Friday, December 11, 2015

2015 - A Year in Review

Dear Family and Friends,

The New Year started with a bang as we watched fireworks in the San Francisco harbor on a dinner and dancing cruise with the Kelleys. We returned back to reality, and I began the job hunt – polishing my resume, printing business cards, and networking. It seemed like an eternity, but within two months, I was working as a contractor at Wells Fargo. I joined a fun team and enjoyed the work (developing a center of excellence, launching a new software application, and creating business process models, i.e. flow charts). Oh and in the midst of everything we moved to a condo in Dana Point (across the street from the beach) where we have enjoyed many beautiful sunsets this year! If you are ever in the area, you should come visit us.

To celebrate the new job we took a trip to Utah to see the snow, and after our Prius was buried overnight in the snow, we decided it was time to get out of town, so that we did not get snowed in. I did not want to lose my new job! As soon as there was a break in the snow, we dug out the car and headed to Las Vegas. We went back to Vegas two weeks later to join the Perry siblings for an exciting weekend celebrating Cameron and Katey.

I enjoyed the work at Wells Fargo, but it was a temporary contract, so I was delighted in April when I was offered a position at Capital Group (an investment firm and the home of the American Funds). I am a Business Analyst, where I work with the Operations division on strategic, cross-departmental projects and act as their liaison with IT. I also commute to the LA office periodically, which has been its own adventure. The position is exactly what I was pursing, and I am delighted to work with such a great team. Every day is unique, and I love the cycle of learning, analyzing, and transforming the business.

In May we flew out to Lake Lure, NC to attend Cameron and Katey’s wedding. What a beautiful event and so much fun! We also visited the Biltmore estate which had a temporary exhibit of Downtown Abbey costumes (lovely!). We finished the month with the U2 Concert at the Forum in LA. They certainly know how to rock! We also saw Mumford and Sons a few months later, and had a great time.

Over the summer you would often find us watching the sunset at the beach after work. On the weekend we enjoyed a couple picnics and Shakespeare plays too. Let me know if you want to join us next year! We dug out the camping gear and joined the Donnowitz for a weekend camping trip to Big Sur – one of the most beautiful places in the world! We also were delighted to visit Katie and Iseah to meet our new little niece Mia. She is so adorable and smiley!

In July I went on my first business trip – to Geneva, Switzerland. The work was fun – collaborating with the team and documenting their processes, but the weekend was the best – chocolate, cheese, and castles! And oh the delicious French food. My French is pretty rusty, but I remembered more than I thought. Here’s hoping I have another excuse to travel very soon! Maybe to the London or Singapore office next time.

This summer we spent some time on the beach with our families, including my first trip to Catalina Island where we went jet skiing among the dolphins! We concluded the summer with a weekend getaway to Carmel by the Sea to celebrate our 4th anniversary. Wine tasting in vineyards, chatting with local artists in their galleries, and strolling by the sea – if you have never been, you have to put it on your calendar for 2016.

Probably some of the biggest news of the year is that Clint is no longer teaching. After dedicating a decade to teaching the youth, he is starting a new adventure – the world of sales. In August Clint started his new job as Account Executive at Image 2000 where he helps businesses save money on their copier contracts. And he would have me add that if you or your organization have a copier, you two should talk ; )

The craziest thing I did this year was the YMCA Stair Climb in September – climbing to the top of the US Bank building – the highest skyscraper east of the Mississippi - it has 76 flights of stairs. It was quite the challenge, but a great opportunity to bond with coworkers and to see the city.

I spent Halloween in Hemet, soaking up the cuteness of my little niece and nephew – Iron Man and Snow White. Clint flew to Dallas to meet up with the guys and see a Cowboys game. For the first time, we spent Thanksgiving in Dallas. It was a fun celebration – we were all stuffed and had fun playing games and watching football. Okay, the Cowboys football season has been more painful than fun, but we enjoyed time with family. And we cannot wait to meet Chris and Julia's little one - due in February.

What's next? Well, for the holidays, we will be spending Christmas in Hemet at my sister’s, and for New Year’s we will be skiing and drinking hot cocoa at the Heavenly resort at Lake Tahoe with Clint’s parents and the Kelleys. We are looking forward to our 5th anniversary next summer. No big trips planned, but we want to do something fun. No kids yet, but we know you are eager. We are too, but with new jobs, we are just waiting for the right time. Oh and Shiloh has had a great year too, by the way. He turned 3 this year, and he loves being near the beach.

Sending you our love,
The Perrys