Christmas 2023

Merry Christmas 2023!


As always, we are overwhelmed with our all blessings – family, health and the ability to comfortably work from home are at the top of the list.


Eden landed a job at HCA as an Associate Client Support Analyst, also known as the person that answers the phone when you call the IT department's help line. They really enjoy getting to learn about so many different programs and help healthcare providers get back to the important job of caring for patients. Another bonus from talking on the phone so much is getting to hear so many different accents and sayings that they can then transform into characters in tabletop games.

Eden is thoroughly enjoying tabletop role playing games, such as Dungeons and Dragons, and other game formats like Scum and Villainy. It's their favorite way to spend time with their friends, weave stories together, and be creative collaboratively. They love creating characters, bringing them to life with silly voices and mannerisms, and getting to explore and experience a fantasy world with their best friends.

Eden has also been enjoying playing in the local music scene around Gainesville. They got to sing lead on a performance in October and had a lot of fun stepping into the spotlight more, rather than just singing harmonies and playing upright bass as usual. They are still involved in a few music projects, and are looking forward to exploring different genres and groups.

Mike earned a promotion to a new role level in his work at Aon. He is no longer just an Experienced Actuarial Associate; now, he is an Advanced Actuarial Associate. On top of that promotion, Mike also stepped into a people management role at Aon and passed another tough exam; only a few more until he is truly done.

Mike is still coaching the epee fencers of Georgia Tech’s Yellow Jacket Fencing Club. In November, the club attended a tournament hosted by Mike’s alma mater, University of Florida. One of Mike’s students earned third place in the tournament, and Mike also earned sixth. His students had encouraged him to come out of competitive retirement for the event since the tournament was at his old school. He had a good time fencing competitively again, but sadly missed out on seeing the important bouts of some of his students because he was focused on his own matches. He’ll probably be sticking to coaching at other events he attends with the club, rather than fencing for himself.

Mike has also continued to develop his ballroom dance skills this year. He and his instructor/dance partner, Dia, performed a samba to a song Michelle had suggested (“The Beat of Your Heart”); however, Mike choose to make this a surprise. To create that surprise, throughout several months of rehearsal, Mike led Michelle to believe they were performing an entirely different routine with a different song. After the performance, Michelle happily said to Mike “you are not totally honest.”


Mike is a homeowner, too!  He and his kitty, Ginger, moved across Atlanta to a two-bedroom townhouse in North Druid Hills.  They are very happy in the new location, it’s more convenient to work, fencing and the dance studio.


Dave is in his 17th year with HCA as Director of IT Operations for the West Florida Division and had a busy start to the year with the rapid reconstruction and opening of the hospitals damaged by Ian last year and finished out hurricane season managing the local IT response to Idalia. Dave spent the night at Trinity Hospital as part of a team of nurses, physicians, leaders and IT who reported to the hospital ahead of the storm and stayed over to ensure the hospital had the support needed if the hospital was impacted by the storm. Four hospitals were evacuated ahead of the storm as a precaution, and fortunately the storm stayed further out in the Gulf and we had no issues.


Dave enjoys his time in the glass studio learning different techniques, creating beautiful and functional art and collaborating with friends on glass projects. Dave has four glass projects ready for the Florida State Fair competition and earned a Best in Category ribbon at the 2023 Florida Strawberry Festival!


Michelle has worked at Shriners for 7 years now, still planning to retire in late 2025 when her notary commission expires.  Michelle and Niece Lauren crafted in Portland (homemade Christmas cards!) while Dave visited with Katherine and Peter.  She likes to binge watch shows, craft and read.  She also challenges Dave with ideas for kiln projects!  She’s thankful the weather is getting nicer so it’s more fun to cycle and make trips to Disney World with friends Dawn and Tami.


Dave and Michelle traveled to a gorgeous resort in the Bahamas in June to celebrate Nephew Chris’ wedding to Katie.  We swam with pigs, stingrays, sea turtles and played a lot of dominoes.  We were also excited to see Uncle Bill & Aunt Rose and also Nephew Rob when he toured through Tampa. 


In July, Lauren, Jonny and Abigail were in Orlando for the Girl Scout National Convention.  Michelle, Dave and Eden got to play (and EAT) with them at Disney for a couple days.


We also took an 11-night cruise in October as an early 35th wedding anniversary celebration – Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick (all the beautiful places I’ve dreamt of since seeing Anne of Green Gables).  We started with a few days in the old city of Quebec and ended with a few days in New Jersey with Sharon and Brian after meeting up with Susan and Howard (Michelle worked with Howard when she was at Disney and he was at Miramax).  It was such a wonderful trip!


We have Sunday dinners for Michelle’s parents and help them as much as we can.  Karl and Sharyl have a January 2024 cruise planned with Mom’s cousins Gary and Belinda.


We made several trips to Gainesville to see Eden with their band (Eden also played with high school buddies for one’s Senior recital at UF).  And a quick trip to see Mike’s dance showcase and new townhouse.


Both kids were home for Thanksgiving (a successful test of 4 people “working from home”) and Dave and I drove Mike home and stayed a couple days to help hang art and do handy-man work at his new townhouse.  It looks amazing, by-the-way!


And as always, our guest room is available and the glass and craft workshops are always ready for “guest artists” (there are two out in the garage with Dave as I type this)!  We’d love to see you!



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