Monday, December 27, 2010

Neglected Blog

Poor thing! We've been so busy we haven't had time/made time to update.

Brian and Christi are both enrolled in Bellevue now and will graduate in less than a year. Not that they are counting down or anything! Erik is loving his junior year and especially enjoying driving. His buddies are at our house regularly and we've had fun watching them play wiffle ball in the yard all year. In March he'll be going to New Orleans for a few days with the Varsity Choir and he can hardly wait to see it.

I'm going to try for weekly updates. Right now it's mostly homework, housework and running but I'm sure I can find something to write about more regularly!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Brian and I enjoyed a happy and fun 1st Anniversary =) Saturday morning we watched the JV Knights defeat Pius 37 to 9, Erik played most of the 2nd half. Then we worked on homework and had a mini Greek feast.

Sunday morning we went to church and then rented a Power Rake from the Home Depot and dethatched our yard, my mom's yard and Brian's parents yard. (Happy Anniversary right?) Really though it was fun to work on the project together and we'll have a beautiful yard to show for it.

Monday morning Brian made breakfast for everyone and then we took a morning nap (technically we slept in) and then overseeded and fertilized all three yards. For lunch we went to Fuji Sushi and tried some new and exciting things and the afternoon was spent running errands and restocking the house with groceries (teenage boys are hungry). Last night before bed the three of us cracked open the frozen wedding cake and were quite surprised to find that it was still delicious. Amazing, I know. Almost like a fairy tale. So we ate wedding cake, were saddened by Virginia Tech's loss to Boise and then we went to bed. Hopefully every year we can have this much fun!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Go Knights

Last night I had the annual new physician reception for work and it was the first varsity game of the season for Southeast. Erik is in drumline this year with the giant bass drum so he gets to play a lot.

The Knights had a great first game and won 20 to 14 in overtime against the Southwest Silverhawks. I think we're all worn out today, after the excitement it was hard to get to sleep! Hopefully we can get some rest this weekend. I have lots of homework and this is Brian's weekend off in between classes. We both have a lot of commitments for work in the next few weeks so we are working in projects when we can! The next varsity game is a week from today, Friday, September 3, 2010 at Seacrest. The band will be playing the opener for this year's show and we may get some props onto the field.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Where Did the Weekend Go?

Friday night Brian caught an early flight, that got delayed, but he made it home right at dusk, which was much better than his initial flight which was supposed to land in Omaha at midnight. Saturday morning Erik got up and went to practice and Brian and I spent the day on homework. Sunday I spent the day on laundry while Brian took his final (YIPPEE) and this morning we both had to get up early for work.

It was kind of the weekend that wasn't. Saturday night I did watch Juno for the very first time. And I bawled.... a lot. More than I ever would have anticipated. If you haven't seen it, and you were a mom early, or you are currently raising a teenager, get out your Kleenex. It was surprisingly well done.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Indecent Exposure

This morning - very very early morning Brian packed up for Indianapolis. It's time for the annual CSI customer conference. It should be a really nice week!

I got up at 4:30 to let the dogs out and they didn't want to come back in. When I went out to check on them I discovered that they had cornered some kind of small rodent (I really hope our vole isn't back!) that was squeaking and squealing in horror. I convinced Ozzy to come in but I had to drag Cache up the stairs and into the house. In my pajamas!!! Thank goodness it was 4:30 in the morning and I think I only saw one car driving past. Hopefully their attention was on the road! Cross your fingers that we don't have a repeat this afternoon!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Strike a Pose

Today is picture day for Erik. This morning they will take the group football picture for the 2010 programs, then he'll have 2 hours of football practice, a band picture for his band button and band practice.

Today is also the band picnic and Brian and I have been busy making arrangements to feed 150 teenagers. They'll be dining on pizza, cookies, soda and bottled water. Now we're just keeping our fingers crossed. After a week with 105-115 degree heat indexes there is a threat of rain. Tomorrow we'll spend the day catching up on homework and laundry and Erik has another 8-10 hours of practicing. Hopefully next week will bring us some much needed cooler temperatures.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Significant Loss

As many of you already know Christi's dad took a turn for the worse in July and elected to be removed from life support. He passed away on Wednesday, July 28, 2010 around 6:30 pm central standard time. While it was sad, his body was rapidly giving up on him, and we know that he is in a far better place. Brian and Christi were able to go down and say goodbye and will be having a private prayer service with their minister in Lincoln.

The family has elected to not place an obituary in the Gainesville Sun newspaper, I will update further if an obituary is run in another community.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


It's 26 hours until we leave for vacation and I'm almost packed and ready. It will be new for us not having Erik but I hope that we can make the most of it and have a good year. This year we won't be mailing wedding invitations, or looking at bubbles, bows or catering options. We are both taking along homework and textbooks but I've got plans to do most of my reading on the dock, with my swimsuit.

Erik is all packed up for Philmont and Brian will be helping the crew drive back across Nebraska. It's kind of odd getting him ready to be gone for 2 solid weeks.

Hard to believe summer is halfway over already!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ankles Are Stupid

On Friday I wrote about our super fun holiday weekend. Friday night we went to Brian's Aunt Patty's house to spend time with family. We played Rock Band and had a blast. Who knew Brian and Jeff should have had a garage band?

Saturday morning Erik and I met up with the scouts for a hike in Pioneers Park and on our way down the very last hill I twisted my ankle. Badly.... so badly that 5 days later I am still in love with the ice pack and the ACE bandage. Brian got the joy of doing Erik's mission trip laundry and we only made it to 2 of the 4 weekend parties that we had planned to attend.

This week we have stayed busy with band projects, work and getting the sprinklers repaired. Only 8 more days til vacation so I'm hoping to be healed up by then. Can't wait for Ely - time with family, the dock, the rocks, the boat, the cabin, the blueberries.....sometimes 8 days is a really long time!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Holiday Weekend

Last year for the 4th of July we were on call for our engagement pictures. It feels like it was just yesterday! Looks like this might be a rainy weekend too.

We're triple booked for the weekend and everything sounds like a lot of fun. Erik will get home from his first mission trip today so tonight I'll have some pretty stinky laundry to contend with. About 9 last night I realized that we sent Erik out for the week with plenty of clothes, things to shower with, swim trunks, flip flops, toys and games.... but not one single towel... We'll definitely have to remember that for next week's list!

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

On a "Mission"

Erik is spending this week in Schuyler with vacation bible school and next week in Kansas City working on a Presbyteria Church Camp. We're getting a few texts from him each day with updates on how things are going and he seems to be enjoying himself.

All the mowing is caught up for another week, ok I lied, I'll be mowing again tomorrow but our house and my mom's house are both mowed =) Tonight Brian and I are having date night, we just have to convince Cache the basset hound that it's our date night and not his. I suspect we'll have to play with his rope, his tennis ball and his squeaky flip flop while we try to watch a movie. It's nice to have a little break though.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hot, Hot, Hot

Last year we had the summer that wasn't, this year we're creeping up on July with staggering temperatures. We had our garage sale Friday and Saturday, and I learned that next time (the first weekend in August) we will be advertising in the paper. Craigslist and signs just weren't enough. Saturday we saw a heat index of 106, which makes you wonder how much you can possibly sweat!

Erik survived his week as a day camp counselor last week and is spending this week on a mission trip in Schuyler Nebraska providing a Vacation Bible School program. We told him to drink plenty of water and to liberally apply bug spray since Schuyler was one of the areas in Nebraska with significant flooding.

Brian and I are hoping to get some work done on our house "to-do" lists while Erik is away and we're on the vacation countdown since it is a short 18 days until we leave for Ely!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Prototype - Approved!

We met with the band staff last night and the prototype for this year's marching props was approved!!! We are getting together with the prop master and the engineer Friday night to start on the rest of our projects. We have 4 or 5 more things to build and we'll be spending lots of time at the hardware store!

This weekend we'll also be hosting the first of 2 or 3 garage sales for the year. We've got many contributors this time so it should be a good sale.... Erik is working at cub scout day camp again and it's very nice to have him drive himself. Sunday he'll leave for a week long mission trip so Brian and I are trying to figure out a couple date nights while he's gone. Too bad there's all that construction to get in the way.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Button, Button, Who's Got the Button

Tonight is Band Button Night at our house =) We're having the people who used to do the buttons come over to teach Brian and I, AND the new people who are doing the photos and button making how this is all going to work! We will also get to do the first test on the cannon prototype. I'm SO excited!!! Last night the "team" got through all the gluing and I tried hard to serve as the runner. If this works we'll demo it for the band director and the program writer this weekend.

Friday afternoon, the three of us are going to go help the Nebraska Community Blood Bank in their attempt to be the worlds largest human blood drop. We're all going to wear red and get into formation!

We're really looking forward to our week in Ely, I've already set aside the books I want to take along and I'm continuing to dream about the dock and the blueberries! Can't wait for the lake!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rocket... Baby

I know groan all you want, it's all very punny!

We have a very interesting props project for the band this year.... because... we have to build a cannon. I know... sounds scary... last week we went over to the prop masters house one night and came up with the plan. Then I had to go to the gun store (no joke!) to get springs and the hardware store for other supplies, last night we got it to work, not well, but at least it shot something out the end and tonight we're going to the next level with compressed air. I must admit, when we agreed to be band booster presidents, this isn't what I had in mind. I think it's going to be an amazing show and it is definitely something that we'll remember for the rest of our lives!

Monday, June 14, 2010


Wow - what a wild and wooly spring, but finally, we all made it through to summer break. It was a great term too! Brian came out with a 4.0, Erik with a 3.81 and Christi with a 3.79 =)

We had to celebrate since Brian only has program classes left (he'll officially be done with school July 2011) and Christi is all the way done with math courses! We of course jumped feet first into summer! Watch for more updates soon!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Away We Go

This month was gone in a BLINK!!! Today Brian and I are leaving for Pittsburgh to attend Pete and Tara's wedding. (Pete was Brian's best man.) We're excited to be hitting the road and it should be a really fun weekend. We're going to stop in Indiana for a cold soda with Brian's boss on the way and Sunday we're planning to drive straight back (16 hours). I'm trying to convince Brian to give me the early shift.

When we get back Erik will be 16. Where did the years go??? 5 more days until his school year is over and exactly 2 weeks for Brian and I.... thank goodness!

We do have one piece of GREAT news. Brian was officially accepted into his program so his Bellevue classes will start June 6 and his program classes will begin in August. We are getting closer to being done all the time.

The house has held up it's end of the bargain since getting a new pipe and a new garage ceiling, but we're thinking strongly about replacing the thermostat... I guess there is always something. We'll get some pictures up from Pittsburgh and maybe while we're out of town we'll have time to put some other pictures up =) Hope this finds you well!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May Flowers

Or the lack there of =) We planted all kinds of things in our yard last summer and while I have a lot of green things sprouting up there are no flowers.... I keep telling myself it's because it's the first year that they've been planted, and because we're having a late spring. Brian thinks the dogs might be eating them!

Erik got a perfect score on his driving test. I haven't seen a smile so big in a long time. We celebrated with smoothies from Juice Stop and then spent the evening getting work done around the house. He will get his official license on Tuesday, June 1, so watch out =)

It has been a SUPER busy quarter. Brian and I are both taking classroom classes and on-line classes, we just had part of the ceiling replaced in our garage (thanks Dave!!!), we bought a new car - it's a 2009 Dodge Caliber and it's sunburst orange, and Erik has a slew of end of the year performances. In the midst of that we've celebrated Mother's Day and hosted Roger's 60th birthday and had a piece of pipe replaced under our foundation. When it rains it pours!

This weekend we will be helping Brian's brother Jeff celebrate his birthday (you'll have to ask him yourself, but it's a big one!), mowing at three houses, hosting two family dinners, working on our homework, packing for Pittsburgh and doing the Moock and Drabant cemetery rounds. It's also recycling weekend for the LSE Band Boosters so Erik and I will be hanging out there on Saturday morning. As you can see, even without a wedding to plan we've managed to stay busy.

Keep your 2011 calendars handy, Brian and I will both graduate and we're planning for a party at our house to celebrate, we'll get the dates out to you as we get closer!

Monday, April 26, 2010

May is Around the Corner

Wow - I read that last posting, talk about a bad day! While the same old fight still goes around our house I'm dealing with it better (on most days) than I was before!

In a month we'll be heading to Pittsburgh - my first time there - for Pete and Tara's wedding. We're looking forward to a fun trip and getting ready to make out motel reservations. We have decided to drive so it will be a good time.

Erik only has 29 school days left... it is almost the end of his sophomore year and we're looking at colleges and preparing for the future. On May 31 he will be 16 years old. I swear, I blinked and he went from being a baby to driving. He's almost done with driver's ed. Over the weekend he competed in the state piano competition and we went to an Eagle ceremony for one of his close friends. I confess, I cried through most of it. Brian makes it through (and he's usually a presenter) with no tears or strong emotions but it always makes me tear up.

This summer will be busy, fun and amazing. Probably not as much so as last summer, but we'll all be enjoying it as a family =)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Something Less Than Harmonious

It has been a somewhat difficult week for us. Sometimes Brian and I have the same argument several times with no resolution. That's the case right now. We have different expectations of people and some times I expect better of people than they can ever be. I'm sad and disappointed, and just feeling let down and almost abused because my expectations weren't met. It is difficult and complicated for me to understand WHY people would be mean and nasty for the sake of being mean and nasty. It is also challenging for me to continue to be nice to people who are repeatedly rude for no good reason. I'm hoping that the spring air will help me to get some of the bad feelings out of my system, but for the moment, I just need to be away from people who have no regard for my feelings.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring Fever

I just can't help myself. For me there is something about spring, about longer days, sunny afternoons, dark mornings, croaking frogs, blooming flowers. Something that makes me feel silly and free and excited to see what lies ahead.

It is hard for me to be at work or class during this time, sometimes its hard to fall asleep, and it is incredibly hard to stay indoors... they say that we might have thunderstorms this afternoon, maybe more tomorrow and possibly even a few on Wednesday. It feels exciting. Deep in the summer the storms are more bothersome, and while they promise brief relief from the heat, there is something dangerous and powerful in the spring storms that is so much more fascinating. Hopefully I'll be able to get some work done this week!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The End of Spring Break

My poor neglected blog =) Today is our very last day of spring break. While I wish we were going to do something exciting, the truth is that we're just taking on our day-to-day responsibilities. I have gotten through 30 of our remaining 75 thank you's so this weekend I need to wrap up the rest of those, the dogs have enjoyed a long walk EVERY day. We spent last weekend in Kearney with our scouts seeing the cranes. We've had one or more drinks all but one day of break.

Last night we wanted to go for a bike ride but sometimes Brian is cursed (I told him to leave that Tiki totem from the Brady Bunch alone!). When he got home and got bikes ready one had a flat and in the process of getting the other one ready it blew a tube as well. The dogs were happy to go for an extra long walk and we had a nice dinner that my mom brought over before we ran off to the band parents meeting, piano lessons and grocery shopping. We'll try to update more often. Brian is now on Facebook so you can catch us there too!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Saint Patrick's 2010

We went out with the neighbor's last night and then Jeff met us when he got off work. For the first time in my life (OK in the last 12 years) the bar ran out of green beer before they closed. We had a great time and laughed the night away. Tonight is scouts, tomorrow night is game night and this weekend we're having a Fiesta to celebrate Erik's trip to Spain.

Brian finished his final this morning so we're officially on Spring Break, and it feels AWESOME!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Do the Happy Dance

Some weeks are better than others =)

Our new dog Cache is SUPER fun! If you need/want a nice spring walk come on over, he's a little slow but worth the entertainment value!

Yesterday we found out that Erik made it into Spanish 3/4 for his Junior year, this frees up his Senior schedule a lot (being in 2 music groups is challenging) and it means that the summer in between junior and senior year he'll spend 3 weeks in Spain... AWESOME!!!

I got my final grade for speech on Sunday - she blessed me with an A+ and I worked every second to get it. Last night when I went to math class we got our exams back (I have never been so excited for C's and B's as I have been in this class) and then the professor announced that he would be calling us forward to look at our grade and if we had and A or a B we could leave and not take the final.... I have NEVER been more surprised in my life, the final grade for his class was a B+ so I am officially on spring break.

This is advantageous for our house since Brian still needs to finish his finals this week. Next week we'll be celebrating happy hour at our house most days... feel free to text, call or stop over. This term was pretty wicked so we miss all our friends. For those who are expecting - we can make a fabulous mocktail for you =) Tomorrow we'll try to get some new pictures of Erik up, and of course a few shots of Cache. 2010 is looking pretty great!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Adding a New Member

This weekend we met Cash for the first time. He is a three year old male Basset Hound who's current family doesn't feel like they have enough time for him. He makes the best moaning and grunting sounds ever and is cute as a bug. This Saturday afternoon he'll be moving in with us. We wouldn't have waited but we're going to be watching my mom's new dog Allie and three dogs in the house, two of which are brand new but have been a little much. Who would have known we would end up with a hound dog?

We are creeping into finals and planning for a spirited night for Saint Patrick's Day... the good news is that I don't have any meetings the next day.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The days go "March"ing on

What a wild first term. We have two weeks left! Last night my math class erupted, my last speech is this week, and Brian is trying to survive Anatomy... Thank goodness we have made it almost to the end, and with any luck, seriously, any at all, next term will be more enjoyable and successful.

Erik is taking a Spanish test today to see if he can make it into Spanish 3 and 4 as a junior. If he does he'll be able to travel to Spain for three weeks next summer. Pretty exciting! Drum practice started back up last night so we're getting ready for marching season.... and it hasn't even made it to 50 degrees yet this year!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Moock Travel

Last night we cashed in some of our Christmas and birthday gifts and enjoyed dinner at Red Lobster in Ames, IA. Everything was delicious (Brian loves the Lobsterfest) but when we got back on the road the wind gave us a bit of a headache. There was lots of patchy ice but we made it safe and sound into Owatonna. We probably saw 100 cars and semi's off the interstate between our house and the hotel but we're not sure how long some have been there.

Today we're going to Medford to look at some outdoor gear and then we'll drive into Minneapolis. It's nice having time to relax and talk. We both had very funny dreams last night so we're wondering if its the room or the fatigue, or maybe the Red Lobster.

Monday, February 15, 2010

And then...

as the couple was approaching their six month wedding anniversary, they went on their honeymoon =)

Brian and I will be leaving tomrorow at noon for almost a week in Minneapolis and the surrounding area. We will shop, eat at our favorite restaurants, try some new things, sleep in and enjoy a week alone. We both have to do homework while we're there but we're still looking forward to getting away =)

Things are still incredibly busy, we're hoping for improvements in our schedule with the next term at school but no promises. We're starting to make plans for spring break so if you're going to be around Lincoln we would love to see you. We're trying hard to spend time with all of the wedding party during that week and a half. Hopefully we can find something really fun to do!

I am surviving my speech class, but just barely.... and I'm only crying about it twice a week now, so that's an improvement. I think that hopes for my 4.0 this term may be dashed against the rocks, but I'll pass!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sometimes Life Isn't Fair

Oh the immortal words of my grandmother. As I have whined about before I am taking a difficult math class and an EVIL speech class. That is truly the only "clean" word that I can use to describe it. My teacher is unreasonable at best and despite the fact that I'm doing everything that I can think of to look at things from her side and to be the good student I have historically been she is wearing me down.... I knew prior to beginning the class that I would either have to be available to speak in front of the class OR that I would have to arrange my own audience and AV equipment for my presentation. I have made all efforts to compromise with her but to no avail.... so now I have to decide if I can round up 10 people over the age of 18 to get together this weekend long enough to record my presentation. UGGGHHHHH!!!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hi Honey - Have a Good Day - See You Tomorrow

This quarter is a whole different kind of torture and with our work schedules and our class schedules Brian and I barely see each other Monday through Wednesday. Yesterday he was on the road to one of his banks and I think he got home around 7pm. I had class on campus from 5:30-7:30 and then I had to get Erik from piano and work on my homework after I got home. I climbed into bed at about 9:30 while Brian was finishing his test and we all walked out the door together this morning. Today Brian is still stuck out of town at his bank. Erik and I will have a quick dinner and then head to bell practice and when we get back I have to finish my homework assignment for the evil public speaking class and study for my math test. Say a little prayer for me on Wednesday evening... I have my first exam. The professor told us last night that the other class, taking the same exam, averaged a 62% on the exam, and he was proud of them, because usually the first exam the average is 55%.... I almost cried in front of the whole class. I'll try to stay updated on the blog but I'm going to try for a 3.5 this term and I might die trying =)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Blazin' Piano's

So the midwest in the winter can be a dull and sad proposition... and I generally like to go to bed between 10 and 10:30... Luckily I have been able to find solace in Blazin' Piano's. If you find yourself in Lincoln on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night with nothing to do and no one to do it with give us a call, and we'll happily drag you to Brewsky's in the Haymarket for Blazin' Piano's. I've gone the last two Friday's and it's truly among the most fun I've had on a Friday night. The pianists are on a rotating circuit like comedians and they travel from bar to bar in the midwest. They take requests much like the piano bars in big cities, there are drink specials and you just never know what kinds of people you might run into. Come on up or down depending on where you call home, we'd love to take you!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Not a Creature Was Stirring

Last night when we got home from work and school we all delved into our homework while dinner was cooking (yum, meatloaf in January!!!). After about 30 minutes I realized that we were all home and the house was completely silent. Erik was busy studying and taking last minute notes for his Biology final, I was absorbed in my Public Speaking textbook and Brian was in the living room wishing that he hadn't signed up for Anatomy class. After today Erik will have a four day weekend (MLK day and a teacher planning day) and then it will be time for second semester which means that soon we'll see spring. This weekend I have to start the research for my first speech and Brian will work on memorization for his next test. I can't believe we decided to go on our honeymoon during such a heavy class load, but we'll have fun and relax in spite of doing homework every day that we're gone.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I Will Survive

School started for Brian and I last Wednesday. My first math class was cancelled for a blizzard while Brian was in Colorado trying to change a circuit and start his Anatomy homework. We spent the weekend getting used to our new classes and last night Brian spent 5 hours on homework while I spent 2 hours in class and 2 hours on homework. What does it mean when Erik can check my work and tutor me?

This could be a very long quarter. The good news is my "rapid fire" math is still with me. I have retained all my memorized multiplication tables so that part goes well... now if I can just get accustomed to the double negatives =) Brian is taking Anatomy and at the last minute made it into a Humanities class. So far he is a fan of neither, but we're trying to make it through =) If you come over and we're in the office crying or you see us fighting each other for the last cup of coffee we're sorry, and we'll be back to ourselves again in no time! Like towards the middle to end of March!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Another Piece of News

There are two other videos on this same page, the kids have so much to be proud of and they just did an amazing job!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me

The boys are up to no good with my birthday =) Last night we had my mom and Brian's parents over for birthday dinner, Brian made boy scout chocolate cake (come and visit, we'd love to share) and foil dinners. After we ate his parents got to check out the parade and then we did a little Internet shopping and got ready for bed.

This morning Brian surprised me with flowers after I got to work and after he dropped off Erik. It's a sweet bouquet of lilies and tulips (I love spring flowers in the middle of winter!) and my office is enjoying a bit of spring. Tonight we're going out to dinner with my mom, as soon as I decide where and hopefully we'll get into bed early. Stay warm - Lincoln's "real" temperature this morning was -12.... without the wind chill!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Back from the Crusades

Erik arrived at LSE about 5:30 last night. He was pretty happy to see us =) Per his request we feasted on spaghetti and garlic bread and before he went to sleep he polished off a brownie sundae and a piece of leftover new years cake. We're so happy that he went, but glad to have him back! This article was in the paper this morning: Erik roomed with Nate and Noah and plays drums with Nate.

He's been asleep for almost 12 hours so we'll see what his plans are once he comes to.

Happy New Year!