2007 Year in Review

This year started out with a bang. Alan bought airline tickets to Las Vegas and gave them to Brenda on Christmas day, 2006. We actually stayed at Wild Bills at State Line, which is exactly where it says it is, on the state line of California and Nevada, and traveled about 45 minutes back and forth to Vegas every day. We saw the comedian, "The Amazing Jonathan." He was very funny. Needless to say, we both had a great time spending a few days in our favorite city on Earth. As usual, it went by too fast. Oh, and we didn't hit the jackpot either. Maybe next time!

In April, Alan completed his long awaited Master's Degree in Information Systems Management with the University of Phoenix, and to celebrate, we planned a week's vacation to drive around to see some friends. On April 14th, we set out on a tour of North Carolina. Seems like every time we turn around, one of our close friends moved there. First we went to Sneads Ferry on the coast to visit
Bill and Shelly. Next, we moved a little inland to see Bill and Pam in Apex. Each city we stopped in was special in itself. No wonder our friends moved to this beautiful state. Next we ventured west to Greensboro, where David and Karen live. The first thing Alan had to do was stop and get a tattoo at the neighborhood tattoo shop. He got a Phoenix on his left arm, which paid tribute to the University of Phoenix. Turns out their son-in-law was going to Iraq in a couple of weeks, so we went to a barbeque at the National Guard Armory to honor these special people before they left for duty. It was a very nice send-off, and we're praying they all get home safely real soon. Then we went to Charlottesville, VA to see our friends we know from Fredericksburg, Brendan and Denise, and their sons, Matthew, Sam, and newborn Jackson, and dog Molly. We visited with them for a little while and then headed to Timberville, VA to visit Brenda's mom and dad to end our trip. The whole trip was very enjoyable. Thanks to all our friends and family for their hospitality!

In April Alan was notified that he won the 2007 Excellence Award at his company. The recognition came with a hefty bonus and a really nice dinner at a really nice restaurant.

In late May, Alan flew to Los Angeles for the retirement party of the manager who hired him into Computer Sciences Corporation.
Jackie had been with CSC for nearly 40 years. Alan refers to Jackie as the smartest person at CSC (because she was smart enough to hire him!)

There was a bit of an employment shakeup this year as well. Alan's position as the Server Services Manager was eliminated in part to a departmental restucturing. This left him in the undesirable position of making a hard decision - Stay with CSC and accept one of the other four positions they were offering him, or accept a profoundly well-paid position outside of the company he had been with for 7 years. Over the summer, Alan was on a temporary assignment at the American Red Cross, a new client of CSC. This work on the transition team provided him with time to assess all the options coming his way. In the end, he opted to say with CSC and change organizations from Service Delivery to the engineering group. To date this is where Alan is working and enjoying getting back into the hands on apsects of Information Technology.

In July, we packed up Brenda's mom and dad and headed for Phoenix, Arizona again to Alan's graduation. He graduated in a stadium that looked like a
beer can in Phoenix. It was a very nice graduation, and we took lots of pictures. Alan looked nice in his cap and gown. We had a great time, and even had time to see part of the Grand Canyon. It was unbelievable, even though it was 117 degrees out! But it's a DRY heat. Then we drove to Vegas for a few days. While there we saw Lewis Black the comedian. He was pretty funny.

In July, Alan (while investigating a problem with the attic fan), decides he's going to fall thru the ceiling in the bathroom, and create a real mess, both on the floor AND in his shoulder. His doctor initially thought it was a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder, but turned out to be a SLAP (Superior Labrum from Anterior to Posterior) tear. He suffered thru weeks of pain, before surgery was scheduled, but finally got it repaired on August 30th. The doctor was able to do surgery orthoscopically, which was better that the alternative. He started therapy, and wasn't even able to bathe himself when we hit a stumbling block.

We had spent the nite at Brenda's folks house in Virginia on September 15th, when Brenda woke up at 2 a.m. with excruciating back pain. After hours of pain, she decided to go to the ER at Rockingham Hospital, where she was diagnosed with gallstones. We decided the best thing to do was get her gallbladder removed and they were able to do it laproscopically without a problem. Meanwhile, we had brought no extra clothes, so Alan, with Barbara's help, drove all the way back to Maryland, to get extra stuff we needed for the next couple of days until we could get home. Even though his arm was still in a sling, he took control and managed to get things done with Mom and Dad's help. It was rather ironic that both of us were off on disability during the same 2 week period and both returned to work on the same day! Alan is still recovering and going to therapy on a regular basis but thankfully Brenda is completely healed from her surgery.

In other health news, on the weekend after Thanksgiving, November 24th, coming out of the neighbor's house, Brenda twisted her ankle coming down the steps. She couldn't walk on it without pain, so the next day we were in the ER again. They said it was just a sprain and ended up healing fast. Brenda will partake in physical therapy at the same facility as Alan is rehabilitating his shoulder, in some cases on the same day.

Alan traveled to Las Vegas on December 8th. He met his friend Scott there, who lives in California and works at CSC's corporate headquarters. They saw the last magic show with Hans Klok and Pamela Anderson as his assistant. They were not displeased, except wished she was on for more than 5 minutes at the end of the show. He got yet another tattoo, this time at a shop called Pair a Dice. It's a very vibrantly colored dragon that covers up a flaming 8-ball tattoo he had previously on his right arm.

This must've been the year for another baby boom. We knew 4 couples that have had babies in the last 3 months. Congratulations to each and every one of them! We wish you more sleep next year!

Hopefully next year will be a healthier one! We wish everyone, including our friends Faye and Larry (after her back operation last year), and both of our parents, friends, and families a healthy Merry Christmas and healthy New Year. 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 2008. Please stay in touch. You can email Alan at
alan@brandhofer.com and Brenda at brenda@brandhofer.com. Hope to hear from you!

Alan & Brenda Brandhofer