It’s been quite a year for the Gurnetts – we had graduations, new jobs, new schools, princesses, wizards and of course – what kind of year would it be without FISH! We started the year off with yet another college graduation – Tim graduated from the University of Nebraska in Omaha with a degree in Criminal Justice and minor in Environmental Science. There was a question whether he would actually graduate – not because he didn’t do extremely well in school (Dean’s list multiple times) – but apparently he couldn’t remember which ‘college’ included Criminal Justice and we showed up for the wrong graduation ceremony! Luckily, we didn’t miss his actual graduation which was held later in the day – but we were left wondering if he needed to stay an extra semester! It seems like everyone was getting new jobs this past year – except for Pat and me! Jenny was promoted to Salon Manager, Bob is in New York City working on computers by day and performing comedy at night, Tim was hired as a full-time permanent forest ranger at Big Horn National Forest in Wyoming and Becky switched to days and a new lead nursing position at Methodist Hospital. As if that wasn’t enough ‘new’ things – Lizzie and Liam switched schools this year and are now attending St. Stephen the Martyr Catholic School – where Mom is delighted that they wear uniforms and she doesn’t have to listen to Lizzie complain about having ‘nothing to wear’! What other exciting things could we do this year after all of those really BIG moments? Well – go to Disney World of course! We went during the Christmas season (which starts right after Halloween) so we could see the parks at a different time of year. We loved the Christmas parade, meeting Merida from Brave (a man in a kilt even showed Lizzie how to shoot an arrow just like Merida!) and watching it ‘snow’ in Magic Kingdom. We did some things we haven’t done before like play a wizard game, trade pins and see the Osborne Family Lights! I’m sure you are wondering where the FISH come into all of this – other than the pictures Tim has sent us from his fishing in the lakes in Wyoming – and there are actually two instances from Disney World for our beloved FISH! The first (and of course, most important) was visiting Nemo and his friends at the aquarium at Epcot – we even watched them feeding the manatees! And second, was Pat and Lizzie were able to eat salmon every day we were at the park for dinner. I’m surprised the two of them didn’t grow their own fins!
Jenny, as mentioned is a manager now at her salon. She is responsible for training and continuing education. In what little spare time she has, she has continued to do her craft projects – wreaths, scarves and all kinds of fun stuff. Lizzie, age 8 and in the third grade, is enjoying her new school. She especially likes the fact that they have an artist of the month – and her goal is to be that person every month. Lizzie has also joined the church youth choir and loves singing as loud as she can! Liam, age 6 and in first grade is also enjoying school – of course, his favorite subject is lunch followed closely by math. Liam is now a Tiger Scout and wants to be an Eagle Scout like his Uncle Tim.
Bob is now officially a New York City resident – but he misses his Runzas – so he will always be a Midwestern boy at heart. He is working on computers by day and doing comedy at night – kind of like a Comedic Super Hero! Maybe we can get him to wear a cape on stage for his act! Talk about making an impression – maybe even get him noticed and put on the Jimmy Fallon show! I can see the headlines now – New comedy sensation – UberBob – the Super Bob of comedy! Somehow, I don’t think Bob is going to hire me as his manager.
Tim graduated from college and immediately received a job offer at the Big Horn National Forest for a full-time permanent position as a forest ranger. He makes his father jealous every day because his job entails fishing, boating and hiking. Tim is in charge of a seasonal crew who look after the recreational part of the park – and I’m pretty sure that Pat is going to start abandoning me in the summer to work for Tim. Sanaz is finishing up nursing school and will graduate this spring. She was very lucky to get her preceptorship (like an internship) at Buffalo Hospital in Wyoming so she and Tim can actually start living together full-time for the first time in their 6-year marriage! Talk about a whole new type of adventure! The two of them are going to Naples, Italy right after Christmas for Tim’s Navy Reserve duty – maybe just to get used to being with each other full-time!
Becky is still in the Navy Reserve and a nurse at Methodist Hospital. She has changed to the day shift this past year, which means she now sees a lot more of her hubby, Pete – when he isn’t traveling for his job with Godfather’s Pizza. Becky is working on her Master’s degree at Wesleyan College and hopes to be done in 2017. The two of them are still going to a lot of weddings – but are going to find time to go visit Bob in New York City in December. Hopefully they will get to experience at least one of Bob’s shows – and I’ve made them promise to be ‘nice, loving’ hecklers.
Pat and I are doing fine. We have had some sadness this past year and are working through all of that. My baby sister, Mary Beth died unexpectedly at the age of 52 and Pat’s Mom, Kathleen who was 86, died from complications arising from a broken hip. We miss them very much, but also feel extremely blessed that they were part of our lives. We will be remembering them this Christmas by laughing, smiling and loving each other.
May YOUR year be full of adventure, surprises and maybe even a couple of princesses or wizards – and FISH – don’t forget the fish – make sure to go fishing with the ones you love – or at least eat a few with them – but not so many that you start growing fins!