Christine is still working at Clemson. My year there was dominated by creating a new campaign for admissions, which looks to be a success. I spend a lot of time examining ways the Clemson can better use social media, which is a great reason to be on Facebook and Twitter. I traveled a lot this year as a board member for UCDA (University and College Designers Association.) February took me to sunny Phoenix, land of a great deal of golf and tennis. June was a trip to Montreal. What a progressive city. I ended her visit by riding one of the rental bikes the city offers ($5 a day) but still didn’t remember much of my college French. October brought Seattle, which was cold and rainy for the first two days, but sunny and warm for the last six. Lastly, a quick four day trip to Minneapolis required a purchase of new clothing, including winter boots. I’m OK with never experiencing below 3 degree weather again, which I thought would honestly be the death of me. All four cities brought great food and shopping and inspiration, along with profound discussion and fellowship amongst other college designers. The rest of the year was the usual knitting, Jazzercising, cooking and general fun and growth that makes up life.
Keith is still happily working at Epson, although it does involve the travel the job promised. He’s gotten to be quite the experienced traveler and navigates the world of airports, cars, hotels and all that comes with it better than I do. We enjoy seeing each other, but fortunately, we’re both completely addicted to technology as well. We see each other through IM, texts, emails and phone calls and it seems to work. When he’s home, he enjoys the furry coworker Oreo, who thinks nothing of laying his 18 pound body across the front of his keyboard. When he’s not working, he’s not really in the mood for a lot of travel, so we take a lot of day trips. We’re fortunate to have plenty to do within a couple of hours, so we’ve been to Asheville and Atlanta and the like, all great trips! We’ve picked apples, eaten lots of good food, seen the Terra Cotta warrior exhibit and even been to Great Wolf Lodge for some crazy water slides.
Bella, incredibly, is in fifth grade this year. Her last year at elementary school, I can’t believe it! Fifth grade has brought the promise of much homework as advertised, but she seems to be surviving it. This year, the extracurricular activities include guitar, girl scouts and martial arts, which she really is enjoying. She loves to draw and she draws a lot of cartoons. In fact, she’s penned some comic books with a few classmates as well. In a lot of ways, she’s becoming a lot like her mother, so feel Keith’s pain in dealing with two of us now.
As for travel, we did get to the beach this year, which is always a great time. We joined my parents at Seabrook Island, which is a lovely place near Charleston. The food was terrific and much of it local. We took advantage of a lot of local produce down there. We even worked in a visit to the tea plantation down there, which was really educational about how tea is produced.
All in all, it was a very busy year and for that we are truly grateful. Not only do we have employment when so many are struggling, we have interesting and challenging work. Life might feel too full at times, but we’re happy for that. We wish your family the same happiness.