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Golf Date

Back in July, Neal and I tried to have a golf date. It was the one day all summer that it rained. Today more than made up for it. It was warm, clear and beautiful on the back nine. Neal had a great day playing. I mostly walked - but enjoyed putting and taking pictures. Here's my fav:

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SmileTrain Triathlon

On June 27, 2010, Anna completed her very first triathlon! We competed in the 2010 BASF SmileTrain Triathlon in the mountains of Wake Forest, NC!




At the end of May, Anna was thundered out of the swim portion of the Rambling Rose Triathlon in Raleigh. She did a duathlon that day, but didn't want her months of training for a triathlon to be lost. She found the SmileTrain tri and I launched the idea of doing it together! In less than 24 hours, we had signed up for the 250-meter pool swim, 12-mile bike ride and 3.1-mile run! 

This past Saturday, I drove to Raleigh and spent the night. We woke up at 4:30a and left by 5:00a to make it to Heritage Park in Wake Forest by 5:30a. The center was already buzzing with participants and volunteers. We did the normal check in: set up bikes, got marked, got chipped, hit the porta-potties (no line), arrange transition area, warm up in the pool, hit the porta-potties (25 minute line), etc. 

At 6:45a we started the line-up at the pool. It was an outdoor community pool and the water was probably between 80-85 degrees. We lined up in a mini lane on the far side of the pool in order of a submitted swim times. Essentially, when you register for the race, you submit the time it takes you to complete 100 meters. The theory is that you seed yourself with people about your same speed so everyone has a little distance between the next swimmer. I was number 77 and started at 7:12:40. I felt great in the pool.  I was very relaxed at the start. One of my mantras for the day was float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.  




[SIDE STORY: On Saturday morning before I left for Raleigh, I practiced my transitions from swim to bike and bike to run. I set all my gear up beside my bike: shoes for the bike, shoes for the run, helmet, headband, shades, etc. I practiced what I would do coming out of the pool: ditched the cap and goggles, put on shoes, then band, then shades, then helmet and GO! I ran my bike down my driveway, jumped on and went for a spin around the block. On that first lap, something hit my left arm. It happened so quickly that I didn't get a good look at it, but, I think it looked a lot like this:


In the split second that it hit me and I swiped it off my bicep, it stung me. The stinger was simply lying on my skin. But, it was enough to swell and turn red. By race day, the sting splotch had grown to about six inches and was ITCHY!] 

In that first 50 meters I caught the guy who had started 10 seconds before me. I passed him in lane three and the last seven lengths felt great. I could even see Anna on the pool deck on my last 25 and kicked a little harder with her cheering. My unofficial time in the water was 4:10. My official swim to T1 was 4:24. I had a fairly fast transition and was out on the bike in 1:15.  

Okay, I know. Technically, Wake Forest isn't the mountains. But, even the pool swim felt a little uphill! The bike definitely did. The first stretch of the out-and-back course is through a neighborhood: complete with a roundabout and speed humps. The first six miles were up rolling hills. The second half was down rolling hills. I passed Anna going the other way. She yelled, the swim was AWESOME!  I finished the bike in 41:27 which was the high end of my goal time range - but still within it!


The run was the worst for me. We had driven it the day before and I knew there were hills looming. I do know this: there are no hills, bridges or even stairs in Wilmington that could have prepared me for this run. Here is the elevation scale:



Don't the cat ears in the middle look a little evil to you? It would have been more accurate if it were red and not blue. The red would have conveyed the heat that had risen to about 85 degrees by 8:00a. My goal was simply to run the whole way. I've been so excited about my run times lately, but I simply hoped to make it in under 30 minutes. I had no way to gauge my pace or my time because my Garmin watch froze at 5:28a. 


I battled a side stitch in the first mile and felt a little tingly and almost chilled at the halfway point. I kept repeating: float like a butterfly, sting like a bee and focused on looking at the pavement two feet ahead instead of looking up at the hills (hills that bore a great resemblance to four-story buildings). I sought out the last slips of shade on one side of the road and made a bee line (ha ha) to some kids who were out in their front yard, cheering for us and aiming their hose at all the runners. 


I passed Anna again as she headed the other way. We cheered for each other and high-fived. The last tenth was up another dang hill -- but I finished! I grabbed a water and headed to the transition, grabbed my camera and headed back to the finish line to see Anna! 






Yay! She was awesome! Her finish was:
Swim
5:16
Bike
42:10
Run
37:14
Total
1:27:33

My times were:

Swim
4:24
Bike
41:27
Run
29:08
Total
1:17:36


Sweet! My run was under 30 minutes! I am pleased that I was 40th overall for the women and 14th [of 50] in my age group. I think six women in my age group were in the top 20 overall. They were FAST!


It was a great race for a great cause. All the registration fees (approx. $21,000) were give to SmileTrain - a non-profit that raises money for surgeries to repair cleft lips and palates to children around the world. I was honored to be a part of it!

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Girlie Weekend



Spent part of this weekend with Megan and Dumay 4.0. We did NOTHING! Read magazines on the porch, drank a little wine, talked about big things and little things, ate Thai Basil/Coconut Shrimp and played with Baby Dumes. Here are some pictures that I took on Friday afternoon: 

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Happy Baby

Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Another digital slideshow by Smilebox

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Ready for Monday

I really am thankful for today. I've had a wild couple of days and honestly, I've never been so glad for a weekend to be over. Really. It was all a blast but I'm thrilled for a regular Monday. My last four days involved: the Azalea Festival celebrity reception, Girls on the Run practice, girls night out at the Wine Sampler, newsletter deadlines, attended a surprise party for Kipp, finished setting up a surprise party for Susan, cheered and took pictures for the Wilmington Athletic Club Tri and worked for the production team at PC3.

I learned quite a few things this weekend. More on that later. First, I took 595 pictures at the WAC Triathlon. Check them out HERE!


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Easter Weekend

What a great, beautiful, full, happy holiday weekend. What a blessing to be surrounded by friends and family doing the things that I love to do: lounge, coach, eat, watch movies and (did I mention?) eat! The weekend started on Friday with a visit to the Gorhams. That evening, Neal and I watched THE BLIND SIDE and lounged at home. We were the last two people in America to see it. Of course, I loved it! I won't tell you how many tissues we went through or how many laughs Sandra Bullock and Jae Head  got out of us. I will say that my favorite part was the essay that Michael Oher wrote. It's my one word after all. 


Courage is a hard thing to figure. You can have courage based on a dumb idea or mistake, but you're not supposed to question adults, or your coach or your teacher, because they make the rules. Maybe they know best, but maybe they don't. It all depends on who you are, where you come from. Didn't at least one of the six hundred guys think about giving up, and joining with the other side? I mean, valley of death that's pretty salty stuff. That's why courage it's tricky. Should you always do what others tell you to do? Sometimes you might not even know why you're doing something. I mean any fool can have courage. But honor, that's the real reason for you either do something or you don't. It's who you are and maybe who you want to be. If you die trying for something important, then you have both honor and courage, and that's pretty good. I think that's what the writer was saying, that you should hope for courage and try for honor. And maybe even pray that the people telling you what to do have some, too. 

On Saturday, Michaela, Meredith and I went to the Wilmington Athletic Club to check out the course for the upcoming triathlon this weekend. I'm so excited because this will be their FIRST triathlon! I'm not competing but it was fun to run and ride around Greenfield Lake. I gave them all of my favorite pointers and enjoyed the sunshine and ready-to-bloom azaleas.

That evening, I went to PC3 for an awesome service complete with a mash-up and a contemporary take on the YouTube sensation The Lost Generation. The message was intense and timely (as usual) and I can't wait for more!

On Sunday, we went to Anna's for Easter lunch with Dad, Joyce, Colin and Parker. We had honeybaked ham, corn casserole, homemade biscuits, slaw and grilled pineapple. Plus, we had pound cake, Rice Crispy Treats and ice cream for dessert. We hunted 175 Easter eggs with Parker and his buddy Luke but the excitement of the day was hunting Sugar! Right before lunch, we looked around and she was no where to be found. She was not grilling with Colin outside and she wasn't inside. Colin went out the back into the woods. I circled the house. I called again inside. I grabbed Anna's bike and went one way. Anna shot over to the neighbors in another direction. No luck: no one had seen her. Neal went behind the neighbors house and as I circled the cul-de-sac, I saw Sugar and Anna come out of the house. She'd been locked in the bathroom INSIDE! 

Anyway, after we bid Dad and Joyce adieu, we spent some time in the yard watching the pollen roll by in waves. We spread a blanket while Neal threw the ball for Sugar and Parker pulled out every ball he could find. He is already and amazing pitcher and yesterday he caught nearly five in a row! Here is a picture of Neal's shoes after being outside. One clean, one still pollinated.


Click the picture below to see a smilebox presentation of our afternoon:




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Click Here to Check out pix from my visit to the Gorham's today. I spent part of the day with Megan, Alex, Dumay IV and Dumay 4.0. We switched Megan's closet from winter to spring and spent the better part of an hour finding an outfit for a chic Easter Egg hunt for tomorrow. Plus, we ate homemade piroges (!?), lemon thyme shortbread cookie cakes baked by Elizabeth and unknown-expensive-delicious-Lee-cheese-from-Whole-Foods. It was an awesome afternoon!

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Azalea Triathlon 2010


This weekend marked the first triathlon of the season! The Azalea Sprint Triathlon was held on Saturday and Sunday. Over 800 people participated in the 300-yard pool swim, 9.3 mile bike and 5K run on and around the UNCW campus. Saturday was spy day. Nicole, Michelle, Michaela and I scoped out the entire race and cheered on our fellow triathlon club crazies. We were able to hoot and holler for Leanne, Brian, Brian, Billy, Bruce and Jess all over the course. We came armed with noise makers and banners and had a heckuva time.



Nicole is jumping for joy!

Michelle, Me, Brian, Bruce, Leanne, Billy, Michaela and Jess

On Sunday, the real fun began. Neal and I arrived on campus around 7:00am. It was 45 degrees and the wind was already blowing 12mph!! I got marked on my arms and thighs and calf and picked up my chip. I took my bike to the transition area and organized all my gear. One hiccup was that the woman next to me had placed her bike on the wrong side of the rack. That meant she was taking up some of my space. I have a policy of not touching another athlete's gear and I didn't want to get her penalized, but she left me a tight space to squeeze my bike and transition gear. I asked a fellow club member (and spectator) what to do (thanks, Ben!) and he went and asked one of the officials about protocol. They ended up moving her bike to the correct spot!

I went to warm up in the pool before my start. In a pool swim, participants submit a 100-yard swim time. A week before the race, the officials assign a swim time to each athlete starting at 8:00am. There is about a 15 - 30 second space between each swimmer. My official swim time: 8:27:45. All the athletes line up according to number along the side of the pool (about 50 at a time). That time on the side of the pool might be the craziest, most nerve-wracking part of the event. Luckily, I was near the end of the second block. That meant, technically, I would only have to worry about one person passing me. That person, though, was Lauren B., an 11-year-old on the WOW swim team with a home field advantage! Here I am trying to psyche her out:



Here are my highlights of the race:
8:25 - get in the pool.
8:26 - watch one of the women in my age group speed away down lane one
8:27:30 - watch the woman ahead of me speed down lane one
8:27:35 - duck under the rope, hold onto the wall and wait
8:27:40 - wait for the starter some more
8:27:45 - GO!
8:28:05 - hit my head on the lane line when I change lanes
8:28:45 - readjust my goggles
8:29:05 - think speed, power, kachow for the next three lengths of the pool
8:31:45 - after 11 lengths of the pool, think ohmygodihavetorunafterthis
8:32:00 - out of the pool, down a flight of stairs, bust out the door, put on shoes and jacket
8:32:48 - run 200 yards to bike area while putting on bike gloves, shades and watch
8:33:00 - there's a RAINBOW!!!!
8:34:00 - don hat and helmet, run bike to exit, jump on and GO!
8:35:00 - pedal, pedal, pedal
8:55:00 - hit a wall of wind on wrightsville avenue
9:12:00 - dismount, run bike to rack, strip helmet, shoes and gloves; don race skirt, shoes and GO! then, retighten laces, can't feel my feet
9:38:04 - pose for the camera and FINISH!!!


MY TIMES
Swim: 5:00 [unofficial, according to Neal's watch]

Swim Transition: 48 secs
T1: 3:00
Bike: 33:00
T2: 2:02
Run: 27:00
Finish: 1:10:49
I finished 30th overall and in the top five of my age group!




Movin' So fast you can see my arms!


Touching the Wall!!!




Home Stretch on the Bike


  
Name Calling: Here I am passing all the TriTeamers yellin' my name.

Pretty in Pink. You know my motto: If you don't have speed, then you better have style.

Above: Proud TriClubbers Nicole F, Michelle G and Me.
Below: I have no idea what were laughing at, but we were so giddy to have done so well and hated to see the weekend end.


As always, my support team made this event more fun than any I've done. Neal was amazing (as always). I'm impressed that he can take pictures and video and cheer while riding his earth cruiser to at least ten different spots on the course! He is a pro - he knows where to go and when and just what to say to keep me motivated! Plus, he got me BoJangles for dinner on Sunday night!

And this time, I had the added support of my TriClub team. I could hear Leanne and Jess and Ben at the pool every time I took a breath. They were there at the start and finish of the run, too! I even got to see Mere and Skyler!  I couldn't have done it without the belief that everyone poured into my mind, body and heart. Thank you all!   

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Disappointathon Turns into Gratitudithon

On Friday night, Neal, Anna, Colin and I headed to Myrtle Vegas for the 13th Annual Bi-Lo Myrtle Beach Marathon. Colin was ready for the full marathon, I was ready for the half (both on Saturday) and Anna was ready for a 33-mile bike trek on Sunday. We went to the expo to pick up the schwag (which was sweet this year) - thermos, technical shirt, technical hat and a drawstring bag. We shopped for gear and Gu. Anna and Colin headed to their hotel on the oceanfront. We  checked into ours. We carbo loaded. We watched some of the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics. We watched the snow start to fall. 

We felt our hopes fall with it.

Okay, that's a little dramatic. But, when the snow started falling (sideways and sticking to everything I might add) an announcement was released for a delay. Okay, we thought. It'll be a little dicey...a little icy. We may not make our goals (I was aiming for a sub-two-hour half and Colin was aiming for a sub-three-hour full). Our feet might get wet. The wind is going to be in our face for the last nine miles. That's cool. We're hard-core. 

Around 10:30pm they released another announcement. We watched the ticker scroll the words: City officials have cancelled the race. Nooooooooo! I've never been so bummed about NOT running 13.1 miles. 

I've been looking forward to this race......(and to make it more dramatic).....I'll say for THREE years. I first got the bug for it in 2008. Amy, Kathryn and I trekked down on Friday night for the 5K race around Broadway at the Beach. We all achieved personal bests in the run, we went out to dinner afterwards, spent the night on the oceanfront and did a half marathon of shopping the next day. On Saturday morning, I woke up and went outside to watch the runners. It was exciting. There were tons of people streaming down Ocean Boulevard and quite a few spectators along the street, too. It looked fast and flat and fun!  In 2009, the race sold out before I registered. This year, I was determined. I registered in August. I joined the tri club. I trained for it....mentally and physically. 

I was ready. Myrtle Vegas was not.

On Saturday morning, we slept in later than planned. We went out in the snow. Neal suggested pancakes. Colin decided to do a long run anyway and we picked up Anna to head for the Pan American House of Breakfast. I was feeling okay until we hit the main drag. There were runners. Lots of them.



I felt left out. I actually felt guilty. I did NOT feel hard-core. The shoulda's started to drag me down: I shoulda run it anyway. I shoulda had Anna and Neal set up water stops for me. I shoulda run part of it. I shoulda protested at the start line! Or the finish line! Here I am running with my race number on with a belly full of pancakes:



I cried off and on for the rest of the day and couldn't seem to shake the disappointment for the longest time. I whined about it. I huffed about it. I felt like a two-year-old. 

A wise man once said: maturity is marked by gratitude and stability. So, I started thinking of all the things that I was thankful for: my feet were not cold and wet and blistered, the wind was not in my face for nine miles, I did not have to run 13.1 miles, I got to eat pancakes, I could go home early and play in the snow with Sugar, I could go home early and pick up Parker from Dad & Joyce's, I was not going to be sore for three days, etc. Eventually, I felt like I was handling it like an adult.  Plus, I'm still adding to my list. AND, I'm ready for next year!

There three great wins out of the weekend. Colin ended up running 26.2 in 2:58:02 -- his best time EVER! There were even volunteers at the finish line and he received a medal!!! Anna competed in her bike ride and finished in under 2.5 hours!

My win was my take-away: In triathlons, marathons and even in NASCAR, there is a dreaded designation at the bottom of every results list: DNF. Did Not Finish. I know that there is something much, much worse. DNS. Did Not Start. Get out there and start something. Even if you don't think you can. Even if it's just for part. Even if you're not supposed to. Even if there is no one to watch. Even if it doesn't officially count. Start.

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." - John "The Penguin" Bingham

Before: 

After:

South Carolina Snow:

Also. check this out. Exactly what I was thinking.

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Y I Tri

I'm branching out. I've been spending a lot of time recently writing incognito in other web spaces and places. Check out my latest blog: y i tri. 


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Happy New Year!

I LOVE a new year. I've picked my one word, I've decided what I'm giving up this year and I have set some new goals.


This year, MY ONE WORD is HONOR. For the past few years, I've picked one word to shape my year. We'll see where it pops up over the course of 2010. The purpose of my one word is to provide clarity and focus. We all choose resolutions - things to do and not do - each year. I've found that choosing one word is a motive check. It digs into the intention behind that list of to-dos. It focuses in on the more important person we want to be. Click Here to help find your one word for 2010.


Of course, that word played a part in what I would give up this year. Every year since 1991, I've given up some thing. I think the first year was fried foods. [I was in college at Peace and remember wondering if fried rice counted.] Mostly, I've given up food: chocolate (big mistake), wheat thins, soft drinks, diet coke, beer/wine/liquor, gum. Last year I gave up all candy but gum. I've also given up Wal-Mart (which lasted nine years), gossip, cursing. I've even given up giving up - and taken a few years off! 




This year, I wanted to give up something different. Amy suggested giving up something new each month. I liked it: a retrospective of twenty years of giving up. I thought about doing something new each month: a new recipe each day for January, a different outfit for every day in February, a movie a day in March. None of those felt quite right.





I hit on the right thing on January 1. As I was cleaning up Christmas decor, I thought: why am I holding onto these broken lights/used ribbons/crushed boxes/burned candle? My idea: get rid of them all and give up something new each day. I have given up the boxes, candle, ribbons and lights, plus, a pair of Asics, an unopened board game and a bag full of socks. Yesterday, I gave up two pairs of pants to a friend. Today, I gave away two journals to Suze and Jacob as they left on an adventure halfway across the country and encouraged them to write, draw or scribble about their journey.


In the process, I've organized three drawers and half my closet. But, most important, I realized that it is an act of honor. The words associated with the Hebrew word for HONOR are abundance, riches, splendor. If I can honor someone else by giving my blessings away, then I am becoming the person I want to be. 


TaTaForNow





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Reflections for 2009

It's nearing the end of 2009 and I couldn't wait to reflect on my favorite events or moments of my year! Here are my top five:


ONE: I saw Oprah, y'all! I can't believe that in January, I attended an Oprah show with Anna, Molly and Shelz. Little did we know it would be one of her last seasons. Although the show was not our favorite, good things came out of our time with O. One of her challenges to us was the I'm In campaign where we pledged five hours of volunteer work in our community. My pledge turned into a promise. I pledged a little over five hours each week for the Girls on the Run program in a Wilmington school. More on that in a bit!





TWO: I was WICKED! There was a moment -- seconds before the last song of the first act of WICKED -- where I was defying gravity. Even in my seat, in a packed matinee show on a Sunday afternoon on Broadway, I was flying. The entire weekend was magic. We saw Tony-award winning actors. We shopped. We dined. We dodged wacka-doodle fans. We peer pressured Amy's brother to down a very blue martini. I have to thank Amy for the invite, C.A. for the hospitaliy, R.K. for sharing his mom and his last day at the show and J.B. for the laughter.


Number THREE belongs to TRIathlons, naturally. I completed two tris this year - the White Lake Sprint in May and the Wilmington YMCA sprint in September. Both of these triathlons were improvements over last year's time and effort. I am proud of my commitment to training and my results but, these made the list because in each event there was a moment in each race where I experienced joy. In the swim at White Lake and in the bike portion of the Wrightsville Beach race I remember thinking: this is FUN! Can you smile underwater? I think I did.




As part of my triathlon experience, I also joined the YDubTriClub this fall. I have found joy in training with others this year! I am loving the people I swim, bike and run with every day at the YWCA. The coaches and other athletes push me, encourage me and make me laugh. I've gotten faster and fitter. My mile time at our track workouts has improved by about five seconds and my 100-yard time in the pool has improved almost 10 seconds! Plus, I've gotten fitter. Which leads me to......

FOUR - As in a size four. I don't think I've seen a size four since I was, well, four. I've lost almost 15 pounds since May of 2008. I maintained the first ten for more than six months and then dropped five pounds in the first three weeks of the tri club! In October and November - miracle of miracles - I dropped inches. Sometime in October I went to my favorite shop in Mayfaire (WH/BM) and realized I had dropped two sizes (from a 10 to a 6). I stopped by another shop to justify my unscientific discovery and realized I fit into a size FOUR!! I think everyone in the store heard my squeal from the dressing room and might have understood when I came out doing a the joyful jumping dance. I danced right on outta there with that pair of corduroys! In fact, I'm wearing them right now and they're a little loose.


Add Image


FIVE - Thanks to Oprah and Suze Webster, I volunteered for Girls on the Run this fall. As previously mentioned, Oprah encouraged me (way back in January) to volunteer five hours for Starbucks' I'm In campaign. Suze, my niece, had been a participant a few years ago in Girls on the Run and I loved the concept - an after-school running program for third to fifth graders. The goals: train girls how to run a 5K and educate and prepare them for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Carol Kays (a true superwoman and mom of one of the girls) and I, coached 15 girls at Myrtle Grove Christian to their first (or best) 5K. We played games, we did relays, we made up cheers and we ran an ran and ran. Our chant was: Our word is FINISH. Our goal is FUN. We are the girls - GIRLS ON THE RUN!

The end of our season was marked by the PPD Ho Ho Holiday 5K in downtown Wilmington. It was rainy and cold. I ran with Cady Matoska - a fourth-grader who participated in 2008. She told me before the race that she wanted to beat her time from last year (42:00) and finish in under 40 minutes. We dodged pot-holes, street cones and huge puddles. We ran up hill - both ways. It was my slowest race, but one of my happiest. My heart was so full when I watched Cady pass me and cross that finish line - in 39:11. I had about 14 other great moments that day, knowing that Caitlyn, Carly, Lilly, Hannah Grace, Emma Grace, Avri, Savannah, Michaela, Channing, Alis, Loring, Susan, Olivia and Loring crossed that finish line and received their medals.




I found a great quote from Oprah: "Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it." I found that was true of my experience in Girls on the Run.

There were other moments of gratitude, joy, peace, pride, and all out fun and laughter. I was able to hold and welcome Emery Elise Best and Alonzo Dumay Gorham, IV on their birthdays. I ran my third half marathon and got a PR in my umpteenth 5K. I wiied and skiied and celebrated Frozen Dead Guy Days with Jennifer and Troy in Colorado. I rocked out to Ratdog, the DEAD, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Widespread Panic, Muse and U2!!! I visited Chris and Annie in Hendersonville and I celebrated my 20th high school reunion. Heck, I even visited IKEA for the first time! It's been a fun year and I am looking forward to 2010. I hope your new year is full of moments just like these!
TTFN!

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