Happy New Year 2010
Busy—is how we've felt for much of 2009. We're sure that many of you can relate to that word! Thankfully amidst the busyness, we were able to enjoy many wonderful experiences and milestones this year including Andrew and Jordan's week-long trip to California in March to reunite with his siblings & family. In the summer, Andrew's parents came from California to stay with us for a month. We got to enjoy their company and were spoiled by Andrew's mom's wonderful cooking during their stay. We were also treated to a cruise to Bermuda to celebrate Ivy's father's birthday. The entire Wong clan along with Andrew's parents went, and it was definitely a memorable vacation! Over the summer and after a long wait, we finally sold and closed on our old apartment. It was unoccupied for almost one year! And finally, Andrew and Ivy celebrated 10 years of marriage on August 14th!

{ Julian }  Turning three in December was an exciting event for Julian because he now understands the meanings of birthdays. In fact if you ever ask him "How are you?" he will enthusiastically answer, "I am three years old!" Although Julian has discovered Disney Cars and loves to collect and recite the names of each car, his first love is still Thomas the Tank Engine. When he goes to sleep, he needs all his creature comforts: pillow, four security blankets, and a few trains (and cars) tucked near him in his bed. We joked saying that Julian would make the perfect secret agent because for a while he could be seen carrying a plastic red case with him full of his trains (see pictures). He toted the case around with him everywhere he went: in the stroller, in the car seat, walking around the neighborhood, going to the park, going to church...even while coming down the slide! The only time he let go of the case was when he was home and could safely take out his trains. Julian also started attending the Forest Hills Presbyterian Day School in September. He looks forward to going to school everyday and each morning as Jordan and mommy leave he will say, "Bye two girls! Have a good day at school!" We have been blessed by Julian's wonderful teachers who are sweet and loving in the way they have been teaching him.

{ Jordan }  Learning to read has definitely been one of the highlights of attending kindergarten for Jordan. Though she is far from tackling Hemingway, she can handle a couple of simple picture books! She continues to go to PS 303, The Academy of Excellence Through the Arts and loves her kindergarten teacher whom we would say is a nice balance of fun and firmness. Jordan took ballet lessons until the summer and decided that she wanted to take a break to learn how to play the piano. She has been taking lessons at a music school in Forest Hills where she is learning piano and music theory. Although trying to squeeze in daily piano practice has been challenging, we are seeing the fruits of her effort. Aside from her more "serious disciplines," Jordan is still an energetic and fun-loving five year old. She still enjoys making up dances and songs as she plays at home. Rainbows, hearts, stars and mommy have been constant subjects of her artwork. Jordan can often be seen walking around the apartment "talking on the phone" to her silly imaginary friend who, coincidentally, is also named Ivy!

{ Ivy }  After five wonderful part-time years of teaching, Ivy returned to work full-time in September. Ivy's parents faithfully come to her home everyday to pick up Julian from school at 11:45 am and then Jordan at 2:30 pm. This has allowed Ivy to go to work each day with peace of mind that the children are well cared for. Ivy anticipated it to be a difficult transition, but has found that being on a structured schedule each day forced her to be more disciplined with her time. She wouldn't be able to live without her buddy, Trader Joe's, who has made meal planning so much more manageable! Aside from dishes not getting washed daily, and other chores not getting done as often as she would like, Ivy is learning to see the big picture (though very dusty at times!) and recognizing what's most important.

{ Andrew }  Despite the economy downturn, Andrew continues to stay busy at his TriBeCa design studio, RE:CREATIVE. Highlights last year included adding new staff members, expanding service offerings and launching an exhibit series at the studio space. The recession aftermath and various changes within the studio should keep things interesting in 2010, but things don't seem to be slowing down for the first quarter at this point. This year also gave Andrew a chance to be more involved at church. Attending men's prayer breakfast, being involved in the social justice ministry and playing the electric guitar for worship have given him a sense of spiritual renewal through his church community. He wishes to get some sort of work out routine going and have some demos of his songs ideas recorded at home this year...in his "spare time!"

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