Thursday, February 19, 2009

Best of 2008

Inspired by a sister's email, and the fact that it is almost March, here's my belated best of list for 2008. I've been exchanging these lists with Mary Alice and Angie for at least a decade, and most years, with my siblings too.

Last year, my OCD played out in a need to post on each topic and write about almost every movie I saw in 2007. I'll spare you this year and share just the top 5 of some categories.

Best Books I Read in 08:
    1. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
    2. Breathing Lessons By Anne Tyler
    3. The Now Habit by Neil Fiore
    4. In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
    5. Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
    Best Children's books (chapter bks) in 08:
    1. Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls
    2. The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne R. Banks
    3. Encyclopedia Brown by Dan Sobol
    4. Franny K Stein series by Jim Benton (some more than others)
    5. The Water Horse by Dick King Smith
    Best Movies I saw in 08:

    The best things I watched last year were "John Adams" and "Battlestar Galactica", both cable miniseries. We rarely go to movies, but we watch a DVD almost every weekend. So you probably saw most of my favorites in 2007.

    1. There Will Be Blood
    2. The Darjeeling Limited (*caveat: I loved it, but doubt most people would like it)
    3. In Bruges
    4. Slumdog Millionaire
    5. The Diving Bell & the Butterfly
    My mother-in-law asked me how I could like "In Bruges", when I profess to dislike violent movies. She's right, I'm inconsistent. I detest violence and in movies, it often requires me to distance myself from the story, to constantly remind myself "this isn't real"---or it terrifies me and I stop watching. So I'll never see "Dark Knight" or "No Country For Old Men," despite the reviews.

    But there are exceptions. I loved "Fargo" which is quite violent, and "There Will Be Blood" as well as "In Bruges" and "Gone Baby Gone" were all favorites this year because, while violent, they are all character-driven movies. I'm sure they are too violent for some (so you've been forewarned) but they worked for me.

    Best Kid Movies/Rentals:

    1. Iron Giant
    2. The Water Horse
    3. WALL-E
    4. Boys Town
    5. Lilies of the Field
    Best Songs I discovered in 08:
    1. "Lucky" by Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat
    2. "Chicago" by Lucy Wainwright Roche
    3. "Orange Sky" by Alexi Murdoch
    4. "Night Mantra" by Renee & Jeremy
    5. "Lost Verses" by Sun Kil Moon, "Everything'll Be Alright" by Joshua Radin, and more...
    Best Blog Discoveries:

    Ordinary Courage--Brene's stories of working/raising children/developing superpowers. Love it.

    Soulemama--Amanda's beautiful site on her family and crafting and living well.

    mAJjc Show-- Just so happy my friend Angie is blogging:-)

    Camp Creek --Lori's project-based learning wonderland

    molly irwin--she loves paper, photos, textiles, and shares them all. Great source.

     MA, Angie and I also include more reflective categories, like 10 Best memories and 2009 resolutions (or "revolutions" as we call them).  Here are snippets of them:

     Best Moments of 2008:

    1. The birth of Nolan Elliott Keating.

    My water broke at 11 pm, the night before our scheduled c-section. At the hospital, I couldn't stop laughing, giddy over our luck in having picked the right day, our luck in having traveled a day early, and our luck in having a third child. For days I had stressed about being apart from his big brothers, but once Nolie was here, I was so grateful for those cocoon-like days in the hospital with just Bri, Nolan, and me.

    2. Visits! Over eight different friends/families came to stay with us last year. Moab isn't an easy place to get to, so we always appreciate when people make that effort. Lots of great moments and memories.

    3. November 4th---Barack Obama was elected president, and Brian turned 40. Good day.

     Favorite Lessons/Realizations:

    1. "Perfect is the enemy of the good." I thought I said it, but turns out Voltaire beat me to it.

    2. White balance. A common phrase in scrapbooking, but I loved Lori's application of it to life.

    3. Being kind is more important than being right. I heard Anne Lamott say that, and I need to hear it often.

    Favorite Accomplishments:

    1. Building a website for a local non-profit.

    2. Learning to use my digi Rebel and how to shoot in manual (lots more to learn, but a lot learned as well); consistently taking lots of photos.

    3. Staying sane (for the most part) despite a year of sleep-deprivation.

    Most Grateful for in 2008:

    1. My health, the health of my family and friends, and our time here together. Priceless.

    2. The community we've found here, our neighbors, our church family, our friends. I'm also incredibly grateful to my two closest long-distance friends---who keep me writing these long lists so I can read theirs every year. I can't imagine the world without them, and hope I never have to.

    3. That after all this time, I'm still crazy about Brian. I'm grateful he still likes me too, of course, but I'm even more grateful that I love him. Marriage is challenging, and I often wonder how people who aren't crazy in love with their partners stand it.

    Goals/Intentions for 2009:

    1. To complete most of my 40 Before 40 list.

    2. To stay committed to better eating/fitness habits. (that's my PC way of saying I want to buy a new pair of jeans in a smaller size for my 40th bday)

    3. To be keenly aware of what I am saying "no" to before I say "yes". For too long, my no's have mainly been to my own self-care, namely sleep. I'm going to be less sleep-deprived in 2009, and if that means saying "yes" less often, I'm prepared to be okay with that.

    We also pick a word to be the theme of our year, ala Ali Edward's One Word. This year my word is Time. I want more time. I want to choose carefully how I use/spend my time. And mainly, I want to Take My Time.

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