Good morning all, and sorry I've been missing in action for the last couple of weeks. I was hospitalized twice due to female-related issues, and it appears that I'm finally back on track. Yes! This is our annual Christmas letter that we will send to our family and friends in the mail tomorrow ... it was fun using the following DD supplies!


Winter Artistry Kit blue background paper, flower, snowflake, frame, leaf
Watery Washes No. 02 Brushes and Stamps
Snow Fun Kit branch, ribbon, glitter snowflake, bracket, mittens, staple
Tailed Journalers
Watery Flakes Brushes and Stamps
Curled Notebook Paper
Library Card Collection: Basics
Winter Woods Solids Paper Pack
Frame Hangers No. 01
Postage Strip Words: Holiday
Tis the Season: Stickers No. 01 Value Pack


Journaling:
Here’s a very Merry Christmas to you from Potomac Falls, Virginia! We hope this letter finds you and yours happy and healthy! For us, 2014 has been a year of extremes, both ups and downs.

Tim is doing very well, still head of Accounting Policy at Freddie Mac. He is still involved with the Blue Stars, serving as its Treasurer, going for his 8th year with the corps. He enjoyed touring with them for several weeks in the summer and traveling on the weekends to watch regional competitions. It was a very special year for the Blue Stars this year, as it celebrated its 50th Anniversary. It was so fantastic that they placed 9th in Finals at the Drum Corps World Championships. He is looking forward to an even better year with the Blue Stars in 2015! He is also thrilled that several home improvement projects were finally completed including a new wine cellar, mud room, pantry, a new staircase and railings, and new doors.


DeLisa still teleworks full-time at home for the Corps of Engineers, wearing two hats, as a Finance & Accounting Officer for the St. Paul District and Mississippi Valley Division. She feels very lucky to have an exceptional staff working with her. She was surprised and honored by two award recognitions this year: Department of Defense Outstanding Employee with a Disability Award for 2014 and Superior Civilian Service Award from Mississippi Valley Division. A low point for her was being hospitalized three times, most recently in early December, due to female-related issues. DeLisa’s Mom came up to take care of her for the last two hospitalizations, and she felt very blessed to have her help! It was a wonderful quality time she had with her Mom while she was here! Thankfully, she is finally on the mend and looks forward to having her life back!


We are officially empty-nesters, as Sara had moved out with her long-time boyfriend Jared last month. She is doing well with her job as a Sales Manager at Athleta, and continuing with her college education. She plans to transfer to George Mason University in the fall, with a business major. We’re very proud of her and her accomplishments. She is always on the go!


Molly, our American Eskimo dog, is doing great, and is always a constant source of love and affection at our home. She’s the sweetest, always so happy and frisky! Although she misses Jack who we lost last year, she seems to enjoy being the only dog in the house. She loves to sit on the top of our staircase at home, very much like a queen!


We took several trips this year. We enjoyed a long weekend trip to Las Vegas in January, where we visited the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, and the casinos and restaurants in Las Vegas. The highlight of the trip was a helicopter and boat tour at Grand Canyon. In May, we took our first-ever cruise to see southeast Alaska, departing from Seattle and we spent a weekend in Seattle before returning home. Our cruise was a 8-day/7-night cruise with stops in Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, AK and Victoria, British Columbia. Alaska is a place of scenic wonders, of which most are best viewed from the water. We were captivated by the rustic and un-crowded charm of the historic Alaskan towns. We enjoyed the variety of our shore excursions, particularly to the Misty Fjords National Monument, Mendenhall Glacier and the White Pass Railway to the Yukon Territory in Canada. After Alaska, we stopped at Victoria, BC, and it is probably our favorite city to visit, and we were surprised by its year-round mild climate, which is Canada's big secret. What an amazing experience! In June, August, and November we made trips to Texas to visit familyand celebrate some milestones, such as Tim’s parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, DeLisa’s Dad’s 75th birthday and DeLisa’s 50th birthday. For DeLisa’s 50th birthday, we took a trip to San Francisco in early October, and enjoyed touring through the city, drove north to Muir Woods, and spent a few days in Sonoma's Wine Country. After all the wine-tasting, we had more wine than blood in our veins! We joined a couple of wine clubs, and we look forward to receiving regular wine shipments for our ever-expanding wine cellar!


As we conclude this annual letter, we hope you are doing very well and we wish you a very Happy Holiday season! — Tim, DeLisa and Molly