I forwent the annual Christmas letter this year, partly out of I couldn't be bothered and partly because I just didn't have time. At least not if I wanted to get my Christmas cards sent off in time, which I'm pretty sure many didn't reach their destination prior to Noel anyway. So instead I have decided to do my yearly recap in a blog and perhaps those family members who have internet access would share it with those who don't :).
As with all years and the passing of time, this year seems to have gone incredibly quickly and as I sit down, catch a breath and try and remember everything we did, I'm once again ultra aware of time slipping by faster the older one gets. 2006 started with a quiet pop rather than a big bang. We spent New Year's at some friends of ours, plenty of little kids which made it easier. Fort Wayne was snow covered and the fresh start of a new year was welcomed eagerly. February was of course Jay's second birthday and we celebrated in style with a Circus theme and Jay as the ringmaster. We had many friends over and once again my dear friend, Zara arrived just in time to help with the party planning her usual finesse.
Towards the end of February my Great Aunt Margaret died. The loss of our family matriarch was felt deeply by us all, even more so as family occasions came and went without her presence during the course of the year. Great Aunt Margaret was a remarkable woman, having recently witnessed her first book publication shortly before she died; an anthology on the history of her Surrey town, Caterham. She was my inspiration for writing and always provided me with a steady stream of fabulous book reccomendations along with the sage words of advice on becoming a writer, "Make sure you train to be something else and write in your spare time." This I have followed to a t, despite the fact that my ultimate dream is to be able to write full-time and spend my days researching. Of course, a small thing called a mortgage and a two year old prevents such a dream being fulfilled at the present time. Keith and I commented that it wouldn't be so bad if both of us weren't desparate to live an artist's lifestyle - the irony of a musican and writer's life of either being rich or dirt-poor is never far from my mind.
This year saw a good amount of travelling for me; as always not enough for my itchy feet and wondering heart but enough to keep the demons of longing at bay. Jay and I did a couple of trips down to Alabama to stay with maman and Jerry. Always wonderful and a treat to enjoy some Southern hospitality and their lovely pool! September Jay and I headed back for a month long trip to England to visit family and friends and celebrate my 30th birthday, something I was determined not to do in Fort Wayne! Keith managed to shake off the shackles of work and escape to England for the week of my birthday. A forty-eight hour birthday sojourn to Paris made my 30th a truly special and memorable occasion and was in my view, a suitable 30th birthday celebration. We walked all over Paris and ate fabulous food and bought perfectly wonderful cadeux for the petits enfants in our lives, Jay and Huxley, (Sophie and Alex's new addition to their family; born earlier this year), from Le Petit Bateau on the Champs-Elysee. Thanksgiving was spent in Denver, without snow and instead with beautiful blue skies and sunshine. A bit different from the blizzards of the last two weeks. It was lovely to be with family and to start off the festive season.
Other noteworthy news was my starting work again. I am the Instructional Designer and Blackboard Systems Administrator for the University of St. Francis here in Fort Wayne. I love working in a university environment and work with wonderful people. I work for our Education Technology Centre with three very nice chaps. I have a smart little office with a view of the lake. The work can be a bit quiet at times but I'm rather enjoying the stress-free pace after corporate America and am thoroughly enjoying stretching my education and abilities in the world of software applications and systems administration. And while I miss keeping on top of the housework and having time to write, I love being back at work and am feeling considerably less melancholy now that I'm using my brain again.
Keith's work at Sweetwater continues to blossom and he's slowly building up his own serious studio at home, as opposed to just the tinkering he's been doing. We keep having to "remodel" the basement to accomodate the ever increasing audio equipment that he brings home. It's all good though and a positive move in the direction of fulfilling the life we ant to lead.
Jay has been a treasure this year. With my going back to work he started playschool and has been doing swimmingly. It's been really fun having him bring home the various arts and crafts projects that he does during the day. His teachers adore him and he seems to be doing quite well socialising and integrating with the other children in his class. His speech has finally come along and of course now, we can't shut him up! He is truly a sweet boy and I love his current catchphrase of "be happy mummy." Apparently I spend too much time being cross!
I'm eagerly looking forward to 2007 and venturing forth into another exciting year. We have several big birthdays to look forward to - Keith's dad's 70th and my papa's 60th. Tickets have already been bought for the 2007 US Formula 1 Grand Prix in Indy, with plans being made to spend several days down there so we can attend the open pit day, (Fisi and Nico Rosberg up close and in person, the excitement is almost more than I can cope with!), qualifying and race day. My Filofax 2007 diary is eagerly awaiting my input and the thrill of opening the clean pages and making plans for this coming year is immediately next on my things to do.
Happy New Year to all of you and I wish you a happy, joyful and dream-making 2007.