Many of you already know this, but I haven’t officially announced the news yet on this website: I got engaged last summer! The girl who does not yet know what she’s in for is Sarah Bontrager. She’s also an urban planner, though she works in the private sector and focuses mainly on assisting communities with their federal and state grant programs (like CDBG, etc.). We met in the fall of 2003 in Columbus, OH, while she was attending grad school at Ohio State. She’s originally from the Scranton, PA area and her first love will always be her undergraduate alma mater, Penn State.
The photo above is near the spot where I asked her to marry me. I asked her in Chicago, IL, in front of the Adler Planetarium, with her looking at the Chicago skyline. It’s a truly spectacular spot if you’ve never been there before. I found out afterward that a few other friends of mine have also become engaged there!
I actually did all of the ring shopping without using a car and without telling anyone I was doing it. This was a fairly difficult process, as most of the good jewelers in the Sacramento area are in suburbia. However, I found that many of the better ones were within a long and somewhat hostile walk between each other. So, I took a combination of the light rail and the bus and walked on a few hot July days to several different spots. Ultimately, I came back to the first place I went, Jeannie’s Jewelry Creations, and ordered one of her custom designed rings. It was amazing!! I highly recommend her to anyone. She and her staff are such fantastic people. She also commented to me that in all of the years she’d been working in the industry, she’d never seen someone go through so much effort to pick out a ring. Yes, the public transit is PITIFUL in Sacramento.
Now, you’re probably wondering about my new love since I’ve been with Sarah for over 5 years. His name is Edgar. He’s an adorable schnoodle puppy (schnauzer-poodle mix). We got him back in June and we are head-over-heels in love. I’ve never owned a dog before, but since we’ve owned him, I’ve learned so many new things about my neighborhood (Midtown). I’ve also met many of my neighbors and made new friends. I highly recommend getting a dog, especially if you live in a walkable community and want to get to know it a little better. This photo below I took back in July (it’s really hard to take a good photo of an all-black dog!).
So, this is partially where my 2008 went. It certainly cut into my web time. But, I certainly will take less web time for them!!
One of my 2009 resolutions (yes, I’ve decided to make one or two this year—I usually don’t) is to devote more time to writing and posting. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve written articles and not posted them! I have been working on a couple of big projects and plan on assisting some businesses in launching new websites this year, so I’ve probably already over committed myself, but I really miss doing more with this website. I will hopefully launch one of the projects I’ve been working on the last year sometime this year. It involves over 13,000 photos, so you can imagine how time-consuming it is! You can view some of the photos online here, but this is only part of the project.
I wish you all a happy, healthy, and safe 2009!