Some may question the appropriateness of sending ye olde Christmas letter this year. Our view is that we as Americans have earned the right to send self-serving Christmas letters. If we stopped this year then it would say to the terrorists that they had won. So, with defiance and pride, "let's roll "
We enjoyed a fine time in Waikiki during January. In contrast to 1999, Riley not only loved the beach but also cried when we tried to leave the beach. Kevin had a great time meeting some Exotica friends, found lost tiki bars, and actually saw Don Ho! It was sort of a Brady Bunch kind of moment.
Riley's birthday in March was celebrated in style with a bounce-house. Since Riley has turned three he's definitely more grown up. He has a memory like a steel trap and knows right from wrong and is not shy about telling people! This year, Riley learned how to write his name, all about opposites, knock-knock jokes, and the "Kramer Dance."
It was our pleasure to go to Disneyland in April with Julie's parents again this year. Riley even rode the roller coaster in Toon Town (Riley also rode a roller coaster at the County Fair). Julie and Kevin then stayed in LA for an extra couple days so that Kevin could participate as the best man at his college roommate Craig's wedding.
July found us sailing off to the last frontier of Alaska with Kevin's parents, sister, and nieces. Riley loved the ship activities, including winning an award for "Best Cheerleader." We had a great time sailing to Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and Glacier Bay. We especially liked the spectacle of falling glaciers and seeing sealife including sea lions, otters, and humpback whales. While Riley and the others took the famous White Horse Pass railroad in Skagway, Julie and Kevin took a further excursion all the way into the Yukon Territory (including the bizarre tourist trap known as Frontierland featuring the world's largest "stuffed" Polar Bear and a 9 hole mini golf course).
The summer also brought great news as we found out we will have another baby in early February 2002. Despite books of wives tales indicating we should have a girl, it appears from the latest ultrasound that we will have a boy. We are looking forward to the addition to the family and have started converting the computer room into a nursery. Julie has had a relatively uneventful pregnancy but is constantly preparing and getting the "nest" ready for the new baby. Riley says he is looking forward to being a big brother, too.
The fall brought some changes as Julie moved on from 1st grade and switched from teaching 2nd to 3rd and back to 2nd grade in the matter of a few weeks. Julie has been active with the PTA and taking evening classes and is excited to have her very own student teacher to mentor coming up in January. She's also continued to expand her repertoire with rubber stamps, scrapbooks, and other crafts.
Halloween was especially fun this year as Riley went Trick or Treating in the streets of both Kevin and Julie's parents' neighborhoods. He had lots of fun running from house to house dressed as Mickey Mouse and even told the big kids to wait their turns for candy.
Kevin has continued as an Intranet Project Manger for Robert Half International. The economy has hit the staffing firm, but the company is still profitable and is poised for rebound. Things were pretty much chugging along until one Sunday evening in early November. An upset stomach turned "wrong" and ended up being an appendicitis! Just a few hours after the first onset of symptoms, Kevin was undergoing surgery. Thankfully, they got the appendix before it burst and Kevin's hospital stay was just two days (and another week off from work). All seems to be well and good now, though Kevin's dreams of being a nude model have been shattered!
We've had other adventures during the year. A fine snow day at Yosemite in February with Kevin's parents. A wonderful time in Marina Del Rey for a wedding in October (Kevin was pulled into a street performance in Venice, too). Fun betting on the Oscars with Kevin's Aunt Jill (Jill won by picking Russell Crowe instead of Tom Hanks). Kevin seeing the actor who played Peter Brady (a real Brady Bunch moment!).
We were scheduled to fly to Connecticut for a family reunion on September 12th. Sadly, we unable to fly out for the visit but are thankful we weren't stranded or worse. Certainly our disappointment and inconvenience paled in comparison to those more directly involved. We are happy, and blessed, to be safe and happy this holiday season and hope you and yours are too.
This page last modified on Tuesday June 08 2004.