Dear friends and family,

The year 2004 has flown by faster than we thought was possible, and once again it’s time to produce a brief snapshot of our lives for friend and family consumption.

Annabel

Annabel

First things first. Annabel Charlotte was born on April 6 at 7 lbs. 6 oz., 20 inches long, after 65 1/2 hours (!) of labor. In our completely unbiased opinion, she is the smartest and most beautiful baby imaginable. She’s so tall now that we dream of her funding our retirement through her WNBA earnings, and she was so fascinated by political speeches on CSPAN this summer that Susan thinks she’s already planning her run for the presidency in 2056.

In all seriousness, she’s a wonderful joy of a child, mellow and bright and happy, and we feel lucky to have her. She has her first four teeth, she’s getting pretty good at crawling, she loves playing patty cake and giving fives, and she occasionally says “daddy,” though we’re not sure it’s on purpose yet. She also has her blog (with some help from her father).

Susan

Susan

For years Susan wanted to be self-employed as a freelance writer, so after Annabel was born she decided to go ahead and make the leap. It’s been a learning process, but she’s starting to get regular work and is enjoying it more than anything she did before. She still does resumes and cover letters, but has added communications work for nonprofits (press releases, grant writing, brochures, etc.), and she expects the bulk of her business to come from that area.

She’s also still actively pursuing publication as a novelist. This year was a slow writing year as she adjusted to freelancing and life with a baby, but she’s currently finishing a major rewrite of her first novel and hopes to complete her second one by September 2005.

Dylan

Dylan

Another year, another set of paychecks from the University of Washington for Dylan. He was able to take off a full month in paternity leave when Annabel arrived. Otherwise, it's been a year of website coding and management, combined with some added data management duties thanks to staff turnover. In 2003, he took about 2800 pictures with his digital camera. In 2004 he has accumulated a mere 1100, but 2/3rds of them were of poor Annabel, who has come to dread the camera. And oh, he loves his iPod, which allows him to carry most of his CD collection with him without requiring a moving truck. He is, as always, open to freelance web site work, and his blog remains active. Speaking of which... Dylan got published this year, and participated in a photo show.

All of Us

We celebrated our 5th anniversary in September. We didn’t have a real vacation this year, but we enjoyed long visits from our parents to welcome Annabel and help us adjust to parenthood. As always, we spent a good chunk of the summer at Safeco Field, though this year the Mariners were a disappointment. For Thanksgiving we spent a week with Susan’s parents near Birmingham, and Christmas takes us to Tulsa.

We hope this letter finds you well and would love to hear from you. Susan can be reached at susansw@gmail.com, Dylan at wnalyd@gmail.com.

ad gloriam Domini (and until next year),
Dylan, Susan, and Annabel Wilbanks
We welcome your comments and salutations.