2010 has been quite the year for us. In a good way, for sure. Below is a summary of all the highlights of this past year. I'll try to do it in chronological order, although sometimes the exact date is a bit of a blur.
The winter of 2010 was marked by an unusual mild weather pattern. The snow was gone by mid-March, and the month of April was the first on record that did not produce any snow. We were able to go out snow-shoeing once, and even that one time we had to be careful not to hit any rocks. Needless to say that the mild winter meant a really good winter for running! Not that cold weather or snow scares us too much, but it was definitely easier to get out the door.
In early spring, both our jobs started to get quite a bit busier. Nolan was getting used to the management position, but it also meant additional responsibilities, and at times longer hours. I had a few trips to Petawawa, and one to Sault Ste. Marie, On. Besides those trips, I also applied for a job within my own group, and despite some stress and sleepless nights, and I manage to do alright, and got the position. So finally after many years of 'sticking to it', I got a permanent position with the government, but most important I got a job I really enjoy! For 2010, we were also in a different office building, while they are upgrading our main building. Our current building is much closer to our home, so I was quite happy with it. Most of the summer and fall I rode my bike to work, which was nice. We're scheduled to move back to our Booth Street building in April, if everything goes according to plan. The original plan was to move back before Christmas, but progress got delayed, so we're all curious to see when we'll be moving back. If it's up to me, they can wait until next winter ;-)
We went to Europe the end of April for just over two weeks. We spent a week with my parents, and then headed to Rome for a week, which really was our honeymoon. It was really nice, with gorgeous weather and so much to see! Since we didn't like the public transport (or any kind of transportation there!), we decided to explore the city on foot, and must have walked 20 km each day. Great way to somewhat stay in shape, while also enjoying the great food and wine! Definitely a place we recommend, and it sure felt like a honeymoon.
The spring also marked the beginning of our marathon training. We decided to sign up for a marathon earlier in the year, even though we remembered from last time that the time commitment was not to be underestimated. However, we figured this year would be different, since last time we moved into a new house, got engaged; so really a lot of other things happening in our lives as well. This year would be more relaxed, or so we thought....
Early in the summer, I also received a letter from Citizenship and Immigration saying that I passed for the Citizenship Test I wrote in February. Not really a surprise, since the test was quite simple. However, it was still an honour, and I went to the ceremony in August. Now I'm officially Dutch and Canadian! I'm happy I can keep my Dutch, but feel very privileged to be a Canadian now as well.
Early July, we started talking about perhaps moving to a single family home. Not that we did not like our town home any more, we felt this could be a good time to start looking for a new home. Not really thinking too seriously, we were about to contact our realtor, when coincidentally she had sent us a message, seeing how we were doing! We saw that as a sign, and started checking out some houses with her. To our own surprise, we fell in love with a house fairly early on, and decided to put an offer in. It got accepted, and we agreed on a closing date 6 weeks later. A little tight, considering we still had to sell our house! However, that went like a charm, and we sold our house one day after putting it on the market! We're very happy with our new house, and are currently deciding what colours we want to paint, what reno's we might do at some point, but we are also really enjoying our house! It has so much more space, privacy, great back yard, very bright and the cats love it as well. What else can we ask for!
During the house hunting phase we were still training for the marathon. Since we were the only two of our running group training for the marathon, we did most of the training on the trails near our home. Even though sometimes early (more than once we got up at 5 am to start running at 6 to beat the heat), we really enjoyed just being out on the trails compared to the pavement. Funny was that despite everything else going on, we found the training remarkably easier compared to the previous marathon. Maybe the next one will even be easier?? The marathon itself was far from easy. Never knew Montreal is so hilly, and the fact that we had a strong head-wind most of the time didn't help either. We didn't reach our goal, but still finished, and both felt afterwards that we should do this again to redeem ourselves! But not in Montreal, that's for sure. Any good suggestions?
Less than a week after we moved into the new house, I left for Jasper for a week, to attend the Canadian Institute of Forestry AGM and Conference. It was very interesting and a great way to meet some great people! Even though I enjoyed the time there, at the end I was ready to go home and actually enjoy the house. A week later my mom and Annette showed up for a visit. Luckily both Nolan and I were able to take some time off to spend with them, and we had a really nice visit. It was Annette's first time in Canada, but it sounds like she might be coming back someday! Too bad the visit was only a week long. Time just seems to fly during those visits!
A couple of weeks after their visit I went back to Edmonton and Jasper for a week for our annual employee forum. I'd been pretty busy with the organization beforehand, and was happy that everything went really well. The forum included a field tour which was interesting, since the temperature dipped to -28... But leave it to some foresters to still get of the bus and listen to the talks (and especially lots of respect for the people giving those talks! Brrrr!!).
Once back home, we didn't have to wait long for our next guests. Gijsbert and Anouk came for a visit, which was really nice. We all celebrated Sinterklaas together, and just had a great time.
Since I wasn't busy enough with work and everything else in our lives, I was also asked to join (and did) the Executive Committee of the Ontario Woodlot Association, as well as the Chair for the Ottawa Valley Section of the Canadian Institute of Forestry. I need more hours in a day!! But they are both great organizations, and I like working with them.
So a lot of text, but 2010 was worth while reflecting on. We'll have to wait and see what 2011 will have in store for us, but Nolan and I are very excited about our future together.
We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and we wish you all the best for 2011.
Katalijn & Nolan