Annual Poem 2008

Dear friends and family,

Please forgive this card for being late,
The year has flown by, we are about to say bye to ’08.

Our year started off quieter than past years might suggest,
Watching the countdown on TV with host Ryan Seacrest.

Most people resolve to exercise in the new year, no doubt.
But in ’08, Dan’s and my passports got quite the work out.

(Though we got our exercise, injuries and muscle fatigue,
By joining Dan’s company’s sponsored co-ed soccer league.)

In February we departed, with carry-ons in hand
And flew to the spectacular and far-away New Zealand.

Middle Earth is filled with sheep, glow worm caves, glaciers, and bungees.
I challenge anyone not to love those crazy Kiwis.

We did everything in New Zealand we could possibly afford,
We even ran into Bret and Jemaine of Flight of the Conchords!

Shortly after our return, there was a change in my professional life.
I found myself unemployed and so tried my hand at being a housewife.

While Dan loved the folded laundry, home cooked meals, and clean house,
A month later I was ready to be a wage-earning spouse.

I picked a new job opportunity I felt was the smartest.
Good pay and creative, challenging work as a graphic artist.

In April my friend and I said to the U.S., “Goodbye.”
We were off for two weeks to shop in Pakistan and Dubai.

Out at dinner one night, I drank tap water, but just a little.
No trip to Pakistan is complete sans a trip to the hospital.

Dubai was filled with beaches, cranes, and gold stores,
We even went skiing at the mall—indoors!

Safely back home in America, I was grateful, methinks
For education, toilet paper, and clean water to drink.

Summer arrived, and of course the weather was hot.
Several dear friends were planning to tie the knot.

Far away bachelor(ette) parties sure are the best,
I went to New Orleans, and Dan went to Key West.

From July through October, Dan and I had several weddings to attend.
Four each of rehearsals, ceremonies, receptions supporting our friends.

We used one wedding as an excuse for a vacation,
With the Pacific Coast Highway as our inspiration.

A quick stop to visit our Kiwi friend in New York City,
Then we were off to Spokane, Idaho, Vancouver—so pretty!

From Seattle we drove out to the Pacific coastline
Filled with windy roads and breath-taking views, the trip was divine.

We took in Oregon and California’s coastal goods,
And felt dwarfed by the magnificent, giant redwoods.

We stopped in San Francisco (and of course Alcatraz),
Where our local friends could show us the city’s pizzazz.

Then we drove further down the P.C.H. to Monterey,
Stopped at the aquarium, Big Sur, and ended in L.A.

Back home (in five days) we had a to-do list to fulfill:
Move out of our house, store everything, and fly to Brazil.

In Rio de Janeiro, Dan was asked by his company to teach,
But we made time for Sugarloaf, Christ Redeemer, and Ipanema Beach.

We moved to a furnished place across from the Pentagon,
The plan was to save up, sell a car, before we moved on site web.

“To where?” we would hear from more than one source.
To live in New Zealand for a year, of course.

Work sent Dan to England, where he saw London’s Tower Bridge.
But he spent most of his time up north training in Cambridge.

On Halloween we announced in my oven a bun is growing,
Though you would never guess, since I wasn’t yet showing.

So April 26 is the little one’s due date.
Which means that our New Zealand plans will have to wait.

We weren’t yet planning on parenthood, but we’ll give it a whirl.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, we are having a girl.

Not even Dan could avoid his company’s layoffs—so severe.
Not to worry, he begins a new job at the start of next year.

In conclusion, 2008 sure has been tops.
But I better get this card out before the ball drops.

We hope your year was great, and liked hearing about Dan’s and mine.
Happy Holidays to you, and we hope to see you in ’09!

Much love to all of our friends and kinfolk,
Kamala and Daniel Vander Kolk

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