Bring on 2009!?

Well, 2008 seemed to suck pretty bad for a lot of people. The economy, floods, etc. It was a rough time. I gotta say though, aside from gas prices, 401k losses, and a missed job opportunity, mine was pretty damn good. And our new year's eve celebration also bounced back to being good this year.

See, the last 2 NYEs have sucked pretty bad. We stuck around Des Moines, hoped for random craziness (like we'd gotten in Chicago the 2 years before that) and instead got relaxed, uneventful nights. I don't think NYE is supposed to be relaxed. It's supposed to be a celebration. Celebrate the good things that happened the past year, and also celebrate in hopes of an even better year. To me, celebrations of that scale, should be crazy, crazy parties filled with music, champaign, and public transportation... or atleast a nearby hotel room.

This year, we first planned on snowboarding in the Wisconsin Dells then dropping down to Chicago for NYE... but money concerns shot that one down. So we then thought maybe we should go snowboarding and bring in the new year on a mountain. Lots of ski resorts were having fireworks and parties, which could've been pretty awesome... but, crazy deadlines at work shot that one down. So, we then just made dinner reservations at Splash in Des Moines and planned on trying the Des Moines thing again.

Then, at the very last minute, I remembered my promise that I wouldn't spend this NYE in Des Moines. So I quick booked a room at the Sheraton in Iowa City and we partied with Diverse and friends at THE UNION, haha.

The Union is a place in Iowa City that lots of young college kids party at. It used to be the big "underage drinking" spot - until it got busted. I'll party with anyone, any age, but Kari was a little skeptical. Once we got there, German met us at the door, we walked right past all the kids and up to the stage with Diverse. Drinks started getting handed to us, fans were keeping us cool, and we partied. We partied good. It was definitely what I was looking for this year. Here are some pics.

So anyway, 2008.

We did some pretty good traveling. There were, of course, several trips to Cedar Rapids and the QC to visit family. But I also hit up New Ulm, MN, Miami and Key West, a Chicago Cubs game, Amana Colonies, Josh's Bachelor Party, Kansas City, Peoria, IL, Minneapolis, Eldora, IA, Chicago, Cornell, and San Antonio

Weddings are also always a blast, and require a bit travel. This year we had... Summer and Ian, Josh and Jolene, Mira and Chris, Stevee and Blake, Luke and Mindy, and Amy and B-Vaughan

Home was also good. There were plenty of parties, 80/35, Harper and Hiromi visited, Kevi and Julie visited, etc.

As far as work goes, like everyone else, the economy has affected both Kari and I's jobs, but despite that, it's been pretty good. I'm still learning a ton and am really excited about the code I'm writing. And Kari finished her master's degree which advanced her career.

And to recap a couple things I said in my last "new year" blog. Kari did finish Drake (and caused quite a ruckus in their education program), Nick and I worked pretty hard on a project (but never finished it, ha), and we did some good traveling. I didn't get a new car/house due to our amazing economy (so I didn't make that new cribs video), and we're still fighting debt. Yeah, it turns out debt is a really, really strong dude.

And finally, I didn't make that million bucks I was hankerin for, haha. But we did cross the $100,000 salary barrier last year, woop! Kari finishing her masters sent us leaping over the edge. Exciting!

But on the really, I'm excited about Kari and I's past year. My dreams/goals are obviously still further along than I am, but that's ok. We're charging ahead, paying bills, partying, seeing sights, and living life. It's awesome.

As for 2009? I'm hoping it's even better. I'm a bit worried that this year's financial crisis is going to affect us more than 2008. But there isn't really a whole lot you can do but make the best of it. We're definitely going to have some interesting things happen with our house situation.

And uh... I'm working on one of my own web projects on the side, planning on buying a Mac, and hoping to make moves on a car/house (again).

Here's hoping the best for all of yall, too. Happy new year!
Any plans to visit New York?

alexei posted

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