We've had a great 2009, with less travel, no moving, and lots of changes from Moira. We finished 2008 with the largest snowstorm in decades, which meant Walker got to shovel snow for the first time in a couple decades. After the snow thawed and life returned to normal, Walker traveled to London on business... into their biggest snowstorm in decades. We're told this year will be warmer and drier, and we're really hoping that's accurate.
Moira has progressed from scooting around the floor through simple playground equipment to climbing ladders unassisted. Coincidentally, her parents have been experiencing somewhat elevated blood pressure levels. We're looking forward to next year's new hobbies of downhill skiing and skydiving. Her favorite pastimes are demanding encores from her mother and asking to go to the animal penitentiary. We're not sure whether or not she can read the normal word for that, but we're not willing to take the chance. It's a tossup over whether she's more interested in that or experimenting with pendulum motion at one of several local parks. Yes, she knows that word too. Everyone stresses how important it is to read to your child, but they never tell you about the consequences.
With Google's recent opening of a new campus in Kirkland, Stewie can now go to work with Walker again. He tries to get at the ankles of Walker's officemates, checks under their desks for food that the other dogs in the office may have missed, and growls at people walking by outside along with anyone coming in with a question or with more work for us. All in all, valuable contributions to the working environment. The move has also added an extra hill to the commute and reduced the amount of biking to work. Combine that with the electric motor added what has been referred to as "the worst bike ever" by a local bike mechanic and the soda fountain that's part of the cafe at the new campus, and a new relaxed fit wardrobe may be needed next year.
Shannon has been happily participating in a local quilting group for the past year, which has helped keep her motivated to make things, even with the distractions toddlers provide. She is looking forward to the coming year when Moira will be able to help out with the crafting. Shannon has a blog where she talks about the things she makes and Moira's adventures at http://www.maydela.blogspot.com.
Thanksgiving saw our first big trip with Moira in over a year. We visited a number of friends in LA before driving from Lancaster to Tucson with Walker's brother Aaron and his wife Aubrey. We'll see if they fall for an offer like that again in the future. By the way, don't ever stop in Desert Center. Moira got to see animals in captivity in other places, as well as the La Brea tar pits.
Our marriage has survived our first significant home improvement project, and we now have a bathroom on the lower floor of the house, as well as insulation under the kitchen floor, which should help keep dinner warm a bit longer during the winter. Next on the list: hosting back to back Christmas dinners, then taking a year off from remodeling work on the house.
Wishing you a happy and safe 2010,
Shannon, Walker & Moira