The 2005 Christmas Kazette

 2005... I think I’ll call this the year of expansion. We expanded our living space by quite a bit...
We went from a single floor, 3 bedroom home - to a 3 level 4 bedroom home. (A finished basement
provides the 3rd level.)  It used to take me about ˝ an hour to cut the lawn in Hawaii - maybe an hour if I did
the steep hill in the backyard. It takes me about that long to do just the front yard in Virginia!
    We made the best of our last few months in Hawaii, going to Molokai and Lana’i during Erika’s
Spring Break from school. This meant we finally got to all 6 of the 8 “main” islands - the last 2 are for
Hawaiian Natives/invitation only. We enjoyed ALL the islands and are hard pressed to pick one favorite.
    We had one last July 4th on Oahu, and it was a ‘good news, bad news’ situation. Good news - we
were at the time living in a hotel on Ford Island. Bad news - I wasn’t feeling very well. Good news - Pearl
Harbor Naval Base was just a hop, skip and a jump away, with myriad events for the days’ celebration. Bad
news - I didn’t feel well enough to make it. Good news - the fireworks display was easy to see from Ford
Island, just a short drive away from the hotel. And more good news, the traffic back to the hotel wasn’t bad
at all.
    Expansion #2. Our car. With heavy hearts we bid goodbye to our beloved Jeep, Shannon. We sold
her to friends in Hawaii, and when Doug was house-hunting in May, he arranged for the purchase of our
new Honda Pilot, to be ready for us upon arrival in the DC area in July. We have dubbed her Amelia (get it,
a pilot named Amelia?) and have already made extensive use of her 8 passenger capacity.
    Expansion #3... Doug’s medical file. About a year and a half ago, Doug started having back pain.
What we at first assumed was another kidney stone turned out to be some ruptured discs. Doug is still
receiving treatment for this, as the pain comes and goes. My favorite thing was accompanying him to
Bethesda Naval Hospital in early December for an MRI... at 1:45 IN THE MORNING!!
    Before I mention the next expansion, I must mention a sad ‘contraction’ - the loss of our cat. Little
Bear died in June, just before we moved. We had adopted her in Washington State in 1992 - she was a
neighborhood stray. I guess it’s superstitiously fitting we had a black cat for 13 years. She is sorely missed.
    So Erika, age 7, lost one fuzzy sibling, but will be gaining a non-fuzzy one this coming summer.
That’s right, this expansion will be one to our family. I recently found out I am pregnant and we expect the
baby to arrive in late July.
    Doug is enjoying his new job here in DC (NOT at the Pentagon) and Erika and I have settled in quite
nicely. Doug’s commute went from a 40 minute drive in Hawaii to an expansive 1 ˝ hour drive/Metro trip.
Since all but 15 minutes of that is on the Metro, Doug’s quite happy with his iPod and a book. And starting
last week, his office moved so that it’s 15 minutes on a bus and only about ˝ hour on the Metro train. NICE!
    Erika is now involved in Brownies. She has a GREAT leader and a nice bunch of girls. We haven’t
found any gymnastics classes like the ones she took in Hawaii but are still looking.
    We all miss Hawaii, but we also are enjoying the change of seasons and the fabulous new ‘touristy’
things to do in our new location. We’re making friends, have already had visitors, and even went camping in
New Hampshire in August! It’s a good thing we got all that done, because once again I seem to have
morning sickness... all day... and probably will for the entire 9 months like I did with Erika. Stop by, because
I’m sure not going anywhere!

    Have a great holiday and best wishes for a fantastic 2006!