01 January 2009

2008 Year in Review

It's been several months since I have written anything on this blog so I decided to give a recap of the the past year. There were big changes in my life in 2008. It started off very well when not more than two days into January my second niece, Natalie, was born. Here she is at around eleven months old.
Natalie Wankerl

Carrie's friend Wendy came down to visit with us for an extended weekend in early January. She and Carrie both got to see me for the first time without my orthodontic braces. It sure did feel good to get them removed. I had them on for about two and one half years (I was told it would only take twenty-two months).

Peabody Drive house

After spending way too long fixing up and getting it ready, I put my house at Peabody Drive up for sale in February. It only took three days before I got an offer on it at the full asking price which was wonderful. Almost all of my stuff had either been sold or moved into Carrie's house.

Not much happened in March (at least according to my calendar from which I'm referencing for all these events) but I think it's safe to say that we were doing a lot of planning for our upcoming wedding.

Kerlmax logo

On April 1st I started up my software company, Kerlmax LLC. I had been wanting to sell Mac software on the side to bring in some additional income. I'd love to be my own boss and do it full time but I think it's safe to say I'm nowhere close to that point. For one, marketing isn't one of my strong suits; unfortunately procrastination is. I'm also juggling this at home on the side while building my relationship with Carrie. When I was single I didn't mind staying up late working on the computer. I've had to drastically cut back on that but I'm sure Carrie will tell you I could take it even further.

Before my big day, I took a road trip to New Orleans for my bachelor party with a great group of guys. They had even put together a slideshow of pictures to reminisce about before going out for the last time on Bourbon Street as a single man. Luckily I weaseled out of wearing the typical checklist shirt.

Carrie and Isaac Wankerl wedding

The pinnacle of the year was of course on May 3rd when Carrie and I wed each other in Austin. She was such a beautiful bride and I even teared up watching her walk down the aisle towards me. The weather was very cooperative for our outdoor wedding. My only regret is that we didn't mic up the preacher; almost no one in the audience heard him. Oh and I probably should have gone to bed a little sooner the night before instead of partying with friends and family so late after the rehearsal dinner.

Jamaican honeymoon

After tying the knot, we spent about a week at the Couples Resort in Negril, Jamaica. It was my first time to the Caribbean and Carrie's first outside of the USA (except for a few Mexican border towns). We had a wonderful time of relaxation, touring, and sipping on daiquiris on the beach. It is definitely a place that we want to revisit in the future.

Ronnie with Carrie and her parentsCarrie and Ronnie

Camping at McKinney FallsCamping at McKinney Falls

In June, Carrie's nephew Ronnie made his annual summer trip to Texas. I missed the Schlitterbahn trip since they went while I was at work, but I did get to show him a colony of Mexican Free-tailed bats. We also attempted to go camping at McKinney Falls State Park, but our old dog Buddy just couldn't take the sweltering heat so we packed up at around 1 am and drove home. Quite the opposite problem from when the temperature dropped down into the 30s the previous time Carrie, the dogs, and I camped there. After growing increasingly concerned about the reliability and maintenance costs of my Jetta, I bought myself a Camry. It's been a great car so far although I sometimes miss a manual transmission.

Carrie with her cousin Ben and wife Laura

In July we took a short trip to Wisconsin to visit Carrie's relatives and attend her cousin Ben's wedding. It was really enjoyable seeing her grandparents' farm and a little bit of Madison too. After coming back home, we threw our second annual luau party at the house. The girls did a really good job with the themed food which was delicious. On the 26th, I started a new batch of beer with my friend Lee filming the process for a documentary. It was all going so well until we found out that his video camera's CCD was malfunctioning. We'll just have to film another time. Not all was lost though because many said my Irish red ale was my best yet.

Sharpshooter icon

August was fairly uneventful but I did get lots of work for Kerlmax done. That led up to my September release of Sharpshooter. I also picked up a one day pass and went to the Austin City Limits Festival for the first time to see Flyleaf, Blues Traveler, and Foo Fighters.

Oktoberfest in FredericksburgSeattle Space Needle

Seattle Pike Place Fish Co.Cousin Hamil and Jerry Cooper, me, mom, Sharon and Josef

We went to our first Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg and had a good time but I was surprised it wasn't a bigger event. The selection of German beers was excellent but the food we got wasn't nearly as good as New Braunfels' Wurstfest. Then we took a trip to Seattle to visit with our good friend Mike. The weather great (relatively speaking) and we got to do touristy things and have Mike show us around Kirkland and some other spots. My mom also came down to visit us in Texas for her birthday and a wedding. We had a nice dinner with her cousin Hamil out at the Oasis.

Austin Traffic icon

After Apple released newly update portables, I picked up a MacBook because I was lacking an Intel-based Mac which is required for iPhone development. That led to me releasing Austin Traffic for the iPhone. Now if I could just come up with a good idea that doesn't severely limit my market I might be on to some nice extra income! Carrie and I got to host our first Thanksgiving dinner with her parents, brother, and his girlfriend. I had wanted to cook a turkey in my smoker, but it was cold enough outside that I didn't think my equipment would be able to sustain the proper cooking temperatures. We just baked turkey loaves instead and they turned out great.

Brothers at Big Ed's Pizza

In December we took a trip to my hometown in Tennessee. We visited Dollywood, shopped at an outlet mall, and of course ate at Big Ed's Pizza for my brother Josef's birthday. We got back on Christmas Eve and drove up to Carrie's parents' house in Kempner which is only about an hour away. I got a lot of golf equipment for Christmas so one of my New Years resolutions is going to have to be improving my score.

All in all I had a wonderful time in 2008 and look forward to what the new year will bring.


At January 2, 2009 at 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome blog Isaac! I had no idea you were quite the writer! And, BTW, where are the stories/pictures of Carrie & her friends....I'm hurt!! Maybe we'll make it in the next one!


At January 15, 2009 at 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isaac, I really enjoyed reading this blog. So many things to touch on. First of all, congrats on the wedding. You two make a wonderful looking couple. Secondly, I just recently gave up my manual transmission Jetta, as well. I drive a Honda Element, not so attractive, but practical for what we need right now. It was a sad day though since I've driven Jettas since high school. Thirdly, that is so great that you were able to go to Germany. Did you remember your German and speak it while you were over there? I just ran across some photos of us from the German competition at ETSU.
Another fun note to go with your blog, I lived in the Kirkland area for 5 years. I worked at an ad agency right up from the Marina. So, you were literally in my old backyard.
I loved seeing the picture of you guys in Wa. Your mom looks excellent.

All the best to you as you venture into your first full year of marriage! And, hopefully your 2009 year in review blog will be just as packed with awesome details.



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