To the highlights and no more depressing shit :-)
Rob and I had major career shifts. Rob got promoted to engineer! He also moved to a heavy rescue station in downtown, so he's getting his ass kicked nightly. My big boss decided to create a new group outside of Immunology and asked 3 of us to move with him. So after 7 years in Immunology at J&J, I'm not part of Discovery Sciences in Emerging Science. It has been a strange year at work. I don't feel like I've done much of anything, but that could be because not a lot worked this year. I'm hoping 2015 is more fruitful!
Drew is now in 3rd grade at Riverview. His Spanish is even better than we thought! On our family cruise to Ensenada in December he became our interpreter. Rob can understand more than he can speak but Drew was carrying on conversations with people who were equally surprised that this little white boy was speaking to them and could understand them. He also started club soccer this year. Nothing like club to really show you how behind you are. But he was very dedicated to his team. There were quite a few bumps in the road. Most of them due to his coach, but Drew showed heart and had a decent season at goal this year. I'm looking forward to him getting better on the pitch and his continued success at school. He's reading at a 6th grade level in English and a late 4th grade level in Spanish. Oh ya, Drew has since taken up the electric guitar and got a 1990's Les Paul epiphone for xmas! He surprises me overtime he plays. The kid has an ear for music! He brought a tear to my eye the day he asked to learn how to play "Smells Like Teen Spirit". He can actually play a few Nirvana songs, Black Keys, and the Arctic Monkeys!
Samara started Kindergarten this year after doing 6 months in EAK in Spanish. She is in the Mandarin program and killing it! She can read 33 characters. Her teacher even says she makes an effort to speak in complete sentences and speak in Mandarin in the classroom. She also played a season of rec soccer where she played better than last year and was totally into it. She did start to lose interest near the end and said she didn't want to play again. Then when it was all said and done, she asked to play again. She can't make up her mind. She also did a few months of ballet and managed to take the older kids' class, but lost interest as well. She can do the moves but maybe not mature enough. She is the feisty one of the two of them, but she is a lot of fun when she wants to be silly.
As for Rob and I, we have had an incredibly busy year with the kids and all their activities. I found it totally overwhelming. At the same time, we are providing what I didn't have as a kid because my parents didn't find activities important. But it wasn't all work this year. We spent 12 days in Europe! I got to visit London for the first time and look forward to going there again! 3 days was not enough. We also spent 6 days on the English canal in a narrow boat. Ya, never doing that again! Maybe a few days, but that was horrendously uncomfortable and we weren't on the part of the canal with a bunch of towns. We saw a lot of cows and sheep though. And we did visit some interesting pubs in the middle of nowhere. We completed the trip with 3 nights in Paris. I like Paris, but now I feel like we've seen it, so it's time to move onto someplace else in France.
We decided after our family vacation to Palm Springs for spring break that we needed to purchase a time share. Since Rob had a very busy and profitable fire season, we bought one in December! We look forward to having a family vacation every year with the kids whether its international, Hawaii, or close to home. We realized on our long trip without them that it's time. But that doesn't mean we aren't going away together :-) So the plan for our inaugural timeshare vacation will be 7 days in Cabo San Lucas! And as of now, Rob and I are spending our 10 year anniversary trip in Cancun.
Despite how insane this year has been, it has been a good one. I'm hoping for a better one next year. I'm also hoping for a lot of fortune and happiness for my friends and family because I know there are those who still need that extra bit of luck and happiness.