When Yesterday Becomes Last Year

December 30th, 2008

Tomorrow will be New Year’s Eve. There’s always the strangest feeling in the air on the last day of the year, and the same can be said for the first day. There’s an odd sense of closure as you bid the year farewell; and an equally odd sense of unfamiliarity as you wake on the first day of a new year anxious to see what will unfold. Don’t ask me why but I vividly remember the New Year’s Eve when 1987 became 1988. I was 6.5 years old, and I stood bawling next to my mother telling her that I didn’t want 1987 to end. I think that’s the only time I’ve ever cried at midnight. This year, if there happen to be tears, they will be warm and happy. I will look back on 2008 fondly and it will be noted as one of the best I’ve ever lived.

CNN had a poll today asking which one thing you’ll remember 2008 for. I can sum that up in one word – election. This was the third time that I’ve had the privilege to vote for our president, and the first time I did so with passion. I was an early supporter of Obama and never wavered. There were several family functions here in Kansas that I made the decision to not wear my “Obama Mama” T-shirt, as to not be written out of any wills. No matter which box you checked on election day, no one can argue that it was exhilarating to be a part of the most historic election of our lifetime, and likely one of the most profound in history.

Professionally 2008 will be a memorable year for both Shelton and I. I began a new job in December 2007 and have spent the past year working more than I ever have before. Granted, I get to do it from the comfort of my home, and often in pajamas and beer-thirty comes earlier in the day than it ever did in a cubicle! It’s the most work I’ve ever done, and it’s proven to be the most rewarding. I’ve had the opportunity to be an integral part of a start-up company, and watch a Web site grow from an idea to a formidable competitor. Our diet and healthy living site, DietsInReview.com, is something I’m quite proud of.

As Shelton and I have watched the unstable economy affect people coast-to-coast, we also watched it inch nearer to us. In November Shelton was laid off. We feel fortunate that we’ve made smart decisions and financially are not in the tail-spin that so many are facing. We’re by no means going out to buy matching his-and-her yachts tomorrow, but for the next few months we don’t need to worry about paying the rent, the car payment, putting food on the table or making sure we have plenty of those oversized Tic-Tacs Shelton likes so much! If this baby journey has taught us anything, it’s that there’s a reason for everything, and every closed door presents unexpected opportunities. Our plan is still to do our IVF in the summer of 2009; but given the current situation I can’t help but wonder if that will be tabled once again. I pray that this time next year I am bump-tastic!

Our year had many celebrations. Each of Shelton’s brothers had a baby girl this year, giving us two healthy, beautiful nieces. I’m getting pretty damn good at this auntie business. We’d obviously prefer to see more of them and be able to be a more active part of their lives, but their parents keep us appeased with constant new pictures and stories. Our nephew is now old enough to say, his version at least, our names. “Branee” has never sounded more beautiful than it does coming out of that 3’ tall two-year-old’s mouth. It seems our bounty of nieces and nephews continues to grow, as this Christmas my sister informed us that she’s expecting the day after my birthday. That’s another post all by itself. Simply put, I can’t wait to be an aunt to my sister’s child. We also had the opportunity to watch some dear friends marry, in one of the most incredible weddings I’ve ever attended, and begin the next chapter of their lives.

To some it may seem petty, but our beloved OU Sooners had one hell of a stellar year on the football field. They broke a record by having five consecutive games score more than 60 points, they beat OSU in a fantastic Bedlam match-up, they beat Missouri in the BIG XII Championship, and Sam Bradford won the Heisman trophy. Now we anxiously await the final game of the season – the national championship. My fingers are tightly crossed that we carry that trophy all the way back to Norman.

I saw both coasts this year, and even skied down a very tall mountain in Colorado without breaking any limbs. I stood 10’ feet away from Adam Duritz at a Counting Crows concert, danced with Shelton to our wedding song at a Dave Matthews concert, and had the awesome pleasure to have dinner with Marc Cherry. All of this would not have been possible without a fun job that allows me to travel, and some generous birthday and holiday gifts.

Tomorrow night as the clock strikes midnight, Shelton and I will mark the eighth year we’ve been a couple. It feels like an eternity in the best way possible. When I look back on 2008, I’ll remember that we were happy, healthy and that we continued to grow together. I’m so excited to see what 2009 holds for us. We’re keeping our eyes on the prize and are going to do everything in our power to get knocked up this year!

Happy New Year to all of you, and thank you for all of your continued support!