2005 Year in Review

Well, yet another year has passed in the Brandhofer household. Just when we didn't think there was a lot to report, we realized that we really DID do a lot this year.

Alan & Brenda in Santa Monica, March 2005
In March we made a trip out to Los Angeles and then on to Las Vegas. We made all the ususal stops. We visited our friend Scott in Santa Monica. Alan
played cards with his high school buddies at his friend Gary's house and had a great time. We also walked the Santa Monica 3rd Street Prominade and the Universal City Citywalk. In Vegas we stayed at the Excalibur Hotel on the Las Vegas strip and had a great view.

April was the month all about Brenda. This was the month that she took a big step in improving her self confidence by having her teeth fixed. In April she had some of her teeth removed and received a temporary partial denture. She has always had a
wonderful smile but now has the teeth to complement it.

In May, Alan returned to school. Having completed his Bachelor's degree in Information Technology the previous year, the decision was made that for career advancement reasons, he should go on and obtain his Masters. The degree program selected is the Master of Information Systems Management from the University of Phoenix Online. If he stays on schedule, he should be complete in March of 2007 and graduate in Phoenix, AZ. in July 2007. As of December 2005 he is already 1/3 of the way!

In June, Brenda's parents celebrated their 50th Wedding anniversary. Family and
friends attended, some came from as far away as Tampa Florida, Barbara and Charlie's home town. The party was a secret and they both were overwhelmed by the event.

Also in June, we vacationed in Florida on our favorite island, Anna Marie Island. For the most part it was just another
relaxing week of fun in the sun. We witnessed many spectacular sunsets. We were there over Brenda's birthday. After a bit of coaxing, Alan convinced Brenda to go parasailing! They sent Brenda up over 700'. It was perhaps the most adventurist thing she has ever done. Alan also took the opportunity to take flight He had a great time, too..

In September, we flew to Los Angeles to see Alan's Dad. This of course was the last time we talked to him before he passed. We went almost straight from the airport to the hospital. It was a bitter sweet time. We had no idea what his level of understanding would be at that late stage of his illness but there was no doubt he knew who were were. This was the highlight of the meeting; just knowing he knew we had come out to see him. The meeting was capped when Alan offered his father a Krispy Kreme donut and he accepted. Alan fed him a few bites after clearing it with the nurse. After a few bites he then needed some milk to wash the donut down which was quickly retreived. Shortly after that he was ready for a nap. There is no doubt that when you are that sick and advanced with the disease that there is little that can be done to comfort. Him sharing a Kripsy Kreme donut was comforting and memorable for us all.

While still in Los Angeles, Brenda wanted to visit the Citywalk at Universal, which we did.
Our friend Scott tagged along. Brenda did some shopping and we ate lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, which we usually do. After the Citywalk, we drove through Hollywood on our way to take Scott back to Santa Monica. While sitting at a traffic light on Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood, we had a celebrity sighting. Alan observes three pedestrians walking across the street and suddenly recognizes one of them as being a member of the rock band INXS. He would have never have recognized him except that we are both big fans of the show Rockstar:INXS which was on during that same time of the year. Alan states, "Isn't that the guy from INXS?" to which Scott agrees. Alan rolls down the window and yells to the three, "INXS!" They stopped in the crosswalk, turned around and waved back. By the time Brenda got the camera ready, they had already walked in the door of a store. This is the door :)

Brenda also managed to talk Alan into taking her to get another tattoo. This would be her third and something she had been wanting for some time. We started out by browsing the Internet for artwork. Brenda found a wonderful butterfly. We found a tattoo parlor close to the hotel in Carson, CA. and soon after Brenda was
in the chair getting "inked!" She must be getting used to the pain as this one took almost 2 hours and she never once complained. The final result came out beautiful!

In October, Alan received a promotion within the organization he works at CSC. This moved him from the Falls Church campus to the Chantilly facility. He then began work with the clasification of computer scientist. However, this move was shortlived. Just 2 days after starting the new position an email was received regarding a position with a sister company of CSC's. The timing of this offer was not good as he was just settling into his new position. The choice to take the new job was not an easy one but the offer and benefits made it an offer that could not be passed up. Starting in the middle of December, Alan will being working for the new organization in Maryland. Unfortunately it is 90 miles from home to the office so we will have to move. We plan to put the house up for sale around the first of March. In the meantime Alan is staying up in the Columbia Maryland area during the week and coming home on the weekends.

Well, that is about it for our 2005 year in review. Thank you for taking the time to see what we are up to. If you are reading this now, WE LOVE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU AND HOPE YOU HAVE WONDERFUL HOLIDAY SEASON AND HAPPIEST OF NEW YEARS IN 2006!

It has been a good year for us overall and we are very blessed to have what we have. Our wish is for you too to have a great 2006. Please stay in touch. You can email Alan at
alan@brandhofer.com or Brenda at itzmebrenda@excite.com. Hope to hear from you!

Alan & Brenda Brandhofer