the smell of my desperation has become a stench

2009 in photos

As we approach the final days and hours of 2009, I’m struck by the many ups and downs my family and most likely yours have experienced over the last twelve months. And although I know it was a tough span of time for many people, I really need to articulate just how awesome this year has been for us. And oh my god, Heather Armstrong is getting all positive up in here. UNFOLLOW! WHERE IS THAT ACERBIC WHOREBAG YOU USED TO KNOW AND LOVE.

Let’s see, in the last twelve months I have (NOTE: I am about to start bragging, mainly so that my mom can print this out, take it to church, and tell her friends that I’m not all that bad, that when I die my fellow brothers and sisters in the Telestial Kingdom will be in good company):

1. Gained 45 pounds. See: all those boxes of powdered donuts.

2. Lost 50 pounds (that extra five due to the stress of bullying a multibillion dollar corporation into fixing my broken washing machine).

3. Been a guest on The Today Show, The Bonnie Hunt Show, Dr. Phil, and Oprah. I repeat: OPRAH. OOOOPPPPRAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH.

4. Made the New York Times Best Sellers List, something I owe to my seventh grade English teacher, Mary Krause Fowler.

5. Named by Forbes as one of the top 30 most influential women in media. (NUMBER TWENTY-SIX BITCHES!)

6. Been featured as a $2000 answer on Jeopardy.

7. Made Time’s list of the 25 Best Blogs of 2009.

8. Toured with my book to New York, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, and Austin.

9. Enrolled my oldest daughter into kindergarten.

10. Briefly met and then slightly harassed Peter Frampton.

11. Launched a community section of my website which has soared far beyond my expectations in terms of the respect and generosity among its members.

12. Oh, and I had that baby. Without any pain medication. Yes, I will always point that out even though it is tacky to do so. Also, it makes it so that Jon cannot ever trump me.

And then there was the broken toe, the SHINGLES!, the minor case of swine flu, and a bathroom remodel so offensive that WE WILL ALL DIE! (see comment #93)

I also had to say goodbye to my beloved Granny Boone, the magnificent matriarch of my giant Southern family, a woman whose iron will I strive to emulate every day of my life.

It’s been a hell of a year, and we are among the lucky ones who still have the means to pay for our house and our car and the food on our table, and for that I thank you, you who come here to share in this total wackadoo story. I wish I could take each and every one of you out for a beer. Or a Sprite if that is your preference.

Here is our year in photos:

(soundtrack is “Follow Through” by Hotel Lights)

  • Chriss

    2009/12/30 at 11:26 am

    Very nice! I can’t believe I have only been following you online for just under a year now. It may sound wacko but I feel like I have known you for years!

  • Peanut22

    2009/12/30 at 11:30 am

    Beautiful year in review montage, Heather. You’re a lucky lady and it’s a pleasure to follow you and your family on your journey. Thanks for putting it all out there for the world to see.

  • assortedchocolates

    2009/12/30 at 11:30 am

    Gorgeous post! I started reading about 3 weeks before Marlo arrived, so I’m a relative newbie, but I can’t get enough of you!
    It’s been a hell of a year all round, and your community have sorted me out in many ways already.
    So much love to you!

  • catslye

    2009/12/30 at 11:38 am

    What a beautiful year, thank you for sharing.

  • the grumbles

    2009/12/30 at 11:40 am

    oh dear, this gave me the teary eyes…

  • Tiffaney

    2009/12/30 at 11:40 am

    Awesome. Simpy awesome.

  • Tara P

    2009/12/30 at 11:45 am

    I found your blog about 3 months ago and read it from the beginning.

    My husband and I are expecting our second child at the end of the month and her right hand is not developed past her wrist.

    Your blog has been one of the few things that has given me a more positive outlook about it all – it’s hard to continue to be devastated when you are laughing out loud. I appreciate that more than I can express.

    I hope that 2010 is a happy, healthy, prosperous year for you and yours.

  • louloupink

    2009/12/30 at 11:45 am

    Thanks for ALL of the inspiration. You are truly amazing at what you do. That’s why you have that sweet list up there 🙂

  • KatieMama

    2009/12/30 at 11:46 am

    That was beautiful – thank YOU for sharing!

  • Suburban Matron

    2009/12/30 at 11:46 am

    You know, I was reading along for all these milestones, but I forgot they happened all in one year. Whoa! That was a major stretch of road for your family. Congratulations on all of it.

    And simply everybody is doing this year in pictures thing so I may have to steal this idea.

  • Keriwgd

    2009/12/30 at 11:47 am

    You lead a very lovely life Heather and I do have to say that your two girls are absolutely gorgeous.

  • austinmomof7

    2009/12/30 at 11:51 am

    I love that you documented your whole pregnancy in photos. With all the kids I’ve had, there are very few photos to cocument any of it. And I totally agree that once you have given birth with no medication, there is not much your husband can do that tops it. “Ouch, I broke my leg”. “Tough noogies, boo boo, I birthed your baby.” I win.

  • Jessica Eiden Smedley

    2009/12/30 at 11:51 am

    My God, Heather. Each time I see one of your videos I’m so inspired to whip out my camera and take note of..well, everything.

    Thank you for sharing this with your public. I think you’re great.

    Happy New Year to your family. I wish you all the best in 2010.

  • Pinkporches

    2009/12/30 at 11:52 am

    That was very sweet. Thank you for sharing.


  • laurenmhall

    2009/12/30 at 11:54 am

    Ahhh.. I had forgotten the uproar your bathroom tiles caused. Thanks for the reminder & the laughs!

    Happy New Year!

  • ohhayitskk

    2009/12/30 at 11:56 am

    this makes my year look…less exciting than i had imagined. but you rock!

  • KBHouston

    2009/12/30 at 12:02 pm

    Congratulations and Thank You!

    Congrats on all the well deserved recognition in 2009 and the wonderful moments.

    Thank you for sharing the good, the bad and the ugly. Also, on a serious note, thank you for your continued open and honest discussion of mental illness. Every voice that speaks out sheds light and helps drive away ignorance.

  • patrickahles

    2009/12/30 at 12:02 pm

    Great little movie! Happy New Year!

  • ChristinaC1253

    2009/12/30 at 12:07 pm

    Happy New Year to you and your family! Thank you for sharing such an amazing year of photos, you and your family are so beautiful! I hope this new year brings you many more awesome memories!

  • Rebecca from Texas

    2009/12/30 at 12:08 pm

    Absolutely stunning! Here’s to an awesome 2010 – cheers!

  • Lornadoone1972

    2009/12/30 at 12:08 pm

    I loved seeing all your happy moments and fabulous photos, which I always enjoy! Can’t wait to see what 2010 brings for you all… I too had a baby in 2009 – NATURALLY – and damn straight I say it like that everytime… I worked hard and feel accomplished and want everyone to know so I understand why you do it!

  • Friday

    2009/12/30 at 12:11 pm


  • Lauren - louisianagrown

    2009/12/30 at 12:13 pm

    I wonder how this year would have been different if Chuck didn’t have the amazing ability to balance anything and everything on his head? Miserable, I bet.

  • Ashley I

    2009/12/30 at 12:14 pm

    Thank you for helping me on my ‘black hole’ days with insight into your and your family’s lives. Best wishes for 2010, can’t wait to see what it brings.
    Still can’t get over the girls eyes: LOVE Leta’s green and absolutely can’t get over how blue Marlo’s eyes are– you could almost name a new color after them 😛

  • ria1224

    2009/12/30 at 12:14 pm

    What a gorgeous representation of the wonderful life you share with us all! Thank you. My favorite picture is the one of you and Marlo where she’s wearing the red cap and you’re smiling so beautifully. Thank you for making my life more interesting and creating your kick-ass blog. You rock my world.

  • kristanhoffman

    2009/12/30 at 12:14 pm

    What a great year, Heather. Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us! (Also, a great song choice! Never heard it before but I love it.)

  • X5455

    2009/12/30 at 12:17 pm

    I cannot read SHINGLES! without making jazz hands… thank you for that. 😀

  • sybann

    2009/12/30 at 12:17 pm

    Beeeeaaauuuutiful! And I am glad your stoopid company was stoopid enough to give you a chance to REALLY soar. Maroons.

  • BrotherItchy

    2009/12/30 at 12:19 pm

    I swore I would never comment on your blog since I am a dude and I think commenting here will violate some subsection of the Man Code. (Please make note of the capital letters there. The Man Code is THAT important.)

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that you have a beautiful family. I have two daughters myself so I know where you have been and I know where you are going.

    BTW, is it just me or does Marlo always look like she is getting ready to start something in every picture she is in? 🙂

  • SusanCharmain

    2009/12/30 at 12:29 pm

    Thank YOU, Armstrongs. Happy New Year.

  • jenwilson

    2009/12/30 at 12:31 pm

    Oh my word. It has been quite the year for you, hasn’t it? I loved that montage. Your girls’ eyes are seriously the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen. Also, I’d forgotten about that photo of you with the box of donuts and beer and cigarette. I seriously love it.

    Happy New Year! Hope it’s an amazing one for all four (or six) (or eight with Katey and her little girl) of you.

  • kcbelles

    2009/12/30 at 12:32 pm

    Happy New Year, Heather, to you and your lovely family. I wish you all lots of love, laughter, health and success in 2010.

  • marymcginty

    2009/12/30 at 12:39 pm

    Congrats Girl! That’s a lot of good things to happened to one person especially in one year. You should be proud,

  • Kittay Skeezah

    2009/12/30 at 12:41 pm

    awww happy New Year Armstrong family!

  • gavintiegirl

    2009/12/30 at 12:43 pm

    That was so awesome. Thanks for giving me the chills. Happy New Year!

  • madgie

    2009/12/30 at 12:36 pm

    Great, great post. I loved going back and re-reading your posts. Marlo’s birth story STILL ties my stomach into knots. NO MEDS. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD.

    Happy New Year to the Armstrongs! Looking forward to your stories, photography, and humor in 2010.

  • josephine

    2009/12/30 at 12:37 pm

    I love the montage. I love your blog. Thanks for making me laugh out loud every day. 🙂

  • jwag68

    2009/12/30 at 12:37 pm

    so sweet. where can i get me one of them cute blue-eyed babies? 😉

  • Jenorama

    2009/12/30 at 12:38 pm

    Happy New Year, Heather and Jon, et al. It’s been great to read about your adventures for another year. So thrilled for you both that Marlo’s presence has so completed your family.

  • MaLo

    2009/12/30 at 12:44 pm

    #8: And Denver (even though you were “technically” in the ‘burbs)…we love you here too! 🙂

  • katie allison granju

    2009/12/30 at 12:45 pm

    You forgot your big, awesome, exciting as heck trip to southern Appalachia! Yeehaw!


  • planetplanet

    2009/12/30 at 12:46 pm

    That video moved me. I think my sphincter just dilated.

    Happy New Year to you and your family.

  • AmyW

    2009/12/30 at 12:49 pm

    Kids, modesty patches and your preggo tutu FTW!

    More photos with you smiling, your face lights up and you’re gorgeous!

    ….not that you’re unattractive when you’re not smiling, but those look more like mug shots 😉

  • VinnyGirl

    2009/12/30 at 12:50 pm

    Great blog today! Thanks for making me laugh so much. Oh and I copied your haircut. 🙂 Thanks for that too! Happy New Year to you!

  • WebSavyMom

    2009/12/30 at 12:50 pm

    –>You’ve had a wonderful year. Thanks for sharing it with us too.

  • Coyote

    2009/12/30 at 12:52 pm

    I started tearing up even BEFORE I watched the video. Now I’m a blubbering mess. Such beauty, humor, talent, accomplishment and much deserved rewards. Blessings to you from a fellow mom (and faithful reader since 2002).

  • guinness618

    2009/12/30 at 12:54 pm

    Thank you for sharing your life, your beautiful daughters, and your sexy husband with all of us.
    you just freakin’ rock.

  • Erika

    2009/12/30 at 12:56 pm

    A hearty congratulations to you, Number Twenty-Six!

    I have a dream that one day Chuck and Rupert will meet in a Battle Royale. Maybe I can put the little hellhound on a train to Utah.

  • red pen mama

    2009/12/30 at 1:00 pm

    I think this may be my second comment ever here, but: That photo montage is incredible. Your children are gorgeous (which, with parents like that I should be surprised?). It’s been a heck of a year. When are you doing the decade in review?


  • mommy_of_three

    2009/12/30 at 1:00 pm

    Ok, so that made me cry. Sob really. Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with me and for making me feel like my own wackadoodle life is now the new hip norm. Peace and love to you in 2010! xo

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Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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