Saturday, December 16, 2006

‘Tis the season!!

We’ve decided to take our Christmas letter online this year. This webblog is updated about once a week and is used to share pictures and updates of what we’re up to with friends and family.

With a flash, 2006 is nearly in the history books... looking forward to a bright 2007!

We’re still loving Seattle and all the excitement of exploring a new city. We’ve still got our day jobs: Rob continues analyzing the P-8A at Boeing and Allison still saves the Internet at avenue-a-razorfish. Both companies are doing very well and the projects are keeping us very busy. MostAllison at Mt Hood evenings you’ll find us meeting up after work for a fine Seattle dining experience. On the weekends we stay busy with our "project house" where we moved in mid-January. The year has seen several projects completed while still others remain. The rain in January, April, and May encouraged us to work indoors but we did break away and enjoy some fantastic Northwest skiing at Mt Hood, Crystal Mountain, and Snoqualmie Central in January and February. We hope to get in at least as many trips this season as we did last.

With the house in "almost presentable" condition in May, we hosted Allison's parents for 12-day visit. Allison's dad got right to work taking the lead by replacing the storm doors and the kitchen exterior window, as well as cutting out old / adding new wall outlet junction boxes and re-wiring the cable through the basement and first floors. This saved major time for Rob while he was at work during the weekdays. Fortunately they brought good weather with them and had a great tour of the Puget Sound & San Juan Islands. This included a ferry ride to Bremerton to meet Rob & Melanie for dinner, and a “not to be missed” tour of the Boeing 777 factory and Future of Flight museum in Everett. Rob's dad also passed through for a few days in the spring on his way back from east asia. While visiting multiple air museums and even fitting in a quick day trip to Mt. St. Helens, it was a productive stay!

The summer yielded outstanding weather where we enjoyed walks down to the Market, taking in Mariners games, meeting friends for happy hour, playing some beach volleyball, and enjoying the sunlight for the 4 months of fantastic weather in Seattle. The only apparent casualty was the grass in the front yard, due to the lack of rain. Since we both commute to work by bus, we said farewell to the beloved MINI that was sleeping in the garage. Now we even notice ourselves "storing" the Jeep in the garage since our house is near three buslines.

We celebrated our third anniversary on Vancouver Island (British Columbia). Stops on the safari included the surfer town of Tofino, a three-day kayaking-camping journey along the Johnstone Strait viewing the Orcas pods, and a visit to Campbell River vacations. What a nice introduction to camping via kayak! Rob's brother visited in early August to attend and present at a statistics convention downtown, allowing him to witness good weather in Seattle (sans the humidity he’s used to in D.C.). He was here during Seafair when the Blue Angels flew their show over Lake Washington, which was amazing.

September started an exciting football season as we cheered on the Wolverines from Rocksport Bar in West Seattle. Between that and following the Detroit Tigers along a great season finish (almost) in the World Series, the fall kept us busy. Despite the final score of an outstanding game with Ohio State, and the blot from several questionable BCS votes (or lack thereof... yes, we're pointing in your direction, Jim Tressel!), Michigan football gave us a great season. We’ll cheer them on again from Pasadena where we’ll finally watch the Rose Bowl in person on New Years day with Rob’s brother.

Allison's sister visited us this fall, which was great fun that included shopping and live music at the Crocodile Cafe. With the new roof being installed during her visit, we were forced to navigate around all the debris in the yard and asked her to imagine how charming our house would look like without the mess and the dumpster.

We had two Thanksgivings this year. The first was a week early with Rob’s parents in Florida. A long weekend with sunny weather was just what we needed. We had our friends over for the second, on Thanksgiving day, where Allison cooked up a nice spread. We’ll be spending Christmas with Allison's parents and family in Michigan's U.P., and look forward to seeing the rest of the family and take a few days off before heading down to California to ring in the new year!

By the way, the Flickr menu on the right will have our pictures stashed for you to view. Stay tuned for more pictures and updates to start off next year. Pictures from the Rose Bowl will be followed by our escape from the rainy early spring while spending a week in Praiano, Italy. If ever in Seattle (you should visit in May-September, and we’ll visit you in the other months) please drop us a line! We have extra rooms & beds, and we love visitors!

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Al & Rob

We’re Safe in Seattle

If anyone is wondering, we are fine. We had a heck of a windstorm on Thursday night. I couldn’t believe that the winds by us were only 55 MPH. Can you imagine what it must be like to be in a hurricane? Yikes. I didn’t get any sleep because I thought all of windows would blow out. My lovely husband, who can sleep through anything didn’t seem to care as much as I did, since he was sound asleep.

We lost power on Thursday night and ended up just going to the gym to get ready on Friday morning. Here I thought I just donated to the gym, now I actually can use it to shower. When we got home from work the power was back on. Thank goodness, the cats were freezing!

Now we have no cable. Which is not the end of the world, except I had a lot of Internet related activities that I wanted to work on today. I am now at my favorite coffee shop using their Free internet, listening to John Mayer on my ipod and waiting for Rob to call. That’s a lot of Technology!

Keep your eyes open in the mail this week for our Christmas Card. Sorry we’re so late!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Thank you. Thank you!

I used to really enjoy my birthday. My parents spoiled me and led me to believe it was my day. I would say, it’s still like that to an extent (Rob does a great job of spoiling me). But as the years go on… I just feel older and I hate it.

So thanks to everyone who sent a card, email, gift or otherwise on my birthday. This year was not just a birthday but a birthweek. For my bday, we tried a new restaurant called Café Lago in Montlake. It was awesome and I highly recommend it. Get the Lasagna, you won't regret it!

Aside from that I’ve been trying to get a lot of knitting done for the holiday. I have 3 gifts that just need finishing touched before I move on to my new project – Lady Eleanor from Scarf Style. I will be using Paton’s SWS in Natural Earth paid for by a birthday gift from my mom (Thank you) - I'm behind schedule as Liz has already started hers.

I also was meaning to post about this for a while. While in Florida my Mother in law went crazy knitting things for me that she gave to me as birthday/christmas gifts. It was wonderful. She made me a really great sweater jacket, tank top, and felted bag. They're all awesome and I have already worn the sweater several times and recieved tons of compliments. Thank you again! I love them all.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Rose Bowl Bound

We felt pretty ripped off that Florida was able to sneak into the BCS Championship Game and Michigan was out. That said, now they are in the Rose Bowl and will be playing USC. I was very impressed with USC when they played Notre Dame a few weeks back and I think it will be a good game.

Rob and I have never been to LA and always wanted to go. This will be a very quick trip and we’ve decided to drive from Seattle. Yes, I said Drive. I LOVE road trips! This will be 18 hours in the car in an undiscovered area for us. We’ll be staying with Rob’s family friends in Newport Beach. Rob’s brother will meet us there and it’ll be a really great time.

We’ll know on the 12th if we actually got tickets, since you need to enter a lottery, nothing is for sure. I’ll update then and will be sure to have pictures too.

This weekend was a lot of fun. Liz came over to have a knitting day while Adam and Rob left to go to the Museum of Flight for a while. Then we all went to dinner then bowling. It was a lot of fun!

If you’re wondering, today is my birthday. I’ll update later with a full report!