1. The Michael Family Established 2009: Welcome to our love. June 13, 2009 was the day Dustin and I joined together in marriage with 130 of our friends and family as our witnesses. There was never a more perfect day and each day feels as new and exciting as the last. We were so blessed to have so many people travel from extreme distances to be there to celebrate with and join us in our special day. In fact, we had so much fun, we plan on doing it again every few years in varying locations. I'm so thrilled to have married my best friend and love of my life.
2. The Passing of my Comprehensive Exams/Attaining ABD: What a long, hard trip it's been! For the last four years, I've been preparing for this exam, in some ways. For the last year, I've been reading as many books as I could possibly get into me while taking careful, detailed notes on every aspect of them in preparation. All semester, I wrote a preparatory essay (with one major, overhaul revision), then I sat for two hours for an oral exam with my intelligent and knowledgeable committee. One catch, one of my members was sick, so I had to come back and sit for another hour-long oral exam with he and my committee chair a few days later. The consensus: unanimous passes. Again, my thanks to the committee, my family and husband who, as my mom put it, "was there in the trenches" with me. So much support for one girl is more than I could have imagined.
3. Sara's Engagement: Woah there, little Sara! Who knew my sister would be getting engaged only six months after Dustin and I married!?! Sara had been dating her boyfriend for 2 years and eight months before they got engaged. Her newly minted fiance got her parents and his parents to the same restaurant so after he proposed, the host asked them to move to another table. Sara freaked out a little bit, but agreed to move...and voila! They were moved to a table where their parents were. Anthony's a great guy who loves my sister very much. So congrats to the two of them and thanks for asking me to be your Maid of Honor! :) What an honor it is.
4. Cousin Rachel's Admission to Law School...at MIZZOU: This is pretty exciting news since we go to Mizzou and Rachel will be JUST down the street from us. Rachel is Dustin's first cousin. She has been wanting to go to law school forever and applied early admission to no other schools and now...she's in! A dream come true! Congrats, Rachel! We are so proud of you and excited to have you at Mizzou!
5. Coire Graduates: My brother-in-law, Coire, manages a local gas station, raises his 7 year-old daughter, had an internship and took on full course loads every semester until finishing up his bachelor's degree this December. It hasn't been an easy task, but Coire has completed it nobly and we are incredibly proud of him and all of his hard work.
6. Health: 2009 was a year without death or serious sickness in our family (both Navare and Michael sides). We feel blessed that our family is growing with marriages and births and we are thrilled at the blessings of continued health we have.
As 2010 is at hand, we greet it with joy and hope. Dustin will be taking his comprehensive exams this year; we will both be looking for tenure track and spousal appointments. Sara will be preparing for her wedding. Rachel will be moving away from home for the first time and taking on law school. Coire will be on the job market. We hope for nothing more than continued health, love and success for all of our friends and family and thank you all for coming along for the ride.
Here's to 2010!