2008 in Review

There were some months in 2008 when things were pretty quiet and others that were quite eventful, whether it be trips we took or losing one of our precious cats. That’s what makes it all balance out, though. I can’t wait to see what 2009 has in store for us!

January
Our first mother-daughter shopping excursion to the outlet mall in Calhoun with my mom, mother-in-law and sister-in-law. I can’t believe it’s been a year since that! We’ll definitely need to make more of an effort to have more mother-daughter outings in 2009.

And, Joe started his first blog, Fitness Geek. Again, I can’t believe it’s already been a year!

February
I started my own business! Sure, the beginning of an economic downturn wasn’t the best time, but I’ve gotten my name out there and will be working more on that in the next year.

And, the cats started The Biggest Loser: Feline Edition program. We discovered that they did pretty well for a while but really weren’t that big into losing weight.

MarchA tornado hit Cartersville and came thisclose to hitting our station. We could see it from our studio in downtown as it rolled through. It was one of the scariest things I’ve experienced but great for journalism. I forsee our coverage winning a Gabby.

Joe put my name on the truck at Wes-man’s for the second year in a row, and we continued our tradition of enjoying my birthday breakfast there.

In the sports world, I did my first NCAA bracket (and finished in the top!) and drafted a kick butt fantasy baseball team which almost won my league but wound up taking second.

April
I had my 10-year high school reunion. Yikes! It was amazing how people really hadn’t changed since high school. Everyone looked and acted the same. Maybe things will be different in another 10 years.

Joe was included in a list of people who had recently passed away at his synagogue.

Joe and I spent a weekend in Savannah. It was my first time in south Georgia, and it was fun seeing the historic squares and river as well as Georgia Southern University in Statesboro where Joe went to college.

May
Joe got a new job! He was hired as the Director of Marketing at the new science museum here in Cartersville. He traded his 2+ hour commute for a 15 minute one and hasn’t missed a day of working in Atlanta.

Two of my siblings graduated from college. My brother, Ryan, graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and my sister, Lisa, graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

My brother got an offer to teach at a school in Taiwan for two years, and he and my sister-in-law decided to accept the job and move.

Joe ran his first half marathon with a finishing time of 2:24:34. I was one proud wifey!

June
One of my stories won a Gabby award from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters! It was the second year in a row that something I wrote won an award.

We surprised Joe’s dad at the cabin for Father’s Day (and almost got shot since he thought someone had broken in) and finished the weekend with a family reunion at my parents’ house.

I was on a panel of journalists interviewing candidates in the July primary election during a political debate. I was nervous, but it went really well and was a lot of fun.

July
This was the worst month for me. My cat, Julius, died from a heart condition. He was only 6 years old. The pain has gotten easier, but I still miss him immensely each day.

And, Ryan, Ori and Harry left for their two-year stint in Taiwan. Ryan and I were never super close, but it was still hard to watch them go.

We did have some good times in July, though. We went to New York to take in a game at Shea Stadium during its last season. The trip was so much fun…until Joe busted his head open and had to have it stapled, that is! 🙂

August
We added a member to our family. We adopted Calliie, a callico kitten, from the Etowah Valley Humane Society. She’s awesome and active, and she’s really helped us get over losing Julius.

Joe won first place in the science fiction category of the Bulwar-Lytton Fiction Contest, which is geared toward finding the worst writing in the world.

We went to Joe’s 10-year high school reunion. It was a lot of fun to meet his high school friends, and we had a blast.

Joe launched his photography business, Joe Schulman Photography!

September
Joe and my brother, Randy, ran their first race together on Labor Day. It was Randy’s first race in years, and they had a lot of fun.

We celebrated our second wedding anniversary. We didn’t go anywhere this year since we were taking a long trip to Ohio later in the month, so we opted for a nice, low-key celebration at home.

My nephew, Harrison, turned 1. It’s amazing how fast that first year went by. It seems like just yesterday he was born!

We went to Ohio for Joe’s best friend’s wedding and hit two baseball stadiums while we were there — the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Indians, the latter of which I somehow forgot to write about!

October
Joe turned 29!

Joe and Randy set a new record for the Southern Shuffle — fastest *parrots* to cross the finish line!

My sister-in-law and I went to the New Kids on the Block concert in Atlanta. It was just like their original tour except now we were all legal. It was so much fun!

November
Our country elected its first Black president.

Joe went with a group of WWII veterans to Washington D.C. to see the WWII Memorial.

I completed my first 5k. I can’t really run because of the arthritis in my knees, but I walked it, and I even managed to run the last 1/2 mile or so. I definitely couldn’t have run any more than that because the pain started to set in, but it was nice to finish it running.

December
We threw our first annual Redneck Wine Tasting Party. It was a blast!

My brother, Randy, graduated from Southern Adventist University. Now, all us kids are college graduates!

The Atlanta Falcons made the playoffs!!

I sprained my ankle taking a tumble down Pine Mountain and am still recovering. Ouch!

What are some of your favorite memories of 2008, and what are you looking forward to in 2009?

A Very Merry Recap

I know it’s a bit late, but I want to share all the fun we had this year for Christmas. It’s one of my favorite holidays. I love getting together with my family, and I love giving everyone gifts that I picked out especially for them and seeing how much they like them.

We headed up to my parents’ house after work on Christmas Eve, which ended up being mid-afternoon since we both were able to leave early. My family used to go to the Christmas Eve service at our church, which I’ve always loved since it’s an entirely musical service, but since they did away with the carols by candlelight and it’s been harder to get there with us coming from Atlanta and my mom normally having to work, we haven’t gone in the last few years. It’s ok, though, because we’re much less rushed to get Christmas Eve dinner ready.

Our Christmas Eves are always the same — we enjoy a dinner of chow mein and fruit salad, and then we gather in the living room to open presents which, obviously, is the best part.

christmas

christmas

christmas

My brother got my grandpa a puzzle of the cover of the Beatles’ White album, meaning it’s an entirely white puzzle. He didn’t look too thrilled by it. 🙂 But, if anyone can do it, he can. He’s a puzzle whiz.

On Christmas day, Joe and I helped my parents peel 20 pounds of potatoes. Yes, we like our potatoes. We had our traditional lunch, which is the same as our Thanksgiving meal — vegetarian turkey slices with stuffing, wild rice with vegetarian chicken, broccoli and cheese casserole, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese and turkey. Yum!

christmas

Joe’s parents always come for Christmas dinner, which is nice. I really like how my family spends Hanukkah with them and how they spend Christmas with us. It makes me happy that our families get along so well. The one downside this year was that we were missing Ryan, Ori and Harry. There’s only one more Christmas to go before they’re back, though.

christmas

On Christmas Eve eve, Joe and I opened our presents here. We like to open ours together before we go to our respective parents’ houses for the holidays. Joe got me a gift certificate to one of the new spas here in town and an adorable Vera Bradley purse in the limited edition pattern Mediterranean Blue.

vera bradley

There’s a funny story behind the purse. A few days after he bought it, I dragged him into the store in town that sells Vera Bradley bags to look around. The first one I went for was the one he bought me. He managed to get me distracted, and I left with a bag in a different pattern. He thought the owner was going to blow it for him since she had been working when he bought my purse, but she kept it a secret. Funny!

I got Joe this awesome baseball box with cds of music, interviews and memorable moments in baseball history, and I got him this poster:

motivational poster

It was another memorable holiday.

What happened to good customer service?

Have I mentioned how sick and tired I am of AT&T lately? No. Well then, I’m sick and tired of At&T. I don’t know why we switched. Oh yes I do. Because of the fabulous deals they offered us and then later told us we would never get.

Sigh. Today, I called to find out when my bill is due since we haven’t received a bill either through the mail or in our email. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that our bill is past due. Is the sending of a bill now obsolete? Is there another way to figure out when your bill is due that I’m not aware of? I’d sure like to know.

When I asked if I would be penalized since I never received a bill, the operator hung up on me. HUNG UP. We haven’t been impressed yet by AT&T’s less than stellar customer service, but this was the last straw. Once our contract with DirecTv is up in the spring, we will be switching back to Comcast for internet and cable services. They may be more expensive than AT&T, but we have never had a problem with their customer service employees and have never been treated like crap by them.

I just wish more people would leave AT&T so they would have a need to fix their customer service department.

Do these crutches go with my outfit?

me on crutches

Because I really think they make my cute outfit a little less cute. And they’re hard to use, too. It’s been interesting trying to get around at work today. At least yesterday I had Joe to help me!

Playoff Bound

falcons logo When football season started a few months ago, most were predicting the Atlanta Falcons would win two games.

Today, they won the final game of the season, heading into the playoffs with an 11-5 record and coming just shy of winning the division. The Carolina Panthers won their game by scoring a field goal with one second to go, securing the division championship and locking the Falcons into the 5th seed spot.

The Falcons have had a rough few years. The last time the team went to the playoffs was in 2004 when they won their division. The last two seasons were abismal with records of 7-9 and 4-12 in 2006 and 2007 respectively. Last year also saw the abrupt resignation of head coach Bobby Petrino with three games to go in the season. Petrino left a note in the team’s locker room informing his players that he had taken a position at the University of Arkansas.

Last year also saw former quarterback Michael Vick indicted on federal dog fighting charges and sentenced to time in prison. No one thought the Falcons could come back, at least not one season after finishing 4-12, but rookie quarterback Matt Ryan, and running backs Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood helped lead the team to a winning season.

This is what Atlanta needed after not-so-stellar seasons for the Braves, Thrashers and Hawks. The Falcons, though, have never had back-to-back winning seasons. Maybe next year will bring a first for the team. For now, I’ll be wearing red and black on Sunday afternoons and cheering our team on in the playoffs. Go Falcons!

Weekly Winners — 12/21/08-12/27/08

Hanukkah lights
hanukkah lights cady

hanukkah lights cady

Happy Hanukkah!
hanukkah

A Christmas Massacre
christmas massacre

Why Spell Check is Important
misspelled sign

Christmas Fire
fire cady

Presents!
christmas

Hanging Out
harold

Check out more Weekly Winners over at Lotus’ blog.