Happy New Year 2009

Happy 2009! 2008 has been a busy year for us. In early November, we moved into a new apartment in our building (hopefully the last for a very long while!). We worked through 2 months of renovations and are very happy with the extra space and sunlight. We hope you’ll come visit us in our new home!

Julian just turned 2 earlier this month. He has entered that rite of passage that every two-year-old boy seems to go through—the love for Thomas the Tank Engine and vehicles of all kinds!! His first words upon waking (after "nai nai"—milk, and "mommy") are "Thomas, Peep Peep!" Just don’t mention the word "Thomas," unless you are prepared to turn on a Thomas video or get down on the floor and start building tracks. Ivy once made that mistake and paid dearly by listening to a very whiny and repetitive "Thomas… Thomas… Thomas…" followed by a bucket load of tears. Other than this obsession, Julian’s charm definitely warms our hearts—with his scrunched up smile (see pics), spontaneous hugs, and endearing (sometimes very high-pitched) voice, his sweet nature often gives us the "warm fuzzies."

Jordan proudly entered Pre-K this past September at a new Public School in Forest Hills called The Academy of Excellence through the Arts. Going to drama class everyday and having music and dance lessons dispersed throughout the week has most certainly allowed Jordan to express herself in different ways. She loves going to school so much that every day after school, she can often be found pretending to be a teacher to her stuffed animals or us. Sometimes she can even be heard disciplining her animals for not listening or paying attention! Other than school, Jordan has been taking ballet lessons once a week. She finally gets to wear a tutu! Jordan also enjoys practicing new vocabulary that she picks up. At the moment, her favorite words are "adorable," "ridiculous" and "stylish!" We love listening to Jordan’s own versions of stories and her knock-knock jokes (one day I’m sure she’ll say one that makes sense!) Jordan’s fun-loving personality certainly keeps us busy!

Ivy has experienced some wonderful blessings in 2008. She continues to keep her schedule teaching part-time. With Jordan in full day Pre-K, Ivy has now experienced a parent teacher conference on the other side of the table, attended PTA meetings as a parent, and helped out in the classroom as a volunteer. It definitely felt funny to be on the other side. Ivy also joined a Mom’s Group that meets every Monday morning in Forest Hills, and has really been blessed by the encouragement she gets from these wonderful ladies. In addition, at the church we are currently attending, Ivy has been getting to know some of the moms and has even gone out on some "Moms’ Night Out" dinners. God has definitely been answering Ivy’s prayers about finding community—both in the neighborhood and at church. With Jordan in school everyday for 6 hours, Ivy has also been able to enjoy some one-on-one time with Julian on her days off from work.

Andrew is thankful for new opportunities to be creative this past year—both professionally and musically. Having been through a year as partner at RE:CREATIVE, he has learned much more about design/running a business and has grown in confidence as a creative professional. Being his own boss also provided Andrew a more flexible schedule so he could work most Fridays from home and drop off/pick up Jordan at school. With flexibility, it also came occasional late nights to meet some demanding deadlines. And since he's no young lad, he has befriended various caffeinated beverages from Dunkin' Donuts and McDonalds to stay awake. Despite the economic downturn, the company had a good year and is staying hopeful for a healthy '09. 2008 also found Andrew coming out of "retirement" as a musician; he did a show covering songs of his favorite band—U2, and also a gig as the guitarist for a talented singer/songwriter named Cate Song... you can check out clips on his YouTube channel. With the kids now being older, and if time permits, he does want to get back into music a bit more this coming year—finishing song ideas he's been kicking around for a few years would be nice—so we'll see.

May the year ahead be filled with many wonderful moments & may you enjoy all that is in store for you and your families! Drop us a line when you get a chance—we’d love to hear from you!

Much love,

Andrew, Ivy, Jordan & Julian