Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009

As we say goodbye to 2009, and await the arrival of the two thousand TEENS, it's important to reflect on the past year. God has blessed Beau and I with another great year for the books.

We rang in 2009 with a bottle of spilled champagne at Chris and April's. We had so much fun, we are doing it again, only this year, out on the town in style.

We welcomed the arrival of spring and warm weather with a party at our place. It was a blast. Memories include beer pong, a putting green, Rihanna's 'Live your Life,' a 'Soulja Boy' dance class (self-taught), and a rendition of 'Biffteck,' a French-inspired tribute to steak with sombreros (thank you Starbuck!).
I got to be part of a great friend, Drea's wedding in May. It was a gorgeous day outside and we had a blast getting dressed up, taking pictures, and dancing! Shaune and Drea are not only great friends, but great neighbors, living just a street away from us.

Mom and Dad watched their baby accept his diploma and graduate from high school. After 28 years (is that right?) of homework help, choir concerts, and washing sports uniforms, they became empty nesters in the blink of tear filled eyes.

I had a great year with a fantastic group of sophomores at NU High. In my first full year of teaching, I learned more from them than they could have ever learned from me.

We had a lot to celebrate in June. The completion of my first full year of teaching, our 2nd anniversary, and Beau's 28th birthday. So much, we decided we needed to celebrate in Mexico. We bravely ignored the swine flu pandemic talk and settled for a week in an all-inclusive, beach front room in the Riviera Maya.

Summer 2009 stands out as one of the best summers I've had. Beau and I cooked A LOT. We conquered the easy summertime supper. Dinner on the deck, Chinese lanterns, a glass of wine, music, and occasional games of cribbage or bocce ball. I took a couple of masters classes, got a lot of productive studying done at the Lost Island Water Park, and hosted a few parties with our friends and family.

Beau and I visited our favorite city, Chicago, for an afternoon in the bleachers at Wrigley, a night on the town and 'The Second City,' and a couple days of wandering and exploring Lincoln Park, Buddy Guy's, Lake Michigan, and numerous pizza and hot dog establishments!

We had a memorable night at Millennium Park. I think I could move to Chicago just for Millennium Park.

I celebrated making it through a quarter of a century!

We had a weekend with the family to witness one of the last Twins games at the Metro-Dome...well...some of us 'witnessed' it!

Beau and I went to visit Ty Cutler, Sarah and Levi's adorable baby boy. Our Sunday road trip proved to me that school work sometimes just has to wait.

We decided to become UNI Panther season ticket holders this year and had a couple of really beautiful tailgating days.

We spent a nice day in Northeast Iowa to scope out the fall foliage. We visited a winery, Starks, Pike's Peak, and McGregor. Beau also scored a lovely picture of dad, along with the idea to send a note of thanks, on behalf of dad, to his many plumbing customers (much to his surprise).

After an unseasonably warm November, December came in a hurry with cold temps and SO MUCH SNOW! Two snow days a week before Winter Break were much appreciated on this end! Comfort food, baking days, movie nights, and Christmas decorations made their appearance early and in abundance!

Wow...what a year! A year of family, friends, food, travel, and fun. A year of milestones. Grandma and Grandpa Hoodjer celebrated 50 years of marriage, Mom and Dad celebrated 30, and Mom said goodbye to her 40s. We got exciting news of a new generation of Henrichs' with Jordan and Kelli expecting their first baby in February. Beau wrapped up his 5th year at Farm Bureau and I began a whirlwind year of lesson planning, paper grading, presenting. We faced some scares (thanks to Beau's mom and my dad), yet had so much to be thankful for.

Now, as we look to 2010, it's exciting to dream about what is to come. Here's to a safe, happy, and healthy new year, full of new surprises and blessings!


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