ringing in the new year

Happy New Year!!!  I hope that everybody had a safe and enjoyable evening filled with excitement and hope for what 2009 has to bring!


The hubb and I had big plans to attend a New Years Eve / Surprise Birthday Party for a good friend of ours.  We got back into town mid-afternoon, unloaded the car and made a trip to the grocery store to stock up on food and an appetizer to take to the party.  We timed everything perfectly so that we would finish our errands and get home with enough time to shower and get ready for the celebration. I’d even picked out exactly what I wanted to wear in my mind as we drove home from the store.  When we got home, we had a big surprise waiting for us…

Our dogs had eaten 22oz of Lindt Dark Chocolate Truffles, and about 1/2 of the wrappers. Needless to say, we panicked.  I immediately got on the internet for advice while the hubb called our 24 hour emergency vet.  With the help of the vet and my research on the ‘net, we determined that each dog would have to consume 20+ ounces of dark chocolate in order for it to be toxic for them.  The problem was, we had no idea if one or both of them had consumed the goodies and how much each of them had eaten.  


So, instead of attending a fabulous party with wonderful friends, we got to stay home and force each of our dogs to vomit in order to remove as much of the chocolate from their systems as possible.  Not exactly how we had planned to say goodbye to 2008, but considering some of the challenges we faced in the year it was almost fitting…

Because we hadn’t planned on this turn of events we weren’t prepared to fix dinner.  So instead I ordered us some Chinese food.  I didn’t even worry about how healthy it was…after our evening, and considering that the next day was a whole new year to eat healthfully in, I ordered whatever sounded good on the menu.  Szechuan String Beans, Veggie Lo Mein, Hunan Veggies and Tofu and Cheese Wontons.


Luckily we had picked up some champagne while at the grocery store so we were still able to ring in 2009 with a little bit of bubbly.  And, the dogs are feeling much perkier this morning and seem to be over their chocolate feast.  Happy New Year to us.  🙂

So what’s in store for 2009???

Driving 14 hours from Florida to Virginia the last two days left me with a lot of time to think about 2008 and all that came with it.  There were certainly challenges…

  • Running injuries that kept me from completing the 2008 Charlottesville 10-Miler
  • Double knee surgeries and a 5 month recovery for our dog, Lucy
  • Our vehicle transmission dying at the most inopportune time

But with those challenges came opportunities for new beginnings

  • My inability to complete last year’s race led to my decision to train again this year and start this blog to track my progress
  • Lucy is now mostly recovered and the hubb and I feel that her surgery has had many positive effects on us.  We feel that we are now better dog owners, have gained better perspective on our finances and were given the opportunity to really examine our priorities during a time when money was tight and free time was limited.
  • There was no saving our previous vehicle so we purchased a 2008 Honda Fit and are so excited to see the improvement in gas mileage from our old Mazda Tribute SUV.  We’re helping to save the planet!  (and our wallets!)

There were also many exciting events and accomplishments

The hubb and I returned to New Orleans and the restaurant where we were married.


I celebrated my 26th birthday with some wonderful girlfriends.


I finished my graduate thesis, Housing for Seniors in Post-Katrina New Orleans.


And was rewarded with a Master’s Degree in Architecture, along with some amazing and unexpected awards.


I managed to find a job I really like in a hurting economy, many of my friends weren’t so lucky.

The hubb and I picked up a new summer hobby, kayaking!  I can’t wait to get back out on the water…


And welcomed the second year in our garden and the beautiful harvests that came with it.


We discovered a new vacation spot that we’ll be returning to often, I hope. (lostrivermodern)


And voted for a new president.


And of course, on November 1st, 2008 I started Bella Eats!  


All-in-all, 2008 was a good year filled with simple pleasures, opportunities for self-reflection and lots of time with family and friends.  I’m looking forward to 2009 and have laid out some goals for myself this year.  

I have professional goals:

  • Finish logging all of my internship hours so that I can continue working towards my license in Architecture
  • Sit for the LEED professionals exam (I’d be certified in green building technology, basically)

And physical wellness goals:

  • Complete the Charlottesville 10-Miler on April 5th, 2009
  • Commit to running 4-5 days/week, strength training 3 days/week
  • Find my ideal weight by May 1st, 2009 and maintain my healthy lifestyle through and beyond 2009

And mental wellness goals:

  • Read more
  • Bake more (baking is a huge stress relief for me…I love it!)
  • Spend less time behind the computer

And married life goals for the hubb and I:

  • More date nights
  • Save more, spend less
  • Better household chore routines so our weekends aren’t consumed with cleaning and errands

On this first day of 2009 I am excited for a new beginning, hopeful that change is coming and thankful for the memories I have of 2008.  Happy New Year!!!


17 responses to “ringing in the new year

  1. I enjoyed your year in review and your hopes for 2009. Glad your pups are all better this morning too!

  2. What a year you had!! And it looks like a lot is in store for 2009 as well – good luck!!

  3. Happy New Year! OMG your pups are adorable and I’m so glad they are ok 😀

  4. Happy New Year Andrea! Congratulations on your accomplishments in 2008 and good luck with your 2009 goals!

    Glad your doggies are ok!

  5. Ahh what a crazy day!!! I hope the New Year goes better for you! =)

  6. hope the pups are ok, doesn’t sound like too much fun 😦 despite the challenges this year, looks like the “ups” far outweighed them 🙂 Here’s to a great 2009!!

  7. I’m so sorry to hear about the dog/chocolate mishap. Thankfully, it’s all fine now, but I know how the worry goes.
    Great accomplishments this past year and cheers to a wonderful 2009!

  8. Great year in review!! I love how you included your career (hooray for architecture!!) and am very anxious to hear about your IDP and LEED stuff. It’s so great for me to see what an architecture grad does after school since I’m not too far from that reality :]
    I just told my parents they needed to get some new streamlined champagne glasses….I’ll show them yours!!

  9. runningwithfood

    Such an amazing year you had in ’08!

    I am so glad to hear that your pups are ok … that surely is pretty scary!!

    Happy New Year, Andrea! I wish you all good things in 2009!

  10. What a great year you had! Can’t wait to see you meet your goals in 09!

  11. Just found your blog through another blog. Love it and wish you the best in 2009

  12. Oh boy, glad the pups are ok…

  13. Great goals 🙂 Good luck!

  14. Wow so glad your dogs are ok! That’s always scary! Whew!

    Looks a wonderful 2008!! Hope 2009 is a great one for you!


  15. I love your blog! I’m like you – baking is relaxing and fun. I took the LEED-NC exam in April, so I’m happy to share my study strategies with you! Happy new year.

  16. Beautiful photos – I love the one of the champagne and sparkly tree in the background! Happy New Year!! 🙂

  17. what a wonderful YEAR!

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