the new administration and I am looking forward to the inauguration.

I think I too am going to tape my mouth shut like Baby Mama! Like MoreCowbell, I have a pair of size 8 jeans I would love to be able to get into again. If that is not meant to be, I want to at least find a way to incorporate more excercise back into my life.

I also want to practice more patience and understanding - particularly with those I love. I really like Bee's way of putting this - "to only say things that are uplifting to others..."

Reading more classics is a perennial one for me, although I haven't even begun to contemplate a project like the Iliad and the Odyssey (good luck Monica!).

I would like to tackle one thing this year that I have not done due to anxiety or fear. Not sure what 'that' will be yet.

I want to congratulate all those who achieved milestones this year and those who overcame health obstacles.

We are all works in progress and that is a very good thing (thanks, Fiona).

Mom said...

Size 8 jeans? Oh my, I don't even remember the last time. LOL!

To organize all my closets and make better use of the storage we have in our home.

To get dirty this spring and work on my garden beds.

To stop saying "shit" - my almost 2 year old is now saying "osh". LOL!

To work on giving my little boy a brother or sister! Tee hee giggle snicker.

BEE said...

Add me to the "wanna be a size 8 again" club....We can do it!!

Guinevere said...

I have so many resolutions that I could try for, I'm not sure where to start. How about I will either go to the gym regularly or cancel my membership? It's stupid to pay $85 a month for NOTHING, right?

Les Miserables stopped me in May, after I suffered through Dickens.

I've kind of wanted to read Le Miserables, but in addition to it being over all quite long, I've heard there are hundreds of pages of nothing but battle scenes. I don't know if I could hack that. My goal is to at least see the musical first (I've never seen it); maybe that will inspire me to read the book.

I like some Dickens - Great Expectations and a Tale of Two Cities, to name a couple. I wouldn't want to read him all the time, though.

I am glad I read Frankenstein and O Pioneers! though.

I read Frankenstein a while back for a class I was taking (community college English classes are a great way to make oneself read the classics!), and I liked it. Plus, it's short.

So this year, I'll try to read 6 classics, but I am taking recommendations first. I'll try one, and if it isn't to my taste, I am tossing it aside, and trying another. I want to actually accomplish something.

I find a lot of pre-20th century writing hard to get into. Not just the style of writing, but the manners and emotions of the characters are too foreign and unrelatable to me. I'm sure it's sacrilege to some, but Jane Austen does not do much for me. She always seems to have an excess of silly characters that I just want to slap.

As for classics - are you including 20th century? I loved "The Sound and the Fury" when I read it, but it was ages ago. I should probably read it again. I like "Jane Eyre", but you've no doubt read that.

My sister and I have been reading a Russian novel each summer for two years now - 2008's was "Anna Karenina", which I would recommend, though I'm not going to lie, it's a slog at times.

Talking about classics gives me a resolution - I'd like to try to read "Wuthering Heights" this year!

themrs said...

saint- another book you might like is "the bell jar" by cynthia plath. it's a little sad but good.

themrs said...

here's a bit of OT comic relief for all of you "size 8 club" girls... this year, i lost over forty lbs which puts me in a size 6. i've gained 60+ lbs with each of my four kids. ( i have gestational diabetes, had four kids in six years!) so to get down to 135 was huge for me and represents LOTS of hours at the gym. now here's where it gets funny- anybody know what a "muffin top" is? well i have one to rival all others. my problem is that after gaining and losing all that weight four times, i have an enormous amount of leftover skin. anyone remember when kate showed her belly? that's what mine looks like! so when i put on those size 6's, i have to begin the tedious process of "tucking in" all the skin. it's absurd! although i'm really proud to wear that size again, this body looks NOTHING like it did originally. thankfully my husband still thinks i'm hot:) so just to encourage you all, just because someone is in a small size, doesn't mean it looks good under those clothes LOL. i wish you all a year of happiness and health. i will say that i have so much more energy to keep up with these kids and life in general since i started working out!

Nina Bell said...


That is pretty motivational. I also had gestational diabetes with both of my big boys ( 9 1/2 and 10 1/2 lbs). But my boys are now 23 and 27 so I really have no excuse. LOL

Saint said...

The Sound and the Fury, The Bell Jar, Anna Karennina. Got it. Sounds great. Thank you.

Guin, go see Les Mis, don't bother with the book (JMO.)

Muffin top? Yeah, I got one of those. You say exercise doesn't make it go away? (Good. I won't bother? LOL!)

Linda said...

Rufus -

Wow. You've got to have warrior strength to have gone through what you've been through.


My 2009 Resolutions

1. Continue jogging . . .

2. My husband and I along with another family are trying to visit a new church each month with the goal of finding a church home.

3. Invite another family/couple/person over for Sunday dinner at least once a month.

Rufus said...

Wow. Thank you for all the kind words. Really, like I said to Nina, I wasn't fishing for anything. I just wanted to share my plans.

I think most of you have great ideas for resolutions. A lot of the "make me a better person" type things which are motivating. I may consider some (although I don't know if I can stop swearing at other drivers). And as far as reading the classics goes... Uh, well, if Susan Isaacs is a classic, then count me in, lol.

SamanthaNC said...

I'm a walking New Years cliche-

Get organized
Get healthier
Spend more quaity time
Worry Less
Work Out regularly.......

I started reading the classic last year and it has been awesome!
You can read hundreds of books for free at

Linda said...

Monica's blog has an article about "de-cluttering" your child's room. This is a little off-topic but it does have to do with this time of year.

One of the things that my kids and I do at this time of year or just after the 1st is to donate the toys that they don't play with. Their interest in their Christmas toys is high so they are usually willing to part with some of their stuff.

We usually donate their gently used toys to an agency in our area that offers supervised visitation for parents who are working toward getting their children back from foster care. Additionally parents who are in a particularly embittered after their divorces can utilize the house as a neutral place to drop their children off so the other parent can pick them up. The kids then aren't subjected to the parents arguing in front of them. The toys are really needed to occupy the kids or to be utilized during the supervised visitation sessions.

MonicaW42 said...


I would like to take credit but I believe you meant Samantha's blog. I gave up de-cluttering my grown sons room long ago. I just call haz-mat once a week to come in. :)

SamanthaNC said...

LOL Linda and Monica-

I read that and thought... that article sounds familiar! I never publish to my blog, I sometimes do push button publishing when I write a how to article and I almost forgot about that one, it was written for another website and I published it from there. Too funny.

HBIC8u said...

I have 3 resolutions this year:

Quit smoking(starting tomorrow)

Spend more time with my kids

Try to be more optimistic, as in: "I am optimistic that I will not gain 50 lbs when I quit smoking" lol

jace said...

1. Be healthier. I have had health problems for awhile but I am feeling better now so no excuses for not exercising in 2009!

2. Relax and have more fun instead of stressing too much about the little stuff or even the big stuff.

3. I love the idea of reading classics books for a goal. I have been wanting to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy as a family and I am inspired to do it. Thanks!

Thinking back to lit classes, my favorites were Nickolas Nickleby, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Swiss Family Robinson, and The Chosen. And I have a sentimental spot for my unabridged version of Little Women. :)

Happy New Year to all.

Lizabeth said...

To be totally honest and transparent, 2008 was exhausting. Started off almost unemployed, then got a job as a full time nanny. After that started grad school, then a couple months ago got my current position in my career path. At the beginning of 2008 I was dating a guy I was sure I could marry, but we just broke up a few days ago since he finally realized he cannot commit to me now. Began in debt (due to the aforementioned almost unemployment-- meaning 10 hours a week at my then job instead of the 40 I had last September) and am ending still in debt (but with a way better salary and benefits and plan to tackle debt).

My family is the same, though my nephew is far more fun at 15 months than he was at 2 months :). Have closer friends, too, since school has introduced me to a few people I know I will be close to for a long time.

As far as resolutions go, I hope this year to...

-Get out of debt (since I make decent money now this should not be a problem).
-Buy a house
-After buying a house, get a puppy.
-Meet a great guy who my family loves that shows me he cares instead of just telling me that.
-Continue losing weight (which is easier when you're in the middle of a breakup, oddly enough).
-Grow closer to God by doing devotions regularly and getting involved at my church again
-Finish grad school!! (I will be done with classes by Christmas next year)

Last year was a huge year for me in a lot of ways... so I know this year will be great, even though the beginning is pretty rough. I also know that who I am as a person is stronger and more driven now than I was last year at this time. So I raise my glass (er... water bottle so I don't get a hang over!) to all of you, wishing us the best in this new year.

Linda said...

Gosh -- I did mean Samantha's blog.

Happy New Year everyone!

SamanthaNC said...


You certainly have had an eventful year and so much to be happy about in 2009! Congrats again on the new job and good luck with gradschool- as for the guy, the right one will come along when you least expect it!

Linda said...

Maybe another New Year's resolution should be to use my Google/blogger account when I post on GDNNOP.

FIONA said...

Happy New Year to everyone here.

Being born and raised in the South it is cutomary to eat black eyed peas on New Year's Day for good luck!

Can't imagine what our year would have been like had we not eaten our peas last year!!!

Bridget said...

Happy New Year, everyone!
2008 had its ups and downs.

I got married in June, had an issue with my hip that ended up needing surgery and I lost my job because of that. I found a new great job 3 weeks ago.

In 2009, I look forward to spending more time with my family, and hopefully by the end of the year getting pregnant, and working through challenges and experiences at my new job.

And I wanted to say again, I really love this blog. So much that I have stopped visiting entirely "the other blog". This one is balanced, intelligent, and fair. Thank you to the excellent moderators.

Mary said...

Thanks to all of you for sharing a bit about your lives. I hope that everyone who had some challenges in 2008 feels better, gets the job they want, finds the love they deserve and finds enjoyment in the things life has to offer all of us. I am so glad that you are better rufus. 2008 was truly a challenge for you but I sense a great spirit in you!

Last year was monumental in our family. One of our twin sons was married so now we have a daughter in law!

For me, I am looking forward to:

Losing the last 15 pounds.
Writing daily.
Exploring the historical and cultural things that the Metro DC area has to offer with our newcomer's group.
Signing up for Literacy Volunteers.

I try not to make resolutions because I always disappoint myself so I guess I have goals instead. I have changed so much in the 4 years we have lived in our new home state so this year I would very much like to pull together everything I learned about me and use the strength to work on some of those goals as well as continue to try new things, meet new people, and take care of the loving relationships I have in my life and am so grateful for. Like many of you some things didn't go my way in 08. I learned that that's OK. I hope I also learned to stress less when it happens LOL!

I'm interested in what all of you accomplish with your reading goals. My friend Suzanne and I are going to read a book by one of the great American authors about every 6 weeks. Still need to make a list and choose. I'm also going to finish my Greek language study and maybe move on to Italian. I don't know if my brain cells will tolerate it, but I'm going to try.

Mainly? I want to make 2009 one of the very best years and I want to include my family and friends in that journey.

Many blessings to all of you who comment here and prayers to all who can use some good thoughts for healing and courage for challenges you still face. Happiness to all!

merryway said...

Happy New Year to All!

Rufus, I love your outlook on life, good wishes on your next surgery.

I'm still going through the complete works of Shakespeare, that was a resolution from more than a few years ago. I go in spurts and had a life interruption and had not started again. I love Homer and have read Jane Eyre countless times. I have never been able to figure out my affinity for that particular book. I haven't read for a while. I tried getting into Wicked and started it several times. Dickens, well I always remembered he got paid by the word and it shows. I like a Tale of Two Cities, but pass on most of his. Oh, and the Pickwick Papers, I like them.

I don't make resolutions anymore, I do have goals. I have been working my way out of debt for several years. It's kind of strange because while so many people are losing their homes and suffering financially, I already did that and feel like I'm on the way back up while all these people are falling around me. Life has only gotten better these last few years. I'm not as driven by success and paycheck as I once was. It's kind of scary how content I am with the life I have now, it's certainly not what I envisioned some 25 years ago. So my goal is to keep on plodding my way out of debt and using the $s I have in the best way possible for my little one to get the most out of life.

Lizabeth, so sorry about the break-up. I would be hitting the 50% off aisle with the Christmas chocolate (the good stuff), a good movie and a soft blanket.

Fiona, I was wondering if anyone out there would be eating black-eyed peas. I have some friends in the South that are doing that today.

To all: May all your bumps in life be little ones in this upcoming year!

Saint said...

Why black-eyed peas?

We eat pork (I was told that pigs don't move backward when they eat, only forward, by a Gram who made a lot of funny nonsense up, so I don't know.)

I am not from the south...the north. But I have a sister-in-law from the south. I'll have to check to see if she secured their fortunes by eating her peas today.

Saint said...

Since we were talking classics, I thought I'd mention that Masterpiece theater on PBS will be airing Tess of the D'Urbervilles starting Jan. 4th. It's on Sundays at 9 around here, but may be on at different times in other areas. You know, check your local listings. Also, I see they are planning on showing Wuthering Heights, too. I am rarely disappointed in their productions.

michelle said...

I would like to lose my extra pounds. As I've aged, it has become easier to gain weight and harder to keep off or lose the weight!

I don't know if anyone else has this problem, but I would like to be more kind with myself. I'm someone who can be my own worst enemy. I have to remind myself that no one is perfect.

FIONA said...

I don't have an exact reason that we eat black eyes peas other than it is all I have known my whole life.

It is just a Southern tradtion. I make a very Paula Deen style dish...lots of bacon, onions and rice. Some people call it dirty rice....anyway, it is yummy.

Florida Mom said...

We eat black-eyed peas so we'll have a prosperous New Year.

I have so many things I want to work on in the coming year. Mostly, my spiritual life, and then the rest will fall into place.

Hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed 2009!

Saint said...

I Googled it. Black-eyed peas look like coins and collard greens like paper money. Ok then.

Saint said...

OK, and the pork thing is because they "root" forward, push forward, to move. Well, so my Grandmother didn't make that one up!

So good eating and good luck to you all in 2009!

merryway said...

To all you southerners, a friend of mine gave me a cornbread mix because it was not sweet. I don't usually use a mix, but I thought I'd use it to make hush-puppies. It was sweet mix after all (that yankee invention). They were so nasty I fed them to the birds.

My friends have never been able to tell me why they had to eat black eyed peas for good luck, it was just something they had always done/heard.

SamanthaNC said...

I'm a southern girl who never eats black eyed peas and cabbage- tradition or not. Personally I find it disgusting!

Theresa said...

Samantha-thanks for the dailylit url. Very cool.

As for resolutions, I need to get my butt exercising. Once I get going, I love it. But, the hard part is to make the time and just do it. Luckily, I do like to eat right, so I've got that part mostly down. Unless, I see Rocky Road ice cream.

I also plan to do more volunteering and more charity work.

Mom said...


Where have you been? Missed you! Hope you and yours had a fantastic Christmas.

Guinevere said...

I got married in June, had an issue with my hip that ended up needing surgery and I lost my job because of that. I found a new great job 3 weeks ago.

In 2009, I look forward to spending more time with my family, and hopefully by the end of the year getting pregnant, and working through challenges and experiences at my new job.

Bridget, sorry to hear about you losing your job, but congratulations on the new one. That's awesome. I have a little job uncertainty going on myself, so I'm hoping it works out in the first few months of 2009!

I don't think I've ever eaten black-eyed peas. I just read somewhere else yesterday that Bostonians often have Chinese food on New Years Eve. I don't have any traditions, really. We ended up at Chevy's last night after seeing a movie ("Milk" - it was very good).

I have 3 resolutions this year:

Quit smoking(starting tomorrow)

Best of luck, sweetie! I'm sure it's not easy, but you can do it!

MonicaW42 said...


Was that Chevy's as in Mexican food Chevy's? And if so, I am addicted to their chips and salsa. My biggest weakness though is the darn mushed corn crap that comes with the dinners. My hubby thinks I am mental for eating that.

Guinevere said...

Was that Chevy's as in Mexican food Chevy's? And if so, I am addicted to their chips and salsa. My biggest weakness though is the darn mushed corn crap that comes with the dinners. My hubby thinks I am mental for eating that.

Yes. I love the corn mush thingie too! It's soo good. I didn't get it this time, because I got the flautas appetizer (not as good as they've been in the past) and a side order of rice and beans. Refried beans are always so much better in Mexican restaurants than out of a can at home. I think they add some kind of animal fat to them. When I buy refried beans at the supermarket almost all the cans advertise themselves as "fat free!" or "99% fat free!", and I'm like, I want the fat! That's what makes the refried beans delicious!

MonicaW42 said...


If you get Rosarita Vegetarian refried beans at the store, they are the closet to restaurant style as you can get. I don't know why vegetarian style is the better of them. I also have a cookbook that copies restaurant food and have a recipe for the corn mush. I haven't tried it yet though cuz I am scared I will jack it up.

desben said...

My resoulutions for this year are to spend more time:
1. reading the bible and quiet time
2.with family and friends
3.being creative ( I finally finished my craft room, so I need to use it)
4.more "green" and health conscious
I love this blog and I'm looking forward to the new episodes of J&K plus 8. Best wishes to you all in the new year!