Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Letter 2008

We continue to be blessed with good health and full days. We have had a wonderful year as our family has grown, Tobin is a very active toddler and keeps us very fit!

We enjoyed several visits from our family. Starting in April, Erika’s grandmother, Patria, stopped in on her way back to Washington from New Zealand. Tobin was thrilled to meet his Great-Grammy for the first time! In late May, Nate’s mom came out for a visit. We then took a car trip to Lake Tahoe, with highlights as Laurie’s first mushroom hunting trip and experiences of the lake on three different levels: on the beach with Tobin, a lake cruise, and high above with dinner at the Forest buffet (18th floor = great view of the forest canopy and Lake Tahoe). In June, Nate’s uncle Brian visited on his Motorcross across America trip. He and Tobin had a great time and he even sat on Great-Uncle Brian’s motorcycle. In August, Nate’s friends Jon and Geeta and their children Chandani and Yosanna visited. It was so much fun to see them again, we hadn’t see each other since our wedding- and the kids loved playing together! In October, Nate’s dad, Warren, brought Tobin trick-r-treating. Tobin had a hard time with the whole title “Grandpa Warren” and even “GW,” and settled on Double (for W). He and Double were inseparable and in fact still watches video clips on the computer. We were so lucky to receive so many visitors!

We also made a few car trips despite the exorbitant gas prices. In April, we went on our annual trip to Bass Lake with Erika’s parents. Tobin had a great time at the beach and discovering pine-cones in the woods with his Ama and Papa. We brought Tobin on his first Tent-camping and Mushroom-hunting trip in May. Mommy shopped and purchased a huge tent (132 sq ft – no kidding! it’s called the “campsite palace”). It’s roomy enough for the crib, a queen size inflatable bed, and more still. It’s big, but is significantly easier to store and much cheaper than a travel trailer! In September, we devoted two weeks to Northern California and Southern Oregon. Nate planned the driving segments and found places to stay with playgrounds, we had a wonderful trip! We also made several day trips throughout the year over to Lodi to visit Erika’s family. Most recently, we went to Mickey Grove park and went to the Zoo! Tobin was fascinated by the monkeys and ring-tailed lemurs!

Finally, the day to day. We are lucky to both still be employed but find that we are still putting in 9-10 hour days. Nate changed jobs from in September, and is now working at Genentech. It's also in South San Francisco, so he still has a long commute every day. Erika is still at Codexis, but is continuing her development by taking classes in project management from UC Berkeley. It’s tough to work full time, take classes, and have a family, but Nate and her parents have been super supportive and she’s getting straight As. Tobin is healthy and active and has an incredible vocabulary, he’s stringing together 6 word sentences. We continue to try our best every day!

For 2009 we hope to buy a house for our family to grow into and continue to thrive. We are wishing for health and happiness for all of you too!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!