Here is the second installment of the Reverb10 prompts, the last one will come out tomorrow, but I somehow think that it will be the most meaningful, and will probably deserve it’s own post, hence why I’m answering these ones today.

December 22 – Travel How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year? Travelling in 2010? Yeah right! The only place I really travelled to, other than a few surrounding cities to do some shopping was to my family cabins near Clinton, BC, and that was only overnight. It was by car, and the ride to the cabins was heart-in-throat scary after Neil’s dirtbike fell off the trailer and was dragged for several hundred feet. After getting some more straps about an hour and a half later we rested easy, and the remainder of the travelling was delightfully easy and forgetable. I would love to do some travelling this upcoming year, but I very much doubt that will happen with little Andrew in tow. I hope to make it to the cabins again at least twice this year, and hopefully for a few days each time, but other than that, I plan to have a relaxing 2011.

December 23 – New Name Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why? Big surprise to many of you, I would choose Elinor. I love the way that name sounds, and the kind of imagery it inspires. It speaks of someone who is probably older, from another time even, and it embodies elegance, sophistication, and a certain amount of class and respect. I think of someone with a straight back, nice manners, and possibly a shawl over her shoulders who sips tea, reads books, and takes gentle walks outside in the garden of her beautiful British estate. I think to Jane Austen’s time, and to an era when people didn’t wear short skirts, and when rap music hadn’t been invented yet.

December 24 Prompt – Everything’s OK What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead? After spending a very sleepless night with Neil and Andrew our first day back from the hospital, my mother came over and gave us a hand with him. When she walked in, I came over to her in tears, upset that the reason he had been crying had been all my fault, and she put my fears to rest and explained that having a baby was going to be a guessing game a lot of the time, and that it was okay to make mistakes. That lesson has stayed with me, and I think I will hear her voice everytime I discover some new mistake or error I’ve made.

December 25 – Photo – a present to yourself. Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.

I think this photo of me shows me fairly truly. I’m sitting down at my computer, with my eyes closed, enjoying the feel of the warmth of the sunshine on my skin for probably the first time that spring about 2 years ago. I was just starting to date Neil, and I knew I was totally head over heels in love with him. I think I look content, happy, and like I’m totally living in the moment. I try to live like that all the time, enjoying the happy moments, and even being truly present in the unhappy ones. There aren’t very many photos of me that aren’t staged or posed, and this one is the best of them.

December 26 – Soul Food What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul? Believe it or not, nachos from Boston Pizza. There was one date that Neil and I went on soon after we found out I was pregnant, and I was craving them. They tasted so good, and the conversation and the dreaming we did that night matched how I felt about those nachos and that date. They were exhilerating, delicious, and satisfactory.

December 27 – Ordinary Joy Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year? It was one of my days off from work, and I decided to do a little journal writing. Shortly into it, I noticed how perfect that moment was – the house was absolutely quiet and still, it was sunny outside, but not too bright in the house, my tea was the perfect drinking temperature, and my journal was in just the right spot where it was completely and totally comfortable to write in. My pen was one of my favorite kinds, the black gelly ink kind that write smoothly, and I had an Earl Grey cupcake to munch on.

December 28 – Achieve What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today. What I want to achieve most in 2011 is being a good parent, and not just to Andrew. I have not always been the most patient person with Morgan, she can be very demanding on your attention and affection and I am sometimes too quick to react. I don’t think this is something I will ever completely “achieve.” There will always be a Mary Poppins-idealistic view of what a “good parent” is in my head, and I may never completely achieve it, but I will always aspire to it. 10 things I can do to get closer to achieving it are:

1) Be more patient. 2) Do more activities with Morgan that are focused solely on her. 3) Be more quick to praise, and less quick to scold. 4) Talk directly to the kids, not across the room or even from separate rooms. 5) Listen more. And remember to listen more to other people too, not just to the kids. 6) Stop setting such high expecations for myself. 7) Remember that everyone makes mistakes, and be less quick to be harsh about it, towards both the kids, and my spouse and myself. 8) Talk in a quieter voice when things get tense, and stop trying to top other people’s volume. 9) When the going gets tough, remove myself from the room until I can be calm. 10) Try to be less reactive, and more empathetic.

December 29 – Defining Moment Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year. My defining moment was when Andrew was placed in my arms right after delivering him. My entire life changed in that instant, and I finally knew what it was to love unconditionally and completely. I could never go back to life without him, he completes my world, he completes ME.

December 30 – Gift Prompt: Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year? When my two best friends, Chelsea and Jessica, wrote such beautiful things to me in the baby memory/advice book that I was given at the baby shower. Jessica called me her best friend, which I hadn’t heard from anyone in a long time, and Chelsea wrote that she had never seen me more sure of myself than when I was pregnant and preparing for the baby. The gift of love, support, and friendship was the best thing I ever got this year. But I must admit, Neil giving me a Wii for Christmas was pretty nice too (that man has a better idea of what’s in my head than I do, I swear!).

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