Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2011 Holiday Greetings!

Time for a look back at 2011...We vowed it would be Year of Nothing, but we sure crammed a lot in!
January brought actual snow!
Bigger than the news of snow was the start of Jim's new job as Director of Oregon State University's Glee Choir.  Between 75 and 100 students have enrolled every quarter and they are a big hit around campus.
OSU Glee
Jimbo hit the big 3-0 in April.  His best friend Lucas turned 30 a few days later so we rolled the whole thing into one big birthday shindig (complete with matching novelty t-shirts) at the Kennedy School in Portland. 

Soon after we celebrated another friendship - my 20th anniversary with my bestie Brenda Lee.  We'd been promising ourselves to celebrate milestones (10 years... 15 years...) but never managed to pull it off.  So we went big for our 20th and flew off to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico. 

Jim and Thatcher came along to..."supervise"...and we had a fantastic time!
April included one more special celebration - showering our girl, Erin, and anticipating the arrival of her sweet baby Aiden.  

My pals from grad school got together in Las Vegas in May.   We had a fantastic reunion, including a Cirque du Soleil show and a special baby shower brunch to celebrate Nikki's little guy, Oscar.

In June, I joined a group of OSU colleagues to run our Hawaii orientation program in Honolulu.  Thanks to an unused companion fare, Jim was able to tag along.  Of course he was put right to work and learned a lot about academic advising and online registration!

July found us in Charleston, South Carolina, helping our dear friend Amanda move.  A few days later we'd gotten her settled in Columbus, Ohio.  We got to see a few new states and try out the Piggly Wiggly.
I dig the Pig!

We traveled back to Montana in August and had a nice relaxing vacation.  We spent time with my Mom and Fred in Missoula, and took a camping trip with my Aunt Sandy and Uncle Dean. 
Four days with no internet, no cell phones, and nothing more pressing to attend to than getting the boat in the water?  Hello Vacation!  I finally got good at towing/backing/parking a trailer.  I think I'll add that to my resume...
We squeezed in a day trip to introduce Jim to Glacier National Park.

Just as we returned from Montana, I had my last day at OSU's College of Pharmacy.  It was hard to say goodbye after 8 years, but opportunity knocked for me and I took a new job as Assistant Director of Undergraduate Programs for OSU's College of Engineering.  About a month later, Jim was offered a position as Choir Director for the First United Methodist Church in Corvallis.  Glee and the church keep Jim happy and busy, and we both feel so fortunate to have found such fulfilling work this year. 

Knowing that we are happily settling into long-term jobs in Corvallis, we decided to take the plunge and buy our first home.  We looked at 10 houses and fell in love with number 11!

We moved in to our new digs in October, and have been enjoying "fancy" amenities like the dishwasher, a garage, and a real yard for Sugar.  It's a big step up from our 850 square foot rental!

Thanksgiving found us at my brother's house in Spokane, Washington.  It was a  nice low-key weekend with my family and included a benefit dog-walk for the Humane Society. 

And now it's time for Christmas.  It will be our first in our home, and Jim's family will come to celebrate with us.  As we count our blessings - family, friends, good health, meaningful work, and the world's greatest dog - we wish you all the best.  May all your days be filled with joy! 

Happy Holidays from Jim, Nicole, and Sugar