Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Year in Review

I’ve been a blogging slacker as Patty calls it! Things got a bit crazy around here in November when I posted my last entry and I never got back on track. But it’s a new year and I vow to do better!

So, to get all caught up, I thought I would do a year in review. If I had to sum up 2009 in one word, it would be……change.

To start the year Andy and I, along with Mom and Dad, headed to Disney World for one last vacation before the “paying for college” years began! I have to say that this turned out to be my favorite Disney trip (beside the first one when the boys were little). That is saying a lot since we have made MANY trips to the happiest place on earth. This trip came just at the right time. Who doesn’t love a little sun and fun in January? And I was in desperate need of a vacation around this time.


February was filled with surprises. The high school bowling team, which included both Ben and Andy as part of the starting 5, had spent most of the season in the middle of the conference and missed an opportunity to repeat for the 4th year in a row as conference champs. But they found their groove in post season play. They placed in sectionals, regionals and stunned everyone by winning semi-state! In February we traveled to Anderson, Indiana and competed for the state title, finishing in 3rd place. It was such an exciting time for everyone but even more special for Mark and I since the boys experienced it together. This was also the day I pushed my way between arms, legs and elbows and stood on my tip toes to watch Ben throw his last ball as a Colonial. His high school bowling career was over but what a season he had as a senior! He threw a perfect 300 game the first match of the season and made first team all state and the all state academic team. He managed to win a bowling scholarship which he will have for all four years of college.

State Finals

Throughout the spring we kept busy following the Varsity (Ben) and JV (Andy) high school baseball teams for Clay and helping Ben make a final decision on college. In May we took the field on senior night and Ben played his last game as a Colonial. It was bittersweet knowing the seniors would be going their separate ways in the Fall. After all those year of sitting in the stands together we parents have made it a priority to still get together every month to stay connected and to keep up with the boys who have gone to different colleges.

senior night 1

senior night team 1

In May, Ben graduated cum laude from Clay High School. We threw a big party to celebrate! He, along with Cody, decided to attend Manchester College to major in Accounting and continue their baseball careers. Having attended Manchester myself, I was thrilled with that decision and the fact that he is a mere 1hour and 45 minutes from home.


Graduation boys 1 grad party 2 grad party

In July we took our annual vacation to the lake and enjoyed 7 days of relaxing sunshine. We have been taking this trip since the boys were little and it is the highlight of our summer every year. This year seemed more special since it was the last one before Ben left for school and he took the whole week off work and spent it with us. I manage to catch NO fish but did spend my days laying on the beach reading and floating on the lake catching plenty of rays!

This is the life for me!_thumb on the beach

Nights around the fire_thumb

The month of August brought about the most change for our family. My parents sold the business they owned all of my life and retired.

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Ben moved to college and began playing baseball for the Spartans. It is taking some getting used to seeing him in black and gold (the colors of our high school rivals the Penn Kingsman) instead the purple and gold of Clay high school!

moving in 1

Also, I went back to work full-time for the first time since Andy was born. I had been working part time for the MBA Admissions department at Notre Dame and in August I officially became a member of the team. I love my job and the people that I work with which I realize is unusual for most people! The word I use the most when describing my work situation is…..blessed.


In September, Mark and I decided to Walk for Hospice and asked if anyone would like to join us. To our surprise 16 others joined us in raising money for this awesome organization filled with remarkable volunteers. What a perfect day we had for the walk!

11 of our 18 person team! 043

November brought another major celebration for us. My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. My brother and I had been planning their party for over a year and the day turned out beautiful! The party went off without a hitch and mom and dad were thrilled.

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December brought numerous holiday celebrations including the annual Swanson eggnog party at Scott and Anna’s.

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Dad was in the hospital for tests just before Christmas and ended up having surgery. He made it home in time for the family Christmas Breakfast which was cause for extra celebration!

Christmas 2009 007 Christmas 2009 012

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We topped off 2009 the same way we ended 2007 and 2008….with the Schell’s. This year we bowled better than ever and Bill and I beat Mark and Jackie in cribbage long before midnight! (Last year it took until 2am).

New Years 2010 023 New Years 2010 010 New Years 2010 012New Years 2010 022

To sum it up, 2009 was filled with endings, new beginnings and celebrations for me. I don’t know what 2010 will bring but I do know that for today…..I feel blessed. And ready for the future.

Happy New Year!