Year in Review 2005

2005/12/01

Merry Christmas Family & Friends,

We are doing well here in our little town of Phoenix. It has been a quiet year at our home. (Figuratively only of course, both of our girls have excellent wind pipes.) We’ve done a little home improvement, a little road trippin’, a little bit of hiking in our lovely state, and lots and lots of bubbles during our pre-bed bath time ritual.

We had a few guests early in the year. Dave’s dad came down for his annual February trip just in time to catch a bit of our extraordinarily beautiful wildflower season. It was a really wet year and the mountains around town were breathtaking. In May Amber’s mom came with her fiancĂ© and Amber’s fantastic sisters to visit with us for Mother’s Day. We had fun with them in and around Sedona - such a fun day trip. So we’re still waiting for the rest of you out-of-towners to come give Phoenix a try. We only recommend August for the brave, but we’re open to your schedules.

We also ventured out a bit this year. We had a lovely long weekend over the 4th of July in San Diego visiting Amber’s brother along with Amber’s dad and her sensational sisters. We spent almost all of our time in Balboa Park visiting their countless museums (and of course the zoo). It was so fun. San Diego is a great antidote to summer in the desert. For trip number two we took the first two weeks of August and drove the mega-trip through the West. Our itinerary included (to mention a few) Cedar City, Duck Creek, Cedar Breaks, Zion’s, Evanston, hot springs in Northern Utah (from where we contemplated zipping up to Idaho to make it a six state trip), Ogden, Salt Lake, lovely Laramie Wyoming, Fort Collins, Denver, and Gallup NM. In hindsight, 16 days of car travel with two young girls may have been a bit much, but it was so great to see Dave’s family and so many of our friends. Tessa & Sylvie got to see 8 uncles & aunts, 15 cousins, 1 fantastic grandpa, and countless other relatives at the Daines family reunion. Plus 10 or so adopted “cousins” at the homes of our friends (Tessa can’t keep them straight). It was a great trip - we’d almost do it all again.

Tessa has made big strides into kid-dom this year. She started pre-school this fall and is enthralled with it. She’s already looking forward to first grade because that’s when she’s decided she will get to ride the bus and go on field trips. And she loves her primary class at church so much. For most of the year she’s had two young single adults as her teachers. When we told her one of them was to be married in October, she burst into tears at the prospect of losing her as a teacher. (She has since recovered with much counseling from her parents.) She has a loving and tender heart. She describes herself as an “arty” girl.

Sylvie has moved light years in ’05 from a grinning baby just barely sitting up to a full-fledged toddler full of enthusiasm for just about everything. She’s just starting to get what all these “words” are for and is thrilled when we actually understand the ones she’s throwing out to us. She is a very kinetic girl that loves the outdoors and is very outgoing with all sorts of people. She has sparkly blue eyes (a bit of a surprise) that are most friendly. She is loud for sure, but a very sweet girl. We count ourselves blessed each day for the healthy and happy girls that are ours.

Dave and Amber are up to more of the same (except we’re getting older). Work is good and plenty busy for both of us. Dave has continued with his running this year - he’s running his first half-marathon in January. It’s pretty funny to hear him complain about our cold “winter” mornings here in Phoenix when he’s supposed to get up and train. Amber is moving along with life at the pace of two little girls. Life is busy as always. She just finished performing The Messiah with a neighboring church’s choir. What a fantastic way to start the Christmas season.

We hope you are all well and enjoying the peace of this lovely season.