So to recap 2008… Five weddings, two funerals, a trip to Italy, and my first Tonner Doll convention. And let’s not forget the expansion of my new eBay business with my second official client. I attended my second Tonner factory sale in December of 2008 and invested several hundred dollars in merchandise to help supplement my income. I held off sorting through anything and getting it listed on eBay until after the holidays had come and gone. In many ways my life was pretty fantastic, but the loss of my mother still loomed over me and the holiday season that year felt sad and somewhat empty. My sister and I made the best of it, continuing our family tradition by visiting our grandmother on Christmas Eve, and my sister’s boyfriend proposed on Christmas Day which started the count for multiple 2009 weddings I would be attending. Aside from my mom and my aunt passing away, I wanted 2009 to be just like 2008… busy, with lots of travel; which basically translated to “reasons to escape reality”, and for the most part it was. I traveled to the 2009 IDEX in Florida and attended the 2009 Tonner Doll Convention in Lombard, IL. The IDEX convention opened my eyes to a much larger world of doll collecting, I marveled for hours at the many different styles and designs of the many artists who showcased their work. I must confess though, I was a bit bewildered by all of the “newborns”. Admiring their life-likeness at the artist’s booths was one thing; seeing them strolled around in strollers, cradled and caressed in the arms of their “mothers”, and their diapers being changed on the changing table in the ladies room was another thing (my apologies if I’ve offended you, but I’m sure you can imagine how odd this might look to a non-doll collector). I attended three weddings, two of which I was in and had to travel out of state for. I was hired by an old friend to photograph her wedding in San Francisco, CA; that was a really interesting trip as the entire wedding party and guests stayed on an old tugboat (unfortunately, or should I say “fortunately”, the bride called off the wedding the night before). Yes, it was definitely another whirlwind of a year; we sold my mom’s house and my sister moved to Ohio after getting married, I took trips with friends near and far, AND…I gained five new eBay clients. I officially felt like a real entrepreneur and it was time to get more serious with how I ran my little eBay business.