Sometimes I feel like my life is a never ending Saturday Night Live skit that is both hilarious and painful at the same time. The year 2009 was no exception.

It started out with my mom and me taking a road trip from San Diego to Chicago, something I haven’t done with her since I was about 14. 30 minutes into it, just out of El Cajon, we got pulled over. Apparently dear old mom was doing 80 in a 70. She cried on cue. “My Husband just died, my daughter and I are driving back to Chicago to pack up all of his belongings. I am just really upset!” She told him. How could any self respecting cop issue a ticket after those water works. He gave her a warning. When he walked back to his squad car Mom and I exchanged looks and could not stop laughing. “You’re going to hell!’ I told her.

That night we rung in the New Year at a truck stop in Arizona situated between two men with massive beer bellies. If that’s not living I don’t know what is.

Spending the first of the new year on the open road is the way to do it. There is nothing like a trip across desolate pieces of the United States to put your life in perspective. The whoosh of the road is so very Zen like. The opportunity for quiet calmness is rare in my life what with a 1200 square foot home packed with my husband, three kids, and our dog. I embraced this trip.

It was one of the few consecutive days out of my life since becoming a mother that I didn’t have a little person tugging on my legs for a snack or entertainment. I am so very thankfully that I was able to take this trip with my mom.

                                             * * *

In January of '09 I turned thirty without any major breakdowns, Botox procedures, or the purchase of a cherry red convertible. I reserved a table of ten at the Lei Lounge in University Heights for my dearest and nearest friends to help me celebrate.

Later we headed to J.P’s, a local Tierrasanta bar. After my 5th birthday shot I recognized my son’s basketball coach singing karaoke. I am certain that there is nothing more humiliating then carrying on a 15 minute slurred conversation with my child’s coach, one that I could barely remember the next day. My husband reassured me that it wasn’t that bad. He is too kind.

I am just happy that now when people say “You have three kids! How old are you?!” I can honestly answer “I’m in my thirties!”

                                * * *

In May my sister graciously bought me a plane ticket to spend the weekend visiting her in Charleston, South Carolina. There is nothing more tranquil then the south. We went on a lazy carriage ride through the city. For a moment I could picture myself settling down in Charleston. I envisioned my family and me in an old fashioned home with a fluffy tabby cat, drinking sweet tea and reading Hemmingway on our wrap-around porch. Flying back over San Diego and seeing the ocean lit up orange and yellow from the setting sun I knew that San Diego is the only place I will ever call home.

                                        * * *

In November, my father-in-law announced via e-mail that he had found the woman of his dreams, a 31-year-old woman living in Baja. He had met Eunice 4 weeks early at Tijuana mixer For American men (he saw it advertised on craigslist.).

This past week he moved to Mexico to be with her and her three small children. My one and only babysitter gone just like that. He promises that he will drive across the border anytime we need him but I am doubtful. He is consumed by love. He does not speak Spanish, she does not speak English. But who needs petty conversation when you have love! They plan to marry once she is officially divorced. If he’s happy, I’m happy. My husband reminded me that I will no longer have to change his diapers when he is elderly. Without a doubt that job would have fallen on me. He reassures me that it’s a win win all around. I am excited over the prospect of local showing me around Baja.

I leave 2009 behind as a happy memory filled with cherished moments spent with the people I love. I am looking forward to 2010. Here’s hoping that it can live up to the previous year.

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