Friday, January 01, 2010

Holy Cow...Was That 2009?

by Paul

As 2009 draws to a close, I am looking back on the past twelve months and wondering how we managed to squeeze so much into a calendar year. Abbey and I have jokingly labeled the last few years with an appropriate title; 2006 was the "year that wouldn't end," as a littany of events and changes made the year stretch on and on. 2007 was the "year of fun," as I finished my post as an aide and we hosted both sets of grandparents in Okinawa and got out to see a lot of the island. 2008 we dubbed "the year of sickness" due to both kids being in pre-school and life on that tiny island bringing every manner of germ and bacteria seemed like at least one or all of us was consistently down with something or other for the entire twelve months. 2009 had to be the year of transition, or maybe activity, as we have been running non-stop.

The year began for us back in Oki. Just after the new year, we were enjoying the warm breeze on our back porch one night and I said to Abbey, "you will be 2010 before we know what's hit us." Not that I looked in a crystal ball, but I suspected that the moving process, starting a new job, recovering from surgery, a new baby, setting up house back in the States, and multiple family visits would make the year fly. And so it did.

Here's a quick recap of what went down, in no particular order...

We managed to all make it back to our home state twice in 2009. Abbey & I had each visited once separately but it had been our first collective visit since 2005. I had been really missing the ol' mitten but a properly-timed trip in the throes of winter made me again thankful for living in the South.

We added another boy to our family with Grant's arrival in August. The bonus of living relatively close to home (well, compared to Japan) allowed both Grandmas to come and assist with the first weeks of his life.

My brother, Mark, earned his commission as a second lieutenant and was able to move to Tennessee temporarily to work with me. This was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity and I'm so thankful we were able to make it happen. His presence in Middle Tennessee has allowed us to pursue the "Pizza Quest," where we sample all of the local pizzerias and see how they stack up. So far, so good. We also got to take a family road trip to our old stomping grounds in Virginia to see him graduate OCS.

I've admittedly never been a huge sports fan, but being in Okinawa and having little or no access to such things most of the time leant itself to rekindling my interest in hockey and college sports. Plus, my duties require me to talk collegiate football a lot so it's really "researching," right? I hadn't been to a pro sports event in years but I managed to squeeze in the following in 2009: a couple NHL games, a Texas Rangers game, in Arlington, a Memphis Grizzlies game, and something like 10 NCAA football and baseball games. And Ethan got to go with me to see a minor league baseball game (Nashville Sounds) and watch the Predators lose to the Flames.

Family Thanksgiving
Abbey and I decided over a year ago that, when we returned to the States, we would love to host our families to a Thanksgiving dinner. We were really excited about doing it but, honestly in the back of our minds we didn't think our families would ultimately be able to make the trip. To our delight and their credit, everyone made it down and it was easily one of the most memorable holidays ever.

Officer Selection Duty
My new job has been stimulating and rewarding. It keeps me on the road a little better than half the month on average, but I love what I'm doing and enjoy being out in the civilian community. I think we all miss being near a lot of other Marines, though.

There's so many other things but those are the big ones. We have a lot of goals in 2010 and are hoping it turns out to be as amazing as 2009 was...although hopefully a little more stable and less busy. :)


Catherine H said...

I downloaded safari... and now I can see your blog and... leave comments! WOOT! :) I too can't believe it, what a year!! Congrats on everything, the move, your house, your beautiful new baby boy, you have a great list here - WOW what a year!

paulD said...

Awesome recap, bro. You're a great writer. A wonderful and wild year it was!

Anonymous said...

It will be great to watch Memphis Grizzlies, i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.