Thursday, December 31, 2009

Decade in Review

I stole this idea from a friend's Facebook status and decided to expand a little on it. Presenting Christina's high- (and perhaps low-) lights of 2000-2010:

2000
  • Rung in the new millennium with my then boyfriend Henning in his hometown of Kiel, Germany. Specifically, I got really drunk and uh-hum and was puking right around midnight. In hindsight, that should've been a sign.
  • Spent the year working for an aeronautical IT company and partying hard
  • Met my future husband
  • Traveled around Spain in October
  • Got pregnant with my first child in November
2001
  • Spent a miserable, hot summer in a small apartment with no air-conditioning above a major, loud, and stinky Frankfurt intersection
  • In August, the suffering was all made worth while with the birth of my baby girl, Saskia
  • In December traveled back to see my family
  • Saw my grandfather for the very last time. I'm so grateful he was able to meet his first great-grandchild
  • Got stuck in the US because Saskia did not have a passport. That's right, customs let us in but wouldn't let her out. Thanks to the hard work of my local Republican senator I was able to get her an American passport and new, free tickets back to Germany. Never say the Republicans aren't good for anything. If you really want something done, they are the ones to ask.
2002
  • Spent the first half of the year as a SAHM. In July we moved to the town of Friedberg, a nice little town halfway between Frankfurt and Giessen. We were still living over a major intersection though.
  • Went back to work part-time, which required a 45 minute train commute each way. Saskia stayed with a lovely Spanish woman in a neighboring village on the three days a week I worked.
2003
  • Saskia moved to "Kinderhaus" which was a co-op childcare center
  • In the summer I got pregnant with my second daughter
2004
  • I spent the first half of 2004 traveling a lot; to Frankfurt for work and to Giessen to visit my midwife in her birthing center. There were a few instances of "passenger rage" on the trains and buses.... hey, pregnant women are exempt from putting up with assholes, it should really be a law.
  • Paul was sent to Antwerp, Belgium to work and only came home on the weekends. It sucked.
  • In May Fiona was induced at a nearby hospital. Little bugger didn't want to come out! Happily my mom was there when she was born. For that I am very thankful
  • Spent the rest of 2004 as a SAHM of one toddler and one baby. Didn't realize it but had major PPD and spent every day fantasizing about jumping out the window. Thankfully I got better once Paul came home and I wasn't a single parent anymore. Hey, I did say there may be low-lights in here, didn't I?
  • Oh yeah, in the fall of 2004 we moved again, to a tiny village called Assenheim. I loved, loved, loved that village. You could walk across the whole thing in 20 minutes. We lived next to a castle AND a church from the 15oo's. The building we lived in was owned by the Count (hence the castle) and dated back several centuries. There was a cemetery in our backyard. It was so cool! The Niddatal river flowed passed the castle and we crossed it over a lovely wooden bridge each day to bring Saskia to Kindergarten. I still miss that village.
2005
  • In the spring I traveled to visit my parents in Wenatchee, Wa with the girls. Saskia was 4 and Fiona was 7 months old
  • Paul was offered a job in the US and in August, we moved to Michigan
  • Nov. 11 Paul and I were married in the most pathetic wedding ceremony ever, in the county clerk's office in Detroit. Trust me, we'll do it better next time around (vow renewal in 2015?)
2006
  • Paul worked days for a GM-related logistics firm and I worked nights at Kroger. By far the worst job I ever had!
  • I applied for, and got accepted at Wayne State University in the Library and Information Sciences program
  • We traveled to Nebraska for a family reunion in the summer. I saw my favorite uncle for the last time
  • In the fall I started on my MLIS
  • In December GM bought out the company Paul worked for and laid off most of the staff, including him
2007
  • Paul was able to find a job with another logistics firm, thanks to contacts he made when working in Antwerp. Phew!
  • In the spring I started working as a library assistant at a technical college
  • In the summer we bought our first house, a beautiful but decrepit fixer-upper from 1929 in a great neighborhood
  • In the fall Saskia started first grade at her new school and was told she was not welcome in the current Girl Scout troop. So I started my own, along with two women who would become good friends over the years.
2008
  • I continued to work at my library assistant job part-time, attended school full time and co-lead Girl Scouts. There's not much more you can add to that!
  • In the fall I graduated with my masters and a focus in Information Sciences.
  • I also started a new, full-time job as a web developer. Go figure.
  • The girls did what growing girls do. Tried activities, made friends, learned and expanded their minds.
  • My parents visited from Wa, it was wonderful!
2009
  • I worked. Paul worked. The kids grew.
  • I moved to the leader position in my Girl Scout troop. I love each of my girls and am so thankful to have them in my life!
  • The kids became involved in a theater group and we found a new, comfortable home with great people and friends.
  • In August, we made our first trip "Up North", vacationing near Lake Michigan. Finally, I saw why people think Michigan is a pretty state. Living near Detroit all this time I had never seen much beauty.
  • Fiona was invited to join the pre-competitive gymnastics team.
  • Fiona was also diagnosed with a mental illness. Treatment and therapy have been working wonders in her behavior and happiness. After years of having a miserable child, my happy "Coyote" is back!
  • In October my dad came to visit and we had a great time. He helped around the house, with the cars and in general made my life a lot easier for 10 days. Thanks dad!
2010
  • I know, it hasn't happened yet! Just a taste of what is perhaps to come...
  • Winter: Paul and I are starting an Introduction to Judaism class at a nearby temple
  • Spring: My parents may come to visit
  • Summer: My step-daughter, Toni may come to visit from Germany
  • Fall: Saskia will start 4th grade, Fiona will start 1st. We will continue to be actively involved in Girl Scouts, theater and perhaps gymnastics.
  • Life goes on....

5 comments:

Alicia said...

I need to do this!

I can't believe all you've done, all you've seen. I've stayed in my hometown my whole life. LOL.

Happy New Year, Chrissi. I think 2010 is going to be a good year for all of us.

Toni said...

i really can't wait to see you all again.
Lot of things you have done in the last years.
Happy new year.
Toni

Jess said...

I should do this too!

I don't know about you but, this past decade went by fast and certainly was character building :)

Happy New Year!

HomeSlice said...

what a great idea! i learned so much about you from this :-)

Lweeks said...

I loved reading this. I did not know what wonderful experiences you have had living in Germany. I think I would love the little village you described. How fun.
Thank you for sharing. This is a great idea.