Cheers to You, 2010

by Jenn (eating bender) on December 30, 2010

Thinking back over the past year, I find that my emotions are a mix of:

  • Bliss
  • Contentment
  • Terror

Which one of these things is not like the other?

It’s not that the year itself has been terrifying. Quite the contrary, it has been one of the biggest and most dramatically different years of my life. But as we near the final day of 2010, I sense lingering rumblings of anxiety and anticipation as I ask myself, “what do the next 12 months hold?”

I recently reflected on this year’s personal goal on my other blog, Pursuing Our Passion. At the end of 2009, I challenged myself to love the ones I’m with – including myself. It seemed like such a simple goal at the time. No specific resolutions or must-dos other than to cherish the positives in my life every day.

But now, as I attempt to measure my success, I realize just how not simple it was.


January started out easy enough. I picked out wedding flowers and food, then got to hang out with two of my favorite people for a girl’s weekend. Yet behind the scenes, I was unhappy at my job and in the very early stages of figuring out how to change my working situation.

Fast forward one month and all of the sudden, Jill and I were taking the plunge. On February 12, we quit our steady corporate job. I celebrated a week later by making a big, sparkly announcement. And spilling the beans with some phenomenal bloggies at brunch.

When March 1 rolled around, I co-started a new blog and began working feverishly on learning the ins and outs of how to run a business. When I wasn’t researching tax and legal information, I was researching wedding vendors. Tough job, but somebody has to do it. 😉 I also celebrated Eating Bender’s 2nd Anniversary.

At the end of the month, two very wonderful, lifechanging events occured. POP! Social Media landed its first client – Flatout Bread – and we found out we were chosen to speak at BlogHer! We “popped” some champagne and looked forward to an exciting spring and summer.

In April, I traveled to Madison with Jill to speak with PRSSA students about personal branding. I was able to meet up with some special bloggers during my stay and Julie was kind enough to let me crash at her place, where we chatted about wedding planning and much more! My family and I traveled to Milwaukee to watch my baby cousin get baptized and Flatout Bread brought Jill and me to Michigan.

My absolute favorite month of the year, May, brought a combined birthday (mine) and Mother’s Day celebration in Arizona. I also attended SELF’s Workout in the Park with Karla and decided to go insane.

June was just a joy. I attended my cousin-in-law’s beautiful wedding and had a shower of my own (I also looked like I just got out of a shower in that Insanity recap video)! We celebrated my little brother Eric’s golden 17th birthday and wished Papa Bender a happy Father’s Day. I also was able to experience my first Sisterhood of the Traveling Pans dinner with Mara.

In July, I visited the Taste of Chicago and spent the 4th in Minnesota. The POP! Social Media team took a trip to visit our accountant (aka Mama Bender!) in Arizona and a whole lotta wedding planning ensued.

Perhaps one of the busiest months of the year was August! We traveled to New York for the BlogHer conference (Part I and Part II) and then I came back just in time for the Healthy Living Summit in Chicago (Part I, Part II and Part III). The third weekend, Bobby and I traveled to Wisconsin for a wedding and the fourth weekend I went to Arizona for my final dress fitting and plenty of other wedding details. WHEW!

**At this point in the post, I am wondering how I avoided going CRAZY.**

Annnyway, in September, my lovely bridal party put on a fantastic wedding shower and bachelorette party in Chicago. We celebrated Bobby’s birthday and things got a little sappy around these parts. I met up with some great bloggies at Flat Top and ventured yet again to Arizona, where we dotted more t’s and crossed more i’s…or something like that. I came back to Chicago one last time before the “big day” and saw my cousin Kelli.

Then, there was that pretty phenomenal month of October. All the months up to that point had been filled with fun and excitement, but this one took the cake. Literally and figuratively.

I said “I do” to the guy I don’t want to live without.

Much of it is documented on my wedding page, but there is more to come!

That month is a big, fantastic blur. Rather appropriately, at the tail end there was a trip to Vegas.

November was equally speedy and just as fun. My mom celebrated her 55th birthday and Bobby and I commemorated our 7-year dating itch. Then we embarked on our honeymoon (Part I and II so far) and came back just in time to give thanks.

And so, finally, the year of neverending love and laughter has reached December. I have admittedly done a poor job of documenting what has happened these past 30 days, but I think I ought to give the perfectionist in me a break on that one. There’s been one or two things going on…

Though I did make some delicious cookies. You should try them. :)

I spent Christmas in Minnesota with new family members and am fortunate enough to now be in Arizona for New Year’s with the “Bender clan.”

I can’t wait for a Papa Bender feast on New Year’s Eve. :)


I am never one to be short on positive adjectives, but there truly aren’t enough in my vocabulary to describe the year I’ve had. The people I’ve met, the places I’ve been and the things I’ve experienced are unbeatable…at least until 2011. 😉

Through it all, my amazing family and friends have kept me grounded, talked me down off the cliff (more than once) and provided me with the strength to keep calm and carry on with the seemingly insurmountable pile of need to-dos and want to-dos.

And once again, through it all, I’ve had YOU.

Yes, you.

The amazing readers who have stuck with me, even when my posting was lackluster and unpredictable. When there would be an entire week of silence for no apparent reason.

After writing this post, I’ve realized – there were many, many reasons.

Thank you for realizing that, too, and for still being willing to come along for the wild ride.

Looking forward into the new year, my goals have a rather familiar theme.

  • Love my husband.
  • Love my family.
  • Love my work.
  • Love myself.

Still simple, yet to me, more powerful than ever. After all, this mindset is what allowed me to have one of the best years of my life.

Cheers to you, 2010.


1 lowandbhold December 30, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Such an amazing year and I bet one you will always remember. I love resolutions like that, when they have true emotional meaning we’re much more likely to attain them :)

2 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Thank you!! Happy New Year to you, too. :)

3 Megan (Braise The Roof) December 30, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Great recap, Jenn! You’ve had an amazing year and I’m so happy for you that you’ve found a way to live out your dreams! I need to work on that whole “love your work” thing in 2011. 😉

4 Natalie @ Will Jog for Food December 30, 2010 at 4:02 pm

You had such an exciting year! Congrats on your wedding, and all the other good stuff 😉

5 Erica December 30, 2010 at 4:06 pm

WHAT a year you have had. Your life has truly changed in so many wonderful/positive ways. I still can’t get over how incredibly happy you look in your wedding pictures :). GREAT 2011 goals. I’m so with you on them! And I hope you have a fantastic new years. <3 <3

6 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:25 pm

You are so sweet, as always. :) Thank you, Erica!

7 glidingcalm December 30, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Happy New Year my lovely Jenn!!! You are wonderful.

8 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:29 pm

You are wonderful, too!!!

9 Kinsey Michaels December 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm

this post was phenomenal Jenn, i can see where the bliss and contentment feelings come from – taking a huge leap, forming your own company, getting married to the love of your life!
i am so excited to see what 2011 brings for you. i will be reading!! :)
(hopefully 2011 will bring me to chicago so i can reunite with you and jill!)

10 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Thank you, Kinsey! I can’t wait to hear more about what’s in store for you, too. So many exciting things happening – and I really hope you can come to Chicago, too!! :)

11 Astrid December 30, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Busy busy lady. Yet so successful and so smart, too. I love your goals. They are simple. But simple things are never easy. I want to implement the same goals in my life. I want to love my work, which is why I have made my own big change. I want to love my family, which is why I am working on my relationship with my boyfriend and what it truly means to me, and also reaching out to his family members and my own. I want to love myself, which is why I am being a lot less strict and attempting to be less structured with myself.
Basically I want to enjoy simply being. 2011 is going to be pretty huge. I cannot wait!

12 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Thank you, Astrid! I loved reading about your goals, too. I can tell already that 2011 is going to be huge for you. Hope you’re enjoying it so far!

13 Lauren December 30, 2010 at 6:34 pm

You have probably had one of the most memorable and amazing years of your life. 2010 was legendary for you! :) I only hope 2011 brings you many more unforgettable moments and blessings.

14 spabettie December 30, 2010 at 6:41 pm

…and cheers to YOU, Jenn, and your whole family!! what an amazing year, it was fun to revisit the highlights!

I love the wedding photo, you two on the right, the rows of guests on the left, all with cameras up! 😀


15 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Thank you for the sweet words! I love that picture with the cameras, too – it’s one of my favorites. Happy New Year!!!

16 BroccoliHut December 30, 2010 at 8:04 pm

As always, I’ve so enjoyed reading about your life this year, Jenn! Thanks for sharing it with us:)

17 Melissa @ TryingToHeal December 30, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Yayyyyy!!! what a great year you’ve had and ahhhhh I can’t wait to see what happens in 2011! Well we’re gonna start it off with a bang with that race, so there’s always that ! 😉

I’m glad I could share some of your events from 2010 and I hope that 2011 brings so many more of them. We may be 2,000 miles away from each other on any given day, but planes are phenomenal at covering that distance, eh? Anything for one of my best blends on this entire planet!

18 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Planes are a wonderful invention. :) Can’t wait to see you!!!!!!!

19 Erin December 30, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Awwh Jenn! What a year…I bet you wonder how you did it all. You’re such an amazing woman. I like your plans for 2011. Tons of love to you and Bob-D.

20 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:27 pm

You’re equally amazing. Much love to you and Rob in 2011!

21 cbrady3 December 30, 2010 at 10:14 pm

I love your simple yet all encompassing and extremely difficult goals. You’ve had quite the year – major milestones! I know you’ll do even greater things next year!!

22 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Thank you for the kind words! Best of luck to you in the new year, too! I know you’ll rock it. :)

23 skinnyfication December 30, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Wow, what an exiting year! I’m sure you’ve heard this many times, but you and your husband make a lovely couple.

I hope 2011 holds as many (or more!) wonderful things for you as 2010 has.

24 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:31 pm

You are very, very sweet. Thank you for the kind words about me and Bobby. Happy 2011 to you!

25 annie December 31, 2010 at 2:21 am

happy new year jenn!

p.s. i love that wedding picture where everyone in each row has a camera. it’s cool

26 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Thanks, Annie!

27 Alison Jenkins Overcoming Binge Eating @ Binge January 1, 2011 at 5:59 am

Wow what an amazing year for you. 2010 for me brought one of the most life changing years I have ever had. It did take a lot of work but the results have been far better than I ever imagined. It’s great to reflect over the last year, isn’t it.


28 Toronto Girl West January 1, 2011 at 10:28 am

It’s been an absolute pleasure to see how you’ve grown so much in the last year!!!!

I just know 2011 will kick some major bootay for you!

29 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:34 pm

You are very, very sweet – thank you so much for the kind words and here’s hoping 2011 kicks major bootay for the both of us!!! :) You have had quite the year, too, ya know… 😉 Congrats on everything!

30 Lindsay Cotter January 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Wow, what a year! So many great people and blessings. Looks like it was FULL of life. Here’s to another great year FULL of life, love, and laughter!

31 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:32 pm

Absolutely! Wouldn’t trade it for the world. Thanks for the sweet words. Happy New Year to you, too!

32 Tori @ January 2, 2011 at 5:22 pm

LOVE the wedding pics!!! You are gorgeous!!!

33 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Aw, thank you very much!

34 Megan January 2, 2011 at 8:52 pm

What an AMAZING year you had…I have a feeling 2011 will be just as amazing!!

35 jobo January 5, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Wow! What a year you had. that’s awesome. I was thisclose to going to BlogHer this year! Got in via the volunteer bloggers section but couldn’t swing the trip. Was so bummed. Definitely going to follow both of your blogs now and LOVE that you followed your passion. Amazing!

36 Jenn (eating bender) January 6, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Thank you so much for the sweet comments on both of my blogs! I’m so glad you “found” me. :) Can’t wait to keep in touch and motivate each other with running, too!

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