10) Moving out of my parents house. I had been living with them for close to two years and I never thought I would be able to afford to leave, but thankfully Andrew bought a lovely house and I was able to afford living there! Its made my relationship with my parents better and my brother too since we're not constantly breathing on one another.
9) Letting my hair grow out. I know that sounds dumb, but honestly I always say I'm going to do it and then I never do! This time last year I had cut off my hair and dyed it a very dark brown but its pretty much back to normal now.
8) Discovering true and lasting friendships. Most of these people should know who they are: Jessica, Melissa, Caitlyn, Laura, Sarah, Andrea and Megan I would say are the ones who have been there for me the most. I did loose some friends this year, but in the end the people who have stuck by me and with me are the ones who matter most. I know they are just a call, text or facebook message away if I never need anything! I am trying to live a life that is drama free and there are some people that still live to create drama.
7) Learning how to cook and bake different items. I've never had my own kitchen before and its allowed me to really experiment with my cooking and baking skills. I'm learning how to make things without recipes and I'm mastering all kinds of cookies as well.
6) Becoming an Aunt. Okay, I know that Andrew and I aren't married yet, but I still consider Isabelle to be my niece. Its been amazing watching her grow and change every weekend when I get to see her. She is almost 6 months old now, starting to crawl and getting her first two teeth!
5) Taking Andrew to meet my PA family this summer. I've been trying to get him there for a long time and we finally had the opportunity and time off work to go! It was wonderful for him to meet almost everyone that lives there and to see my favorite city, Pittsburgh. I'm not sure that it made him better understand my obsession with a city I have never actually lived in.
4) Seeing how people treat others during difficult times. As you all know my dad lost his job in April and people have had an overwhelming outpouring of generosity to my parents. Anonymous people have mailed gift cards and money and people at church have been helping them out as well. My dad has been able to do some side labor for a friend who owns a masonry business and my mom has taken over my old job at the consignment store. My extended family, well that is a different story and they are all handling what has gone on in different ways - some have been supportive and others have acted like its no big deal. I just pray the New Year will bring new hope for job prospects.
3) Learning the in's and out's of having/maintaining a home. This is a learning experience I never anticipated to be so time consuming! From learning how to turn off a well pump to the basics of a septic system or what to do when the faucet handle comes off or the sink starts leaking. The house has been such a learning experience, between cleaning, painting and all of the upgrades we have made I feel like I've gained a whole new mess of knowledge I didn't get from apartment living. Sure I knew about lawn maintenance and gardening but this other stuff was something in the great unknown.
2) Getting back together with Andrew. Okay, so this happened late in 2008 but didn't really work itself out till Valentines Day of 2009. I know that everyone has an opinion about our breakup and reconciliation, but I'm truly happy now and I think that's all that matters. In the long run we learned a lot from what happened and we are a stronger couple because of that.
1) Starting to become a healthier person. After months of denying that I had gained weight and months of acting like I was going to do something about it, I feel like I am back on track. I don't eat fast food on a regular basis anymore, I've totally cut pop out of my diet and instead drink more water and I've started working out every other day. I think I set my goals for weight loss too high at first but now I am starting to get back on track!
I know this has been a hard year for a lot of people but lets all hope and pray that 2010 is much better!