Christmas Letter 2020

Merry Christmas 2020!

 

This has definitely been a year for realizing how incredibly blessed we are. There are been surprises, disappointments, farewells and excitement - here’s a recap:

 

Caroline is in her second year at UF and it hasn’t quite been the college experience we were expecting! We got to see her play with the Basketball pep band in January - the colorful and LOUD tambourines we gave her for Christmas 2019 ended up being a huge hit as she shared electric bass playing duties with a friend. She ended up checking out of her dorm in early March and finishing all her classes on-line from home (most were already online with in-person options) and she also took a few summer courses from her folding table looking out to the lanai. We moved her into an apartment in August and she’s still has 100% remote classes but having more fun with her tight-knit co-quarantine friend group. She’s been cooking and baking bread and she and her roommate have converted the space into a jungle with all their house plants! She’s also joined a Dungeons and Dragon group.

 

Our one successful trip this year was to Atlanta in February to see Mike’s ballroom dancing competition. He easily transitioned his work at AON to work-from-home and is an expert level “quarantiner” having all his groceries and food delivered without contact. He’s been running and cycling and going to the Botanical Gardens regularly. Last week he sat for the final exam he needed to become an Associate in the Society of Actuaries (finally some official letters after his name!)

 

Dave has been very plugged into the COVID-19 crisis as HCA has managed PPE inventories, ICU capacity, ventilators and everything you’ve heard in the news. His IT team has quickly responded to several tracking requests and now they are elbow deep in vaccine deployment. He’s got a sweet set-up upstairs (we call it the lair) and has been working from home since early March.

 

Michelle had a little fun right after we got home from Atlanta in February - the removal of several gallstones and her gallbladder. It was thankfully before the hospitals went on lock-down as the COVID numbers got crazy! Once Shriners got their technology worked out, she started working from home and LOVES it!

 

We started the year with 500 miles on Michelle’s e-bike and as of today we are at 3,661. We’ve tried to ride almost every day (I was going to add “weather permitting” but we’ve gone out in the rain - what’s a little water?!?). It’s helped us get out of the house and burn off energy. The other fun we’ve had (other than the meal planning for our household and Karl & Sharyl) is with the glass kiln we’d been wanting! Dave has made some AMAZING projects and has had a lot of fun experimenting with all the techniques.

 

We had great visits with our friends Howard and Susan in January at WDW and in March with Dave’s cousins Rich and Angela (those Disney plans got scrubbed as virus uncertainty was high). All the other great trips we had planned were postponed: NY to see Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden, Iowa to see Faith graduate (had to settle for a live-stream watch party), Caribbean Cruise to celebrate my parent’s 60th wedding anniversary (had to settle for a Zoom party). Sigh. Happily we got to see Valerie one more time on our ATL trip before she moved far, far (too darn far) away!

 

Overall, we’ve spent this year feeling incredibly blessed that we have health insurance, jobs we can do and still be safe, we have my parent close by as part of our “quaranteam”, and kids that are a drive away. We’ll be missing the family visits this season, but want to err on the side of caution so we can share MANY, MANY more holidays together!

 

Love and health to all - May your blessings continue to be illuminated in 2021!

 

Dave, Michelle Michael and Caroline

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