Thursday, January 5, 2012

2011 Year In Review

Out with the old and in with the new! This post highlights our past year. For more details click on the links throughout. In some ways 2011 will be a year to forget but there are definitely some positives to look back on. Lets review those first. The biggest news is that the family circus has a coming attraction. That's right, the newest member is another boy! Just like the first time, we're keeping the name to ourselves until after he's born. The second biggest accomplishment is that Jennifer finished college in December. She earned her Bachelors in Art Education from Marymount University. We are very proud of her and she's very happy to be done.

Fletch celebrated his second birthday last year. We are Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) members so he visited the zoo a lot. He also went to the RBB&B circus, National Train Day at Union Station, and Yo Gabba Gabba Live! Yo Gabba Gabba is his favorite TV show.

We added two new family members last year. Aunt Lili (Atom's sister Lisa) had her first baby on December 23. Welcome to the world baby boy Max! Earlier in the year Jennifer's sister Donna got married to Craig Straily, a former high school boyfriend. They are happy and living in Oklahoma. A couple of our nephews started the next chapter of their life. Jennifer's oldest brother David's oldest son Josh started college in the fall at Texas A&M. Jennifer's brother Bubba's oldest son John Jr. joined the military. They are growing up so fast. We wish them both success in their endeavors.

We didn't have an official vacation last year, but we did manage some weekend getaways. Jennifer and I spent separate weekends in March on the annual moms and dads retreats respectively. The trips were organized by our Church's Young Family Ministries (YFM). The Moms went to the Delaware shore and the Dads went to a cabin in the Shenandoah Valley. Memorial Day weekend we went down to the Chesapeake Bay to visit friends during which Mom and Dad had a romantic night away to Smithfield StationWe attended the annual YFM family weekend retreat at Shrine Mont in June. It was a great weekend spent doing fun activities and fellowshipping with our friends. We spent Thanksgiving in New York City visiting Aunt Lili and Uncle Steven. Jennifer and I went to the Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular show featuring the high-kicking Rockettes. We also went to Macy's Santa Land.  

Jennifer started her own Etsy shop selling custom covers for iPads, Kindles, laptops, smartphones and the like. Opening the shop was her 2011 New Year's resolution.

We got a new family truckster.

As for the not-so-good of 2011, the biggest was me being laid off in January and my subsequent five month unemployment stint. I finally started working again in June. We also lost our dear friend, Jeffrey Soderberg. Our friend Chris Wade lost his political campaign bid for Braddock District Supervisor by a mere 42 votes in the Democratic Primary. Jennifer lost her wedding band on the National Mall back in the spring. It was insured so it was quickly replaced, but it was still something worth mentioning. Oh, you might have heard that there was an earthquake in the DC area! It caused no deaths, but significantly damaged the National Cathedral and the Washington Monument.
That's it for 2011. We're looking forward to a less dramatic 2012. It didn't start off well with my maternal grandmother passing away at the age of 93 on January 2. If you believe the Mayan calendar that 2012 is the end of the world then you better make the most of it. God Speed.

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