2009 Year in Review

Welcome to the 2009 Brandhofer year in review! This year the report will be a little less detailed because many of you have been kept up to date via our FaceBook pages.

January - started year with Brenda recovering from 2nd hip replacement. Christmas 2008 was affected by the fact that Brenda had surgery a week before the holiday to replace her replacement hip. For those keeping score, this would be technically her 3rd hip replacement within her lifetime. Alan and Brenda hosted Christmas at the house. Brenda's immediate family came and spend Christmas eve and Christmas day with us before rushing off back to Virginia.

February - Las Vegas! While Brenda was recovering from her hip replacement, we took a break and headed out to Las Vegas for a few days. It was a bit cold there this trip, in fact it was cooler in Las Vegas than it was in Maryland those particular days. But who cares? It's Vegas, Baby!

March - In March we learned that Brenda's 2nd hip replacement (3rd lifetime) had failed again and would have to be replaced, yet again. The problem is that the socket that the surgeon embeds into her pelvis is not staying in place. For this 2nd attempt they used donor bone and screws, but even that was not enough to support her weight and it failed again, this time causing her considerable pain and discomfort.

April - Brenda 3rd surgery. Brenda had her hip replaced in March 2008 and again in December 2008 - and AGAIN in April 2009 (4th lifetime). This time they used a large metal structure they called trabecular metal. The metal structure is then screwed in with 5 metal screws. As of this writing, this iteration is holding. Being on a first name basis with the hospital nursing staff is not good.

July - Anna Maria Island, In July we took what is becoming our annual trip to the Tampa Florida vacation island of Anna Maria Island. This year the rest of Brenda's family did not go so it was just us spending a quiet relaxing week on the beach. We ate at our favorite regular joint, the Blue Dolphin Cafe down in Long Boat Key.

Brenda 35th reunion. Also during our week in Florida, we attended Brenda's 35th high school reunion. There were a great number of alumni in attendance and everyone had a great time. Brenda was still on crutches from her April surgery but that didn't stop her from making the rounds and visiting with many of her classmates.

August - bought REDBULL. In August Alan officially started the mid-life crisis process by buying a red Corvette. Eventually named REDBULL, the car has proven to be a lot of fun. Brenda and Alan have since joined the Free State Corvette Club and are regular participants in many of the club's activities and fund raising.

September - Left CSC, joined GDIT. After 9 years with Computer Sciences Corporation, Alan left CSC and joined General Dynamics Information Technology. Today he is working in Washington DC doing VMware Server Virtualization Engineering and loves it.

October - OC Car Show, Las Vegas, 30th reunion. October was a very busy month for us. First off was a trip to the West Coast. We started off by flying into our favorite vacation spot Las Vegas. We stayed at Bally's again because its location is so centralized to the main assets of the strip. The highlight of this trip was seeing the Cirque du Sol show KA. We had great seats and were absolutely blown away by the amazing performance. Of course we also hit all the regular places we tend to frequent such as the Bellagio fountains, the mall at Caesars, the monorail to MGM Grand, and this time we had a great hot dog at the new Pinks in front of Planet Hollywood.

After Las Vegas we flew to Orange County California to attend Alan's 30th high school reunion. Held at the elegant Westin in South Coast Plaza, the event was very well attended. There were over 100 alumni and guests in attendance.

Once we arrived back from the West Coast, we participated in our first car show with the new Corvette. The event was held by our own Free State Corvette Club in Ocean City Maryland. We attended as paid participants this year because we were not official members of the club by then. REDBULL was one of the many cars shown in the car show portion of the event, and later was honored to be allowed to drive down the Ocean City boardwalk along with the 300 other Corvettes. The weather was absolutely awful with driving rain and wind a majority of the time. But the weather did not keep a majority of the cars from coming to Ocean City and it did not keep us from entering in the car show or boardwalk drive. On the way home we got to meet a Maryland state trooper. He was very nice and reminded me that the speed limit was 55, not the 85 he clocked me doing. Alan promised him he would slow down. Brenda reminded Alan he was a dumb ass.

November - Ravens Game. In November Alan and Brenda attended a Ravens game at M & T stadium in Baltimore. The Ravens were playing the undefeated Indianapolis Colts. The Colts were still undefeated after this game as well, but the Ravens nearly beat them. We spent the morning with friends Steve and Mary for some perfectly executed tailgating. Everyone involved was very nice and we had a great time enjoying the festivities.

Brenda and Alan cooked a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the house. It was a lot of work for just 2 people but it was delicious and worth the trouble. Alan made everything but the gravy, which is Brenda's specialty. Alan had to work the day after Thanksgiving so Brenda drove herself to her parents house in Virginia and spent a few days with them. She got to have a second Thanksgiving dinner with them too.

December - Early snow. The Maryland area was hit with a considerable snow storm this December. On December 5th, the area received about 4 inches of snow, significantly more than the weather reports were predicting. It was more than enough to go out any play in for the local kids, but Alan and Brenda stayed in and just watched the others from the comfort of their nice warm home. Alan used the down time to put up some shelves in Brenda's craft room, a project long overdue.

Christmas came a bit early for Brenda this year. Alan surprised her by trading in their 8 year old Camry and giving Brenda a Highlander. There was a whole story behind the move as she had a Highlander before, and Alan replaced it with one that was nearly identical.

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 2009. 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