Christmas Letter 2010
Here is this year’s Christmas letter. Enjoy!
Dear Family and Friends,
Just the other day I thought, “It can’t possibly be the end of the year. It just started.” The year 2010 was jam packed in my neck of the woods, and if you ask me, it started off with a bang…on the 7th day of the year. January 7th, 2010 was the day Alabama won our 13th National Championship in football. Granted, it was the efforts and pursuits put forth during the fall of 2009 that led to that auspicious occasion, but nevertheless, my letter from last year was written prior to the final game, so that is where we begin this year’s review.
Following the victory, the University planned a Championship Celebration on campus at the stadium. I decided I had to go, and through some very strategic planning with a friend from college, Ti Keshia, who lives in Charlotte, NC, we were Bama bound. It was a whirlwind 48 hours that included an impromptu tour of the football offices where we met coaches, players, and staff, taking pictures with both RB Mark Ingram’s Heisman and the BCS National Championship Trophy, a Coach Nick Saban sighting, attending a gymnastics meet, and standing in the cold and rain with our fellow fans and alums to partake in the victory celebration.
In February, Northern Virginia experienced a once in a lifetime snowfall. It was dubbed Snowmaggedon by the media, and I’m still not entirely certain of the total accumulation. At my house I had almost three feet over two days. I felt snowed in the entire month even after I could leave the house. I think it was nearly April before every last bit of that snow was melted and gone, but I have to say, because of the shoveling, my arms have never been so toned.
In March, the Alabama football team came to DC. During their visit, they stopped for a tour of the Capitol. I intercepted their tour along with some lovely ladies from one of the Alabama Senators’ offices. Our reward: meeting Coach Nick Saban, QB Greg McElroy, and CB Javier Arenas. And just to settle something, Coach Saban is not as scary in person as you might think. He’s actually quite nice. It was a true pleasure to meet and personally thank them for their dedication to our team and university. To finish out the month, Mom flew up and I took her to her very first Bon Jovi concert. Yep, you read that right. I converted her into a fan several years ago, and when I found myself with an extra ticket, I figured everyone should see Bon Jovi LIVE once in their lifetime. It certainly wasn’t the Elvis concerts she remembered from her younger days, but she had so much fun seeing them live, and she came away with most of her hearing still intact.
In April, Mom, Dad, Andy, Janet, and Lincoln took what seems to have become their annual spring break trip to North Carolina. Lincoln enjoyed his time at Dan Nicholas Park in Salisbury and visiting with his new pal, Uncle Charlie Peacock.
In May, my friend Jessica and I went on an honest to goodness Florida vacation. Jessica had never been to Disney World, and being the kind of person who loves to take adults to Disney who have never been, I said I could make that happen. We spent part of our time with family, but also managed to squeeze in a trip to the beach, multiple trips to Sonic, some pool time, visits to the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, and relaxing massages. Jessica only requested that she get to meet Winnie the Pooh, so we had lunch with him and his Hundred Acre Wood friends, but I still made her ride Space Mountain and the Tower of Terror. No trip to Disney is complete without that. It blew her mind how incredibly “happy” all the Disney employees were, but it’s not called the “happiest place on earth” for nothing.
During the summer, Mom and Dad took Lincoln to several Tampa Bay Rays baseball games where, occasionally, they let the kids run the bases after a game. He’s really gotten into it and can’t wait to get out there. It made such an impression on him that when he, Andy, Janet, and Malinda (Janet’s mom) came to visit me in July, he saw the domed roof on the Jefferson Memorial and said, “There’s the ballpark where I run the bases.” (The Tampa Bay Rays ballpark is a dome.) Mom and Dad also visited in July and happened to be here the week the Rays were playing the Orioles, so we went to the game that Matt Garza was pitching because he’s one of my favorites. Sadly, the Rays lost that game, but they did manage to win their division over the Yankees.
In August, my annual conference for work took me to Atlanta, GA. Despite the heat, I was really excited about this trip because it gave me an opportunity to spend some time with my college roommate Stefanie and her beautiful family. We had such a wonderful time, and they helped me celebrate my 32nd birthday while I was there. It had been at least 10 years since we’d seen each other, but the two of us just picked up right where we left off. We even caught a glimpse of our future selves in these two little old ladies at the movie theater. Her husband Mike was quite the trooper listening to our constant talking and laughing all weekend.
In September, we gathered to celebrate Lincoln’s 3rd birthday at Chuck E Cheese’s. Lincoln started attending preschool three days a week at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran School. He seems to really love it and even had a little birthday party with his class (of all girls and him) that included cupcakes and popcorn. Since starting school there he has been in an Oktoberfest presentation, a Halloween parade (he was a frog), and a Christmas program. Also in September, Alabama played Duke in Durham, NC, so I drove down and met up with some fellow Bama alums to attend the game. It was actually my first Alabama away game, and as much as it pains this Tar Heel fan to say it, the Duke folks treated us very well and were very kind. I’m sure it had something to do with the amount of money they were making from our visit. Their gameday traffic plan was a bit flawed, but no one can really prepare for Alabama fans.
Over Thanksgiving, I was able to attend a couple of USF Women’s basketball games where Andy continues on staff as the Director of Basketball Operations. One game was against Auburn, which USF won easily and made this Bama girl smile when the student section started chanting “Roll Tide.” Janet continues to teach at Tomlin Middle School and has jumped right into the PTA at Lincoln’s school. Mom and Dad, at this point, are probably wondering why they didn’t do retirement first they’re loving it so much.
As we close the year 2010, I hope each of you have enjoyed this year as much as I have. May you feel the love and warmth of the season even though it is 28° outside as I write this. Look out 2011…here we come.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
P.S. One final message on behalf of Bama Nation: GO DUCKS! Here’s hoping Oregon is celebrating its own National Championship on the 10th day of 2011.