Posted by: Elizabeth | December 6, 2009

Best of 2009

I read (or at least follow) a bunch of other blogs.  Lots of my friends have blogs where they post family photos, and I love watching the kids grow up and getting good parenting ideas that way.  I also read some newsy blogs, some funny blogs, and lots of pastor/church blogs.  One that I really enjoy is written by a woman I don’t think I’ve ever met, and I’m not even exactly sure how I came across the blog in the first place.  But it’s one of my favorites.  The writer is a Presbyterian pastor and the mom to three kids.  She says profound things, but also is honest and funny and reflective.  She writes pretty equally about church and family, as it should be.  Someday I’d like to have an interesting blog like hers.

One thing she’s doing right now that she got from another blog is a challenge to write a blog post every day during December about the best of 2009.  I’m obviously way behind already, but I thought I’d give it a shot.  Here’s the catch-up so far:

1.  Best Trip:  First I have to give the disclaimer that most of my 2009 “bests” have something to do with Caroline.  So sorry if that’s not very original… but… let’s see.  Best trip: besides the trip to the hospital to have baby Caroline (yes, I know that’s cheesy), hands down it was our babymoon to Kauai in February.  I had never been to Hawaii before and was a wee bit skeptical, but after a long Seattle winter I was antsy for some sun.  Kauai did not disappoint.  It was gorgeous.  Even in the few rain showers, we were happy to sit in our lounge chairs by the ocean (and pool – right next to each other).  Everyone we saw was totally relaxed and most focused on having a nice time.  You can’t say that in the city every day, now, can you?

Self-portrait (with camera timer) on the beach

2. Best Restaurant Moment. Share the best restaurant experience you had this year. Who was there? What made it amazing? What taste stands out in your mind? This is a tough one.  One of the first restaurant experiences that popped into my mind was not all that extraordinary, really, but I just really enjoyed it.  My sister came over and we went downstairs in our building and got sushi.  Caroline was little – she slept in her carseat for the whole dinner.  I don’t remember what we talked about, but I remember laughing and having a good time and being thankful that Emily is close enough to see on a regular basis.  Another amazing moment was going to Nishino with Steven for my birthday.  It was the first time we’d left Caroline for that long, as she was less than a month old.  My mom flew into town that day, and she kept Caroline that evening.  It was so awesome to be out like grownups, but I basically thought about her the whole time!  The food was AMAZING.  We did the chef’s choice thing, which means they just brought us whatever the chef decided to prepare that night.  Tons of stuff we never would have ordered, but everything was delicious.  Okay, and here’s a third: eating PukaDogs out on the lawn in Poipu, Kauai.  I have craved those things ever since.

3.  Best Article. What’s an article that you read that blew you away? That you shared with all your friends? Call me a nerd, but it might have been this.  I am more excited about this than I can even tell you.  I’m seriously bummed that Christmas Eve church coincides with the game, and wondering if it might be worth it to get tivo for this one magical evening.

4.  Best Book. What book – fiction or non – touched you? Where were you when you read it? Have you bought and given away multiple copies? Perhaps it’s the mom brain, but I really can’t remember what all I’ve read.  I read something fabulous on the plane to Hawaii – I only remember because I simply had to finish it before going out sightseeing one day (it must have been fabulous!).  I left it in the hotel room for the next vacationer to enjoy.  I also read a lot while using the breastpump (sorry if that’s TMI) for 6 months.  One of those books was Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons.  It’s one of the two books I know of that I’ve actually read twice – the other was To Kill a Mockingbird – and I found it just as moving and powerful the second time.  I gave it to my friend Crystal to read.  [I also read a lot of David Sedaris essays while pumping – and I must say a good laugh cannot be overrated.]

5.  Best Night OutDid you have a night out with friends or a loved one that rocked your world? Who was there? What was the highlight of the night?
If not the birthday at Nishino referenced above, perhaps one of our symphony dates.  Or a fantastic fancy dinner with scrumptious chocolaty dessert in Kauai.  Best part: just being with Steven and enjoying each other’s company.  We get so busy we forget to do this on a regular basis.

6.  Best Workshop or ConferenceWas there a conference or workshop you attended that was especially beneficial? Where was it? What did you learn? I am so thankful that I attended Exploration with the young adults from the Pacific Northwest Conference last month.  There were other workshops I went to during the year that were good, but being in Dallas, seeing tons of old friends and classmates, and being inspired by their vocational discernment and bold faith cannot be matched.

Okay.  I’m caught up for today.  Let’s see if I can keep up the rest of the month. :)



  1. Hi Elizabeth! I just wanted to pop in and say g’day. I added your family to my blogroll and wanted to let you know that I’m enjoying your updates and your precious pictures of Caroline. She’s so lovely to look at :) Plus, its fun to read about how you’ve adjusted to working as a mom. Thanks for sharing! – Cristin from SMU

    • Thanks, Cristin! What’s your blog address? I’d love to read yours, too!

      • Oh, thank you! But I am blog-free. I don’t think my life is really interesting enough to chronicle. I sometimes wish that I had a creative outlet to explore thoughts and journal the progress of life and marriage. Maybe it will be a project for 2011 :)

  2. Wow! I’m totally honored that I was a part of one of your best meals. But I’m really surprised you didn’t pick the Spaghetti Factory!

    And Ellen Foster is one of my favorites too. Best first line of a book ever. “When I was a little girl I used to think of ways to kill my daddy.”

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