December 31st, 2010



I find closure in the year-end retrospective that I've been doing on this journal for—goodness!—8 years. It's fun to look back and count up and tote up and list the things that happened, the experiences that shaped the year and the literary and musical discoveries I made.

Outside the window, the world is white: still so much snow on the ground and the sky is white as well. The hoarfrost of yesterday is gone, but a heavy fog descending promises more for later. Two Swedish couples, very good friends of ours, are coming to celebrate New Year's Eve with us; Anders has been in the kitchen banging pots and chopping things since this morning. I smell roasted hazelnuts and raspberries, among other things. It's been a lazy week, for which I'm thankful.

Family & personal highlights of 2010
  • My cousin Cate moving to Sweden
  • Martin starting at an International School in Lund
  • Surviving all the business travel Anders had this year; 10 weeks alone between January and June!
  • A month in the States and getting to see both my brother and sister
  • 3 days in Chicago and getting to see Val, Sharon & Will and Kathey & Russell
  • An iPhone for my birthday!
  • Two weeks with Mom in Massachusetts in October, plus a visit with Christina Rosalie and my Uncle Sam and Joanne
  • A beautiful week exploring Italy
  • My brother & Simone's announcement of her pregnancy
  • Martin entering teenagerhood!
  • The renovation of the playroom into a true entertainment center
  • Karin's switch to the girl's soccer team in Södra Sandby
  • A new boss at work that is already doing her best for us
In 2010, I read 100.5 books with an average of 8.5 per month...down from last year, but I suspect that if I were counting PAGES my total would be FAR above. :) And if I didn't read as MANY books as last year, I definitely read more excellent ones!

Best books of 2010 (in no particular order and including no re-reads)
  • The Seas by Samantha Hunt
  • The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean
  • The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
  • Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede
  • Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
  • The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan
  • Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link
  • Little Gods by Anna Richards
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Little Book by Selden Edwards
  • Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffennegger
  • Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier
  • Chalice by Robin McKinley
  • Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
I didn't keep track of the films I saw in 2010 so won't bother to list any this time...I suppose I need to start writing them down if I want to have a list at the end of the year.

Best musical discoveries in 2010
  • Rabbit!
  • Marie Digby
  • Timoteij
  • Chantal Kreviasuk
  • Amy MacDonald
  • Erin McCarley
  • Vertical Horizon
Some manageable goals for 2010
  • Get back on track with walking and healthy eating
  • Trip to Germany in late summer
  • Garden renovation!
Happy New Year to everyone I know! May your New Year be filled with all the good things you deserve and some you don't!

(Drop cap courtesy of Jessica Hische's Daily Drop Cap)