In a snapshot:
- second year of marriage
- big year for Bloom (my volunteer job)
- location move for moneytime (my day job)
- launch of www.thegracioushost.com.au
- lots and lots of books.
For Bloom it was the year we launched proper. Bloom cakes made it into the public consciousness of the Khmer population in Phnom Penh, with a front cover feature story in the Cambodian Daily, huge orders from Cambodia's richest families and Cambodia's largest wedding cake at Phnom Penh's first International Food Fair. There's so much the girls can rightly be proud of, and I'm about to burst because I'm so proud of everything they've achieved and how far they've come.
Second year of marriage is extremely comfortable, though we're still growing and learning from each other. For me, maybe I'm a little too comfortable because I snap a lot faster. Thankfully I have a human mirror to show me how ugly my behaviour can be sometimes, and how I need to improve. No matter what they say about how you get stuck in your ways as you get older, I think it's impossible to do that in a relationship. I'm constantly challenged to grow, even in little things like the fact that N needs to plan things whereas I tend to fly by the seat of my pants, so I'm learning to be a little more circumspect. Just a little.
It's great to have someone whose opinion you trust to bounce things off, and it's also really lovely to have someone who thinks really well of you all (or at least most of) the time. It may only be a matter of time before that image cracks, but N really seems to think I'm something good, which is very nice of him :)
In terms of travel, we had a most excellent holiday to Bali in January with a bunch of friends, which was a lot more fun and lot less hassle than expected for such a large number of people and kids to boot! It'll now be a bi-annual (every second year) occurrence, which I'm looking forward to for 2012.
In September I also went to Cambodia for Bloom business. It was a whirlwind busy week including graduation, which was moving and beautiful. We played games with the girls every morning and one of the things that sticks in my mind is the Vaseline incident. We organised that Minute to Win It game where you dip your nose in vaseline, attach a cotton ball, then run across the room and deposit the cotton ball into a bowl all without using your hands. The vaseline tub was big so we just opened the lid and put it on the table, and suddenly Ruth whisked in and picked it up, dumped the vaseline out on a plate and hid the tub. She explained later that one of the girls has a panic attack when she sees a Vaseline tub because of the trauma associated with it. It was a horrific reminder of the innocence that was so brutally stolen from them, so even the smallest thing can have terrible associations. Sigh. We also had another game with balloons, and we had to be really careful with them because another student had been shot at once, so was afraid of popping balloons. I was trying to be so careful when letting the air out of them afterwards, but I popped 3 of them in a row!! Fortunately she wasn't in the room at the time. Whew.
2010 was probably the best for my eyes though. I am now the proud owner of 20/20 vision eyes, which were formerly around -5.5. Laser eye surgery rocks. And doing it in Korea meant I saved thousands of dollars, so I'm pretty pleased about that too.
Last month I launched The Gracious Host, a website dedicated to entertaining at home. It seemed like a good idea one day, and by the next it was launched. Actually, probably the next hour. Like I said, I fly by the seat of my pants. I love having people over and I guess I wanted to show how easy and enjoyable it could be, and hopefully I'll find ways to monetise it in 2011 and reduce my work hours. Woo hoo - the dream of everyone in cyberspace!
At the beginning of the year I marked 2010 as a year for being FEARLESS: facing things head on and doing things that might formerly have scared me. I have to say though, there weren't any massive challenges that I had to consciously psyche myself up to face. It was a pretty cruisy year - very blessed and very full in ways I couldn't have foreseen. I'm so grateful for my generous friends, extended family, being able-bodied and able to help others, living in Australia (and Sydney specifically), having a functioning brain, enjoying food, being able to travel and appreciate new experiences, a home I love... I could go on but I'll sign off here.
Merry Christmas!! I hope your 2010 was full and cheers to an even better 2011.