2019 ended with Delilah turning seven on Christmas Day (morning is for Christmas, evening is all about Delilah)! The New Year quickly followed, with Ryan and Breezy unsuspectfully welcoming it with open arms. Shaylee received Student of the Month, and not to be outdone, Austin received recognition as one of the 8th grade Science Summit winners! Shaylee immediately one-upped him by receiving a trophy for the Tournament Star in a basketball tournament towards the end of the month.
February brought a couple of birthdays, Austin turned fourteen, and Nathan turned 28. Nathan learned that trying to get a job as a fresh graduate during an incoming pandemic is a bit of a challenge, so is now studying enterprise IT security, a field that is woefully short of candidates. He's living in Page, AZ with Retta while he studies. Shaylee continued to rack up the awards, receiving a STEM Award for her stellar schoolwork. The end of the first week of February had Bill and Carrie celebrating one hell of a concert - Alan Parsons with a meet and greet of one of Bill's favorite musicians. Little did the two know that that was it for the year, but it was a simply phenomenal evening.
A few days after the concert, Carrie took off for five weeks at the condo in Maui. She got to spend serious Zumba time with an old friend, Arlene. Missy and David joined her for a spell, spending time hiking on the awesome trails on the island. Missy even started getting into paddleboarding. Missy and David got to swim under a waterfall, always a cool thing to do in Hawai'i! Before they left, Carrie and Missy also got to spend some time with their cousin Chris, who now lives on Maui, as well as another friend, Jan, who lives on Oahu. During all of their fun, the group was only vaguely aware of what was taking place on the mainland. As David and Missy left, things were approaching a high point - and by the time Carrie left, she wasn't sure if the plane would be allowed to head to the mainland (it did, but was one of the last for a few months).
While Carrie was enjoying Maui, Bill was working at Broadcom on a huge project (explaining why he didn't go to Maui), spending his spare time working on backyard projects - and stayed up one night to capture one heck of a vision!
Fast forward to May - the kids finished the school year with home schooling - and Austin graduated 8th grade without a ceremony, but the school made it as fun as possible given the circumstances.
In June, Shaylee turned twelve! Later in the same month, with the (short) break in infection rates, Bill, Carrie, Ryan, and Breezy spent a day at the San Diego Zoo, with tigers prowling and gorillas pondering their fate. Towards the end of the month, a good friend from Utah, Alan, stopped by for the day while on a roadtrip through California. It was great both seeing him as well as seeing another human for first time in quite a while.
In July, it was roadtrip time! Not for Bill and Carrie, but for Amy and the kids. They made the drive in record time (since few vehicles are on the road), and the kids spent the vast majority of time in the pool, with Austin demonstrating cannonball skills (repeatedly), and Savannah just kicking back. Ryan took Austin golfing, allowing the girls to truly relax for the day. There was even night swimming and an outdoor movie, complete with real movie popcorn. Austin also got to experience virtual reality for the first time, getting introduced to Darth Vader, as well as playing some shoot 'em ups. Also in July, Carrie and Bill celebrated 21 years together (in-house dining only, alas).
In August, Ryan, Breezy, and Azula went on a roadtrip, taking some time out to explore. They finished the month by golfing at the prestigious Torrey Pines. Carrie discovered a new married couple had moved into the backyard, and for the Pardini kids, in was back to school (in classrooms, for the time being), with Delilah really excited about the new school year. And in September, Savannah turned four!! Also in September, Bill made the jump to Splunk, the world famous T-Shirt Company - just a HUGE quality of life change.
Fast forward to October - with the swim season official over, Bill has the pool refinished with Pebbletec with mother-of-pearl mixed in. The results were spectacular. Also in October, Carrie joined Fire-eye. She's running product marketing, and is excited to be back to work.
Ryan and Breezy headed north for Thanksgiving with Breezy's family in Auburn, and to gather the rest of Breezy's belongings prior to the parents selling the home that they raised their kids in. They decided to swing by to play at Half Moon Bay Golf Links, while the Pardini's got to play in the snow.
n December, Nathan and Retta flew to Costa Rica for a week with Retta's parents. They had a great time walking on the beach and exploring the lush vegetation, but they described ludicrously overcrowded conditions on United for the trip there and back.
December of course, also brings the holidays. Santa once again sent the girls their official Nice List certificate, and even made videos for both Delilah and Savannah (unfortunately, the videos expire at midnight on December 20th). And finally, Delilah has her eighth birthday to look forward to after Santa leaves!
And that about wraps up the year...Bill and Carrie wish all of you the best for 2021, and are truly hoping that this madness of COVID-19 is soon behind us - so that we can just get back to normal.