1) Taking a trip to Disneyland with Mike and getting to meet up with my cousin who I haven't seen in years. Great day with my man, great reconnecting with one of my amazing relatives, AND I got to eat a Disneyland pickle which, if you haven't ever had one, is one of the greatest foods of all time...ever.
2) Visiting Dad & Monica in Virginia and exposing little old nerdrific history lover Mike to Washington DC and Virginia. Watching him stare up at the statue of Jefferson was an unforgettable experience. Oh, so was watching Dad hug Mike in the airport when meeting him for the first time after a red eye flight and no sleep...classic.
3) Loo's Champagne Train birthday party wine tasting champagne limo shenanigans. Here's how it went: finger foods, cheese, champagne, Bean, limo, pictures, champagne, singing, champagne, wine tasting, wine tasting, wine tasting, home, puke, Tough Love, puke, Tough Love, puke, Tough Love, puke, sleep. Worth it!!
5) Surviving a soul crushing, emotion bruising, career screwing tax season where two of us ended up in tears, I was yelled at by at least two old women, and I watched my boss fall asleep in his chair and we still didn't get every client's tax return sent in on time...even though we didn't tell them that!
6) Shopping for and buying a house. It was such a jumble of emotions...from wanting to vomit to excitement to regret, to fear, to happiness to really truly feeling like an adult for the first time.
Mike signing the offer on the house. Look how happy he is!
7) Thanksgiving at the Ways. First time in a long time that a holiday was perfectly stress free, enjoyable, tasty, and fun. And it helped that they have the world's cutest butterball baby and rock star little boy.
The Bean helping me make the desserts. Love this kid to pieces.
8) Getting to live with Mike alone for a while in Chico and really see how we are as a couple. The guy drives me nuts, but man are we good together.
9) Moving back to Ridgecrest. I might not be too happy about it right now since I'm STILL unemployed and we are STILL painting our damn house, but getting to re-experience the city I was born and grew up in with Mike turned out to be really great; from going to our favorite hole in the wall restaurants to having one of the most amazing dinners ever at Mon Rev, to spending time with the moms, it has turned out okay...for Ridgecrest...
Mike at our favorite hole in the wall Ridgecrest joint, Golden Ox.
10) New Years Eve / Mike's Birthday / Our 3 Year Anniversary. One of the only trips we've gotten to take out of town with each other alone and by far our best trip yet. We hit all of our faves: art and history, great food, and quality goofy time together. It was romantic, funny, silly, a little bickery of course, just basically a perfect couple of days for Mike and Val.
Cheers! Champagne in the hotel room after the world's best dinner. We're old and boring, but champagne in bed and asleep by 10:30 was perfect for us!
Runners Up: Palm Springs with mom and Loo: relaxing, eating, pooool and Jason and Paul bonus! Painting and bonding with the mo in law. Hanging out with K-Furg and renewing our friendship. Adopting Laci Bailey and loving her in memory of Mike's amazing grandma. Ven visiting and getting to see her after sooo long. Taking care of Loo after she broke her baby ankle. The Green Day concert and spending quality time with the Waysters.
P.S. Seriously, how many of my special moments in 2009 included booze?!!