Other than the calendar telling me so, I didn't see this year coming. At least not what was in store. I reached a few milestones, many of which I didn't set out to achieve or make as any kind of new year resolution.
Early in the year we were still settling in after our move from another rental of 2.5 years. It wasn't the most ideal place but it was nice for the price we could afford...yet we were informed we had to move...again. That would be the downside of not arranging a lease. We were trying to avoid a lease because there was some thought of packing up and moving out-of-town to "the city" or elsewhere. That never materialized and we found ourselves again in a house we were renting month to month.
The house we rented in the spring and into the summer was located in the outskirts of Oswego. We had a short daily commute into Oswego which regularly passed this small brick house which was for sale. The person who owned the house was a friend of a friend. We briefly considered it as a possibility, but the idea of owning a house was way over us. We were still paying a bill or two left over from the wedding and some other accumulated debt. We have no space for a mortgage. We probably have to save up some more before its even considered.
One rainy day in May we noticed the coming weekend would feature an open house. Why not? Lets go see. It wouldn't hurt. It will be a fun run through for when we're really ready to buy a house. It didn't take very long for us to absolutely fall in love with the house. About half-way through the tour I wanted to stop because I didn't want to see anymore thinking this was too nice for us. I won't go into all the gory details but thanks to a wonderful loan officer from First Niagara we were able to make an offer on the house and it was accepted.
Meanwhile, toward the end of 2010 Michele and I began regularly attending the gym. This was beneficial for both of us. It was forcing us to get up and out the door early each day. As 2011 progressed, I felt very good about how fit I was. I felt more athletic than I have any other time and decided to sign up for a run. I ran the Chase Corporate Challenge in June, which was a 3.5 mile run (just a little longer than a 5K.) I was amazed how well I did, and how good I felt after. Michele and I hope to participate in at least three 5K runs this year, if not a few more.
Also that summer I decided to look into graduate programs. I realized that I foolishly have been ignoring one of the benefits of my work is that of tuition reimbursement. I also feel it is time to get to work on a Master's Degree. I don't know where it may take me but ideally another degree (eventually) will open more doors.
After what seemed like a long period of waiting, all the paperwork went through, checks were signed, and we were handed the keys to the house. Michele and I are blessed with some wonderful friends and family members who were able to help us move all our stuff relatively quickly Friday night, and early Saturday morning (trying to avoid the hot July afternoons.)
I had an extremely busy fall with work, owning a house, and now returning to school. I'm only taking one class per semester, but that appears to be just enough since I will continue to work full-time. I ended my first class at SUNYIT successfully and look forward to continuing challenge as I continue on the journey in pursuit of a degree in Information Design and Technology.
Two other big changes happened in Michele and my life this year. Michele's sister got married at a beautiful ceremony in July. Then in September we welcomed Pete & Meg's darling little daughter, Anita, into the world. Anita is beautiful baby, and I'm very happy for Pete and Meghan.
2011 ended up being a surprising year. I'm back to college, ran my first 5K (and want to run more), and now own a house. I have friends that have plans. They know where they want to be in 5 years, etc. I had no idea what 2011 was going to bring. I made some interesting decisions, and at times there were tense moments, but all in all...whew what a year!