Thursday, December 20, 2007

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Our cards did not contain a Christmas Letter which is not unusual; we have never included a Christmas letter in our cards but we love hearing news from our friends and thought we would share suit. Even with our desire to share our year with these friends it came down to one thing; when we thought about what to write we made a frightening discovery, we were boring. But it is okay being boring, right? Isn't drama highly overrated.

As holiday cards began to pour in it was nice reading letters outlining all 2007 brought to the lives of our loved ones. Whether a letter contains words of great sadness or reports exciting news they all bring comfort through understanding the struggles and triumphs of those we hold so dear. For the most part the letters were quite ordinary but we were still happy to receive them. We also realized our life together was not as boring and mundane as we thought. I guess it is all relative; our boring could be someone else’s extraordinary.

The Van Betta Family Year in Review

The year began with fireworks and fanfare in Sydney, Australia as we began 2007 celebrating the amazing beauty and culture unique to that region. The experience made me thankful for the opportunity to attend the wedding of a good friend and appreciate how technology has made it possible to grow friendships despite great geographic distances. While Australia has long been Chelle’s favorite destination, New Zealand quickly climbed to the top of the list with such a wide array of activities, intense physical beauty and the kindness of every person we met. We fell in love with the vineyards of Marlborough and love to buy wine at our local liquor store and declare “we’ve been there.” For those wondering if the long trip is worth it stop wondering; it is the only place to see snow capped mountains, the Pacific Ocean, pristine lakes, lush farms, desert plains, deep forests and city streets all in a single day.

We were front and center at the social event of the century in February attending the wedding of Chelle’s sister Renee’. The ceremony was beautifully presided over by Wade’s brother Mark while Wade read one of the most touching poems ever recited and Chelle served as the Best Broad. A great time was had by all at both the wedding and the all-night after party. Everyone was jealous that Renee’ and Matt escaped the cold of winter for a honeymoon in St. Thomas and proved that getting married in the winter has its advantages; the wedding is only one day, but warm anniversary vacations are for a lifetime!

Although we both remained with the same companies throughout the year each one of us had some major job changes. Wade’s hard work was finally rewarded with a promotion to Senior Project Manager in May. Chelle took a position with a new team but after several months realized the move was not good for her career or her sanity. Luckily there were plenty of other opportunities available and she is now in Nurseline Operations. Wade’s work took him to Connecticut and Chelle’s travel schedule, although not nearly as crazy as in the days of consulting, had her visiting Princeton, San Antonio, West Virginia and Long Beach.

Our College Ten year reunions snuck up on us this year; where does the time go? Chelle traveled to the Mary Washington campus in Virginia in June and is still in awe of how much the whole city of Fredericksburg has changed. While in Virginia Chelle got to catch up with some good friends and is hoping to schedule another visit in 2008 as Mary Washington celebrates its centennial year. Our reunions also marked a little anniversary for us; we met in the summer of 1997 in Chicago.

Family events dominated our travel schedule in the latter half of the year; NY for a cousin’s graduation, Toronto to celebrate Wade’s brother’s 20th year in the Lutheran ministry, a surprise trip to NY for Chelle’s mother’s birthday and our annual holiday trip which was for Thanksgiving this year. When home for Thanksgiving we drove to Philadelphia to see Chelle’s friends Diane and Victor, caught up with another friend Wes in Princeton and spent time in New Jersey with relatives. Chelle’s sister Kristen visited for Labor Day and we rented a pontoon to christen her in the waters of Lake Minnetonka and attended the Minnesota State Fair to sample a wide variety of foods on a stick. John, a friend of Chelle’s from her days in DC, came from Rhode Island in May to see us and attend a couple of Twins/Red Sox games. That same weekend we participated the Humane Society’s Walk for Animals and rose over $1000 for local shelters. Chelle once again completed the Northshore Inline Marathon in Duluth and survived the most grueling test of her strength and endurance with cold temperatures and heavy winds while meeting their friend’s new daughter; Nola. Chelle’s Mom visited twice and after years of getting the timing wrong (or right!) and finally experienced winter; her March visit saw two blizzards and in December temperatures below zero. Our home is always open to our friends and family but we highly recommend targeting July – September.

Long distance relationships grew closer over the year as each one of us realized facebook was not just for teenagers. It is nice finding long lost friends and keeping up with the everyday lives of those both far and near making it much more bearable having friends and family who span the globe. We both continue to expand our creativity through writing and publish some of our work on our websites; Simpleprop and Explosive Bombchelle.

Wade’s Dad gave us the scare of our lives suffering a broken hip with a fall in our home on Easter weekend. His recovery had him in the Twin Cities for about 3 weeks and he was happy the hospital was a pet friendly facility; Luna and Solei lit the faces of many patients recovering in the orthopedic ward. We considered officially licensing them as therapy dogs, but Luna’s love for Cheerios would make her a menace in any ward. Luna and Solei keep us busy, provide us endless hours of love and entertainment and continue to surprise us with their abnormal level of canine intelligence and incredible athleticism wrapped in such little bodies. Although the year had us very busy at work and home we still ventured out to see friends, attend the theatre and enjoy our Vikings season tickets.

We are looking very forward to the holidays with family and friends and are especially excited for the mystery and excitement that 2008 can offer. Even if it is just as quiet and eventless as 2007 we continue to have the best time together after all these years.

3 comments:

Nursedude said...

I think the first time I saw a family newsletter was a professor from Wartburg college with whom we have exchanged Christmas cards for over 20 years. I thought it was such a great idea, we started doing it when the kids were little. We try to keep copies of each Adams Family Christmas newsletter with the hope of compiling them into a book format.Merry Christmas, and Thanks for the great card!
(Have I got some questions to ask you about Nurseline Ops, my old area)

Rev. Mark said...

All 4 of you had a great year and Kara and I were glad to be a part of it - though for too little time.
Habbie is jealous he couldn't make a furry friend visit.
Thank you for including me in the events and we'll have you in our hearts up here in Toronto.
Christmas Love!
Mark

Ronald said...

Sounds to me like your 2007 was a great year overall! Hopefully your 2008 recap will include a look back at a visit to Chi-town. :)

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