Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Re-cap of 2008!

In January I got to give two workshops at the Southwest Washington Early Learning expo thing (I am really bad at remembering the names of things and I don’t want to go look them up), I went a little overboard, but this is me we are talking about – I don’t do simple.

In February I went up to Seattle for a networking meeting of all Infant Toddler people in the Pacific Northwest, I love this group of women and one man!

In April/May I was in California working for nearly 2 weeks – it was great fun. For the past 10 years I have helped One Circle put on huge events and this year we rocked! I had amazing volunteers and actually got to enjoy (and sit down) for part of the event. Then I got to lecture at UCLA (hello, me really!) It was very intimidating, but loads of fun. Everyone was super nice (even the people I made lay on the dirty ground- my lecture was on gross motor development and I needed some models).

This past July I went to Budapest AGAIN – love that place. They were having an advanced course on Infant Toddler development and I had to go again. I learned so much and even got to do some observations. While I was there we took a 32 hour trip to Vienna and had a blast. The highlight on Vienna was the food and most importantly the strudel, yum-o!
The day after I came back from Budapest I drove up to Seattle to help with a training for like 4 or 5 days (it really is all a blur), it was a lot of fun and I met some great people. Getting to work with my mentor Polly is always a treat. The only room left in the hotel I always stay at in Seattle was the “kings suite” it was amazing. It had two (yes, two) big flat screen TV’s one in the bedroom and one in the living room. With all that luxury I was expecting a decent tub (you know me and my almost nightly baths) and it was just an ordinary tub, boo.

September – I took on a crazy project. I had the opportunity to use the Vancouver Hilton Hotel free of charge pretty much, so I decided to organize a training with me as the trainer. I had over 60 people there and had to hire a good friend to be my assistant. It was a great day and Polly sent me flowers – the first time anyone (yes anyone) has ever sent me flowers and it totally made my day.
The last weekend before summer ended my mom, sister, her three kids and I went camping at Cape Lookout on the coast. We had a great time, got eaten by a ton of mosquitoes and enjoyed some cool sunsets and discoveries on the beach.

In October I got to speak at the Seattle Infant Conference again and I love this event, the people are awesome and my friends put it on. Also in October I got to speak at the Washington Early Childhood Education Conference which was entertaining. The posh hotel we (Polly spoke too) stayed at was amazing. I think I would go back to Tacoma again just to stay in that hotel again. And the HIGHLIGHT of October was the birth of my GREAT Nephew Elliott, born to my nephew Nate and his sweet wife Dana. Elliott is the love of everyone in the family. He is Mr. Personality and our little man. He was born with a full head of redish brown hair.

In November I entered back into the life of working craft shows, yuck! I have been making jewelry since at least 1991 and haven’t done a craft show in YEARS. Some friends talked me into this one and since I needed the money – I agreed. I didn’t make a whole lot of money, but it was still a fun day of hanging with the gals and talking about crafts.
Starting the weekend of Thanksgiving (well, really the work starts long before) my family gets into full gear for the holiday community project. For the past few years my family has headed up this project which serves nearly 400 families (one family has 14 children). It’s a LOT of work, but we love it. I love getting to spend other people’s money and making sure the magic of Christmas stays alive for so many children. Every year I stand in awe of people’s generosity and willingness to give of their time and money, even if they don’t have much. Many of the people that help this project to be successful should be recipients themselves.

In December most of Oregon was caught off guard with a giant SNOW storm, the biggest one in like 30 years. The town of Portland for example pretty much just shut down. We really only have enough snow plows to keep the freeways clear and good old Portland the greenest city in American can’t use salt… it kills stuff, didn’t you know. We use recycled gravel of course. In my neighborhood we got hit with nearly two feet of snow and others got more. I didn’t see mail for over a week and trash piled up, it was ridiculous. It also meant that I spend Christmas by myself with a TV dinner (which was gross by the way). Most schools ended up with a 3 week winter break this year, although they will have to do some make up before the school year comes to a close.

These were my highlights (well that I can remember anyways) I am sure I left stuff out, but oh well; I have a horrible memory so this is what you get.

Here’s to 2009!

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