As another year draws to a close, here is my traditional year-end look back at the past year, and the hopes and dreams for 2009.

Family & Friends

  • We celebrated the birth of our daughter Lily Rebecca Ipe.  She is now almost 9 months old, and full of personality.  Both kids are keeping us pretty busy, and they like each other.  If I didn’t feel like an “adult” before, I certainly do now.
  • My wife and I celebrated our 5-year wedding anniversary this past September. 5 years (plus the years we were dating) have gone by awfully fast.  There have been the natural ups and downs of a marriage, and we have learned to play down the hurts, and cherish the good memories.  It’s certainly strange to think of ourselves as parents, running a family, trying to stay ahead of the kids.  Weren’t we the same kids hanging out at bars, dancing at clubs with our friends, stumbling home at 6am? I’m always amazed how one’s perspectives (and priorities) can change over time. Now we’re just happy to get some sleep after a long day.
  • Josh graduated to Preschool.  He’s a big kid now, and it stuns me at times when I think back to when he was just a baby.
  • It wouldn’t be a year to talk about, if we didn’t take some hard-earned vacation time. This year was certainly a harried year, but we did what we could to find some downtime.  We enjoyed an extended weekend in Ocean City, Maryland.  We visited the Dominican Republic for the first time, celebrating our wedding anniversary at a Punta Cana resort.  We also made a long-awaited roadtrip to Michigan this Thanksgiving to visit friends out West.
  • Although we still haven’t gotten a cat yet, we have our very first freshwater aquarium.  We have a rotating assortment of fish
  • My niece Sophia celebrated her first birthday in January.
  • Family members Milind and Preethi celebrated the birth of their first daughter Rahael.
  • Friends Sanjay and Leena celebrated the birth of their son Jacob in June.
  • Our family friend Harish died in July.  The news itself was heartbreaking, and we still don’t have all the answers.
  • Although we didn’t have the time to travel the world, we devoted quality family time to visiting various festivals and local attractions: Philadelphia Zoo, Festival on the Farm, a Trenton Thunder minor league baseball game, seeing Playhouse Disney Live!, attending a class field trip to see a production of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and went on picnics.
  • As we’ve gotten better at this whole parenting gig, we have made a better attempt to see our friends more often — either they visited us, and we visited our friends.

My Life

  • I turned 32 this year.  I’m officially “thirty something.”  What can I say about getting older?  It happens. Another year wiser, more grey hair, and some more creaky body parts.
  • After a sexy 9 years, I bid farewell to my dear Honda Accord.  My first car, that car and I have been through thick and thin, racing to one event or another, catching a flight, meeting up with my girlfriend (now wife), taking my wife to the hospital for Josh’s birth, living on my own, the parking tickets, and auto accidents.  That car and I made it 191,600 miles.
  • Often when one door closes, another one opens.  We purchased a new Toyota Highlander for myself.  It’s not quite as fun as my old car, but it sure is comfortable.
  • Can you believe I’m still running this website after 6 years?  This summer, I redesigned the website
  • My wife bought me a GPS unit to keep me from getting too lost in NJ.
  • I got fatter this year.  Enough said.
  • I’ve been less involved with the NY Chapter of the IIA, due to the crazy year I’ve had. It’s unfortunate, but it’s probably for the best.  I don’t attend events anymore, I don’t have free time to update the website.  It’s not fair to them, and it’s draining on me.  After 6 years of being involved, another door closes, I suppose.  Where’s the next door opening?
  • We continued upgrading the kitchen with some “exciting upgrades.”  A new gas stove/oven, new dishwasher, new range hood, and new light fixture in the kitchen.
  • We also made minor improvements by adding new light fixtures in the upstairs guestroom and kids’ rooms.
  • We finally put curtains up in the master bedroom.
  • We had one of Josh’s teachers design and paint a large mural in the kids’ room.
  • I got a new pair of eyeglasses.
  • I got in touch and even met up with some of my elementary school friends.
  • I bought a lot of phone holsters.  🙁
  • Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, starting in Jan 2009.  I know it has nothing to do with me, but I’m just excited and relieved nonetheless.
  • Best movies: The Namesake, Rounders, Swingers, The Dark Knight, Forgetting Sarah Marshall
  • Worst movies: Lady & the Tramp, Sex and the City: The Movie, The Land Before Time

Career

  • I led two audits this year  — spent a lot of time in Canada this year, as well as time shuttling around to NYC and Philadelphia too on business.  I spent about a week in Charleston, SC.  I didn’t travel anywhere else domestically.
  • I still have not attained my CISSP certification.  Of course, I have had no time to study. Hey, there’s always 2009…..
  • Big shock – I feel exhausted and overworked this year.  I call it the 3-2-1 punch: I monitored 3 audit entities, I led 2 audits, and we had 1 new baby in our life.  I think that explains everything. I think next year will be better.
  • Fears of job instability, the economic downturn, have kept me worried.

Looking Ahead to 2009

  • Next year, the kids will be older.  As kids get older, they get easier to manage.  Life should settle down for us, and we’ll be less stressed.
  • We don’t intend to introduce any more little Ipes to the world next year, so please relax. 🙂
  • I don’t think we’re flying anywhere, due to the high price of airline tickets.  I would like us to visit more places that we can either drive or take the train to.  My thoughts: Boston, Chicago, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Florida is the stretch goal.
  • I’m hoping to better focused at the office (and job stability is always a plus.)
  • More decorating the house.
  • I am looking forward to more sleep.