I spent the majority of last week traveling for the Christmas holiday and for mine and Jen’s birthdays. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my Grandpa and some extended family in Connecticut. On the 26th (my birthday), we drove to New Jersey, dropped my car at a relative’s house, and took the train into Manhattan. We visited the Morgan Library & Museum, shopped at The Strand bookstore, and ate dinner at Cafe Altro Paradiso followed by drinks at King. On the 27th (Jen’s birthday) we ate breakfast at Kopitiam, visited the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, ate lunch at Gertie, and shopped around Williamsburg before returning to NJ to spend the evening and eat pizza with family. We returned to Cville on Saturday. I’m writing this on Monday, January 30th, the penultimate day of 2019. What a year it’s been.


In my previous post, I enumerated all of the traveling the both of us have done this year. I continually find myself using the term “whirlwind” to describe it, and I suppose that’s appropriate. We packed up our lives, drove across a continent, set down roots in a new town, bought a house, dealt with loss and grief, made new friends, started new jobs, and traveled back and forth across aforementioned continent multiple times.

And in the midst of the chaos, there is so much I am grateful for. I’m grateful for the new people and place that mark our lives. And I’m also grateful for the place we left, and the friends there that I’ll always cherish.

And it’s the end of a decade. This was the decade that I started blogging, on a Blogger site buried under the detritus of the web. This was the decade in which I lived the most of my twenties. I feel like I’m supposed to reflect on the 2010s. There’s no shortage of thinkpieces about the cultural, political, economic, and technological changes of this decade, and I don’t feel I need to add to it here. Of course, I can think of the various ways my life intersected with said changes — working at a Borders bookstore when the chain closed its doors, using and leaving Facebook, learning programming and starting a career in software development, witnessing economic desperation, struggling with my evangelical faith, meeting my wife through online dating. But, when I think back on this decade, it’s the specific and the personal that I remember, not the general and the cultural. Much like this past year, this past decade gave me much to be grateful for. Of course, there are decisions that I regret, circumstances that I wish I could change. But if I could talk to newly-20 Robbie at the end of 2009, I’d tell him to be hopeful. And I think that’s what I needed most through my twenties - hope.


I’m ending this one here this week. I’ve been enjoying a number of books, albums, shows, and games. I had some thoughts on goals and habits for the new year. I also considered writing out my favorite reads of 2020. But I’m deciding to save those for another post.

Take care, friends. May you know the grace of God in surprising and wonderful new ways in 2020 and beyond.