Some of my favorite moments of 2010…recapped here, in ‘moment-style’…

at this moment, surer than ever…

life, amplified.

the vacation of a lifetime. like whoa.

moving…again.

the best summer ever, hands down.

…turning a corner, and recovering, my little Nals.

prosseco on the beach. Um, yes.

Maine, Maine, Maine, Maine and Maine!

auntie throwdown…in style.

Tiago. Enough said.

sweating a weekend away.

honest, true, friendship. And some epic-ness.

simple, yet powerful.

bloggy friend meet-up!

BISC Vegas-style!

of pity parties and clarity.

...realizing I’m worth more.

one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

until this.

I’m sure I’m missing many moments from 2010 that I’d rewind 100 times over because of what they stood for, what they’ve helped me become, and of course for the fun many of them entail. 2010…you’ve been one hell of a year, and if it’s been *that* good, I can’t even imagine how good 2011 is going to be. I’m belted in, and ready for the ride.

Bring it.


…is celebrating not only with family (who I of course love spending the holidays with, regardless), but with my “extended” family…my friends.

I was lamenting to my sister Jess the other day that this year, more than any other, I feel the closest with my friends than ever, and have a very specific set of whom I’d call my best friends. The friends I can count on two hands (or less) that I always enjoy spending time with, laughing with, sharing moments with, and sharing (and supporting) during the tough times too.

Friendships are hard. Let’s face it.

They take some work to define, some time to establish trust, and friendships are truly a commitment you need to honor. But, it goes both ways. It shouldn’t change when you get married, or meet a new significant other. Of course, friendships can adapt to changing forces in your life, but they shouldn’t be neglected, just like any relationship. But I’m proud to stand behind my friendships, as I value them so much. They are an extension of my family, truly. And I think that adds so much to life, doesn’t it?

I’m so thankful for my friends – you know who you are (I hope!) – and you’ve been my rocks, my support, my humor, and so much of my life this year. And I am so looking forward to ringing in the New Year with almost all of you (and those that cannot make it, you’ll be there in spirit!), because 2011 is going to knock the socks off 2010, I can feel it. For all of us. I just know it.

Friendship…‘if you want to cry, I’ll be your shoulder, if you want a hug, I’ll be your pillow, but anytime you need a friend, I’ll just be me.’

Is learning that being alone is okay.

That being independent is phenomenal.

That ultimately, I don’t *need* a man to be happy.

(so says she, now that she *has* a man.)

I know, that may be what some of you may be thinking. But truly, this year was a struggle with myself in terms of realizing that I need to release, let go, and it will happen (even though I *did* get sick of hearing this). And in the meantime, I can completely enjoy my life, for me, and nobody else.

And I did.

I think I met Doctor Boy at exactly the right time in my life, and in the year, because I firmly believe I needed to struggle through that in-between of wanting to be in a relationship and finding love, while also wanting to sustain my independence and life I’d built for myself. At the time I met Doctor Boy, I had finally released my mind from wanting to find love so badly and I think that really did help me. It helped me see the potential sitting in front of me, and in the time that had lapsed from my last quasi-relationship with CBE, I had my firm list of dealbreakers and dealmakers in mind, and knew that I wanted to keep my life as ‘mine’ as possible while also letting in love.

It’s still a struggle every single day, to be honest, in keeping the balance I want, while also releasing some of that routine that I don’t always need to keep and just enjoying the man – and the life – in front of me.

But I’m proud. Of how far I’ve come, in this second year post-marriage, learning to be “okay” with being alone and ultimately finding someone so special to share in the life I’ve built for myself. It’s been quite a year. And I won’t spend one day not realizing how blessed I am. I know it, appreciate it, and love it.

What are you most proud of this year?

~~
If you only knew what the future holds, after a hurricane comes a rainbow…maybe you’re reason why all the doors are closed, so you can open one that leads you to the perfect road…

I was trying to find a good quote for today to basically recap the year and this one struck a chord with me as I think it’s one some of you in this lovely bloggy family would appreciate and completely relate to as well.

“Never let go of hope. One day you will see that it all has finally come together. What you have always wished for has finally come to be. You will look back and laugh at what has passed and you will ask yourself… ‘How did I get through all of that?’

This year had its ups and downs. Started out okay, got rough in the middle (with Nala’s illness, financial struggles, frustrations and sadness over finding love, and my sister’s illness post-baby) and is now ending with a bang…love…a new beginning…and a lot to look forward to.

But looking back, at this year, and most certainly 2009 by far, it makes you realize how far you can get, even from the deepest feelings of despair. Of course, when tragedy strikes, it’s extremely difficult and won’t happen overnight, but when you get through the storm, the feeling is amazing. The strength, the resilience, the thankfulness, and for me, the most important is the perspective. It’s really gotten me through some difficulties by seeing things just slightly differently, realizing that things can *always* be worse, that life isn’t *that* bad and that while divorce is never easy, I’m grateful mine was not nearly as bad as many others have been, or could be.

And what I’ve wished for this year has completely come to me, and I can’t say it enough, I am grateful beyond words. To have a man in my life that treats me so well, that appreciates me, that loves me, and that makes me laugh, makes me smile, and makes my heart sing, is an incredible feeling.

It’s not the only thing I am grateful for this year, but it’s one of the many things that have made 2010 a life-defining year for me.

What about you? What defined your year? What came out of it that you most appreciate?

Seriously, is 2010 thisclose to being over?

As I look back at 2010, it’s really hard for me to capture my favorite moments of the year, but I plan to do that, as this year as turned into one of the best years of my life…something I never dreamed possible so soon after my divorce.

As part of that, I wanted to look back at some of my favorite posts of 2010 (here’s my list from last year – some of these continue to be my all-time favorites!):

  1. My blog series on my divorce: Probably one of the hardest things I have ever written, but with the most reward. The comments and feedback (emails and on my blog directly) were simply amazing.
  2. There’s Gotta Be Someone for Me Out There: My dealbreakers (and this list also ties in). And man, Doctor Boy fits all of these. Realizing that now as I re-read that post. Wow.
  3. Happy Birthday To Be Determined!: My blogoversary post was fun to write, and also tied back to some of my favorite posts and reasons why I blog.
  4. “When the world whispers ‘give up, Hope whispers, try it one more time:” One of several posts on Nala’s illness this year that I cried through writing (this was the other one) and knowing now that she is SO much better, my heart sings. I remember writing this and just praying so hard for improvement. Wow.
  5. “If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden:” One year anniversary of my Nonna’s passing. I still miss her every single day, but can feel her all around me. Always.
  6. My Man Audits (I and II) – these are just funny. Give ’em a read (perhaps gives new appreciation for finally finding love with Doctor Boy, no?
  7. Maine, if you were a man, I’d marry you. Wow, I already can’t wait to get back to Maine this summer. Absolutely my favorite memories and posts this year were about Maine. Brings me back to that happiness instantly.
  8. Sometimes all you need is family and a lot of faith: I wrote a lot about my sister Jen’s illness after she had my niece Isabel and this post makes me cry every time I read it. I was scared, I was worried and my heart was breaking for my sister. Looking back now, I am eternally grateful for her health now and my dear niece Isabel, well, I just love her to pieces…cue, next favorite blog:
  9. An Open Letter to my Niece Isabel Ann: This post is probably one of my top 3 favorite posts this year. I love her so much and the instantaneously love I felt for her will never, ever wane.
  10. Defining the Feeling and “Can I ask you a Question?”Two defining moments for me this year, beyond all else. I found love. Finally. Yes, this is it.
  11. And my bonus favorite post this year? My “I want” post – is still my all-time favorite post for the sheer fact that I got some of the best feedback I have ever gotten from you all. Thank you. Always.

It was so hard to pick some of my favorites because each and every post I write, I write with purpose and with meaning. I love to write, I love to share my story and I love, love, love all of the feedback and this blog family that gets bigger by the day.

2010…well, she had a fair share of ups and downs by as this year slowly comes to a close, the ups far outweigh the downs, like whoa.

Your independence.

When I asked Doctor Boy what the one thing he loved most about me was, I wasn’t expecting the response I got.

Him: “I love so many things about you. Do I have to pick one?”

Me: Blushing. “Yes.”

Him: “I love your independence.”

Me: “Really?” That’s what you love most? Wow.”

…and not that I don’t agree that I am independent. I guess I didn’t expect for it to be that obvious that I *am* independent or for him to love that so much about me. But he does. And that means so much to me. Because he respects my routine (yet nudges me to let go just a little bit), he respects my need for a healthy balance of me time, friend time, and time spent with him. And he just genuinely loves me for me.

And more and more, I am falling so hard in love, and it doesn’t scare me one bit. He’s really it. The real deal. The one I want to spent every minute with, that ‘gets’ my humor (as his is similar), that is driven (check!), happy (check!), also independent (check!), supportive of my every decision, and  one of the most generous men I have ever met (yet not in a going-overboard-to-woo-me way).

I told him that what I love about him is just that. His drive. His ambition. His generosity. HIM.

I love him. Through and through. He’s awesome.

Indescribable.

~~

And I never want to take it for granted. And I know I need to let go of my routine a little bit more. Or, invite him into it more. I do, to a point, but why not just embrace it? I will. One step at a time.

I’m learning a lot from my relationship with Doctor Boy.

Like being honest is key.

Like allowing for a little “room” in my routine.

…but also making sure I don’t get lost in un-routine either.

Yesterday morning, we woke up and I was hell-bent on getting my workout done (and not sleeping in *too* much, as I knew I had a lot to get done at home, like errands, and cleaning and my “usual” Saturday routine that calms me. Yes, cleaning and errands calm me and organize me! It’s part of my type A- nature!) and then going home to get started on said routine.

Doctor Boy asked me to stay for breakfast. And knowing that I had a lot to get done, I thanked him, but opted to go home to get things done.

When I left, I immediately felt a little selfish and too rigid in my “routine” (even though, for the record, I tossed said routine out the window the weekend prior because I had a busy weekend and sometimes it just doesn’t get done, even for me). And I texted him and told him that I felt badly for leaving without breakfast with him first, but that sometimes I just need to get to my routine.

And he said that it’s one thing he’s tried to do…de-routine sometimes.

Which made me feel worse.

But then he proceeded to tell me “not to change a thing” because it’s what makes me “me” and he loves for who I am (even with my sometimes-rigid routine).

So, I’m learning.

To be honest and stick to what I want to do, even if it isn’t always compromise. (because as much as I am all for compromise and meeting in the middle, I also think there is value with sticking to what you want, even if it’s as ‘small’ as simpling going home sans breakfast)

But also that as much as I have my own routine, I also have someone else in my ‘routine’ with me and I need (and want) to allow for that too. I’m still adjusting to maintaining balance and the in-between, and it takes a level of deliberance (is that a word), that I often think about. As natural and as much as I want to spend every waking minute with Doctor Boy, I also still completely enjoy my ‘me’ time (which includes my routine) and I think that’s okay.

I think it’s important to maintain that sense of self and individuality in a relationship. At least it is for me.

And the fact that Doctor Boy loves that about me means a lot. He respects it, and I respect his similar need to spend time with his friends and family too.

It feels as though the making for something special, long term, is really and truly there. I’ve felt it for awhile now, but I’m more sure than ever now. I learn every day, I learn.