Friday, December 25, 2009

2009: a pretty sweet year...


Nate and I were eating Japanese food on Christmas Eve, reflecting on everything that happened in 2009. Here are the highlights...
(click on the links to see pictures!)

January: We witnessed our first presidential inauguration on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. After experiencing the love for Obama in Uganda, this was an awesome event to be a part of.

February: We moved back to Madison on January 26th, signed a rental agreement on an apartment January 27th and moved in January 28th. Nate also signed an acceptance letter from nPoint for a mechanical engineering job.

March: Our offer to purchase was accepted on a house that I fell in love with the first time I saw it. When Nate went back to work in February, I had employed myself with a house search. Our goal was to close on a house by summer, so what a exciting surprise when we closed on March 30th.

April: We adopted Ries, my favorite little dog ever! She has been such a joy to have around and it's hard to imagine life without a dog. We also traveled to DC for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler and to see my family. I accepted a consultant job at AIDS Network in April too!

May: After enduring a windy, rainy ultimate frisbee spring league, Nate stepped up to the big leagues and began tryouts for Madison Club - the top men's club team in Wisconsin.

June: A beautiful summer was underway. We got lots of exercise: Nate made the team mentioned above, we played together on a coed summer league team - The Poundnoughts, and I started training for a marathon.
Nate at a Tournament in Chicago

July: We spent the 4th in Washington DC. I also was offered a part-time position at AIDS Network, so I started working 20 hours per week instead of 2. Frisbee raged on and we missed 2 games to travel to San Francisco and Yosemite to tour, camp, hike and visit Georgia.

August: On our 2 year wedding anniversary, we hiked and picnicked at Devil's Lake near Baraboo WI. Nate's team stared traveling more for frisbee and I kept running.
On our Hike at Devil's Lake

September: Anne and Andrew exchanged rings in Madison. Labor day weekend was an exciting, festive time with beautiful weather for an outdoor reception. I also started a 2nd job at UW Health in the pediatric fitness clinic.

Anne and Andrew Ooms

October: Finally, marathon day arrived! Matthew and I ran together and were pretty happy with our time of 3:43. The next weekend, Nate traveled to Florida for Club Ultimate Nationals, finishing 10th out of 16 teams.

November: We enjoyed a lovely weekend in Sonoma, CA, tasting wine with my parents and celebrating the marriage of our friends Tyler and Erin. And as far as Novembers in Wisconsin, the weather was lovely.

December: We've been listening to Christmas music all month long, preparing for the glorious birth of Jesus! We also survived the first storm of the winter - about 18 inches! We'll travel to Oconomowoc to be with family later today. It's been a fantastic year.

Merry Christmas! Thanks for your love.
-Nate and Alicia

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Seventeen Inches!


It is official...we are Wisconsinites again. We survived the first storm of the season. This picture says it all - it was a day of shoveling - not driving. It's nice to stay home. We'll bundle up for the next few days (weeks? months?) because now the temps are really starting to fall: -25 degrees with the windchill tomorrow. It's nice to be home.
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

Poor turkey! Somehow our bird was missing his wing. Boy was it tasty though! We decided to spend the extra money to buy a free-range, organic turkey from Sun Prairie, WI....totally worth it. The orange Home Depot bucket (not so local or organic) in the left-hand corner of the picture is where the turkey enjoyed it's brine bath the night before....we learned the importance of brining if you want a moist, flavorful turkey.













Now were at home shopping Black Friday sales online and listening to Christmas music on Pandora. Welcome Christmas! I will never forget reading a Bearenstein Bear book when I was a kid - it started off reading, "It was the day after Thanksgiving and the store windows were decorated for Christmas...." or something like that. I made my dad stop reading because I was sure he read it wrong. I guess when I was a kid I didn't realize that Thanksgiving and Christmas were so close to each other. Now it seems like Christmas will be here way too quickly!

For now, we'll continue to give thanks...
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

When 400th Place is a Victory




Matthew (my 20 year old brother) and I finished the Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday morning around 11:50 am. We ran together the whole time...talking much more at the beginning of the race than at the end. What a horrific thing to do to our bodies. No, that is exaggerating a little bit, but it definitely can't be good. It was an awesome experience and very interesting to find my time within 1 minute of my last marathon - around 3 hours and 43 minutes. I guess our bodies feel most comfortable at a certain pace. This morning as I walked down the stairs to take Ries outside, my legs finally felt somewhat normal. The days prior my quads just burned going down stairs. I'm pretty amazed at how quickly our bodies can clean up all that lactic acid...3 days after the race? How awesome is our Creator?!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

2 jobs, 2 dogs, 2 competitors

I was thrilled to get one job in July and surprised to get a second job in September. I now work half-time at AIDS Network and 12 hours per week at 2 different clinics associated with the University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics. I'm an out-patient dietitian working with obese children and pre-diabetic adults. I love nutrition counseling, so I think I'm really going to like this job.

Tomo una clase de espanol tambien! ((I'm taking a spanish class too!) Sorry to any real spanish speakers reading this...my grammar is probably really poor). Although there are days when I feel annoyed by the 10 minute drive to MATC, I really like learning a language I might actually use at work.

Ries has enjoyed having her cousin(?) Romeo around this past week. Sarah and Dan are in Baghdad for the year, and Romeo was afraid to enter a war zone, so he stayed in DC with my parents. This week he's hanging out in Madison just to mix it up a bit. Yep, Romeo likely has frequent flyer miles just like Lucy. It's a big world...gotta explore.



Nate's been busy with ultimate frisbee. Tonight he returned from MN where his team, Madison Club, won sectionals. In two weeks they compete at regionals in Indiana, and, if they do well enough at regionals, they will travel to Florida for nationals. Meanwhile I keep trying to squeeze in training runs for the marathon. I can't say I'm where I hoped to be less than 4 weeks from the event, but I think I'll be okay. Matthew and I are running together, so we'll motivate each other. Anyway, it's better to under train than to over train, right?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

So many hikes! So few breaths!

Here is a picture of Nate and Georgia in front of Half Dome - if you look closely you can see the line of people pulling themselves up with cables attached to the rock. Scary!



Yosemite-5577, originally uploaded by Nate Bosscher.



Click on either of these pictures to be taken directly to the rest of our pictures on Flickr.com. Once you're there you can click on "San Francisco (set)" or "Yosemite (set)" to watch the collections in a slide show.

San Francisco & Yosemite

A few weeks ago, Nate and I went on a quick trip to California to visit Georgia, Nate's sister, and to check out San Francisco - one of those cities we just figured we'd love. It was a wonderful long weekend. Two nights in our tent in Yosemite National Park helped us to really, really appreciate subsequent nights in a hotel in San Francisco. As you can see by the picture, it was fairly cloudy and cold in SF, but the weather in Yosemite was drastically different (normal for the region) - with temps reaching 94 on our hike up Half Dome.

About Half Dome - HOLY COW - it was hard. 15 miles round trip took us about 8 1/2 hours. I still am hoping that I find out I am anemic or something, cause its seriously sad how difficult it was for me. Altitude at the top was less than 9,000 feet, but there were some very steep climbs. Maybe I'll just use the excuse that I was hiking with the best college Ultimate Frisbee woman in the United States....so surely she is in way too good of shape for me to expect to keep up with her....? Anyway, of course while drinking a cold Anchor Steam with our feet in the cool river, we were thrilled we embarked on the journey.

In San Francisco we put in quite a few miles as well. Have you ever started off for your destination thinking you'll get on a bus as soon as one comes but then one never comes so you keep walking and walking and walking? That's what we did from our hotel near Fisherman's Wharf to the Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge is pretty sweet - especially the short hike through the park to the beginning of the bridge. Thankfully we found a bus to make the return trip. We didn't ride a trolley car, but we did have some excellent food. We were really excited about our meals at The Slanted Door (Vietnamese) and Greens Restaurant (vegetarian) - both highly recommended by friends and our guide book. I told Nate that my only complaint about San Francisco is that you feel a lot of pressure to be hip and dress really cool. Otherwise, with a very high paying job, I would totally live there.



San_Francisco-5723, originally uploaded by Nate Bosscher.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Don't Count Me As "Unemployed" Anymore!

Ever since my internship in Denver, CO in 2005-2006, I have been interested in the relationship between nutrition and HIV/AIDS. I'm excited to say that I will continue this work in Madison! I've been consulting as an RD for a non-profit called AIDS Network since April, but yesterday they hired me to fill one more roll - Treatment Support Services Coordinator. So basically I sit down with folks living with HIV/AIDS and try to offer the support they need to take their HIV meds (antiretrovirals) on schedule. I will continue offering nutrition counseling, but now I will have set hours totaling 20 per week.

It's fun to realize that I sort of have a professional theme developing - HIV/AIDS nutrition. Denver, Washington D.C., Uganda, and now Madison!

In other news...

We traveled to D.C. to celebrate the 4th of July with most of my immediate family this past weekend. John Paul and Grace drove up from Virginia Beach and Sarah is living with my parents in DC for the summer before she leaves for Iraq next week. Missing was Matthew who was back in WI visiting friends, and Sarah's husband Dan, who was vacationing with his family in Colorado. We played lots of games (ultimate frisbee, volleyball, the key-word song game, Dutch Blitz, and Foodie Fight) and even planned a New Year's vacation when we'll all be together! After a lovely BBQ at the Navy Yard on Saturday night, we walked the 2 miles to the National Mall for some fireworks! Good times for sure.





Thanks for checking in,
-Alicia

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Life is Good

Compared to our time in Uganda, there is not nearly as much to write about or take pictures of now. But I am okay with that. Nate is too. Although we're off to D.C. this weekend and Nate's goal is to mess around with this fancy Nikon a bit more than usual.

Nate is still happily employed at NPoint. He now bikes to work (instead of walking) and for the most part, having only one car between the two of us is a piece of cake. I have been doing some very part-time nutrition counseling at AIDS Network, but other than that, finding a job has been way more difficult that I thought it would be. Despite this, the title of this post still holds true...I'm having fun teaching Ries new tricks, baking and cooking, and growing some herbs, tomatoes and peppers.

Speaking of Ries (because I can't help but do it all the time) yesterday she chewed her second non-toy - a cork coaster - while we were outside. After telling her "NO," Nate punished her further by making her wear the bear rug. She didn't even try to shake it off.


Even though she chews coasters, Ries has proven herself to be well behaved enough to come to our frisbee games. Nate and I are playing on a coed, competitive league team two days per week and its been great fun so far! Nate is also playing for the men's club team here in Madison - a hardcore team that travels to MI, CO, IN, and beyond for tournaments. I hope to travel with him to some of the exciting places, but if I end up home alone, I'll be out running, training for the Marine Corps Marathon which I'll run with Matthew, my younger brother, in October!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Meet Ries...Our New Pooch!


Ever since I met Romeo in Uganda, I've been dreaming of the day I would find my own little cat-like dog that doesn't bark, does tricks and likes to cuddle. SO, Nate, Georgia and I went to Thyme and Sage Animal Rescue today and came home with Ries - a miniature poodle that wants to be a golden doodle. A friend suggested the name Riesling - like the German wine, and we liked it, but shortened it to Ries.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

We're Buying a House!


441 N Baldwin Street, originally uploaded by Nate Bosscher.

If everything goes as planned, Nate and I will close on this house on March 31st. We're excited! Click on the picture to see pictures inside...and know that you can always stay with us during your next trip to Madison.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Madison feels like home already...

We moved into an apartment last Saturday. It's similar to our last place in Alexandria - a 2 story townhouse, although with a lot less character. But it's perfect because it's close to Nate's job (2 blocks), affordable, warm and temporary...

Temporary because we hope to buy a house before summer arrives!

Nate is enjoying his job at NPoint so far - the company is small, the work is interesting and the people are friendly. I'm spending my days hanging pictures, looking at houses online, searching for the perfect job, selling things on Craigslist, running, doing yoga, and planning our social life. :) We're having our first party this weekend - a cabernet sauvignon wine tasting!

I love being able to picture where friends / family are living, so here are some pictures of our place.







Thanks for keeping up with us!
Love,
Alicia

Monday, January 26, 2009

A party for Obama...A job for Nate...A new city for us

Since we returned from Uganda mid-December, we've been working hard to find jobs, but not forgetting to enjoy this time off. We've been back and forth between Washington DC and Madison, WI. You'll recall that these were two out of three of our top choices for places to live. While in DC we remembered why we grew to love it here - political excitement, walkability, ethnic diversity and a mild climate. We enjoyed participating in the Obamania. The inaugural concert, "We Are One," was fast-paced and motivational. And Bono was pretty dang cool - not sure if I know of a celebrity that uses his fame better than Bono does. With only 1 day in-between to rest up, we also walked down to the National Mall for the swearing in ceremony. It was awesome to be there. I'm not sure if I've ever seen 1-2 million people stand more peacefully together.



(Click on this picture to see more from the inaugural festivities!)

Rewinding a bit, we also spent some good time in Madison with Nate's family and good friends from college. We also met Kip - Marcia's adorable 50 lb puppy. The allure of Madison is just as strong as that of DC, but different. It's more about family, old friends, a small town feel, the chance to become more of a hippie (in all the good ways of course) and more affordable living. So which did we pick?...


Well, since we clearly couldn't make up our minds, we let the job market do the deciding. Nate talked to lots of recruiters and did lots of cold-calling, trying to find someone that needed a smart, good looking mechanical engineer. Just this past Friday, he received an offer from a small company in Madison! He has not accepted yet, but intends to. You'll have to email him to ask for a job description, cause its really high-tech and uses the prefix "nano" - that's one-millionth of a millimeter.

So, we're moving back to Madison! I'm pumped. I'm going to find a job too...hopefully one that requires knowledge of kilocalories instead of nanometers. If I can't find something public health related, I may try to work at one of my favorite stores - Trader Joe's or REI. I mean, why not?

See you in Madison!
Love,
Alicia

Monday, January 19, 2009

Climbing Volcanos and a Safari

We were able to write about most of our experiences in Uganda, but here is one more...

The week before we left to fly home to DC, we drove approximately 1000 miles to southwestern Uganda and back. We visited our first Ugandan National Park - Queen Elizabeth, searched for tree-climbing lions, slept in a geo-dome on an island and enjoyed the company of Phil and Bethany - two med students from Minnesota. It was a super low budget trip - lots of camping and pre-planned meals - but so fun nonetheless!

The only animals we half expected to see that we didn't see were leopards and lions. We saw lots of elephants, hipps, crocodiles, warthogs, mongooses, and gazel-like animals. It was awesome having our own own big, rugged SUV (thanks Sarah and Dan!) because we had so much more freedom than some of the big tour groups that escort people from park to park.

The highlight for me was our last 2 days/1 night. We paddled across Lake Bunyonyi to a small island where we made green curry on our camping stove and slept under a mosquito net. The lake and the island are beautiful and peaceful.

Another highlight, now that its over, was our crazy hike up an extinct volcano with three peaks. The top half of the 9 hour hike required climbing vertical ladders nailed into the side of the mountain. I was scared. Apparently lots of people turn around and quit before they reach the third peak. We didn't know this until we returned back to the lodge, otherwise we might have turned around too. Well, maybe. Actually, probably not.


DSC_4236, originally uploaded by Nate Bosscher.


There sure are some beautiful places on this earth! Click on the picture to see our other pics from this trip.

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