our 2013 Christmas letter
You can stop holding your breath, because it’s once again time for Ian and Anna’s annual awkward, third-person Christmas letter!
2013 was an eventful year for Boston. February brought the biggest New England blizzard Ian and Anna have experienced, with two feet of snow. However it felt like a holiday, with a day off from work, a warm apartment, and no sidewalks to shovel or car to dig out.
In April, Ian and Anna had friends in town for the marathon. On Monday, after a weekend exploring the city, Ian went to work while everyone else headed to the suburbs to cheer on Levi at mile 17. After he raced by, Karen, Jeremy, and Mallory headed to the finish line, while Anna attempted to get to work. Just minutes after she sat down at her desk, the news of the finish line explosion was circulating at the office. The rest of the day was spent contacting friends with one question: are you okay? Close calls, but thankfully all yeses. And Boston responded with inspiring compassion and generosity in the face of a terrible tragedy.
That Friday, Ian and Anna woke up at 5:30 a.m. to a text message from a friend with instructions to stay home and stay safe. Confused, they turned on the news to discover that most of Boston was on lockdown for a massive manhunt for the bombing suspect. Messages again went out, this time to coworkers in Watertown. Thankfully everyone was safe.
But 2013 wasn’t all bad for Boston. In true Boston Strong spirit, the Red Sox played their hearts out, going from worst to first in the league. Ian and Anna watched the Sox at four home games over the season, and caught all of the postseason games, including the World Series (on TV; Ian and Anna can’t afford $1,200 tickets). Anna is now an official baseball fan, and insisted they attend the duck boat parade honoring the Sox.
Last year, Ian and Anna met several famous people. This year, Ian and Anna became famous people.
Ian is now a licensed landscape architect in the Constitution State (Connecticut), and was promoted to the associate level at Sasaki. He also won second place in a public speaking competition at the office with a two minute speech about the value of the places he designs. He’s kind of a big deal.
Anna found fame and fortune after receiving a pair of fingerwarmers for backing Ricefield Collective on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. Fingerwarmers garnered quite the following as they created entries in a Ricefield Collective photo contest, which they ultimately won.
Ian and Anna also received an award at their office holiday party, in recognition of their continuing service in the Dominican Republic. They are thankful to work in an office that values social responsibility.
Ian and Anna also filled 2013 with travel, starting in March with not one, but two trips to New Hampshire. They joined a large group of friends to enjoy the snow (and a cozy fireplace), then returned a few weeks later with Ren, in town on his way to Germany.
In May, Ian and Anna took a bucket-list trip to Europe as a belated five-year anniversary celebration. They started in Paris and fell in love with the city. In addition to the famous sights like Versailles and the Eiffel Tower, Ian took Anna to countless famous landscapes, appeasing her with fresh croissants and nutella crepes. They next spent a few days in Germany with Ren, finishing up his semester studying in Wuppertal. They explored the surrounding cities (always with a steady supply of Haribo gummibears), and met up with another friend teaching in Budapest. They finished their vacation in Amsterdam, where Ian again dragged Anna around various famous landscapes, and she amused herself by photobombing his photos.
In July, Ian and Anna went on their third service trip to the Dominican Republic with REUNION. They loved catching up with many now-familiar faces including the Vargas family, who continue to serve the trash dump community of La Mosca. While Ian painted church ceilings, Anna helped paint a mural. The Scherling family also encountered their first DR trip medical incident when Anna stepped on a nail. All parties were glad Anna’s tetanus shots were up to date. Ian is concerned that 2014 trip will be his turn for an incident, but that isn’t stopping them from going. In fact, they will be co-leading the trip in 2014, and would love your support! Learn more and give at rally.org/annaianinthedr2014.
Ian and Anna also made their first Cape Cod visit, when the Overmiller ladies spent a week in Boston. The ladies hit all of Boston’s historic sights, then over the weekend Ian and Anna joined them for a day trip to the tip of the Cape, indulging in fresh seafood along the way.
In October, they traveled to Denver for a wedding, also squeezing in family visits. In November, they hitched a ride to upstate New York to spend Thanksgiving with friends, and are finishing out the year with the usual whirlwind Christmas trip across the state of Kansas.
Ian and Anna hope that your Christmas season is full of light and love, and are praying for you in the new year!
Want more? Read past Christmas letters here. 2012 | 2011 | 2009 | 2008