Best of 2009- Year in Review

Memorable Moments:
  • Celebrating a quarter century of life.
  • Gran turning 90 in February on Cape Cod.
  • Super speedy drive to Austin with Alysha, then turning around and flying back.
  • Promotion to Program Manager in April.
  • A week in Steamboat with Miss Emma Mrozicki.
  • Leaving the alpacas and becoming a townie.
  • An epic day off with a few of the Aloha Foundation's finest.
  • Sailing a rental boat on Lake Champlain with P & F.
  • Getting my first "real" ski pass for Steamboat 09-10 season.
  • Hiking in the Zirkels with two Bretts.
  • Fabulous dancing at the free outdoor summer concert series.
  • Lovely summer nights of grilling pizzas at the yurt.
  • Van Morrison & driving through RMNP with P & F.
  • My 4th Aloha Family Thanksgiving.
  • Transition period between Executive Directors at YVCF. Getting a taste of leadership, and then relief when Mark arrived on scene.
  • A beautiful Christmas Eve in Montpelier full of tradition and love.
  • Christmas with my family.
Best Books I read in 2009:
  • Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
Best Movies I saw in 2009:
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • I Love You, Man (not for quality, but for pure laughter)
  • The Hangover (ditto)
  • Up
  • Away We Go
  • The Reader
Best music I was introduced to in 2009:
  • Kings of Leon
  • Antje Duvekot
  • Joshua Radin
  • Quebec Antique
  • Hmm. I guess I could use a few good suggestions for 2010!
Wishing you all a beautiful 2010 filled with love, laughter, health & peace.


I started a post one morning last week from Vermont. Clearly there was too much fun to be had, and it was abandoned. But here is what was saved--

"I'm in Vermont. My days have been lovely so far-- filled with good time spent with my parents and dear friends. I have missed the past three winters in Vermont (and in turn 4 Thanksgivings and 3 Christmases with my family) and I forgot just what Vermont winter is like. The sky is a hazy grey, not dreary neither vibrant. The trees have all dropped their leaves, and it seems like small snowflakes and have been falling and blowing all week. No accumulation, just a touch of dancing snow. There's about 10 inches of snow on the ground in Montpelier, but Burlington was mostly dry."

My vacation was, to use a familiar word, delightful. The comfort of being with family and friends, of walking up and down the East State St hill, of recognizing former teachers, neighbors & schoolmates everywhere I went was all so wonderful. I was reminded of so many of the aspects of Montpelier's community that I now use as a baseline in comparing other locations.

Highlights of Vermont?
  • Dinner at Sarducci's with my parents
  • Choosing a Christmas tree at Morse Farm & enjoying a maple cremee despite the cold
  • Decorating the Christmas tree. After missing so many holidays, it was like catching up with old friends as we pulled the ornaments out of the boxes. Egg Nog & holiday music favorites, too!
  • Cocoa & catchup at Langdon St with Cayla and Alaya
  • Picking up Jenna at the airport and enjoying Burlington (esp a delicious Red Onion sammy!)
  • Cross-country skiing at Morse Farm with Jenna
  • Lunch with Daddy-o
  • Silk Long Underwear
  • Last minute shopping with Mom
  • Hunger Mtn Co-op
  • Christmas Eve Service at the Unitarian Church, particularly the lighting of our candles and the reflections in the chandeliers
  • Quality Xmas Eve time at the Kidneys with neighbors
  • Cozy present opening & Pamela's pancakes on Christmas morning!

And then we were off to Hartford for 3 days to spend time with the Dodds. Grandmommy was so thrilled to have us there for Christmas, and we had a wonderful visit. It was also great to see my Aunt, Uncle and two cousins. I got a new camera for Christmas and enjoyed using it while there.

Leaving seems to get harder each time. Why do my trips always go too quickly?

I returned to Steamboat early on Monday and settled back into work on Tuesday. I'm glad to say that I didn't dread returning to work and that things are going smoothly. Town is hopping with visitors & snow is falling! I'm missing Vermont terribly but am happy to be back, and to actually have friends here to welcome me.

I hope the holidays have been wonderful for each of you, and hope 2010 brings you many blessings and happiness!


"I knew a man in college who grew up in the inner city of Chicago & what he was doing in Iowa I never did figure out. But whenever he would see a jet trailing across the sky, he would stop everything he was doing & he would watch. Once, after a jet was gone & there was nothing left but the white line disappearing like a scar into the blue, he turned to me & said, An airplane is a miracle & I didn't give it much thought, but now & then, when I am ready to give up hope for human beings in general, & for one or two of them who are bugging me specifically, I will look to the sky & there will be one of those miracles & I will remember it's all about concentrating on the right thing." -storypeople

Here I come!


December In Vermont- Diane Zeigler

"When the snowfall lays her cover
The silence can pull you under
And that shroud can make you wonder
How you’ll make it through
But on a night so cold and long
I know how a heart stays strong
You can travel all the earth
To find out what a place is worth

Where would you rather see
Snow on the evergreen
Softly and tenderly falling down
Songs on the solstice sing
Prayers for the traveling
Ever returning to December in Vermont

See the blazing yule before us
Strike a harp and join the chorus
But do you see the folly
When everywhere the sounds implore us
To deck the halls and ring the bells
Calling everyone to buy and sell
But through the crowd and through the noise
May you know a greater joy"
- Diane Zeigler

My favorite word right now is DELIGHTFUL. I find myself using it at least a dozen times a day. Why? It is a fun word to say. Deeeeelightful. Delightful! DeLIGHTful!

And, simply, life feels delightful right now.

Faith has been staying with me for almost a week, and the comfort of having a female friend in town is delightful.

I went down to Stagecoach for dinner on Tuesday night with Ken & Carol and their son Cyrus and part of Carol's family. We had a delicious feast, and great laughter. I miss my regular time with K & C, and it is always just so nice to go over there, feel right at home, and enjoy their company. Plus they have a Newfoundland puppy named Oliver who somewhat resembles a baby black bear. Adorable. Time on Spindrift Ranch is always delightful.

Faith helps to encourage the social side of me, and so we've spent most of our nights enjoying the company of John and Nick. We are literally living across the parking lot from each other, so it is the best possible combination of not being roommates but enjoying all the benefits of being roommates. We had our Sunday night family dinner, two nights of cookie making... I enjoy both of those boys so much and it's great to have them in town and so nearby. They are delightful.

Having friends in my life is delightful. I love all of you who are far away so much, but this week I'm particularly greatful for the ones I've got right here.

Tomorrow I'm off to Vermont (!!!!!) to see a few of the beautiful faces who are typically so far away. This will be my first holiday with my family in 4 years. I cannot wait.

Love to all.


Oh hi.
I know, I've dropped off the blogging-train again. So sorry :).
In summary:
  • Another beautiful Thanksgiving at the Walker home with 12 members of the Aloha family. Followed by a fun weekend in Steamboat with my friends Kat & Ben enjoying some quiet cozy time, hot springs & a waffle party.
  • Three ski days. I am loving my "new" $40 skis, though they are slightly long. I skied on them for the first time on Saturday and it was a world of difference to be on a wider ski. I feel more aggressive and confident (both huge statements coming from this cautious little ski bunny!). We. Need. More. Snow. We did get a good little storm over the weekend, but there is still a layer of ice underneath.
  • My new boss is terrific. I am very excited about working for him and all that I'm going to learn. I'll definitely be challenged at times, but it should be great.
  • I'm getting into spin classes. I realized long ago that my internal motivation is not strong enough to push myself through intense workouts. If I leave it up to me, I'll just toodle through the elliptical, stroll on the treadmill, pound out some reps with small weights. Being on the crew team for 4 years brought out the "teammate" in me and I find I am much more motivated if I am with others and have a coach/instructor commanding. So between spin classes & kickboxing, I'm just whipping right into shape!
  • More and more reasons why being on the East Coast for Christmas this year is important. I leave in 5 days and I cannot wait for quality time with friends and family.
  • A long-time Aloha friend has moved to Steamboat from Boulder for the winter. Faith and I have been camp friends since 1999 when we were invited to go on a co-ed pack trip in the White Mtns with three very immature Lanakila boys. I'm psyched about spending many a day hitting the slopes, drinking tea, cooking & adventuring with her for the next couple of months.
  • My "seasonal" friends John and Nick have also returned to town (about 3 weeks ago) and are living across the parking lot from me. So far we've initiated Sunday night Family Dinners as a tradition and I am just so happy to have them both back, both living in town, and both as my neighbors.
  • I moved this past week. I left my luxury condo at "the Pines at Ore House" and moved less than .2 miles around the parking lot into "the Pines Condominiums." So basically my new place is about 1/2 the size, 30-40 years older, and $400 cheaper. But still the same handy location near work and the grocery, and the same landlord. I think it's a win-win, though I'm finding a few things that don't work in the new place... And discovering, once again, that living in the same town for almost 4 years has made it way too easy to accumulate an unnecessary amount of belongings.
  • It was frigid last week. I understand, it is winter. It is Colorado. I live in Ski Town, USA. However, negative temps, cold winds, and a lack of sunshine is not what I signed up for when I agreed to spend my winters here. I'm sure looking forward to Christmas for that long down jacket I asked Santa for...
  • I've loved the comments on my not-s0-recent blog posts. It's wonderful know that people I love really do stop by and read my blog. That's the whole purpose of it, after all. To keep in touch with you all. So keep on leaving the love.


6:15 am.
23 degrees below zero. A very loud car start, a whirring belt, a frigid breeze.
6:29 am.
Storycorps on NPR. I've missed it for nearly 6 months. Such a sweet story today!
6:31 am.
Late to yoga class due to the car's challenge to warm up.
6:33 am.
Arrive at yoga class. Only three other brave souls toughed the temp.
My yoga mat, which lives in my car, is frozen into a solid roll.
I attempt to quietly shake it out.
Take a seat. Brr.
6:33 am - 7:45 am.
A heavenly session of gentle yoga. Delicious stretching of the shoulders and hamstrings, which are tight from spinning and kickboxing. A solid balance in tree pose. Yum.
7:45 am.
A balmy 15 degree below zero. Car warms up with another whine.
Home for a quick shower and breakfast before the workday.

Brr! Stay warm, friends.


my friend pat (upper left) posted this photo on facebook today. it's always been a well-loved and amusing photo... i am the tiny red ball in the lower left (kudos to franny's permed hair!), celebrating colleen's birthday. i'm almost one month old. center to the pic is plump babydoll jenna, who remains one of my dearest friends. love you dear!