Dear friends and family,

2005 was an eventful year in our family’s life, with much sorrow and change, but also with its share of hope and growth.

Transitions

Our great sorrow was that Susan’s father was diagnosed with lung cancer this spring and lost his battle with the disease in August at the age of 76. We went to Alabama in June for a visit, and Susan finds great comfort in knowing she got a chance to say goodbye and to tell him how proud she was to be his daughter. He was a wonderful man, the kind of person who made the world around him a better place and had great influence on any number of people without ever grandstanding or trying to draw attention to himself. We miss him very much.

Dylan wrote an obituary that posted on his blog.

Annabel

Annabel
A joyous change has been watching Annabel’s transformation from baby to little girl. She’s a delightful child--active, agile, and curious. She loves puzzles and books and watching Maisy and Sesame Street.

Annabel has grown up a lot in the last year, progressing from baby food to potato chips (in moderation) and from barely crawling to running away from her parents at inopportune times.

While she has yet to really start talking, she does have some words and communicates pretty effectively.

You can see Annabel's year on her Flickr photoset.

Susan

Susan decided to return to work, and in November she took a job as the assistant to the director of a UW research lab. So far she enjoys her work, and it gives her the stability and regular hours she needs to have time with Annabel and to keep up her writing. We were blessed to find an immediate opening in a church daycare near our house, and Annabel likes her teachers and playing with the other children.

Susan finished her second manuscript this year and is still actively pursuing publication. Recently she finaled in a writing contest for the first time, and she's received encouraging feedback from some notable authors within her subgenre--now all she needs is an editor who'll believe there's a niche for Jane Austen meets Sharpe's Rifles!

Dylan

Not a lot has changed in Dylan's life, except for a lot of dirty diapers. For most of the second half of the year he has been buried in editing and assembling the documentation for the school's accreditation renewal. Unfortunately, that has cut into his online life (which explains the blog radio silence the last half of the year). He did manage some freelance work this year, building some sites and databases in exchange for, um, beer. And music.

He's still posting pictures, though, mostly to his Flickr account (thanks to his new camera). His other big thing was joining the Seattle Metroblogging group blog.

Finally...

2006 should bring at least one major change to the Wilbanks household--as Annabel gets older and bigger, we’re outgrowing the cozy little house we’ve rented since our marriage. So by this time next year, we’ll either be writing you from a new house or a purchased and expanded version of this one!

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. And come see us in Seattle!

ad gloriam Domini (and until next year),
Dylan, Susan, and Annabel Wilbanks
We welcome your comments and salutations of 2005.