So here goes:
1. Getting Married
This is something I've wanted to do since I was sixteen. Due to a penchant for choosing unsuitable men (up until recently of course!) and a tendency to mistake pure lust for love, I've had to wait until the grand old age of thirty-six to marry the Love of my Life. They say the best things come to those who wait.
2. Scuba Diving in Thailand
I used to be a hardcore diver, happy to plunge into the icy depths of the Channel and the Irish Sea in nothing more than a semi-dry (for all you non-divers that's neoprene that is 7mm thick on the arms and legs, and14mm thick on the torso and looks like this).
Since having Ella I've become a committed holiday diver, and a very infrequent one at that. Diving and kids don't mix too well (it's often a pricey holiday and what the hell do you do with your little ones when you're underwater - leave them on the boat with a bunch of strange men?).
Diving with John during our honeymoon just off Kho Phi Phi island, in the Krabi province of Thailand, was a really special experience. John started to learn how to dive in the UK six months before our holiday, doing both his Open Water and Advanced courses so that he was qualified to dive to the same depths as me.
The aquatic life was beautiful and plentiful. Watching the fish and holding hands with my new hubby under the warm, clear Andaman sea was a big high point of 2009. Shame J put his back out the next day, rending him out of action for diving and other wonderful honeymoon pursuits (yes, including that kind) for the rest of the holiday.
3. Falling Pregnant with Number Two (and finding out my lil sis had beaten me to it)
Ever since a year after Ella was born, I have hoped to give her a sibling. I was resigning myself to the fact that I wouldn't ever have another child - firstly due to no suitable potential father, and then once I'd met and fell in love with J hearing him protest frequently that he felt too old, impatient and knackered to deal with a baby.
Somehow, miracle of miracles, the tide turned and J agreed to go for it. I gave up booze, he gave up smoking, and 2 months later I was up the duff. Result. I called my sis, the lovely Urban Pixi whose reaction made me even happier: "I was waiting for you to say that, I'm eight weeks pregnant!".
I'm sure you can imagine my delight at being able to share all the strangeness of pregnancy with a loved one who is experiencing the same things, for example:
- A smorgasbord of aches and pains (back, feet, and occasionally feeling like someone has kicked you in the fanny due to SPD)
- Frequent night-time loo trips
- Bizarre bodily happenings e.g. nipples turning from a light cinnamon to a dark chocolate, a constant view of the inside of our belly buttons, butterfly flutters in our tummies from the little bairns.
4. Camping in the Witterings
Me, J and Els and a bunch of our favourite people (with a few sorely missed exceptions) went camping in The Witterings.
The sun shone for days, we lounged on the beach and swam in the sea, played in dinghies, made sandcastles, and - when the kids were in bed - had wonderful al fresco evenings involving much quaffing of wine, lots of giggles and a few ticking offs from the campsite owner for our effusive, and rather loud, conversation post-11pm. Tut tut.
All of the eight kids were pretty good throughout our holiday, so much so that the childless members of the group were charmed and broody in equal measure.
5. Working with SAP BusinessObjects
The marketing agency I get most of my work from had their contract extended to work with another part of SAP, and so I took my first steps into the world of Business Intelligence. I won't bore you with the details, but basically this has increased my hours to about 20-25 per week which has turned out to be a perfect work/life and time/money balance for me.
It has also given me the opportunity to get out of the house more (I usually work from home), thanks to regular partner and internal SAP meetings and at least one day a week working on-site at the SAP BusinessObjects offices. To top it all off, some of the new team and new SAP partners are really fantastic to work with, and the software itself is really interesting. Honestly it is!
2009 has been a fantastic year, and I'm fully expecting 2010 to be the best year yet. I have a fabulous, sexy hubby, a beautiful, intelligent daughter, a job I love, a new baby and a new niece/nephew on the way, lots of time, lots of freedom, enough money, wonderful friends. And I know there's more good stuff coming my way.
Bring it on!
I'm tagging these fabulous bloggers to share their 2009 highlights:
My good friend, and (who knew it until now?) wonderfully warm and witty writer Hari at Thankyou For the Days
Undisputed Queen of the Mummy Bloggers, Susanna at A Modern Mother
Feisty, zany and thoroughly entertaining Jo Beaufoix
The no-holds-barred-make-you-pee-your-pants-with-laughter-yet-often-poignant More Than Just a Mother
And, last but not least, the Uber Parent Amy at And 1 More Means Four who is the personification of calm and good parenting - she has four girls with a boy on the way and manages to hold down a part-time job too. Wow.
I'd love to hear some of your highlights too - leave me a comment and let me know what delights 2009 has brought you.