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Our year in review 2011

It's been a busy year! I can't believe tomorrow will be January. I hope you all had a wonderful year.

Here's some notes on how our year went...

I started Cardio Kickboxing in January - some actual kickboxing pad-work with cardio. It's tons of fun... and sweat. You know the instructor is good when he says "Ok, stand up" and everyone is an aching puddle on the floor. Combined with my other classes I can now do 20-30 pushups, rock on!

In February, Sean and I beat our longest cross country ski in one day and skiied 26 km.

I baked a bunch!

Chai shortbread cookie dough: hee!

In June, Spunkmeyer passed away. Rest in peace and eternal frolicking war dances, my shadow.

Spunkmeyer under the tree

In the summer, Dad and later my sister visited us. First time for both of them to see the house and Leroy. It was fun!

Ben & Leroy

I did lots of running with Leroy, but only worked up to week 4 of 5K-Learn-to-Run.

Tired dog

Dad helped us build two garden boxes and we had our first vegetable garden at the house! We also planted two hydrangeas in the front, plus irises and hostas from my wonderful coworkers. We planted a mock orange and peony in the backyard, but I'm not sure if they'll survive.

Vegetable box A - day 73, side view

My coworkers made sushi cupcakes for my birthday!

Cait & Kelly are amazing! They made me sushi themed cupcakes and rice crispy sushi

I played some Final Fantasy XI and XIV, started Half Life 2 but I am currently in Ravenholm (armed with my gravity gun, of course), and am working through Skyrim as a rather kindhearted rogue werewolf dark elf. Yup.

For Thanksgiving, we baked our first turkey ever! We used Alton Brown's brining method, and it turned out moist & tasty. Don't mention the beans though, I was distracted!

Turkey stock!

As of end of August, I've worked 10 years at my organization!

In the fall, I took a free, experimental, online course, Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, with Stanford University. It was a challenge day to almost daily work and having to remember a large chunk of my university math! I successfully completed the Advanced Track with a grade of 90.4%, hurray!

For Halloween we carved lots of pumpkins and dressed Leroy up as a lobster.

Leroy the Lobster

Sean bought his first electric guitar - an awesome orange maple Godin - and is taking lessons. He's picking it up really quickly.

I also started sewing machine lessons with the goal of sewing a skirt. I put in my first zipper with success! I'm not sure if I'll finish the skirt today with all this relaxation going on, but it's done except for the bottom hem. I have fabric to sew several other things - a top and another skirt for me and some sweaters for Leroy.

Learn to sew a skirt

In November, Leroy turned two years old and is as sweet (and sensitive-stomached) as ever.

Leroy's first boat ride!

Chi and Horatio turned six years old. We're in shock that next March they'll both be 7 years. They are the most lively senior citizens. Well, except in this photo.

Good morning

I'm looking forward to January 2012! I'll start ukulele lessons: I had a beginner cute green soprano ukulele. For Christmas, Sean bought me an astoundingly lovely tenor ukulele. Sean will continue with guitar, and we'll both have cross country skiing lessons!

Best wishes for a great new year to you & your family =^_^=

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