My Christmas Card Gone Digital

Dear Friends and Family,

This year I'm going digital with my christmas note. I thought this would be the best, and most efficient way to reach everyone. Not to mention, it's getting late in the year at this point and I can post to my blog immediately - no having to wait for the snail mail system.


Speaking of my blog, this is actually a nice segue into a first topic of my mini 2009 review. I started my blog late summer and have been keeping it up ever since. I've been writing about all my adventures and random thoughts. You might see me say things like joy or - this is reference to my blog (recall my middle name is Joy). The .us is the domain (to be technically accurate it's a top-level domain, TLD). All this joy stuff is like branding myself - yup, that's my marketing major popping out. Anyway, this is a great way to see what's going on in the life of Heather, so check it out.

Skiing in Tahoe

January I headed out to the slopes with a group of college friends. Melissa, Jimmy, and I skied most of the day together after a quick, reminder class. Then we hit up the easy slopes and enjoyed a sunny day in the snow.

Long Distance Life

Before making the big move up to Oregon, Josh and I continued our back-and-forth visiting in the beginning of the year. He came down a few times and we hit up Sausalito, the Ferry Building, and other SF city favorites. I also made my way up for a few visits to Eugene where we toured the nearby vineyards.

Time with the Family

My parents and my exchange "brother," Kilian, visited me up in the bay area a couple of times this year. During these visits, we made it to many of our usual spots like Muir Woods, a trip to SCU campus, and around SF.

Also, I headed down to Encinitas for my "home fix." Easter was celebrated with our big baskets full of goodies. More recently, I headed down the week before Thanksgiving where I got to experience the Olivenhain Town Hall Christmas Fair yet again (this time without selling hair scrunchies or pies).

The Windy City

In April, I went out to Chicago to celebrate my grandma's big 88th birthday. The whole O'Neill family ventured over to a German restaurant for the festivities. We also got to tour around the windy city a bit with Kilian and meet my baby cousin, Riley.


Before my big move (see next bullet), I had a whirl wind of events all within just a couple of weeks. Josh and I headed down to San Diego for his cousin's graduation. The post-graduation party was a baseball game San Diego's own Petco Stadium. Then there was a wedding to attend for another one of Josh's cousins in the bay area. Lastly, towards mid-summer, I was wrapped up things at work and started packing.

The Big Move

At the end of June, I made the big move up to Oregon to be near Josh. After two years of long distance, we decided we'd had enough. No more once of month visits, ugh! Josh is in his last year of law school, so I moved up to help support him through the rest of the year. It was all very bitter sweet for me as I've grown to love the bay area over the past 8 something years, not to mention the friends and coworkers. My employer, Acxiom, was very understanding and even let me work remotely for the first 2-1/2 months. Unfortunately, the company has a policy against remote workers, so I was only able to stay on until the end of August.

The Busiest Month of my Life

Josh and I literarily had something going on every weekend of August. We started with a big visit my German friends Caroline and Gerald. We meet up for a long weekend in Seattle and Vancouver. We had a blast (and got the hottest weather on Seattle's record). Gerald and Caroline traveled during the week while Josh and I worked slash went to school, but then we met up again at the end of their trip in Portland. Caroline and I had some bonding time with our nails.

Not only did I have German visitors, but a Dutch one as well. My friend Irene from Holland also got to visit Portland. We ventured out of the city together to see Multnomah Falls and the Columbia Gorge area. It was beautiful. That's all I can say.

Oh, and the month wasn't nearly over. We also had visits from both sets of parents and a trip down to Sacramento for a college friend's wedding. Awesome August!

Barista Life Begins

Since my 4+ years with Acxiom came to a finish at the end of August, I started my next job search. With Josh finishing up law school, and the economy, I decided my best option was to find something that might carry around to other cities, provide benefits, do something I've always wanted to do, and be temporary (not really planning on staying in Eugene post law school). Starbucks was the answer.

Starting the beginning of October, I was Valley River Center Starbucks newest barista. Little did I know how much there is to learn and remember on all the Starbucks drinks! It's been a fun change of pace from the usual desk job and I enjoy meeting all the new people (and regulars).


With some more time on my hands, I've been able to spend some more timing doing things I enjoy. For those of you following my blog, I've been cooking and baking up a storm. I also am trying to learn to knit. However, I'm finding I only can do one switch (even when I think I'm doing a different stitch, sigh). There is obvious blogging hobby now too.

Oregon Life

I'm enjoying living in a new state. You know, I've lived in CA my entire live. Oregon is a gorgeous and friendly state (expect you've got to change those CA plates quick like). One of my favorite state introductions was a day trip out to the McKenzie River. Josh and I took a nice hike, saw covered bridges, and enjoyed the nature. The coast is also nearby and we made a nice weekend out for Josh's birthday.

Mom's 60th in Napa

Early December my mom had a big rendezvous of friends in Napa to join in the celebration of her 60th birthday. Three groups of family friends and our immediate family enjoyed a pleasant, yet rainy extended weekend visit to Napa. I think we probably visited all the wineries in the area by the amount of wine that was tasted (ok, exaggeration there). All in all, good times were had by all.

That was my "quick" recap of my 2009. It's been a year full of change for me, but its all been good change. I'm happy to be near Josh again and we are both excited for the last semester of law school to come to a close and find what lies ahead. As I generally do around the holidays, I've been thinking about all my family and friends. Many of whom helped and supported me through all this year's changes. I'm truly lucky and blessed to have such great family and friends - thank you all!

In the words of Tiny Tim, "God Bless us, everyone!"
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Check out my year in photos with the below video (and remember to read my blog in 2010):

2009 XMas Collage from Heather O'Neill on Vimeo.