Well the New Year has come upon us. For the first time in many years we did not spend the new year celebrating at a Disney Theme Park.

No, this year we spent in the relative comfort of my house. It was a nice evening… starting with making my latest favorite grilling dish, my Crumbled Blue Cheese Hamburgers. Mmmm. Yum. Nothing quite starts a night off like grilling up nearly 2 dozen burgers for family and friends to eat!

So who all was over? Well, it was a bit of a revolving door for a few. My roommate Justin was over early in the night but left to go spend the evening with his two kids. Eric briefly walked through when he got back from work. Laura, Adam and the three boys were over for a few hours. It was a lot of fun to get to play around with Mikey (who’s obsessed with LEGO Indiana Jones on the Wii) and Aiden. Baby Kale is growing like a weed and was making a whole lot of noise. Just, I think, to hear himself make it.

My old high school friend, Becky came by with her husband and three kids. I haven’t seen her since 1999, I think. (Got to see her parents earlier in the day. I hadn’t seen them in 15 years! It was pretty cool.) It was nice to have Becky and her family over. She seems to be doing well and her kids are very cute. They all played Mario Kart with Bryan, Jessica, and Sam. Missy, Theresa, my Mom and I hung out with Becky and caught up a bit.

I guess that pretty much lists out everyone who came. Some of you are wondering, I’m sure, “Where’s Alissa?” The short answer is that I gave her my very nasty cold from the week before and she just wasn’t up for being over. I really missed her, but totally understood her need to stay home and rest. Bummer about it though, that’s two years in a row that she’s been sick on New Years! My poor Baby.

It was our second New Year’s without my Dad, and it was still weird to not have him here. I really miss him. The daily pain has subsided and now I find I am just left with the sensation of a hole in my life where he once was. It’s like someone took a snapshot of my life and then erased him from the photo. It’s a hollow feeling now. Just a background sensation that something is missing. Almost like that feeling you have when you think you forgot to pack something in your suitcase for a trip, but you just can’t figure out what it was you forgot… and it’s gonna drive you insane the whole trip. Yep, it’s a lot like that sensation. Only sadder.

I’m looking forward to 2009. I’m hoping that it brings a lot of good surprises with it. 2008 was such a mixed bag for myself and my family. We spent much of the year grieving over my Dad’s passing… we closed the offices we opened with him… my Grandmother died in a horrific ferry accident in a typhoon in the Philippines… Mom spent much of the spring recovering from a nasty surgery infection that left her with an open chest wound for several months… it was just a hard, hard year in many ways.

Still, in many others, it was a wonderful year. Theresa and Bryan were married, Laura had her third child – a beautiful baby boy, Alissa and I passed the 1 year mark together (I’ve now been with her longer than anyone before!), we got to work with RUDY to create his new RUDY Beverage brand, we were able to keep the business afloat and not only keep a roof over everyone’s heads, but also pay for the wedding! We made a couple of cool new short films. Mikey started Kindergarten, Aiden has started attempting to use the potty… Theresa and Bryan got hooked up with a sweet deal managing an apartment complex in exchange for a really nice place to live.

Many, many good things. I’m sure, in time, those will be the things that really stand out in my memories.

Here’s to many more of those kinds of memories in the New Year!


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