Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2009 looks bright

When 2008 came to a close, I had big plans of wrapping everything I have done this year in a nice, neat package. But as anyone who knows me can attest, I suck at wrapping. So, instead, I will just summarize my 108 in 2008 list.

In 2008, I attempted to do 108 new things, or things I just haven’t done in a really long time. Let's see how I did.

1- Learn to knit (Thank you, Sherrie!)(1/09/08)

2- Hang something on my bedroom wall - a photo, a candle holder, some art, a calendar - something!

It was a calendar. Maybe I need to set my sights higher this year - like a photo frame.

3- Volunteer for a worthy cause

This had to be in addition to English School, because I began volunteering there in 2007. So, during December, I helped out at Clark's Christmas Kids with Clark Howard (from AM 750 WSB). You can see more photos from the event in this post.

4- Sing karaoke

(Me and one of my best friends, Bryan) I did this while playing Rock Band - it counts, right?

5- See a play or ballet performance

Cam took me to see A Christmas Carol at The New American Shakespeare Tavern on Peachtree Street. The show was wonderful! I also had food there for the first time and it was very tasty (and reasonably priced!).

10- Go to an opera I saw a live feed from the New York Metropolitan Opera of La Fille du Régiment. It was wonderful.

11- Try a new game

Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 on Wii - hilariously fun! - and Rock Band!

13- Run a half marathon (10/25/08)

I couldn't believe how accomplished I felt after finishing. And how painful a stress fracture can be.

17- Have a taco night

Cam and I made The Food Network's Turkey Tacos Picadillo one night at his place. They were very spicy and delicious. And see that guacamole? That is one of Cam's specialties. You'll have to ask him for the recipe. And just for fun, here is a photo of Cam (with his cousin, Brandon, in the foreground) fixing the infamous guac.

Handsome and he likes to cook. Or as he puts it, he likes to eat.

18- Read the entire Harry Potter series

I bawled reading the last couple of books. I didn't want it to end. I think the Twilight series might make my 2009 list...

19- Visit a state I have never been to, and not just a drive-through.

I went to Arizona for the first time in my life on a mini-vacation in September.

It is incredibly beautiful, I had a wonderful time and want to go back for another visit. You can read about the entire trip here.

23- Throw a party

I helped plan the annual Christmas party thrown by a political group I am heavily involved in.

25- Go on a trip with my sisters

I went to Florida with my beautiful sisters (L-Steph, R- Barb) to visit some family. You can read about the entire trip here.

26- Take a dance lesson

Kole and I took a very special dance class. If you want more details, you'll have to ask me personally. Or Kole.

32- Go to a concert (7/12/08)

Me and Abbs hanging out while watching 7 Sharp 9 in July. They were great!

36- Create a scrapbook

As Cam pointed out, I have referred to this blog as my online scrapbook.

41- Read Son of a Witch: A Novel by Gregory Maguire

I didn't enjoy this book at all. Boo.

46- Read Middlesex: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides

I recommend reading Middlesex. It was very interesting and kept me engaged until the very end.

49- Read The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

This is one of my new favorite books. I hear the movie is pretty good, too.

50- Read Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

I LOVED the play when I saw it in London, the book, however, SUCKED.

52- Watch the movie Juno (10/02/08)

Over-hyped, but good.

55- Watch Stardust

I really enjoyed this film, but I'm a huge fantasy & science fiction fan.

56- Re-watch the entire British version of The Office, including the two Christmas specials

And I'd do it again in a heartbeat. You think Pam and Jim are cute in the American version, just wait until you see Dawn and Tim in the UK version. *sigh*

57- Try a new restaurant in Marietta

It was Wild Wing Cafe - VERY tasty wings!

58- Try a new restaurant in Atlanta

Cam took me to La Tavola Trattoria Restaurant in Atlanta. It was absolutely wonderful. I wish we had taken photos!

60- Run three miles without stopping

Please see half-marathon information above, and I ran a lot of miles while training for that half-marathon. :)

64- Have a facial

And it made me melt.

66- Participate in a Texas hold ‘em tournament

I didn't win, but it sure was fun!

68- Go to a comedy club(April 13, 2008)

My friend, Travis, being, erm, friendly with the comedian, Nick Guerra (who I highly recommend seeing, if you get the chance).

I LOVE live comedy and frequent the local clubs. I highly recommend you visit The Funny Farm and The Punchline to see great comedy in Atlanta.

70- Go to the Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern

Please see #5 above.

73- Try a new haircut

Do you remember this post?

I decided on long layers, with side-sweep bangs:

Me showing my hair to Coach Bill Curry.

79- Buy a new dress & 80- And matching shoes

I did, but I don't actually have a photo with me in the outfit. New Year's resolution: Take more photos.

83- Eat breakfast for dinner

This actually happens all the time. In fact, we had breakfast for dinner with Cam's family last night that consisted of country ham, crispy bacon, scrambled eggs, biscuits and grits. Man, now I'm hungry!

85- Try a new fru-fru drink [a.k.a. fruity alcoholic beverage]

I had lots of new fru-fru drinks this year, including a peach martini (YUM!) on New Year's Eve, but I don't take a photo of any of them. Though I did have a new drink the night the above photo was taken. And I just wanted to post it again.

87- Have a girls’ night

I have one pretty much every Wednesday.

90- Help someone find a job

I helped a couple of my friends unsuccessfully try to find jobs. Maybe this year they will be successful in finding them!

91- Watch home movies with my family

For some reason, my sister loves to show off the angel above. I've seen her a number of times on the TV at my parents' house.

92- Cook with my mom

We made French toast together - yum!

96- Pay off my student loans (3/14/08)

The idea of debt scares me, so I was so happy to pay this off before it went into payments.

100- Be at the hospital when Steph’s baby is born

Ava Gabrielle stole my heart the moment I touched her.

101- Be at the hospital when Barb’s baby is born

Nola Ashlyn is my sweet little angel. I couldn't love my nieces more if I tried.

102- Make a key lime pie

Key lime pie is my absolute favorite dessert. And this was the EASIEST recipe to make. And honestly, not to toot my own horn, but it was the best damn key lime pie I've ever had. I like to think that Cam agreed.

Groceries needed:
9-inch graham cracker pie crust (Deep-dish if you can find it)
Four eggs (you will just use the yolks)
2 (14-ounce) cans condensed milk
1 cup of key lime juice (you could probably use regular lime juice, but the key lime is what made the flavor for me! We found ours at the local Harry's Farmers Market)
Sour cream
Powdered sugar
One lime for zesting (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Combine the condensed milk, key lime juice and egg yolks. Whisk until well blended and place the filling in the pie shell. We had so much mixture left over that we put them in tiny bunt cakes (please see photo above) and sampled them later that night after cooking the little bunts with the big pie and then chilling the little bunts for a short time - yummy sampler!) Bake for 30-35 minutes and then chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Once chilled, combine about a cup of sour cream to three+ tablespoons powdered sugar (do it to your taste) and use to dollop on the top. Some people spread the topping over the whole thing before serving, but I like to give people the option, though I personally love the sour cream/powdered sugar mixture. Cuts the tartness of the pie. Then sprinkle lime zest as a garnish on top of the sour cream and serve chilled.

What I won't post is the video that Cam took unbeknownst to me while I whisked the key lime pie mixture. Let's just say I look like a hula dancer from behind.

107- Try a different dish at my favorite restaurants (at Murphy’s Deli, La Parilla and Outback)

Well, two out of three isn't bad. Cam, you want to go to Outback this year?

108- Finish a knitting project

My friend, Sherrie, holding the dishcloth I knitted for her.

And it is usually during these 'wrap-ups' that people talk about how thankful they are for everything in their life. And I'm not going to break that tradition. Because I am incredibly thankful.

I'm thankful for my sisters, their husbands and my incredible nieces.

A Christmas photo we had done for our parents.

I'm thankful for my parents.

At Steph's wedding rehearsal.

I'm thankful for my friends.

Some friends on New Year's Eve.

So many things happened in 2008 that weren't on the to-do list. Well, at least they weren't on my list. Items like having two nieces and falling in love. But those are the best things in my life. And I'm so glad I can add them to my life list.

Ringing in the New Year. Properly.

Happy New Year, everyone. May be it filled with as much love and hope as I feel at the moment. Which is a lot.


Jonathan et Kari said...

What an AWESOME post, Nic!! I love it. Love, love, love it. It was fun to review the year through your eyes and vicariously cross off those things on your list via the blog - I mean scrapbook.

J and J Masson said...

hey nicole! kari and i were watching love actually and in the scene where the step-dad and step-son are watching titanic, kari said "i think nicole looks like kate winslet" and i said "oh my gosh she totally does!!!" do you have a secret life? are you the real life hannah montana?? for real. you do look like her. a lot. p.s. i'm kari's sister in law if you dont' remember :)

Stephanie said...

Happy New Year! Nice post! You accomplished a lot! But the numbers that aren't on this they get transferred to the 2009 list?

Ellen said...

Wow! You accomplished a ton this year!

I am halfway through Middlesex and it's definitely a captivating read!

Slice of Pink said...

Wow! Great job! I am totally impressed!

Abby said...

Love it! :-)

andrea said...

Aw, I am so glad you did so many things! And La Tavola is great! You guys need to try Valenza, which is by us in Brookhaven, and is SO good!

La Petite Chic said...

What a fun way to look back! And I think I'm going to try your key lime pie recipe. Jon *loves* key lime pie and I just saw some key limes at our grocery store this weekend.

zandria said...

What a cool list! Very cool that you challenged yourself that way...and you got so many things accomplished!! :)

La Petite Belle said...

looks like a fab year!

Dolce said...

You are SO pretty!!!

And determined. I can't believe the list you created! I'm grateful if I remember to wash my face at night let alone volunteer for a non-profit.

You put me to shame.

I'm excited to see 2009's list, because I might be stealing some ideas.

Chris said...

Impressive. I hope I did half as many new things last year -- unfortunately I have no list to compare. Best of luck with your 2009 goals.