Wednesday, December 17, 2008

2008: Year in Review

Smileycue wrote this for our annual holiday letter. Since we don't have everyone's address, we're posting it here. Enjoy!

Hello! Merry Christmas! We are always looking for unique Christmas letter ideas. This year we decided to keep a journal of events as they happened to us. Here are some of the more interesting things.

Friday, December 28, 2007…We are worried about Pakistan. Our international student, Ahsan, flew home over break, and their prime minister, Benazir Bhutto has just been shot. Hopefully Ahsan makes it back to Grinnell okay.

Thursday, January 3, 2008…We experienced our first caucus. We registered, went into a school gym, found our group and waited to be counted. Our group was not viable so we moved to a new group, and got new stickers. Dan signed up to be a delegate to the county convention.

Sunday, January 13…Last night Dan had an alumni event in Kansas City and Sara got to go along. The hotel where we are staying is hosting a Highland bagpipe/drum convention. On the way to breakfast this morning we passed by “Bagpiping 101.” Sara thinks she should go. Imagine a Dutch girl using an Irish name to play with Scots. “Got Kilt?”

Thursday, January 17…We are poor gerbil sitters. We were watching Miss Ian, a student’s gerbil, over the semester break. Yesterday when Sara left for school, Miss Ian was sleeping in a very cute position. When Sara got home the gerbil was still sleeping that way. Together, we determined that she died. We called the student and Sara made a casket for Miss Ian, which is now in our freezer awaiting Spring so we can bury the gerbil. In other news, we have a tenant in our condo in Vegas!

Saturday, February 23…Sara drove Jim the truck to school on Valentine’s Day while Dan was on week two of “Thesis Vacation” trying to finish up his thesis so he can graduate. Sara went in the ditch on the way home, and when she called Dan to see what she should do, he said, “I’ll see you at home.” So, she caught a ride with someone who stopped to see if she was okay. Lesson learned: don’t interrupt Dan when he is almost finished with his thesis.

Sunday, March 16…Sara finally got an email this week telling her that she will be offered a contract at Pella Christian Grade School for next year, but Sara won’t be teaching all of the bands. Given all that’s happened, she’ll turn in her resignation Thursday morning.

Tuesday, April 15…Dan’s thesis has been approved! Sara wishes we could go to graduation but we are going to Orange City with her marching band instead. He will receive a Masters in Journalism and Media Studies (talking a lot) from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Monday, April 28…Sara had two coffees before 8:30 this morning! Last Saturday Dan and Sara’s mom built a shed for our bikes. It looks like a zamboni.

Tuesday, May 6…Pella Tulip Time is over. Sara was in four parades. The band looked and sounded good, and it was nice to see family and people from our church in Grinnell there offering support. It is finally nice enough to go biking, and yesterday we even got a round of disc golf in.

Wednesday, May 21…We’ve almost recovered from Orange City. The kids did a great job, and got 2nd place and People’s Choice. The band got several compliments. It was fun having Joe and Katie Hoksbergen (thanks cousin and wife!) chaperone. Now Sara can give her Dutch costume back. Monday we went to the Grinnell’s commencement exercises to watch Jose, our international student from Paraguay, graduate.

Monday, June 9…We’ve survived! School and reunion are over, and we are catching up on the sleep we lost due to work and watching the Stanley Cup playoffs. We headed to Galena, Illinois for our 4th anniversary. A Grinnell alumnus invited us to visit, luring us with an offer to boat on the Mississippi. At one point during our boat ride we stopped on the Galena River. Dan decided to get off of the boat, and sunk to his knees in mud. We threw a rope so he could be pulled out of the mud, and he had to dig his shoes out. We were not thrilled with cleaning the mud out of everything.

Sunday, June 16…We’ve gotten several calls from friends around the country to make sure we aren’t in the midst of the flooding they see on TV. We assure them we are high and dry. We have been glued to the flood coverage by channel 9 out of Cedar Rapids, and have become fans of anchor Beth Malicki, who says whatever is on her mind, even if it lacks the gravitas of TV news. Iowa City looks like a war zone.

Monday, July 14…We had a great week at camp. Last year was very emotional and this year was more joyous. Sara slept all day Saturday when we got back.

Thursday, July 17…It turns our Sara is pregnant. Babycue is due on St. Patrick’s Day.

Tuesday, August 5…We just got back from meeting our friends Dan and Jenn in St. Louis for the weekend. We went to a Cardinals game and watched the Phillies win, and we toured Anheuser-Busch. It turns out Sara is allergic to prenatal vitamins because they are made with soy and soy makes her violently ill. Soy is in everything, and sometimes it uses different names, like mono and diglycerides, Vitamin E, or lecithin, making it harder to identify.

Monday, August 11…Our goal this week is to clean the house before Dan gets crazy busy with alumni events. But between exhaustion, nausea, and the Olympics, we aren’t getting much done. The Olympics are addicting. Sara got a job teaching music at a daycare one day a week. The pay is great, and Sara only has to do 7 classes in 4 hours, babies through preschool. Sara has also picked up several piano students.

Tuesday, August 26…Last week we met Aanchal, our international student from India. We did some serious new student shopping with her and her mom. Aanchal is very sweet.

Friday, September 12…The best part about the baby’s heartbeat is the ostinato it makes with Sara’s! In other news, Sara is a milk fiend, drinking two to three gallons a week now. Dan is officiating his first football game in Iowa tonight, and then flying to Indianapolis tomorrow to watch motorcycle races with his dad and brother. Happy Birthday Dan!

Saturday, September 27…Miss Ian, the gerbil, has been buried.

Thursday, October 23…Today we saw Babycue on the ultrasound, and it stuck its tongue out at us.

Thursday, November 6…Monday night we made cookies and took some to both the local Republican and Democrat headquarters. It was interesting to see how they reacted to us.

Tuesday, November 18…We played with the Grinnell Symphony Orchestra; Dan on cello and Sara loved playing bass drum! Babycue loves Verdi.

Tuesday, December 2…Sara was offered a job teaching music at Central Iowa Christian School today. It adds three more mornings to her week, but she’s excited to do it. We had a great Thanksgiving with an eclectic group. This week the college students will come over and do our Christmas decorations.

May your Christmas season be blessed, as well as your 2009.

1 comment:

David said...

The gerbil was in the freezer til September? I'm glad it made it through grilling season. I hear they taste like chicken.