Over the last decade…

I wasn’t going to do this. I’ve had so many wrap-ups and round-ups over the last two weeks…but dammit it’s the end of a decade and my 2010 to 2019 was INSANITY at times, so I’ve just gotta.


When the decade began, I was 30 years old, a stay at home mom with three boys who would turn 6, 8, and 10 that year. I was just starting out on a weight loss journey that didn’t really have many results for another year. Some things that happened in 2010 include:

  • Going to Book Expo America and speaking at the Book Blogger Conference
  • Losing Christabel to lymphoma 😦
  • Family vacation to the beach and Natural Bridge Caverns
  • Seeing Phantom of the Opera live with Jason
  • Walking my first ever 5K with a group of friends
  • Ending up in the ER for chest pains that turned out to be a chronic chest wall muscle condition called costochondritis
  • Jason finishing his bachelor’s degree and getting a new (better) job
  • Being manipulated by a horrible journalist at the NY Times, which resulted in multiple verbal attacks by strangers and nearly made me quit blogging altogether
  • Book blogger meetup in Austin at a book festival
  • Discovering the joy that is audiobooks!

Favorite books include: Little Children, Germinal, Notes on a Scandal, Return of the Native, and many more at my 2010 in Books wrap-up.


I’m happy to say that 2011 was a much better year for me and my family. Probably the best year of the entire decade. During this year:

  • I lost 52 lbs, joined Sparkpeople (a social media focused on weight loss), met tons of other people trying to lose weight, gathered a great social support group, began running, and participated in a lot of fitness-related events (like the first ever Siclovia!).
  • I also learned a few new skills – calligraphy, henna painting, tatting, stained glass making (I wasn’t great at any of them, heh)
  • We had a fun and unusual snow day!
  • My sister moved back to the US from the Middle East
  • Jason had a conference in Baltimore, so I tagged along and had a great vacation including a bucket list goal of getting a fish pedicure
  • I quit writing for most of the year, allowing me to come back refreshed in the fall
  • My family took a vacation to northern WI which was just amazing
  • My boys did so many hilarious things, including one of my favorites: “gangster shirts”
  • Insomnia began in the fall (probably the only terrible thing of 2011)

Favorite books include: The Host, The Unit, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and The Night Circus. Full bookly wrap-up at my 2011 in Books post.


  • More weight loss, almost hitting my goal
  • Ran my first full 5K, and did some awesome runs like a mud run and a color run (latter with my full family). Sadly, I also got a stress fracture from all this.
  • Jason and I finally went on our honeymoon (ha!) with a two-week cruise
  • Another family vacation to WI
  • Trained for a half-marathon with my fellow Sparkpeople folks
  • One of my sisters got married
  • Morrigan finished elementary school, and Laurence joined karate
  • My van was totaled, then four months later our new car was rear-ended and totaled, and then Jason’s car died completely, so we replaced three cars this year…

Favorite books include: Howl’s Moving Castle, the Mistborn series, Elantris, and Shadow & Bone (I became obsessed with fantasy this year)


  • Hit my goal weight and a healthy BMI, yay!
  • Cut my hair to donate to Locks of Love
  • Walked/ran a half-marathon with my fellow Sparkers
  • Went on another cruise with Jason
  • Went to my first Writers & Editors Conference in Austin
  • Got my first tattoo (from the Tarot card Strength) after a traumatic event
  • Had minor surgery in the fall
  • Dressed as a flapper for Halloween (my favorite costume ever)
  • Laurence broke his arm; Ambrose finished elementary school
  • Jason’s car was totaled, so we had to replace our fourth car in a year…

Favorite books include: Rereads. Otherwise, I didn’t actually have any books I truly loved in 2013.


  • Major abdominal surgery in January
  • My nephew Brantley born in February
  • Jason had a conference in Portland and I tagged along for a mini-vacation in March
  • Another Writers & Editors Conference in Austin
  • Got my second tattoo
  • Jason took a job in Boston, so we sold our poor house here and moved, which set off a long series of painful family issues (from marriage issues to child behavioral issues)
  • My aunt passed away 😦
  • Began seeing a wonderful therapist and was diagnosed with PTSD
  • Visited family and friends in Texas in December

Favorite include: mostly the Raven cycle (others included at 2014 in Books)


Note: If I had to pick a “worst year” of the last decade, it would probably be 2015, though really it would be mid-2014 through mid-2015 (aka our year in Boston).

  • Blizzards galore! Snowiest winter in Boston records!
  • Met with Ceri in person after being blogging friends for seven years
  • Tons of weight regain under family stress
  • Trips to Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island (including a camel ride!!), and Niagara Falls
  • Laurence and Morrigan finished elementary and middle school
  • Moved back to San Antonio, hallelujah!
  • I broke my foot and sprained my ankle simultaneously
  • Took a trip to Dallas to meet with blogger friends for a few days
  • Unexpectedly adopted a teeny tiny Gavroche
  • KonMari-ed my house

Favorite books include: a bunch of nonfiction plus Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell


  • Met Brandon Sanderson at Library-palooza
  • Learned to crochet and did a LOT of it
  • Ambrose finished middle school, Laurence acted in his first musical
  • Had to basically rebuild a quarter of the house after multiple Bad Discoveries
  • Vacation to Wisconsin (much-needed!)
  • Another sister got married
  • My second nephew Rory was born
  • Ended up in the ER with my first-ever kidney stone
  • Got the best haircut ever
  • Moved to Wisconsin for family reasons, but due to an Incident in our first week there, lived there under strict legal lockdown rules. Oy.
  • That awful, awful presidential election…

Favorite books include: Words of Radiance, The Sin-Eater’s Daughter, and Bellweather Rhapsody. Others included at 2016 in Books.


  • We adopted Nimi!
  • My broken foot was finally diagnosed so healing could begin with the help of much yoga
  • Jason’s sister got married
  • Visits to/from friends and family in Texas
  • Had to basically rebuild a quarter of the house after multiple Bad Incidents (does this sound familiar?)
  • Problems with extended family in the area and Jason losing his job led us to look for new jobs back in San Antonio again
  • Moved back to SA permanently!!!!!
  • My kids did tons of awesome things (like make “Dobby’s epic tutor collar”)
  • Snow day in San Antonio (highly unusual)

Favorite books include: Oathbringer, A Face Like Glass, Strange the Dreamer, and a couple others (2017 in Books)


  • Had to basically rebuild a quarter of the house after multiple Bad Incidents and Discoveries (can this stop happening now?)
  • Lost my sense of smell for six months, and when it came back, it was distorted
  • Lots of yoga at the Cat Cafe
  • Unexpectedly adopted both Jojo and Atticus
  • It was a sad year in deaths – my grandmother, uncle, two friends, and a childhood idol all passed away
  • Met Robert Jackson Bennett at PopCon
  • Jason’s car unexpectedly exploded and ran him off the road (thankfully no one was badly hurt)
  • I became obsessed with LuLaRoe
  • Jason and I went on a cruise through the Pacific NW (our first vacation alone together since Portland in 2014!)
  • Saw the Trans-Siberian Orchestra live with a friend and her family
  • Ambrose was inducted into the National Art Honor Society; Laurence finished middle school and acted in the school play; Morrigan received a bunch of academic honors and went to Japan

Favorite books include: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Yes, just the one book.


  • It was a poor year for health – hives, anosmia, seven surgeries throughout the family, mental health issues, etc
  • My nephew Kyler was born, as well as my cousin’s son Ben
  • Jason’s brother got married
  • I had my first buzzard party
  • Laurence performed in multiple plays and began an electrician’s program at school; Ambrose was nominated for homecoming king; Morrigan graduated from high school, received a ton of academic awards, received and lost a major scholarship, temporarily joined the Navy, and spent several months trying to figure out the first stage of his adult life
  • We downsized into a smaller, cheaper home (fingers crossed that we don’t have any Bad Discoveries or Incidents and have to rebuild a quarter of it…)

Favorite books include: What Alice Forgot. Again, just the one book.

And so we’ve reached 2020, the start of a new decade that will hopefully look a little bit more like my 2011-2013 years rather than my 2014-2017 years! My boys are now aged 15, 17, and 19. Two are entering adulthood/college/life-on-their-own this year, and hopefully by the time 2030 comes around, they will all be established on their own. As for me, I hope that 1) I’m still in this house and haven’t moved again, 2) I’ve managed to lose weight, get healthy, and then stay fit, and 3) I’ve finished undergrad and grad school, and have a job that can help support myself and my family.

And now I promise, I’m done with roundups, haha!

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
This entry was posted in Personal and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Over the last decade…

  1. I’m not going to lie that it’s been hard to keep up with all of your wrap-ups and round-up the last couple of weeks (*er, like I’m one to talk*) so first I apologize that I haven’t commented on them all. It’s not just yours, I guess, but everyone and their mother. 🙂

    I don’t know if I could do a decade by decade rundown for the last decade or really any decade in photos since I deleted my Facebook account and a lot of those photos I did save, but I’d have to go through the files to find them. Anyway, about your last decade:

    I never knew about that whole thing with the New York Times. I did find the article and as a former newspaper reporter and editor, why the Times couldn’t have clarified your comments in the online article.

    I recognize some of those bloggers on that panel with you: Kim from Sophisticated Dorkiness, for one.

    I was with SparkPeople — back in the day and it helped me too.

    I don’t think I knew about your major abdominal surgery either. I did realize you moved to Boston for a time and then back.

    2015 photo of bloggers: I know all of the folks in that photo and still follow them on Instagram. I wish the others were still blogging more than they do.

    I, of course, remember the buzzard party. It is/they are classic. 🙂

    As for roundups, you’re not done. You’ll have one at the end of the month. 😉


    • Amanda says:

      I don’t think we knew each other more than peripherally before I was back from Boston. So many bloggers and some of us only got to know each other as other bloggers left the blogging world.

      The journalist from the Times, when I wrote to ask for clarification, told me she felt like she portrayed my comments faithfully. I found out later that she was rather unscrupulous and stunts like that were common for her. To this day, I don’t read or trust the Times.

      I didn’t know you were with Sparkpeople. Technically, I’m still on there, though the site seems to be pretty much dead. Sad, because their calorie-range system seemed to work best for me and I loved the social support.

      My abdominal surgery was to repair the damage done to my skin and core muscles when Laurence was born. My muscles were separated about five inches, but the repair is considered “cosmetic” (tummy tuck, essentially) so insurance wouldn’t cover it. Even though it meant that for months after he was born, I couldn’t transition from sitting to standing (or vice versa) without assistance. It took nearly ten years for me to save the money to have the surgery done (costs about $10k), and while it was a terrible surgery and extremely painful and the “cosmetic” aspect meant that it was outpatient surgery (grr), I don’t regret it. I do wish I’d been able to do it back when he was first born, though. The delay meant a lot of complications from the surgery, like nerve damage that means I still can’t feel my abdomen between belly button and hip bones. :/


      • Wow…on the abdominal surgery. The things people don’t know about another person. And also a sad commentary on our healthcare system.

        Sparkpeople did the same for me, with the calorie counting and the social support. I’m still friends with a few people online because of that group and a few are still following what they did then.


      • Amanda says:

        I’m still friends with quite a few Sparkers too, just off on other sites like Facebook. A lot of them were local (we had a pretty strong local team on Spark at the time, it’s now pretty much dead) so I still get to see them periodically, which is nice.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.