Thursday, January 5, 2012

Looking Back on 2011

As it turns out, 2011 was a pretty wonderful year.
Every year comes with its ups and downs, thrills and frustrations, smiles and tears.
No one said it was going to be easy, after all.
Despite some illness and broken bones, we were all very busy and ended the year healthy and happy.

January was a mild weather month here in Portland, completely storm free with some very warm days. Joey's roommate from Oberlin College, Taylor, visited for much of the month. Joey and Taylor took the T-Bird to Sauvie Island daily to work on their "J" term video project (something about burning down a cabin on the beach?!?). Michael and I visited with Sarah, Jacob and Star Lubitz on Mercer Island. Sammy played Catlin Basketball. Michael also started the first month of the year by traveling to Seattle and Silicon Valley for business... which he would continue to do every single month of 2011.

In February, Joey returned to Oberlin (by way of Taylor's house in Washington DC). Sammy went to the Catlin Winter Formal and continued playing basketball. Despite a rather frustrating team/season, we continued going to every game. Sammy played great ball. Lily had surgery to have a couple of benign cysts removed. She was very unhappy about this.

The first part of March was pretty uneventful, work, school, work, school, etc...
The week before Sammy's spring break, Michael and I headed down to Palm Springs to visit Grandma Lindy & Grandpa Stuart at PGA West. They graciously got us tickets to The Indian Wells Tennis Tournament in La Quinta. We went to every day and night match while we were there. Sammy joined us for the last weekend (the finals). We got to sit in the front row to watch Roger Federer play doubles *heaven*. After Palm Springs, the three of us went on a little college tour trip. We started at UCSD in La Jolla. Then we headed up to LA to visit Claremont McKenna and Occidental. We also visited Disneyland while we were in the area (thanks Elliot!). It was SO CROWDED. We had a great time. Joey visited friends in Ann Arbor, Michigan for his spring break.

In April our Farm Share started up again, yippee! We also harvested many delicious asparagus spears from our home garden. Michael and I traveled up to Seattle for the unveiling of David's headstone. On a happier note, we all had a blast playing with Jacob and the new toys he received from everyone. Michael went to the East Coast for business. Sammy attended the Junior/Senior Prom. And... after three batches of homemade cinnamon rolls, I realized I needed to make some changes. I started a new healthy living regimen that includes more fiber, whole grains and vegetables and a monitored calorie intake. I felt better immediately!

I started the exercise portion of my new healthy lifestyle with an intense bootcamp Kickboxing program in May. I lost a total of 21 pounds before my back gave out. We celebrated Mother's Day with brunch at Skamania Lodge in Washington. I turned 48. Sammy played Catlin Gabel tennis, took his SATs and went to the annual Memorial Day weekend Sasquatch Music Festival at the Columbia Gorge Amphitheater with friends. Joey decided to spend as much of the summer in Oberlin as he could, he got a job at the Oberlin Farmers Market. Joey spent the last week of May working at the Oberlin College Graduation and Michael spoke at a conference in Sweden.

In June we got our first berries of the season. We continued to get beautiful, delicious, sweet berries all the way into October! We celebrated Father's Day by feeding Michael lots of delicious food and going to a sic-fi movie with him. Sammy volunteered on Mt. Hood with the Elana Gold Project building fences to keep recreational vehicles out of preservation areas. Sammy attended basketball camp in Seaside with his team and got a broken nose while playing "tag" football. Joey visited a friend in Maine.

Joey was diagnosed with Mononucleosis the first week of July. Sammy's nose was broken back into place. After three weeks of rest, Joey flew home and we all headed to Happy Camp at Netarts, Oregon on the coast for the Godsey Family Retreat. Michael and I celebrated our 22nd Wedding Anniversary on the 29th and the next day we went to my 30 year High School Reunion. Joey flew back to Oberlin.

Joey was due to fly immediately back to Portland (after working his Farmer's Market job), but he was in a bike/car accident and suffered a broken clavicle. After a brief visit to the hospital, he flew to PDX the next day and went with us on our family vacation to our timeshare on Oahu where we also met up with the The Dombroskis and sampled our first Malasadas. Joey returned to Oberlin for the school year, moved out of one summer house and into another and then finally into his dorm room. Sammy started his senior year of high school.

Sammy and Michael visited two colleges in Maine in September and then Sammy visited Colorado College with friends the following week. While Michael and Sammy were back east, I got to attend a beautiful wedding in Hood River, Oregon (congrats Kathleen!). I also spent a great deal of the month canning pickles, zucchini relish, berries, peaches, jalapeƱos and tomato sauce. Joey turned 20 years old.

In early October, Steve Jobs died. This was a very big deal to Michael, so I included it. Michael and I attended our very last Back to School night. I tried to start back up at Kickboxing class, but apparently I have plantar fasciitis and bone spurs, which are quite painful. I am going to have to figure out a more gentle exercise routine for 2012 for this old body. Later in the month, Michael and I drove to Calistoga, California with Lily and celebrated Michael's 48th birthday doing pretty much nothing but relaxing (thanks Doug & Sydney). Sammy turned 18. Our farm share ended for the year. Sammy got his senior photos taken at Reed College on the most beautiful fall day.

November was an incredibly busy month. I was so excited to get Sammy's senior photos back and they turned out awesome. I need to use them every chance I get in order to get my money's worth since I bought the whole package! They are so good. Michael and I went on a crazy business/leisure trip back east and visited Philadelphia, Chicago, Cleveland, New Jersey and New York City. We got to see Joey in both Cleveland and Oberlin. So fun! Sammy made the varsity basketball team. We went to our last school conference with Sammy, which was very stressful--but I shall not go into that. Sammy submitted his first college application. I finally finished canning all the great apples (into apple butter, applesauce and apple chutney) we got off our tree this year. Joey visited home and we hosted Thanksgiving at our house. I loved having both boys home for Thanksgiving!

And finally, December. We had a dry and pretty sunny December in Portland. Amazing. We left on the 22nd for Mexico and apparently the week we were gone, it was quite rainy. But when we were here, it was splendidly dry. Michael and I went to see a local professional performance of Wizard of Oz (cousin Christine was awesome) and also the Cirque du Soleil show Cavalia. Sammy quit basketball. We spent seven days in Mexico celebrating Grandma Lindy & Grandpa Stuart's 50th wedding anniversary with Aunt Deb, Uncle Steve and Marisa too. The all-inclusive resort was wonderful. Michael and I rang in the New Year with Grammy, Grampy, Danny and Aunt Tiffy at Resort at the Mountain. Joey had a party at our house and I am still trying to get some stains out of the carpet and figure out what happened to the laundry room wall....

Thanks 2011, for a really great time!