Looking Back at 2010

It’s New Year’s Eve and nobody’s really working today, so it’s time for a little 2010 recap. Thankfully my wife did a full recap in photos, so I can skimp a little.

2010 has been insane.

Bigger Family
The biggest moment, of course, was welcoming a preteen into our family, along with all the Hannah Montana and Justin Bieber and sparkly pink that comes with a pre-teen. It’s been quite a ride with Yeshumnesh and we’ve got a ways to go. I’ve never felt so old—and at the same time so young. I did manage to welcome Yeshumnesh into our family with a new haircut. First time in three years I paid for one. The mohawk made our Christmas card.

Writing Wins
I also published three books:

Addition by Adoption, is my book of tweets about raising kids and bringing Milo home from Ethiopia. A portion of the proceeds go to clean water in Ethiopia, and in September we hit the $5,000 mark and raised enough to build a well in Ethiopia. The book is also just barely turning a profit, which is exciting.

Then there’s Open Our Eyes, the book that supports homeless advocate Mark Horvath. If you want to know more about what Mark does, read Ka’e k’e‘s story. It’s been a big year for Mark. We also helped him win $50,000. The book has all kinds of big names contributors, like New York Times best-selling author Chris Brogan. All profits from the book go to support Mark’s work with InvisiblePeople.tv. The profits aren’t much—I send Mark his first payment yesterday ($226.56), but he won’t be retiring any time soon. Knowing Mark he’ll be spending it on someone else.

I also published a post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel. More for fun than anything and to give self publishing a try (works nicely, crappy cover and all). The post-apocalyptic fun continued all year as I kept diving into more post-apocalyptic literature (hmm… maybe I should have reversed that order).

For all the writing success, I also had a big failure. My fourth attempt at National Novel Writing Month fell flat. I gave up after two weeks when the story wasn’t coming together and I realized my life was too busy.

Giving Back
With building a well in Ethiopia and publishing a book to fight homelessness I’ve done a lot of giving back this year. But it started even earlier when we responded to an earthquake by coloring. Lexi’s pictures ended up raising $675 for Haiti. Other folks got in on the action about the time the idea fizzled out. I’d love to do more with it, but I think I have enough charity cases on my hand.

Twin Cities Blizzard of 2010

Twin Cities Blizzard of 2010On Saturday the Twin Cities were buried under 17 inches of snow. It was the most snow we’ve had since the infamous Halloween blizzard of 1991 (which the old timers seem to use as a test to see how Minnesotan you are) and the fifth all-time biggest snowstorm for the Twin Cities metro.

It was coming down at a rate of 1-2 inches per hour at times and paired with strong winds pretty much shut down the Twin Cities for the day. The airport closed, bus service was canceled, the Mall of America closed early, the post office stopped delivering mail, the Salvation Army bucket brigade even called it quits. The Department of Transportation urged emergency travel only.

I shoveled three times, once on Saturday in the midst of the blizzard, again in the evening after it stopped, and then on Sunday to finish up. Snow is piled 2-3 feet in my yard, with a nice 6-foot pile in the back. Lexi “helped” the first time I shoveled and Milo came out the second time, though it took longer to get Milo dressed than it did to shovel.

On Sunday morning the Metrodome roof collapsed under the weight of the snow, creating loads of jokes on Twitter, most to the effect that it’s the perfect metaphor for the Vikings’ season.

On Sunday we ventured out to church and the roads were mostly cleared—except for any side streets in St. Paul. On Monday morning the temperature plunged to -8 and both Minneapolis and St. Paul canceled school (blaming it on uncleared streets and cold temperatures).

We already had a fair amount of snow on the ground (we had maybe 15 inches already) and now it looks like it does in mid-February when we’re nearing the end of the snow season. Historically, the Twin Cities average 8.9 inches of snow in December. So much for that.

You can see all my pictures here.