12.25.2008

Our 2008 Christmas Letter

2008 christmas letter

Because of Ian and Anna’s commitment to environmental stewardship (not the hippie kind), they’ve decided to make their first-ever family Christmas letter a digital version. This has nothing to do with the fact that they are poor newlyweds putting Ian through his final year of grad school, resulting in a lack of funding for the hundreds of stamps required to send an actual paper letter to everyone near and dear to them.

Anna has been looking over as many Christmas letters as she can find to prepare for writing. However, Ian and Anna are lacking two major Christmas-letter components: kids and pets. Anna hopes this will not make her first attempt at a Christmas letter seem self-absorbed. She also will write the entire letter in third person, keeping with the Christmas-letter-writer’s uncertainty in selecting a particular family member’s point of view.

After their wedding last New Year’s Eve, Ian and Anna spent a few days on the Plaza in Kansas City before packing most of their worldly possessions (which seem to multiply when you move) into a U-Haul and driving to Philadelphia for Ian’s 8-month internship at Olin.

Ian loved his time working at Olin and is thankful for the opportunity to learn at one of the premiere firms in landscape architecture. Anna found a job working at Chocolate by Mueller in historic Reading Terminal Market. It was such a blessing, as there were many wonderful coworkers, and her bosses were very understanding about the short-term situation. She also worked long-distance for their church, continuing her design work and adding some extra design projects to her plate.

Ian and Anna enjoyed living in the birthplace of the United States (aside from the obnoxious sports fans, noting that not all sports fans were, in fact, obnoxious). They visited numerous historic sites and developed a taste for real cheesesteaks and a certain butterscotch brioche bread pudding. Tenth Presbyterian Church became their temporary church home, and they appreciated the in-depth preaching and welcoming church family.

Ian and Anna made trips to New York City and Boston, visiting good friends in both locations. Their small studio apartment, complete with tiny oven that couldn’t open completely due to a wall placement issue, housed several friends visiting Philadelphia. Both of Ian and Anna’s families also vacationed in Philly, and Anna’s parents took them, along with Nathan and Caleb, on a long-promised trip to Ithaca, NY, home of Cornell University and Dwight and Kris’s relationship (they met in grad school at Cornell). In August, Ian and Anna returned to the Midwest, taking a scenic route through Washington DC, Charlottesville, VA (home of Monticello; if you don’t know what this is, look at the back of a regular nickel) and Louisville.

Since returning to Kansas, they’ve kept busy. Ian is a full-time grad student and enjoying his year-long master’s project, redesigning an area of the University of Pennsylvania. Anna is back at the church working full-time and busier than ever. With their remaining free time, they’ve attended Ren’s (Ian’s brother) football games, helped Anna’s best friend, Britni, get married, and helped Dwight and Kris celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They are also part of a young marrieds’ small group. Ian is back on stage at church helping lead worship a couple times a month, and Anna is preparing for the semi-distant future (a.k.a. we’re planning on waiting a few years before having kids) by helping in the church nursery. They also made a trip back to Philadelphia in October for the American Society of Landscape Architects convention, and got to spend quality time with some of their great Philadelphia friends.

Ian and Anna are thankful for time with family this Christmas and hope you also enjoy time with your loved ones. Merry Christmas, and they’re praying for you as the new year begins!
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