Saturday, January 05, 2008

holiday letter 2007

due to the high cost of international stamps, we weren't able to send out holiday cards to everyone we wanted to this year! apologies! but, lucky for you, we're able to post our holiday letter and picture here on our blog for your enjoyment... happy holidays!

Dear Friends and Family,

Happy Holidays from the Netherlands! Amber and I have been blessed with an amazing year of enriching experiences. We are especially grateful for all the caring and support you have given us this past year—thanks for making 2007 one to cherish!

Our biggest news came in May in the form of a little plus-sign indicating that Amber was pregnant. We are both thrilled and naturally a bit anxious about the prospect of our growing family. Having a baby in a foreign country is slightly daunting, but we have shown perseverance and ingenuity in locating a midwife, finding baby stuff, scheduling birthing classes, renovating the nursery, and all those other things that go into preparing for little baby Briggle. Amber has loved the experience of being pregnant, and I love the experience of feeling the kicks and squirms. Both Amber and baby are healthy, and we are planning on a home-birth with our midwife, because this is the custom in the Netherlands. We are both very excited to meet the baby in late January. We do not know the gender, but either way, we will be honored to welcome him or her to our family and to center stage in our future adventures.

2007 has been a year of travel, and in fact we found out about the baby just after getting back from a trip to Bordeaux to visit new friends. Before that, we had already taken two big trips—one to Italy, including Venice, and one road trip to Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, and Luxembourg. Amber displayed pure driving mastery in a blizzard in southern Germany on the Autobahn in rush hour, but has decided never to drive in Germany again. We also did lots of travel within the Netherlands, including to Utrecht and den Bosch to celebrate the Queen’s birthday. This summer we came home for a couple of months to visit with friends and family. And in October, my parents were kind enough to let us tag along on their vacation in the southwest of Ireland for relaxation and fun times driving rental cars along cliffs on the wrong side of the road. Additionally, we were happy to host many travelers and share our spacious home above the jewelry store in rural Holland (please come and visit us – there is lots of room).

I am still enjoying my job in the philosophy department at the University of Twente. Most days, I am fortunate enough to get paid for thinking about cool ideas and discussing them with a bunch of smart people, including students in my class on ethics and technology. I am hoping to have a couple of books published next year. Amber wins the hard-worker of the year award, though, for finding a temporary job at a call center last January. For the next six months, she answered calls from “distressed” customers fumbling with failing gadgets. She did so good that she earned awards and unprecedented high praise. On top of this, she built her massage business from scratch and did it so successfully that she was able to quit her drama-filled job at the call center. She also shared her healing touch this summer as a substitute massage therapist at a health club in Boulder. Even with the growing baby bump, she has been able to keep a busy schedule seeing clients in a home-office that she refurbished all by herself.

We are both greatly enjoying our time out here in Hengelo, which now has its Christmas lights hanging over the streets. May your holidays be just as gezellig (cozy)!

All our love,

Adam and Amber

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