Saturday, January 3, 2009

See-ya 2008, it's been a great year!

2008 was a good year! It was busy -- I did a lot of stuff, hung out with friends, met some new ones, got closer to others... I think Adam and I got closer, too. I can only hope that 2009 goes as good at '08 did! Here's the year in review!

In January I completed the half distance of the Frozen Otter in under 12 hours, which made me an official finisher. I was pretty proud of that!

In February I went on a winter camping trip -- I ended up doing a couple of these in '08. Good, chilly fun!

March brought the Garden of the Gods trip in Illinois. Pam and I drove down with the Madison Meetup Group. That was a blast! Southern Illinois got one of their worst snow storms in years -- 6"! We were kind of hoping for fairer weather -- were we in for a surprise! The snow didn't bother us at all, but the wind was pretty brutal. This might be the first time I've wimped out and warmed up in a car while camping!

The snow-covered tents in Southern Illinois -- Garden of the Gods campground

April was a busy month. I ran the Oshkosh 1/2 marathon. It was a proud moment because I actually ran the entire thing! I'm hoping to do that again in '09.

I also took a rock climbing class with Pam. I only wish there was a gym closer to home so we could keep climbing on a regular basis.

And April was the month I took my first skydive! That was a moment I will never forget! It was one of the most awesome rushes up to that point in my life! There's nothing like free-falling!

In May Adam and I bought kayaks and put them to good use on our annual canoe trip in Phillips. We had quite a few friends join us and we had such a fun time. I hope we can get a good-size group again in '09. Mark your calendars! It'll be the weekend after Memorial Day (5/29 - 5/31)!

Adam and I also attempted a garage sale over the holiday weekend. It was a flop to say the least. But we had fun sitting in the sun playing game after game of smear! We even got our first sunburns of the year! Oh, and we witnessed a crazed ice-cream man! It's quite the story!

In June Pam and I got up to the Porkies with some friends, which was yet another great backpacking trip. Lots of mosquitoes, though. Could've done without them!

Adam and I also attended our first Country USA with friends Anne & Craig, and Shannon & Kevin. I was able to stay up to hear the birds chirping one night, and enjoyed bloody marys the next day -- it was a fun few days. Dierks Bentley was awesome!! OH -- and Adam won us reserve tickets in a Hairy Man contest!! Not a huge surprise to those that know him well. ;)

In July I was able to get Adam out for a mini-backpacking trip. He said he liked most of it, just not the sleeping outside on the ground part. I love it all, so it's hard for me to understand, but I suppose it's just something that's not for everybody. I'm really happy that he tried it out, though. It was still a good time. He liked the hiking part, so we'll have to do more day-hikes next summer.

A rare sight, but one of my favorite things ever! Adam and I camping together. :)

Adam and I also went to our first Renaissance Fair with friends Jamie and Eric in July.

I had a very good, intense backpacking trip on the Ice Age Trail with friends Ken and Pam. We hiked 45 miles in 3 days! It was a super-fun trip! We all agreed that we love eskers, and we still dislike mosquitoes.

August was a good month. Adam and I joined Trinity Lutheran Church in Oshkosh. We also joined their choir, so that's been keeping us in good behavior. :)

I went skydiving in August again, too - only this time I jumped with my mom! Her video is great... if you haven't already, you gotta watch it!!

The Saturday before Labor Day I went on a record-mileage day hike. I hiked 41 miles in the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine. I learned a lot... especially that I still really dislike mosquitoes. They nearly defeated me.

I remember September being an extremely busy month. I was feeling like I just couldn't catch up -- but it had a lot of really awesome stuff happening. First was the "Our Hike" fundraiser. We changed the route, and I think we've found the one we're sticking with. It's a nice 7-mile loop route that goes through the woods and over a creek! Mark your calendars again!! It's September 12, 2009!! Bring a tent and camp! :)

A few "Our Hike" hikers about to cross the creek

Hickory visited my mom and I, too. We first met him in Indiana on our hike across America (2006). He joined us for a couple of weeks as we crossed the Rocky Mountains, and we grew to be close friends. It was great to see him again -- we even made it out for a short backpacking overnight on the Ice Age Trail.

Adam and I joined the 4imprint team in the Dragon Boat races, too. We didn't win, but we sure had a fun time!

In October Adam and I took a vacation in South Padre Island with his grandma. She owns a condo there where she used to winter when Adam's grandpa was alive. This was her first year not staying down there, but she wanted to go down to check on things and get the place ready for the busy renting season. So we drove her down and had a nice time visiting with her that week. I don't know that I've eaten so much in my life!

November was pretty low-key. I went to Phillips for a week for hunting season. My brother joined us for opening weekend, Monday and Tuesday -- that was really nice. It was really nice to hang out with him... I wish we'd had more time, but he had to get home to work. I always love hunting season and Thanksgiving. It's one of my favorite times of year. I get to be in the woods for an entire week and hang out with my Pappy! There's nothin' bad about that!

Dad and I in his favorite picture-taking pose

December was a good and bad month. It was full of Christmases with the families, and a church choir concert where I played my flute for the first time in about 5 years! But we also put our kitty Rocko down. He got cancer and went downhill very fast. It was a really tough time, but we're very thankful for all the great memories we have of Rocko. He was just a great cat -- can't say it enough.

Rocko a couple days before he was put to sleep

And so this ends 2008. I'm racking up the goals for 2009, and the calendar's filling up already! I think our weekends are almost booked through February already! Adam got into UFC pretty heavily in 2008, so we already have a few Pay-per-views written in for that, and I've got a winter campout in the works... for March, I think. I'll probably blog about all that later.

Well, 2009... bring it on!

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