Dear friends and family,
Did you have a good 2007? We think we did, but we were too busy most of the time to notice. 2007 was a year of transitions in the Wilbanks household, the biggest being that we finally moved, for the first time since our wedding in 1999. We're only a five-minute drive from our old place, but we have a lot more space for our growing daughter and our accumulation of books, technology, and kitchen gadgets!
At the end of May, Susan accepted a new job and began work as the operations manager for the Department of Spiritual Care at the UW hospitals--UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center. Basically, she wrestles bureaucracy so the chaplains and chaplain interns won't have to. While she's not crazy about the bureaucracy, she enjoys her coworkers, the hospital environment, and the fact she now commutes by bus rather than car--so much more time to read! As of this writing, she's read 125 new-to-her books in 2007, already surpassing her 2006 total of 112. (In case you hadn't noticed, Susan fully embraces her identity as a bookworm and a geek!)
Susan continues to pursue her writing dreams. She's busy rewriting the history of Europe--that is, she's writing an alternate history adventure story set during the Napoleonic Wars. (Think Bernard Cornwell with a touch of Naomi Novik, if you've heard of them. If you haven't, and you're looking for a good page-turner for your next trip, look them up!) She means to have it completed and in her agent's hands by the end of the summer. Keep your fingers crossed that our 2008 letter will bring news of a sale!
On a more sober note, Susan's mother underwent surgery and chemo for lung cancer this spring and summer. All three of us went down to Alabama for a week in August to spend time with her. As of now, her cancer is in remission--please pray for her to continue to recover her health and strength. We're going back to Alabama for Christmas, and it will be a blessing to have almost all the family gathered together.
Dylan spent another year being a web geek at UW. The high points were getting to attend SXSW Interactive, the biggest web conference in America, and finally relaunching the school's website (after four years of waiting). He's also finding himself in demand for speaking engagements thanks to his blogging; he also got mentions in both daily papers this year.
His photography hasn't been anywhere near a prolific as in previous years, mostly because his camera was stolen in April. It's since been replaced, but he's less inclined to lug it around.
That's really about it.
Because he needs to fill out the space on this page, though, here's a link to a presentation he gave to UW Humanities in April. And here's his favorite post he wrote on Metblogs this year, having to do with the city's inability to make up its mind about the Alaskan Way viaduct.
At 3 1/2, Annabel is a wonderfully curious, imaginative, and adventurous girl. We never know what she'll come up with next--for example, when her daycare class was selected to play the shepherds in the nativity pageant, Annabel announced her intention to incorporate elements of her Halloween costume and go as a "pirate shepherd." Susan and her teacher talked her out of it -- Susan pointing out that the pageant was about the Baby Jesus, and swords weren't safe around babies -- but you've got to love the image.
Who knows what 2008 will hold for Annabel? Soon we'll have to start figuring out the intricacies of the Seattle school system, and she's almost old enough for t-ball and soccer. How did she get so big so quickly?
Here's the complete collection of 2007 Annabel pictures.
Right now, 2008 looks to not feature too much exciting. Dylan is considering a Master's program in technical communication, which will require him to stay at the university another three years to complete it. (Sigh.) Annabel has another year of daycare, but come autumn 2008 the shopping for an elementary school begins in earnest. (Seattle has open enrollment for schools.) Susan will, hopefully, finish the current book and sell it.
We hope this letter finds you well and would love to hear from you. Susan can be reached at email@example.com, Dylan at firstname.lastname@example.org. And now that, for the time being, we have three bedrooms, you can have your own room if you come see us.
Dylan, Susan, and Annabel Wilbanks