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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

xmas letter 2012

December, 2012

Hello all! We hope you’re enjoying some holiday time with friends and family! We are too – and wish we could enjoy some time with you too some day! Remember, you’re always welcome to visit us here in Arizona. We’re very casual and have spare rooms!

Speaking of spare rooms, Regina moved out to live with her boyfriend, Bryan. That went well until they decided to rent Bryan’s house out. They wanted to move closer to where they worked to end their long commutes and to be closer to all the “action” that young people crave! While searching for a new place, they ended up living at our place, along with their roommate Matt, for about 4 months. We had just settled into the lifestyle of empty-nesters and then suddenly we had three 20-somethings! (And 2 more cats to add to our 2!) But it was fun. Until one day when they said something like, “You know, we like your home theater so much, we could just stay here forever!” And Fred said, “Uh, no… but we’ll find you a house where we can make you one just like it.” They said, “What about a pool?” So we found a deal on an older, “fixer-upper” split-level house in Tempe with a pool—and worked out a deal with them that includes “sweat equity.” Fred has worked on the home almost fulltime, and Regina & Bryan work on it after work and weekends. It’s been a LOT of work—but it’s looking great, with only a little ways left to go.

In fact, it was in such good shape by October that we decided to have Thanksgiving there. (‘Nothing like setting a deadline!) We ended up having 15 people: Fred’s siblings and spouses, Bryan’s mom, the roommates, and some of their parents! A great time was had by all in the mostly-functioning home. NOTE: Wendy was a little anxious because, literally, the oven and stove were hooked up only a day or two before!

Regina now works for a company called Infusionsoft that sells all-in-one marketing software to small businesses and entrepreneurs. It’s her first professional, fulltime-with-benefits job and she’s loving it, as well as learning a lot. She dreams of having a small business some day of her own, so this is right up her ally! Her and Bryan have two roommates and are getting a third …plus two cats!

Ethan is finishing up his senior year at School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. He survived the big storm, despite living in a basement apartment in the financial district. The flooding came up the street to within 40 feet of his building! He has teamed up with some other film students and they get some real, paying film jobs, working as a team and helping each other out ( and are planning to continue working together after graduation. Unfortunately, we think that means Ethan will continue to be 2,500 miles away—but we’re happy he’s passionate about film production/editing/sound and is mastering the art of networking, which is so critical in that crazy business.

Wendy’s temporary position as an Editor working on Math content for Pearson came to an end in May, but she applied for and was hired for another position at Pearson and had no break in employment. She is now a Technical Writer in Bids & Proposals in the K-12 Technology Marketing group. It’s quite a different job from anything she’s done before—but Wendy says she finally “somewhat knows what she’s doing.”

Fred’s business continues, as well as occasional audio/video installs in RVs. But the bulk of his days this year have been spent on the Tempe house. It was a HUD home and needed a complete overhaul! In addition to structural improvements like dual-pane windows, the re-design involved things like removing walls and building curved soffits with embedded LED lighting and other smart-home features that really make the home a modern, efficient, stylistic showcase.

In addition to work and renovating houses, we’ve stayed busy with a few trips, including some RV trips, one of which took us to the famous Silverton Narrow Gauge Train in CO, followed by the Albuquerque Balloon Festival in NM. Another big event was our 25th Anniversary in April, which was celebrated by a big surprise party organized by Fred’s two sisters and Regina.

We’re looking forward to attending Jerry Riopelle’s annual New Year’s Eve concert. Riopelle had a substantial following—which included Fred—during the ‘70s and ‘80s in the South-West.
I will dance like a fool – I won't be afraid to laugh
I'll make everything matter and I'll believe that everything lasts
I'll see love as a dream and I’ll never wake up
I'll change everyday and I'll taste every drop
I'm so young   
                                                                        © Riopelle
We’re pretending we’re still young… You too?
Lots of love, and best wishes for 2013,
Wendy and Fred

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