Monday, January 04, 2010

2009: Bidding Adieu, Best Of's, and Recapping

It is with great relief that I bid 2009 farewell... There have been some incredible highs in the last year (BlogHer, anyone?) but the lows took a toll that I feel like I am still paying some days.

Here is my recap of the 2009, complete with links to some of my best posts of the year.... the one's, as Suzie Soro puts it, "bleed" onto the page.

I started the year with a diagnosis of ADHD and the sad decision to put graduate school on hold. I had just finished up several months of therapy and was looking down the barrel of more. My husband and I were still in marital counseling and for every up there seemed to be two downs.

Moreover, I had given my husband the okay to look into his own return to school in a foreign country. I did so thinking that there was no way he would ever follow through with it, only to find that not only had he followed through with applying to a school abroad, but had gained entrance and was starting to make the monetary arrangements to move us all overseas!

The misery extended throughout the Spring, as I worried about moving. First I worried about myself, then I worried about my dear little Destructo, who was having an extremely rough time at school with his ADHD. We had finally started formulating an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) with his school and all the meetings involved that are designed to help, but that spend the bulk of their time dissecting all the ways your child is failing in the system, take an emotional toll that I wasn't feeling strong enough to shoulder. Thankfully, Daddy-007, who usually fights me like a cornered badger when confronted with medical/psychiatric issues with the children (like I want or kids to have issues), was on board for all the IEP-stuff, so I didn't have to carry that one solo.... Therapy was working!

Going through the IEP process made me wonder how we could move Destructo to a new country and school. I toyed with the idea of sending my husband off to England to do the boat design program he had his heart set on while I stayed home in Wisconsin with the kids, but dismissed it quickly. The last thing I wanted to do, after our months of work in counseling, was send my husband off and find out just how hard it is to be a single parent.... on the flipside, I really didn't want to find out how easy it might be, either.

We made plans in January to visit the UK and see Daddy-007's school and look at potential places to live.... and I found out at the airport that my passport was expired. So 007 flew off into the horizon and I cried, raged at my stupidity, and.... drove home.

We finally made it there together in April and that is when the year started to brighten. I fell in love with the area of England his school was in and we found an amazing house to rent. Everything was starting to look up.

Life in blog-land during all of this was going well, I did my fist VLOG (for Francesca of Mayhem & Moxie) which was a blast. After several late-night calls and even more nearly-peed-my-pants moments, Ann's Rants and I (along with our beloved Bernzie)teamed up in May to celebrate Mother's Day in the wurst VLOG ever and and took the " 'Sconnie Bloggers Forever" oath. Of course, a certain eloquent blogger named Maggie is a fellow oath-taker. No matter where we move, we're still 'Sconnies at heart, right? And we'll always have The Karaoke Kid BlogHer....

On the home front, my relationship with 007 strengthened over our newly unified path to England, but we continued to struggle with the pathologies of years of fighting while getting through the dreary business of deciding what to do with our house and all our belongings. First we were going to sell it, then we were going to rent it, we were going to put everything in storage then we decided to bring it along, then we decided to do both! The stress of going through 11 years of accumulated belongings (more in our case, as much of my husbands' mother's and grandmother's belongings are in our care), divvying everything into one of FIVE piles: 'throw away,' 'put in storage,' 'bring to the UK,' 'bring to the Salvation Army,' or 'garage sale.' The fights and realizations that ensued were legendary. And heartbreaking.

We headed into a whirlwind of a summer, that found us rarely together, as we rushed to pack in as many USA experiences with friends as we could before leaving in August. I went to the Rocky Mountain School of Photography for a week, he went kayaking with his brother for a week, I went to Chicago for BlogHer, he went to someplace I can't remember, and then left for the UK two weeks before I did.

Oh, yeah, and packed in between I had some health issues. Some I've shared and the other I am still working on diagnosing and figuring out how to control. I will blog about it eventually, but not until I fully understand it myself. Suffice it to say, that any health issue that hangs over your head as an unknown is not fun.

The big move over happened August 17th and has been a whirlwind of glad tidings and good cheer. Much to my surprise and delight. All my fears about moving to the country and feeling isolated and then having my loneliness turn into resentment of my husband have been put to rest, buried without a second thought.

I don't have a favorite post from the last five months yet, as I haven't really committed to writing the story that is in me. I am not usually stymied for words, and it is not a lack of ideas or thoughts that keeps me from writing now, rather I find that I have too many to cull through and where I would've just dropped them all into the ether a year ago, I do not feel comfortable doing so now. It is one of those moments that I wish for the anonymity of my fledgling blog, when I knew that nobody I actually "knew" was reading it.

My life is not just my own, as any mother knows and every wife eventually learns.

So, I will keep those stories encrypted until I figure out how to write them just so.


  1. What a year 2009 was for you!! I hope 2010 is happier, healthier, and more peaceful for you and yours.

  2. Amy, that was a beautiful post.

    I didn't write "absolutely" or even "very" in keeping with my resolution.

    Love you and miss you tangibly.


  3. It's great to hear of someone loving the UK - a still point of calm in the last decade? Happy New 2010!

  4. What a tumultuous year you've had. I don't think I could have handled it anywhere near as well as you have.

  5. I'm wiping the blood from my monitor now.

    It's so much easier to post a picture of a condom (hello me!) than write a post like yours. To come to terms about where we are and where we're going is very overwhelming. And brave.

    I'll tell you what I tell myself every day. Just live in the moment. If there was no tomorrow or next week we'd all be a lot happier. That being said, I ignore myself every day.

  6. This post - me, being someone who hasn't stalked your archives - not only introed me efficiently to your last year, but made the concept of moving to France seem even more doable. Especially since there're some of the same issues within my family (adhd, history of fighting). I'm happy I met you in Chicago.

  7. I had no idea how much was going on and if I had I would have certainly sent thoughts and prayers.

    As it is I'm not sure what to say - words don't do justice - but I really hope that this year is one of much joy and growth, both individually and as a precious family.

  8. August 17... otherwise known as the WORST DAY EVER.

    I miss you. I miss you in little places all the time, in little ways, that all add up to one big gaping way.

    You don't have to write everything, at least, not here. I'm thinking of you all the time. xo

  9. This caught me up on a lot. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Everything could be nice this year. Plan on it being good :)

  11. Wow. What a year! You come across in blog and twitter as someone who copes well and has fun with life, in spite of XYZ. Your rewards are coming! Hey, they're already here--it sounds like things are going well and my guess is that 2010 is going to be a pretty great year for you. x

  12. Wow Amy...that's one hell of a nutshell :)

    Here's hoping 2010 is "just so" enough for you to figure out where to begin the first chapter of The Bitchin' Book of Amy

    Peace ~ Rene

  13. I love these look backs over the year! When you're going through it, you don't realize the enormity of it all! But put it on paper (or monitor, as the case may be) and you see it and wonder "how in the hell did I get through it?" (I didn't realize how stressful my own year was until I wrote it down!)

    I'm really glad life is looking up for you and that you're enjoying your life in Merry Olde England!

  14. As I recently have gotten to know Ann and Maggie (as a native Sconnie myself) I have heard all about your wonderfulness and am bummed that I didn't meet you (and them) before you moved. :( Hopefully one day on a visit back I'll get the chance to drink beer from a boot with you. Keep me posted.

    And good luck with your health issues, whatever they may be.


  15. I discovered your blog as you were moving to the UK. I didn't realise all that you had been through in the months leading up to your move. Wishing you a very happy 2010. Lucy x

  16. I want you to come home....or maybe a spa ? This post is passionate with restraint . I miss you and the wild ones .....xp

  17. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

  18. I learned more about you in this one post than I could have by reading your entire body of work.

  19. What a wonderful recap. I'm dying to read those stories once you decide to share them. I'm glad your relocation was much better than you anticipated, too.

    Did I tell you I moved?

  20. Amy - I think I just kind of fell in love with you. The past year has not been my favorite as much as I've enjoyed it for the first full blogging year aspect. I can't write about so many things because my blog isn't anonymous (even though I do my best to be honest about the things I do cover). Obviously I can relate to the worries about children with special needs. But there is a lot more in this post that struck a chord. It makes me feel a little less alone to hear about a good marriage that isn't necessarily easy. Those bios that talk about "being married to my best friend" really don't convey how complicated it is to share your life with someone. And they usually just make me feel like I've failed at something. I guess full disclosure isn't an option for those of us who aren't anonymous...but I think you're very brave. Looking forward to hearing more of your story.


Thoughts appreciated. Advice welcome. Douche-baggery scoffed at then deleted.