Year in Review 2008

2008/12/01

A recap for 2008. I would promise brevity, but that's not likely considering the source. I've been perusing my old Christmas letters and I've noticed that we have some years full of big change and happenings, and some years of where I filled up the page with cute pictures of my girls because there wasn't much to write about. This would be a change year.

For those of you just tuning in, we've uprooted the little fam and moved to Austin, Texas. Texas is not a place we ever thought we'd end up at, but Austin already feels like home. This city is certainly our kind of place with the great music, lots of festivals and things to do, a prominent outdoor spirit, more liberal politics, and a certain zany community vibe. Wonderful city.

So more to the beginning...

The year began with me jumping in with both feet to the work thing by taking a temporary assignment as Acting Director of my department, College Research Services. I was working 30 hours rather than my normal 20, but also going into the office every day which I hadn't done since Tessa was born. It was hard and busy but a good opportunity for me. So we'll count that as stress number one. Not too far into the year we got the official news that Dave's office would be dissolving and he was being offered relocation to any of their other U.S. offices. (Stress number two!) I think they would have preferred that we went to Chicago or L.A., but we chose Austin. We had liked the idea of Austin for a while and jumped at the chance to move to such a cool city.

And so it was time to sell our house. Selling the house should count as stresses numbers 3-5 just because it was so monumental and hard. Phoenix and selling houses aren't the best of friends this year. But we painted and freshened things up (that was the best spring break ever!) and priced aggressively and consequently sold pretty quick. Phew! My head was filled with dreadful scenarios of Dave heading out to Austin and me and the girls being stuck in Phoenix in a house that wouldn't sell. Anyway, Dave and I jumped on a plane a few days after we had a solid offer and found a house in southwest Austin that we simply couldn't live without. The timing of the whole situation worked out amazingly well. We closed on our house in Phoenix the last week of school in Phoenix (and the last week of my temporary assignment at work) and closed in Austin about two weeks later. Corporate housing carried us over for the interim and served as a nice little pretend vacation.

A major good thing in this whole move is that I was able to keep my job at GCC and now am working remotely from Austin, commuting to Phoenix a couple of times each semester. It's hard leaving the fam for those weeks, but it's a great excuse to catch up with friends in Phoenix and I am very grateful to retain those connections.

Dave's job stayed essentially the same so the change hasn't been much of a shake up for him work wise. Although he does occasionally get to run his commute to work which provides much personal satisfaction for him. The city here is very conducive to running and biking, one of the big reasons we love it. Dave comes home from his runs with a big grin on his face - totally in love with the beauty all around.

And girls! We still have two beautiful daughters. They are happy here in Austin. The adjustment was a lot smoother than I had anticipated for both of them. Tessa is in second grade now and loves her teacher here at the local elementary. She really is ga ga for school. Sylvie is attending half day pre-school and really enjoys her class and teachers. Getting details out of her is always difficult, but she comes and goes to school each day with a smile so I'm sure she's having a blast.

This Christmas "letter" is different than in years past because there's so much else out here on my blog. Not much left for me to expound upon. So suffice it to say, on my own behalf, that 2008 has been a difficult year. Big stresses coming from lots of angles. But so much promise and good fortune too. I am immeasurably thankful for family and friends that all together form a network of love and support for me and my little family. I am also so thankful for our Savior and peace he can bring to each of us. We wish you all bounty and love for this Christmas season.

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