Merry Christmas 2022!
What a great year we’ve had. As always, we are overwhelmed with our all blessings – health and the ability to comfortably work from home are at the top of the list.
Our youngest now uses the name Eden and they/them for pronouns. The label they identify most with is genderqueer if you want to Google and learn more. Eden has continued their involvement with the folk/rock band Clay Dixon and the Piccadillies (@piccadilliesband on Instagram) performing at many local venues in Gainesville; Michelle and Dave try not to miss any shows! They graduated after 3.5 years at UF with an B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Information Systems Management. They received recognition for their 3 years of leadership in several LGBTQ+ student organizations including Out in STEM (President), LGBTQ+ Presidential Advisory Committee (Member), and their involvement in the Office of LGBTQ+ Student Engagement. They had a Project Management summer internship with HCA and will continue to live in Gainesville until their lease is up next summer. They are hoping to hear back after several interviews to secure a job working remotely in IT.
Mike resumed his usual activities of ballroom dancing and fencing, but has also kept up with the running he started to do more consistently during the pandemic. In his work at Aon, he has become the moderator of his company’s weekly internal training calls, which has led to some nationwide exposure. Also, the intern he informally managed this summer decided to return full-time next Spring and specifically requested that Mike be her manager. Originally, Mike didn’t think it was a possibility for him to be a “people manager” given that he’d only been with the firm for 6 years, but he was pleasantly surprised when his office leaders asked him to officially step into that role. He’ll be managing a few new hires, including that former intern, starting next Spring.
HCA (and therefore Dave) had a wild summer with severe impact from Hurricane Ian at two of their hospitals. He still mostly works from home and earned his Lean Six Sigma “Green Belt” certification in process improvement which is jointly accredited by HCA and Bellmont University in Nashville. He has been making fun and gorgeous projects with his glass kilns (yes, plural) and continues to try new techniques. He took a class in North Carolina this year and we are heading back in early January for another weekend class (and let’s be honest, glass purchasing). He also earned two blue ribbons for his glass work at the 2022 Florida Strawberry Festival! He made a lot of fun projects for his second most faithful patron‘s Christmas list. (Stephanie’s behind Michelle who gets to keep one of everything).
Michelle is still at Shriners, planning to retire in late 2025 when her notary commission expires. She’ll reach 8,000 miles on her e-bike odometer by the end of the year. Michelle still has fun with crafting and reading, and she also met up with niece Lauren in Chicago for a stamping event (Dave tagged along and played with Susan for the weekend.) We’ll meet up at another stamping event in Portland in January (Dave will tag along and play with Katherine & Pieter).
April took Michelle and Dave to NYC to see Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden and we had to go back after the stars of Plaza Suite got COVID and rescheduled! Our college friend Chris & his wife Tami moved close to Orlando, so we hosted them for their house buying trip & have been having fun hanging out with them since their move. We’ve also seen nephew Rob a few times this year as he travels through central Florida with band tours.
We all traveled to Iowa for Faith’s wedding to Victor – what a wonderful week! We also had a full house over the summer: Mike’s former roommate Ruben lived with us as he started his new job and secured an apartment, and Eden and Mo stayed between their Gainesville leases.
This summer, Eden and their roommate, Mo, had a fun weekend celebration at Universal Orlando for Mo’s summer graduation from UF and Eden’s birthday. Michelle and Dave are annual passholders and play at Walt Disney World pretty regularly - we highly recommend Animal Kingdom Lodge’s savannah view rooms – which was perfect for a relaxing weekend watching giraffes, zebras and more!
A new roof and solar panel installation started off the year, and it’s ending with some painting/refurbishing projects. Can you believe we’ve lived in this house 20 years!?!
We also try to host Home-Cooked-Sunday-Dinner for Michelle’s parents every week. We are thankful that they were able to go to Iowa for Faith and Victor’s wedding and participate in Eden’s graduation this weekend.
Mike came down for graduation as well, and Eden is home now too – we are eager for Christmas, but probably more eager for Kif’s family to begin to arrive 12/28. We are a mob of 12 now and can’t wait to all be together for fun, baking, a day at EPCOT and a kayaking adventure.
And as always, our guest room is available and the workshop ready for “guest artists” any time! We’d love to see you!
- Dave, Michelle, Mike and Eden