Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 - A year in review

It seems that you can't open a newspaper, turn on a tv show, or check a website without being bombarded with '2011 lists'.  News, highlights, music, sports, etc etc. Since I couldn't live without lists (I would forget at least half of the groceries if I didn't have a list, I probably would not get a lot of work done, and it helps me to keep my mind organized!), I thought to look back at 2011, and mention some of the highlights (and lows).

The year started off pretty quiet. We had an average winter with some snow, but everything was slightly different being in the new house. In a good way!
The single running highlight came in February when I ran the Peterbrough  half marathon. It wasn't super fast, but it was a fun run, and nice to catch up with Candice. It also marked the last race in a very long time, and we were both ok with it. We took a break from running this year, and it was good. We did run, mainly some shorter distances and on the trails, but no races and it felt great not to have that pressure of having to run all the time.

March saw the biggest low of the year, with my dad being sick. It's those moments that make you realize you're further away, and you can't just go over for a weekend to help out. However, I was impressed with how quickly I was able to fly back, and felt blessed that I could be there for those few weeks. I stayed for a week and a half, and went back home for another week and a half, only to return. This time for a planned Easter visit, to enjoy our family Easter breakfast, where everyone was present, including my dad! It was also a nice visit to catch up with some of our Dutch friends, and to just relax.

The spring and early summer were fairly busy with work, but we also spent quite a bit of time putting our garden in. We definitely added some colour to the garden, and were able to grow some taste tomatoes and parsley to last us a lifetime!
A house in our neighbourhood burnt down in June, which was scary; it hit too close to home! Luckily nobody got injured. I also worked several weekends at the PRF, which was anything but typical. Road washouts became the norm! I don't think they'll ask me back!

Against all expectations, my parents were able to come and visit us this summer. They had bought tickets before my dad got sick, and my mom refused to cancel the trip until she knew for sure they couldn't go. Well, her foresight pay off, since they were able to spend a good two weeks here in Canada.
The summer in photos: click here.

A definitely highlight this year was our trip to Utah. Nolan was in Salt Lake City for a conference and we decided to make it our holiday destination. It was an absolutely amazing trip!
For updates, check here:
Utah part 1
Utah part 2
Utah - Part 3: The Arches!
Utah - Part 4 - Dead Horse Point State Park
Utah - Part 5: Road trip!
Utah - Part 6 - Capitol Reef National Park
Utah - Part 7 - Uinta National Forest
Utah - Part 8 (final) - Antelope Island

The fall was a bit more quiet at the home front, but work definitely made up for it! Nolan and I were both kept busy with our jobs. I also travelled quite a bit; a trip to the Acadia Research Forest in New Brunswick and several trips to the PRF, as well as a trip to Huntsville and North Bay.

A fun trip for both of us was Carrie's wedding in Toronto in October. It was a beautiful wedding, and we had some time to explore Toronto as well, which was fun. I felt like such a small town girl in a big city! In a way, Ottawa, is just a big town and not really a city. Just the way I like it!

And now it's winter! We finally got some snow, unusually late, but it lights everything up. While I write this, it's -14 and a windchill of -20. Toasty compared to the -20 and -28 windchill we had yesterday...

We picked up our running this fall, which we have been able to do outdoors for the most part due to the milder weather until this week. The year off has done us really well. So well, that we decided to sign up for the Ottawa Marathon this spring. The official training program starts in January, but we've been able to build up our basis significantly in the past few weeks, so we'll be ready to hit the road running!

In general it has been a pretty good year for us. We are so happy in this house (have I mentioned that before?), and the cats our happy with us. We're probably boring people, without crazy adventures, but this is the way we like it!

To all of you! Have a wonderful, healthy, happy and prosperous 2012, and that all your wishes may come true.

Warmest wishes from both of us.
Katalijn and Nolan

And big paw from Fertile and Murphy

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