Dear Family and Friends,
It's that time of the year where I write our Christmas letter. I know some people make fun of Christmas letters, but I want to fill you in on what's going on in our lives. Our family history is just a collection of these letters — one page per year.
Steven took a year off from ASU to join a startup in New Braunfels, Texas near San Antonio — an asset security company formed by Marines he served with in combat. Though the venture did not obtain the big dollar contacts they had hoped for, he learned a great deal about business presentations, venture capitalism, salesmanship, and how long it takes big companies (i.e., potential customers) to make decisions. Always a stellar student, he is returning to ASU in January to pursue his degree in Business Administration. Steven has been bartending in the interim. Speaking of bars, while out with his Marine buddies, he asked a guy what he did for a living. He replied "I'm a musician." Steven followed up "How's that working out for you?" "Pretty well" was his answer. As it turned out, the guy was Country Music's Luke Bryan.
Stephanie is also experiencing the wonders of the big company. Hyatt recently had an upper management shakeup, and now she has a new boss and boss' boss. The travel perks are still awesome, and this year, she and her boyfriend Blake discovered adult Disneyland: Oktoberfest in Munich. In September, our family and Blake's family all gathered in Houston to watch ASU get toasted by Texas A&M in football. We had a good time anyway. The fun was recreated when the six of us spent Thanksgiving in California and watched ASU lose to Cal on the last play of the game. Though we froze at the unseasonably cold Bay Area weather, we enjoyed each other's company.
Sheryl continues to teach part-time. She still substitutes at Bay Farm Elementary, our old neighborhood school, and also at Paden Elementary, which is walking distance from where we live now. The other day a student asked "Mrs. Sheppard, why does the color of your eyebrows not match your hair?" She still plays mahjong and participates in her book club. Sheryl recently started to help organize events for the Alameda Boys and Girls Club. For Christmas she was nice instead of naughty and got a stand-up paddle board that she can launch right from our house. She is looking forward to that. Does this wet suit make me look fat?
Scott is still happy at Autodesk. We have an office where we can use our software to design and create things. I have had general safety and fire extinguisher training. Though I have been working with a laser cutter to engrave cutting boards, no fires yet. All in due time. I am still active in our homeowners association. I am a board member, treasurer, chairman of the landscaping committee, and maintain the web site. I still cheer for the Saints but have very realistic expectations for them. I cheer most loudly for the Golden State Warriors whose level of success seems almost unbelievable. Having seen the Saints win a Super Bowl, I should have realized that anything is possible and had higher expectations for the Warriors last year. It would be nice to see them win two championships in a row.
As one grows older, one realizes that family and friends are what matter most. So by all means, if you are ever in the San Francisco area, please contact us so we can share a moment with you.
Scott, Sheryl, Stephanie, and Steven