The "Oughts"

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My friend Ashley did a beautiful recap on Facebook of each year of the “oughts,” 2000-2009. The end of a decade. Wow. As I watched this video from Newsweek last week, I realized that although I “grew up” in the 90s, I became a grown up this decade!

On New Year’s Eve 1999 I was just 17, a senior in high school. I celebrated at church with my youth group and watched Ten Things I Hate About You.

On New Year’s Eve 2009, I am 27 and grateful to not be 17. I have a husband and a gorgeous-beyond-belief-still-can’t-fathom-that-she’s-mine daughter.

More for my benefit than yours, here’s what my decade has looked like.

Graduated from high school at GSGIS
Went on a mission trip to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana and saw the amazing Glacier Park
Started college at the University of Richmond
Met Michelle, the truest soul friend a woman could have
Made stupid mistakes when it came to the male species
Met Mr. V in December when we visited a church together
Joined the Baptist Student Union

Sang “professionally” at a community church and wrote a few songs
Was a summer missionary with IMPACT Virginia
Spent a whole lot of time watching movies in Dennis Hall
Started dating Mr. V on November 5
Realized a great love for literature while taking “Great Novels” class

Became Worship Coordinator for the Baptist Student Union
Interned at The Religous Herald newspaper and wrote, researched, and edited many pieces
Studied abroad for 6 weeks in Beijiing, China, while Mr. V was doing research at CERN in Switzerland
Went to Mr. V’s parents’ house for the first time
Spent Christmas at Disney World where my sister and dad almost killed each other

Was immensely surprised when Mr. V proposed at our Junior Ring Dance–and I, of course, said yes!
Spent the summer doing…something that I can’t remember!
Proudly saw my sister graduate high school and start at Mary Washington College (now University of Mary Washington)
Was in Amanda and Darin’s wedding Thanksgiving weekend
Became president of the BSU
Lived with Michelle in an on-campus apartment next door to Mr. V, Dan, Dan, and Van
Went to my Uncle Steve and Debby’s wedding in December

Finished planning my wedding
Graduated from UR cum laude with a major in English and minor in Chinese
One day after graduation, came to Nashville with Mr. V to find an apartment
One day after that, my daddy’s best friend died of liver cancer
Worked for a month for a bankruptcy lawyer
On July 31, married my best friend and had a gorgeous reception at the Science Museum of Virginia, then honeymooned at El Dorado Royale in Mexico
Two days after we got back, moved to Nashville
Joined Forest Hills Baptist Church in October
Started at LifeWay as a universal customer service rep on November 1

Adopted Chester, a cocker spaniel puppy
Learned what it meant to be a wife, helpmate, and real friend to my husband
Visited our home in Virginia for what I didn’t know would be the last time in May
Let God break down some things in my life through the Believing God journal
Hosted Thanksgiving for both sides of the family in our apartment in Nashville
Spent Christmas in Dayton with my parents, sister, and extended family

Sang in the Broadway Revue at church
Traveled to Thailand for 2 weeks to do tsunami relief
Started my job as a copy editor in Leadership & Adult Publishing for LifeWay
Bought our first home
Began volunteering weekly at Cottage Cove
Did Believing God study taught by the amazing Shawn Lantz (and with Tammy and Angie and a few other women I adore)
Started this blog in July as a weight-loss journal (that lasted about 3 entries and I never lost any weight)

Sang in the Broadway Revue again (big role: Evil Stepsister from Cinderella)
Had a small meltdown about turning 25, but spent it very nicely at Maggiano’s with Mr. V and our dear friends Jake and Nicole
Led, edited, and wrote the leader guide for No Other Gods Bible study
Trekked to PA and VA for vacation and went to Elise and Jesse’s wedding
Was able to truly forgive several people after MANY years of anger
Traveled to Brazil for a very strange but incredible mission trip
Visited St. Louis with Mr. V
Was in a terrible and scary car accident on October 30
Started trying to conceive but dealt with an anovulatory winter
Officially diagnosed with PCOS
Found out I was pregnant on February 19 and spent nine months enjoying and hating the bumpy ride of pregnancy
Went to Colorado with work
Went on a cruise with Mr. V
Found out we were having a baby GIRL
After 36 hours of labor, welcomed gorgeous baby Libbie into our life
Learned the insanity and heavy weight of a mother’s love, as well as the incredible joy
Enjoyed 10 weeks of maternity leave
Took the Great American Road Trip for Christmas

Loved on my baby girl immensely
Went to Blissdom and began to take the blog thing a little more seriously
Went to the funeral of a friend’s little brother, who died in Iraq
My best friend’s mother died of ovarian cancer
Celebrated 5 years of marriage to my husband
My grandfather died
Experienced a much more difficult year than I had anticipated
Spent four months as a single mom
Had a house on the market for six months+
Prepared for a new life in Chattanooga as a work-at-home/stay-at-home mom
Loved my work as production editor for LifeWay Small Groups/Serendipity
Celebrated Libbie’s first birthday and all her firsts
Spent Christmas in North Carolina with Mr. V’s family
Spent WAY too long writing this recap!

Media that affected me this decade:
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez
This Time Around by Hanson, in particular the songs “This Time Around” and “Dying to Be Alive
First by Carl Cartee
The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
The Bible
Tara Road and Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy
Many, many musicals and their songs

Goals and hopes for the next decade:
–Be healthy. Lose weight, eat whole foods, exercise, and teach Libbie these habits.
–Have three more children, biologically or through adoption
–Do more attachment parenting. Be a wonderful mother to Libbie and other children.
–Continually strengthen my relationship with my husband. Be his helpmate. Support him.
–Really make our home a haven, wherever we are. Learn to clean, whether I like it or not. Make home a warm, calm environment where my children can welcome friends, we can host on the spur of the moment, and my kids aren’t worried about just being kids.
–Grow closer and closer to Christ. Read the whole Bible, multiple times. Serve in His name. Have family Bible study.
–Establish a successful career as a freelance writer. Finish writing my chicklit novel.
–Teach children (not just mine) a love for missions. Go on a family mission trip. Share my faith continually. Help others to grow in Christ.
–Live with purpose and without fear.

Well, if you’ve made it to the end of this monstrous post, you must share. What are some of the highlights of the “oughts” for you? What are some goals for the next decade?

9 thoughts on “The "Oughts"

  1. Wow! I love this post.

    Isn't it amazing to look over ten years and see God's hand in it?

    I pray all your hopes and goals for the next ten years are fulfilled.

    What a nice way to end the year and the decade.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Happy New Year,
    P.S. I am from Newport News not far from Richmond:) We moved here for my husband to get a degree in Pastoral Ministries

  2. Love this post!! I wonder if I can pull it off in the next 24 hours:)

    We went to El Dorado Royale in 2004 (celebrating our 5 yr anniversary) … yes, I got married young!

  3. Its amazing what happens over 10 yaers…it sounds like you experienced a lot. This time of year is always a great time to reflect.

  4. Love the recap. Great way to get to know you better! I read through the entire Bible last year and it gave me a while new viewpoint. But I really think the only reason I was able to push through is because I blogged about it. Good accountability. Also, I like your goal about eating whole foods. That's one of my goals as well.

  5. Jessie, it has been a blessed ten years. You are a wonderful wife and mother as well as a daughter, sister, and niece. You will be a good role model for Libbie. I love you — have a very happy New Year.

  6. I can remember exactly where I was when this awful decade came into being. Believe it or not, when I rang in the new year on January 1, 2000, not only was I stone-cold sober – I was at church! My then-girlfriend and I attended a special midnight mass at the local Catholic church to welcome in, not only a new decade, but a new century and a new millennium. I remember feeling filled with optimism. By entering this new era, I felt, we could wipe the slate clean. Maybe this would be a new age of peace, love, brother and sisterhood. EVERYBODY SING!

    This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius!
    Age of Aquarius!

    How utterly naive on my part, huh? By year's end, all of that hope was out the window and into the toilet. In December of 2000, an ideologically perverted Supreme Court would assist in a stolen election by stopping the vote count in the state of Florida, installing a corrupt little frat boy with the I.Q. of a half-eaten box of Milk Duds as president of the United States. It was all downhill from that moment on. From the birth of "Reality Television" to the worst attack on American soil since the Civil War, it was quite a strange ten years to say the least. Thankfully this awful decade is a mere three days away from being forever consigned to history's scrap heap. Hallelujah.

    Tom Degan

  7. Jessie! I love you! What an insightful and inspiring post!

    And who knew you minored in Chinese! CHINESE. Do you cook Chinese too? Or just speak it? 😉

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