2008 Recap

2008 was filled with LOTS of things……here are some of them:

Kirstie 2008

Kirstie with me at my MBA Orientation of Hope International University

  • Josh - First Day of School
  • Josh – First Day of School
  • The Angels Rock!
  • The Angels Rock
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    Sleepy days……

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    And the consequences of the only one falling asleep!

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    And perpetual paparazzi avoidance…….

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    New Friends

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    Amazing memories!

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    And fun activities!

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    Cool kids…….

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    And manifestations of tempers!

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    Music Production……

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    New loves…..

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    And the comfort of family!

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    New toys…..

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    and the winner’s circle!

    See, 2008 had some fun happenings!!!

    See Ya, 2008!

    I don’t know if it’s my age or what, but the years sure pass by quickly nowadays! I was just getting used to the sound of 2008, and now it’s gone! And then I think about years past and it amazes me that the memories are piling up so high…..sigh!

    So 2008 was an interesting year…..well, it could even be described as a horrible year in many ways. And maybe some of my regular readers expect me to recap those horrible parts. But I actually don’t feel like it! Right now I can’t help but think that, even with the tough part of the year, God has been faithful and brought me to the point of feeling His peace – not to mention that I’ve grown in ways I never thought possible. So, I’ve decided that these pieces of my year are more important to reflect on than the unfortunate circumstances that, ultimately, helped me on the journey.

    • I appreciate the love and support of my friends over the year. Paramount in my mind are Rona and Stephanie, who helped me in ways that words cannot express.
    • I have been able to live well this year, even without being employed most of the year. During the summer months especially, the time I spent with the boys was AMAZING! I would not change that for anything.
    • Even though I hurt my shoulder, I am blessed to have COBRA and was able to have it fixed.
    • I was able to see some amazing things this year; front row, just off center seats in Madison Square Garden with Cathy, where we watched Bon Jovi rock! The next night wasn’t bad either – 8th row! Seeing NYC, being in Central Park, and getting hot dogs and pizza were amazing, too! I appreciate Cathy giving me those memories.
    • Spending a fun-filled mini-vacation at the Disneyland Resort with the boys was great fun too. It truly seems to be the happiest place on earth.
    • Forging friendships for life filled this year. Edgar is truly my best friend and I am so glad to have him back in my life. Rita has shown me that it’s okay to be honest. Eddie, my brother, has reminded me that unconditional love does exist. Anita (Edgar’s Mom) has shown me that friendship takes on many shapes and convention should not be a determination.
    • I have gotten so close to Kirstie this year that I cannot express how happy I am.
    • I can talk to my Dad and Ellie and love spending time with them.
    • I have been blessed by the internet in that I can easily communicate with family members who live far away; Aunt Kay, Cousins Lori and Christine, even Edgar’s brother Eric – all the way in Hungary!
    • I love Gracie and am so glad she is part of my life! She fills spaces I never knew existed.

    Okay, that’s all I have right now! Maybe more later!

    Christmas Day and other Excitement

    Yep, Christmas was filled with blessings this year.  I have been with the kids at Edgar’s house since Christmas Eve!  LOTS of fun, lots of food, and lots of love!

    Here are the Garza boys working on their MySpace faces…..

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    Here is Edgar vying for Josh’s candy, and Josh’s response……

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    Josh with his new go phone and Gracie enjoying the great outdoors…..

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    Kirstie playing Guitar Hero World Tour on Expert and KICKING IT!  Yes, she plays left handed!

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    Visiting Grandpa David and Grandma Ellie

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    Grandpa giving the Boys gun safety lessons…..

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    Kenny has been waiting for this FOREVER!!!! lol

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    It was a great Christmas and I am looking forward to the blessings God has in store for me in 2009!


    Christmas Eve Eve

    Since Rita had a ticket to leave for Chicago on the 24th, she, David, Gracie, Nike, and I opened presents on the 23rd.  It was FUN!  The most exciting part was when the “kids” (Nike and Gracie) opened their presents.  This is my first Christmas with Gracie, and she is still pretty young(1 1/2), so the odds are good that this was the first time she actually opened presents.

    Nike was the first to go…..

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    Then it was Gracie’s turn!

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    Overall it was a fun night for all!  Next, info from Christmas Eve and Christmas!

    Merry Christmas to you all!

    Sunday – aagghhh!

    It’s hard to believe that next week is Christmas!  So much has been going on in my life, that little piece of info seems to have been lost in the shuffle!  Rita and I WERE able to get a few items earlier in the week, but not much!  Today I ordered some more gifts for the boys from BestBuy.com and hope to pick them up later today.  I have a few more items to get on my list……hopefully I can knock them out today or tomorrow!

    I also spent a large amount of time yesterday and this morning finishing up my portion of the Final Project for my latest MBA class.  This included sharing my team’s business plan and results from our simulated business.  I actually enjoyed this class very much – way better than Statistics!  I have learned much to use in my career and look forward to – hopefully someday – opening a business with Rita.

    The kids are doing pretty well.  I spent the night at Edgar’s Friday – it was not planned.  I had a team meeting at 7pm on Friday and there was no way I’d get home in time for it.  I also was meeting with Edgar after my physical therapy session to take care of some other items.  The meeting with my team lasted MUCH longer than I expected, ending at around 10pm.  The boys, especially Josh, were anxious for me to spend the night, so I did.  It was fun hanging with them, and I even got to see Kirstie when she got home later that night.

    Josh woke me at 7:45 in the morning and we were able to eat some donuts together, thanks to Anita’s early outing to get them!

    Kenny, Josh, Rita and I (and maybe Kirstie if she’s interested) are taking a ski trip from the 31st through the 3rd.  We are all very excited and, fortunately, PT has been good enough for me that I can ski too!  I might be a little tentative, but it will be fun to be out there with my boys and Rita.  I can’t wait to see Kenny snowboard and Josh ski!  They took several lessons a couple years ago and they were getting pretty good….hope they remember how to do things!  It’s gonna be SO MUCH FUN and hopefully the beginning of a new tradition.  And it will be interesting if I actually STAY AWAKE for the new year instead of sleeping and getting up moments before midnight…..LOL.

    Okay, I am taking off now….have lots to do…..like watching Terms of Endearment!  Wait, where are the tissues????

    It’s Thursday?

    In the short months when I have been back to work, I had forgotten how the days meld together when you aren’t working.  It surprised me to realize that today is THURSDAY!  Wow.  I used to live for this day before as it meant tomorrow was Friday and I would have a two day reprieve from the crap at work!  LOL  Now I just think, “wow, Rita and David will not have to go to work in a few day!”

    Speaking of work, Rita went into work at like 4am this morning!  Just the reality of owning your own business can be hard work!  Well, to give Rita some credit, she is a hard worker 100% of the time and one of the most fair owners/bosses I have witnessed in my long life…..

    So yesterday I went with a friend to finally see the movie Twilight.  You may remember from earlier posts, Kirstie got me hooked on the book series this past summer – she read the first 3 books (over 1,500 pages) in like 4 days and then pre-ordered the 4th book.  She likes to read, but this was very unusual for her.  So, me being into books and all, decided I would check it out, too.  And they ARE good books.  In fact, forgive me for being lazy, but I will update my book review page, hopefully today.

    Anyway, I usually hate when books are made into movies……not sure that is fair, because obviously books are a different genre and can express emotions/thoughts/feelings so much better than can be expressed in film.  Even still, I usually am very disappointed with films based on books I have read.  I disliked The Notebook very much.  The Other Boleyn was another disappointment.  So I went into this movie, although excited to be finally seeing it, with low expectations.

    It’s important to note that the characters in Twilight were well developed by the author, and I have to state right away, the actors who portrayed them in the film did an EXCEPTIONAL job.  Too often I see different people there, but that was not the case with this film.  (And again, remember I am a little bit of a snob in this area.)  And, although this was a low-budget, independent production (which means bad editing and some footage looked like Mom did it with the family camcorder), the film stayed very true to the book.  While every detail is impossible to touch on, and there were a few awkward points were non-readers may miss some key info, overall it was VERY well done and held my interest throughout the film.  I think this is worth your time and money to see, and I even plan on buying the DVD when it comes out next year!

    So today I am working on homework – LOTS of homework!  It’s the last week of my class and there is a big Final Team Project due!  I am meeting with my team online tonight – the members are in Carson, Chicago, and New York.  It’s interesting, this online MBA program!  I must say, the caliber of the Kaplan classes are VERY good and they truly challenge me!  MUCH better than the university I was last enrolled in for my MBA!  I am happy to report that I currently have 97.56% in the class….whew.

    And, for those curious to know – NG’s average of reading this site per day remains right around 5.

    Dogs are sneaky, too!

    So yesterday I decided to actually take a shower, since I was home and being lazy. The shower is off of Rita’s room and usually Gracie follows me and hangs there. Nike usually is more independent and doesn’t follow, and he NEVER gets up on her bed because it is too high. The first thing that happened was this – Gracie barking at the stuff animal…..

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    And then I heard Nike come investigate the barking – he is a big boy, so you hear when he enters the room.  Then Gracie seemed to be barking at him for support:

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    I got tired of trying to make her stop barking and went to dry my hair……the next thing you know…….

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    (yes, they are kissing in the first pic)

    So, I had a good laugh and Nike didn’t really need that much help getting off the bed (which IS very high! and, at his size, he is not the most graceful dogs around…..).  I warned Rita that she may be very crowded during the night!  LOL  But I SO love these dogs!  They are so sweet!

    Okay, might share the boys’ hair trims later, but for now I need more coffee.