Top 10 from 2009

Ten photos—favorite bits of my life this past year.

1. Lucy with her Friends (March)

I love, love, love these girls. And I love how happy other people make Miss Lu (most of the time). This year, it was like Lucy's (already) social personality exploded—I look at this photo and it gets me excited for the fun and friends in her future.

2. Boston

Near the end of March, I went to Boston for the first time. I spent most of my time in Cambridge as that's where the conference was (my first ACLA [American Comparative Literature Association]!). I loved walking around the Harvard campus, trying to find spots my parents would have frequented during their years there. But my favorite part of the trip happened on Sunday: my friend Bethany and I attended church in the same building where my parents attended. After years of stories, it felt a little bit like coming home. (Sadly, the building burned to the ground shortly after I was there—I'm so glad I thought to take a few photos!)

3. Family in Our Home (April)

April, Joe, and Co. came to Utah. Cousin craziness ensued. It was awesome. And one of my favorite things ever.

4. Steven's Graduation (April)

Mom and Julie came down for two days of graduation partying. I got to show off the power of the A-lot sticker when parking for the ceremonies. I felt pretty good about that :) This graduation was a big deal to me—kind of the end of an era. Having Steven at BYU meant he was close by; I loved knowing he was.

5. Kayaking on Lake Washington (May)

Miss Lu could not get enough of the kayak. Everyone took turns paddling her around. I love the looks on their faces here—this trip Lucy started to "get" Uncle Dan a bit more. And then she started teasing back.

6. The Lion Dance (June)

Lu's first experience with a dance class was a hit. She was so very excited to perform the "Lion Dance" (to the song "I Just Can't Wait to be King" from The Lion King) on the big stage in front of "lots and lots of people." Although she looks like she's giving us the peace sign here, she's actually showing off her claws and growling ...

7. The Move

We moved to New Mexico! Seriously, the biggest thing ever. Nick went down a month beforehand to start work; Steven flew out to Utah to help me load the moving truck and send it on its way. Then Steven, Lucy, and I had an awesome roadtrip down to Los Alamos. We wandered a bit here and there: we hit Arches (that's where this pic's from), we stood on the Four Corners, we held an impromptu Michael Jackson dance-off—in the car—while stuck in construction traffic, we ate fry bread and looked for hotels with swimming pools open past 9 pm so Lu could cool off. And then we all ended up at the Best Western in Los Alamos. It had air conditioning, so everything worked out ok.

8. Monster Hail: The Surprise Attack Version

July 6, 2009 was a pretty normal day ... until the hail started falling that afternoon. Huge, monster hail. The kind that dented our cars (one was later totaled out by the insurance company), broke windshields, and had me praying that the glass roof in the sunroom would survive intact (it did; we were lucky).

9. Sandpiper Sand Castle (August)

My favorite vacation spot; my favorite vacation tradition. The building of the giant sand castle. This year's castle included a new addition: driftwood supports. Oh, and Nick built a "throne" into the side so Miss Lu would have a place to rest as she ruled.

10. More Friends (October)

We've been so blessed to find new, dear friends here in New Mexico. We miss our Sandy friends, and always will. But I'm grateful we've landed in such great spot—I really feel like God had a hand (and possibly a whole arm) in getting us here. Hope we can pay him back somehow.

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