Oh, so this wasn't enough for you? Fine, I'll try to do better this time.
I've now typed out two entire blog posts and deleted both of them. They just sound whiny and selfish. Suffice it to say that this year has been tough. An unstable job situation, extremely unstable financial situation, living in an apartment after 10 years of home-ownership (no, we didn't get foreclosed on, but we sold our last house and moved to a new town and have not yet been able to get into a new house), our 9-year-old dog died after a lengthy illness that was almost certainly brought on by the family stress of the last year and a half, and generally feeling extremely out of sorts and off kilter because of all the stress.
Towards the end of the year, things did begin to look up. My job situation is - I think - beginning to smooth out, although I am still not working 40 hours per week (I am only guaranteed 32 hours per week, and even that doesn't actually always happen). I also have a new part-time job opportunity with a friend of mine from high school in an online Japanese "Eikaiwa" company. These companies help Japanese people - usually business people and students - to strengthen their English speaking and writing skills. Specifically, I will be editing and sort of "grading" submitted writing samples, to help clients with their English writing skills. The company is just getting off the ground, so I don't know what to expect in terms of monthly income, but it is an exciting opportunity nonetheless.
We also have finally bought a home, and that's certainly something to be excited about after more than a year in an apartment. It happened rather suddenly. A week earlier, I would have told you we had no chance of buying a house until at least the middle of 2011. Then, almost overnight, we had put in a bid on a house about a mile down the road, in a neighborhood we had looked at several times. I won't go into all the details, but we got the house for a steal because the owner wanted to unload it. I think we are paying something like $20,000 - maybe even $25,000 - less than what it originally went on the market for. Our monthly payment will be only slightly higher than our current apartment rent. The house is two floors, three bedrooms and 2.5 baths, partially finished basement (which probably adds another 500 square feet), fenced yard, and mud room. We're really excited about it and we feel like we've made a good investment as well, because we are getting the house for so much less than it's worth, and at such a low interest rate.
So anyway, 2010 wasn't a particularly banner year in our household, but we at least have some reason to hope for 2011 to be better. And can you really ask for much more than that?