I am sad to see the year that was Paris end and say good-bye to this calendar.
If you are a regular reader you will recall last Christmas when my daughter's family gave me a ticket to Paris. In January I got my passport and started "training" for Paris - getting in shape and losing weight.
This time last year I was excited to start a new job at the university on January 23.
In February we attended the Soupbowl which is a local fundraiser supporting the Hoosier Hills Food Bank. Doug's middle son is a major player there working for the USDA. I love pottery and you get to pick your bowl and take it home.
In March the Little Bee turned one and I made the trip out to Maryland for the celebration. I rejoined the "tough gym" and started working out harder. We had a visit from Doug's oldest son and his wife from AZ. They brought their adorable baby puppy and their older dog so Chelsea had visitors, too.
In April I continued to work out. I had a visit from my dear friend, Kathy, from my home town. She and I have been friends for over thirty years and first met at the YMCA in New Castle.
May was our trip to Paris. I worked out until two days before. It was a good thing I had lost weight and worked out so much as we walked all over Paris. Little Bee toddled everywhere with us and charmed the Parisians. I wore my Paris pink tennis shoes so all who met me knew I was an American. All too soon we were back home. I started taking kick boxing after we returned.
In June we went to an appreciation banquet for our local world music festival, Lotus. When the question was put to us "who would like to become more involved?" I made my way up front and handed over my business card.
My friend, Bectoria, from TN joined us for the Taste of Bloomington. She and I have been friends since age five and we are quite like sisters.
In July, my sweet friend Jennifer and I went hiking at Turkey Run State Park to celebrate her upcoming birthday. Then the week of her birthday there was a huge Hawaiian themed birthday party. I continued with kickboxing and purchased my new Trek bicycle and started riding- mostly rails to trails paths.
The first weekend of August was my class reunion in my hometown. On Friday night I had dinner with my old lunch group - Bec, Beth & Shelley. Saturday was my reunion and it was great to see everyone, but I had a terrible migraine. I was able to visit with my friends Kathy and Elaine, also. Elaine and I have been friends since my son was in high school and he dated her daughter. She likes to joke that she is my most conservative friend and that is possible, but there is a lot of love and respect between us and I value her opinion and encouragement.
The second weekend in August my daughter and her wife and Little Bee visited. Doug and I took Little Bee to Wonderlab and had a great visit with her. I hope we can take her back as she grows. My daughter, Big Bee and Little Bee and I took Little Bee to the parade in Mooreland where my Grandma used to live and we all went to the Mooreland Fair together. All of my life and my daughter's life we went to the fair and my daughter wanted to take her daughter to the parade and fair. Doug and I visited the Indiana State Fair and checked out all of the chickens. I started volunteering for Lotus working with the volunteer coordinator and the visual arts committee.
On the last day of August I headed to North Carolina to see my son for his birthday. I was able to stay with my friend Laura. She and I have been friends since age 17 and my daughter is named for her. I am now honorary aunt to her daughter, Isabelle. I got to meet my son's girlfriend's parents and brother. We all played games together, went hiking and had a couple of birthday celebrations for my son. My son's girlfriend's mother and I discovered we have a lot in common.
We had a drought this summer and when it finally rained, the lower portion of our house was flooded. But I got new carpet in the bedroom and we didn't lose anything. It could have been worse.
In September Little Bee was here for a visit again with her Mommy and Mama and Doug and I took her to the Indianapolis Zoo. We had a wonderful day in so many ways - the weather was fantastic, the Bee did great and she had a lot of hugs from random children and met a brother and sister that she played chase and danced with. She was worn out in the end, but it was a good day. We returned to Bloomington and went to the IU/BSU football game. The only time I cheer against IU is when they play BSU. We trounced them and I was so obnoxious Doug got up and sat elsewhere. (IU in turn spanked us when the IU/BSU basketball game rolled around.)
The third weekend in September was the Lotus Music Festival. Doug ended up getting recruited to work too. I put in forty hours of volunteer work but felt so appreciated and fulfilled.
In October I went to dinner for the last time before my good friend Marilynn moved to PA. I was sad to see her go but happy for her as she moved out east to be with her family. I miss her and our talks. Marilynn is very straight forward and practical and direct and always told me what she thought, which I greatly value.
October is my birthday month and my close friend Donna's son got married on my birthday. It was a fun day. I got up early and had my hair done and then we headed to Indianapolis. There was the ceremony, dinner and dancing. A good way to spend my birthday with a good friend.
The first weekend in November Doug and I went to my friend Bethany's Halloween party. He went as Walter White from Breaking Bad and I went as Mother Nature. It was a lot of fun even if no one knew who we were supposed to be.
The second weekend in November our friend Eric visited from Hawaii and stayed with us for a few nights.
For Thanksgiving we hosted Doug's family and had family in from Idaho, Illinois and Northern Indiana. We ate a lot, hiked a lot and went to the Holiday Market together. The Holiday Market is one of my favorite events of the year.
The first weekend in December my son visited us from North Carolina. I made chicken and noodles for him and we had fun running around Bloomington together.
The second weekend in December we went to my hometown to see my parents and sister, our good friends John & Kathy and my friend Elaine.
On the twenty-second I left to drive out to Durham, North Carolina where I visited with my high school friend, Laura and her family. I stayed with my son in his new apartment. His girlfriend's family had a big party on Christmas Eve. It was great to meet a lot of my son and his girlfriend's friends and her parent's friends. Her family is great and I spent time with her parents and brother and extended family. Everyone was so kind to me and everyone told me how much they think of my son. On the twenty-sixth I drove to MD to be with my daughter and her wife and Little Bee. Little Bee is saying everything and started sleeping in her "big-girl bed" (toddler bed) while I was there. I made chicken and noodles and Little Bee gobbled up the chicken as fast as she could. My daughter is the greatest gift giver and this year she bought me several things from my Amazon wish list. I had wonderful visits with both of my children but oh-too-soon it was time to come home. The day I started driving home (the 30th), I came down with a bad cough and cold. I've been off work for eleven days and return to work tomorrow. Since returning home I've done nothing but laze about but am feeling a bit better.
While I was away there was a blizzard in Bloomington. Here is the back 40:
I also helped out my friends Cindy and Wayne in their store, Papertrix, and was able to do some demos and take some classes with Cindy. I love Cindy for her enthusiasm and I always feel very energized after spending time with them in Nashville.
Evening outings included The Meeting of the Intelligent Minds with friends Jeanna and Marilynn. Since Marilynn moved, Jeanna and I have fallen apart.
I also got together with law firm girls Alissa and Stefanie. Stef moved away but there is a great Mexican restaurant about half-way so we still get together.
My girl gang includes MaryJo, Karen, Anne and Rene. What happens with the girl gang stays with the girl gang.
I got together as often as I could with Jennifer. We have wine and talks and "fire time" in the winter months. This gal is the wind beneath my wings.
As you can tell, I had a wonderful year with family and friends. We are active in our community.
I was named a columnist for Her magazine and was a guest blogger for little Indiana and wrote for the debut magazine.
In 2013 I hope to work out more, ride my bicycle more, get rid of more, and write more. Thanks for a wonderful year and your kind encouragement and positive comments.
Go get 'em.
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