This past year has been interesting for us - and as the Chinese curse ("May you live in interesting times...") tells us, that is a mixed blessing.
Jennifer is now into her second year, and we had a big birthday party in September to celebrate her first. Judy must have enjoyed planning it -- she certainly went all out. We had over 30 adults and 24 kids (<12 years old) at the house in Virginia for it. There was alcohol for the adults, a treasure hunt in the woods with prizes for all the kids, alcohol for the adults, birthday gifts were "ooh"-ed and "aah"-ed over, there were water balloon fights, alcohol for the adults, birthday cake, balloons, alcohol for the adults, 2 dogs who ate lots of junk food, and more alcohol for the adults. Amazingly there seemed five times the number of kids as the number of adults. [I suspect this is due to the behavior patterns. Adults stand and talk, while in one 30 second conversation I saw the same pack of a dozen kids circle the house 7 entire times, "playing through" us each time.] The only casualty was a cribbage ball that made a break into the woods and was never to be seen again.
Jennifer is now walking (or staggering) but not yet running - that Judy says Jennifer saves until they are in airports traveling to Florida. Good for Jennifer. She is still tall and slender, in the 100 percentile for height and 70 percentile for weight. [This translates to 26 pounds.] Her hair is still light brown, and is long enough that she got her first trim already. [Judy brought her along on a hair cut. I think it was a "mother-daughter" moment.] She is not really talking, but is quite good at generating white noise. She enjoys being read to, hugging (especially the dogs) and being pushed around in anything with wheels.
We also have a new house. In the beginning of June we moved into our Florida house. The address is 14721 S.W. 24th Street, Davie, Florida, 33325. [This is in Broward County so technically it is Fort Lauderdale] The phone is 954-370-8481. The house is larger than the Virginia house - but with Jennifer we wanted another bedroom. So we have 4 - ours, Jennifer's, an office and a guest room for when you come visit (hint, hint). And the yard has a nice wall around it so we don't have to worry about the dogs.
By the new year we expect to have sold the old house as well - it is under contract now. Judy will miss the hot tub and the privacy of the woods, but we will both enjoy the warm winters in Florida.
We will not miss all the commuting we have been doing the past year. Pete has been living the entire year in Florida while Judy has stayed in Virginia. Until we moved to Davie, Pete had an apartment on South Beach in Miami. That was neat in some ways the ocean was a 5 minute walk, it was in the middle of the historic Art Deco district, the nightlife was all walking distance and there were lots of interesting people there. But the parking was non-existent, the street noise was loud and the apartment was small. Davie by contrast is definitely more rural although a sort of fake rural. It is a western cowboy town in the middle of south Florida, with horses, rodeos and cow pastures. But there is lots of space, the area is nice for running with the dogs, and it is a reasonable commute to Pete's work. Pete has been planting fruit trees - we have limes, oranges, grapefruit, guava, starfruit, coconuts, and mangos.
Judy has taken the state boards and is licensed to work down there, but has not yet taken a position. She might stay home a little with the baby as we will also not have the same quality day care there. [Here we had a close friend of Judy's who had a baby 4 months before us.] Judy plans oil doing relief work again but she knows it will take time to build up a client base like she had in Virginia. In the meantime she plans oil basking on the beach with Jenny. Kind of a bonding thing.
The two four-legged beasts are doing well. Bailey has accumulated a few frequent flyer miles this year and is gradually getting used to flying. There was many a time it was cheaper to fly her back then to board her. Besides Nugget always seemed to enjoy her visits (for the first hour or two anyway). Nugget will be in for a shock when lie moves - squirrels are far and few between in Florida. And alligators don't like to be chased.
In closing we would like to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and the best for the new year.
Pete, Judy and Jennifer (and Bailey and Nugget, of course)