As the year comes to a close it’s time to look back at the previous 12 months and look at all that it brought to me and my life. As is the case with most years, it was full of surprises, challenges, laughter and a few tears. But overall it was a good year and I consider myself incredibly blessed. So off we go!

Rose Bowl and Snow Storms

What do I remember about January? That’s easy, the Ducks first Rose Bowl win since 1917! Unfortunately it came at the expense of Renee’s Badgers and she was in Pasadena to watch the game live, while I stayed at home with my own Rose Bowl party consisting of friend Bob and his twins, Dad and my sister Lynette and of course the twin tornadoes. Renee and I agreed it worked out that we were hundreds of miles apart immediately following that game. What else do I remember in January?  Snow in Seattle! The area was hit with a decent storm (by our standards) that left our trees and streets covered with the white stuff and lots of power outages in the area – including our own house for more than 24 hours! The house got so cold that I hiked down to the local Starbucks with Ty and our Au Pair Hany to use the wi-fi and warm up – while Renee and Stone climbed into the TrailBlazer and ran the engine/heater to stay warm. Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait long for the power (and heat) to return.

Hockey and Ice Skating

Hockey and ice skating dominated February. Ty was well into his first season of Rink Rats hockey games and really started getting into it. In addition to our weekly practices and games, he and I also went to our first professional hockey game – an Everett Silvertips game against Portland WinterHawks – and Ty absolutely loved it. We also went to open skate nights on Wednesday nights together and I decided to join him on the ice and video his skating skills. Watch what happens at the end of the recording when my skate catches an edge. The good news is I saved my iPhone from crashing on the ice. The bad news is I think I bruised my ribs with my belly flop onto the ice.

Tee Ball and Baseball

Spring brought the change in seasons (and sports) and we introduced Ty to tee ball. It was the perfect experience for his first season as he had an outstanding coach who valued participation, learning and fun. Ty had a lot of fun and we did too watching his weekly games. And of course the weather had an impact – amazingly, we had mild temperatures and sunshine the first six Saturdays of the tee ball season and avoided a rain out all year. 

A true highlight of the year came on Father’s Day when I took Ty to his first major league baseball game with Dad after first taking them on a scenic flight above Seattle. My beloved San Francisco Giants were in town to play the Mariners and it was truly special to have three generations together watching the game. Ty did great until the end when the Mariners walked off with the win – when I discovered how many of my competitiveness genes have been passed down to him. Still, it was a great experience and tons of fun.

Seattle Summer

I’ve done my share of complaining in the past when Summer days consisted of 60 degree days and overcast skies, but the Summer of 2012 was one for the books (literally). After experiencing a wetter-than-average winter and spring, Seattlites were treated to a stretch of sunny and warm weather that threatened previous records. We had nearly 80 straight days of sunshine – and I got spoiled taking the twins to various beaches and lakes in the areas to soak up the sun and enjoy the water. The nice weather also inspired me to bring my running gear to the office and I was able to get in consistent runs at the end of the work day. 

The summer also featured our annual family vacation to the southern Oregon coast except this year it was boys only as the date coincided with a major event and project for Renee at work (so she had to miss the fun). Stone, Ty and I enjoyed a week together of cool, misty coastal weather and not worrying about having to clean up dirty clothes or dishes for a week. Of course the real highlight of the week was a trip to Florence and a dune buggy ride and tour for the first time.

Football fun

Of course Fall wouldn’t be Fall in my life without football and this was another great year as both a Ducks and 49ers fan. Thanks to a friend, I was able to witness the “Fail Mary” pass in person in September when the Seahawks beat the Packers with the improbably last-second pass (that single-handedly prompted the NFL to end the lockout of league referees). It was so much fun bringing Ty to his second-ever Ducks football game with Dad again (a 49-0 shut out of Arizona) and watching him develop into a true fan. But the real highlight was a trip to LA in early November for the USC game and having the opportunity to spend time with my friend Don (who I’ve known since Kindergarten). The game was also memorable as we witnessed the Ducks score the most points against USC in history – as well as seeing a record-breaking day from Oregon running back Kenjon Barner. Of course I was as disappointed as all other Ducks fans when they surprisingly dropped their overtime game to Stanford (which cost them a shot at the BCS title game), but I’ll take an 11-1 record any year and remain amazed at the level of program the Ducks have built. To put it into perspective, every other Pac-12 team lost more games this season than the Ducks have lost the last 3 seasons – combined. Amazing.

Family time

As I’ve gotten older I’ve certainly learned to appreciate all family time more and this year was no exception. It was very special bringing the family to California over Memorial Day weekend to celebrate my niece Megan’s high school graduation – and seeing the boys spend time with their cousins (and having a blast). As I mentioned earlier, the beautiful Seattle summer provided tons of opportunities to spend lots of time together outdoors – and I treasure all of those times. This summer also brought a move for Mom – we helped move her from Pleasanton to Portland to live with Lynette in August, and I’m glad to have her closer to us. Spending Thanksgiving in Portland as a family was a new and rewarding experience for all of us. We all know that life is full of uncertainty but I know that my family’s love and support is unwavering, so I appreciate every opportunity we have to spend time together. 

Obviously the year was full of so many more highlights and great times but this provides a nice overview of the year that was 2012 for me. And as great as 2012 was, I truly believe that 2013 is going to be even better.

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