This started out as a long overdue Christmas letter. I haven’t written Christmas cards in a very long time but so much has happened lately that I thought it would be good to write an update and send it out. It has now turned into recap of our year.
Some things have remained consistent from 2015 to 2016. Scott is still a real estate broker with RE/MAX. I’m still working at home taking care of the house we live in near Puyallup, the house in Ocean Shores that we rent out for vacations, and the property in Shoreline, as well as working my Mary Kay business and playing with my blog. Scott’s son Nick is still living with us and working from home as Scott’s assistant.
2016 has been an exciting year full of blessings and stress. We have traveled quite a lot this year, gained new additions to the family, and had some real challenges, as well. After much deliberation and draft attempts I decided to make this a chronological month by month report. It seems something fairly significant has happened every month this past year!
Scott’s daughter MacKenzie came to visit from Austria in December 2015 for Christmas with our new 4 month old granddaughter Lily. She stayed through New Year’s, then went to visit her mom’s family in Las Vegas, then came back to our house for a few days before returning to Austria. Her husband Vincent wasn’t able to come this year but was here the year before at Thanksgiving.
Scott and I went to Las Vegas in February for the RE/MAX annual conference, R4. While Scott went to his meetings I got to enjoy the sun and relax. In the evenings I joined the group for dinner and drinks. One night we all went to Fremont Street which was quite the experience! Best part of Vegas as far as I’m concerned!!
March is filled with lots of birthdays: my son, granddaughter, 2 nieces, and my brother. And Easter. Lot’s to celebrate!
The month didn’t end so well, though. I was rear-ended on the freeway in the Honda Fit. I wasn’t badly hurt, fortunately, just some moderate whiplash, but the car was totaled. Luckily we had the Ford Expedition that I could drive until we could figure out a replacement car.
Scott’s birthday was in April. He’s not one for big celebrations but we did go the weekend after to Eugene, OR to see Elvis Costello. Nice little get-away, great music, and got to go to Voodoo Donut!
Scott’s parents, Bill and Sidra, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary! Being the very laid back, unpretentious people that they are, it was a very small, simple event at one of their favorite dining spots with just a couple of their friends and us.
June is another month with a lot of birthdays. Both of Scott’s parents, another niece, and my sister. And Father’s Day. Again, lots to celebrate.
At the end of June my brother Ray and I drove to Nebraska for a family reunion. We first stopped in Deer Lodge, MT. We went to a car museum and the Old Montana Territory Prison, which was very interesting. Next was Rexburg, ID to see my nephew Jakob who’s attending school there. Continuing on we stopped in Jackson, WY for a bit to see the town and then drove through the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone to Cody, WY where we met up with my sister Arlene and her husband Mark. We visited the HUGE gun museum, went to a dinner show and a rodeo, and celebrated Arlene’s birthday while there. We then caravanned to Chadron, NE to my Aunt Delores’. We stayed the night there and the next day went to visit the old homestead where Delores and my mom grew up. Both my grandparents’ and my great grandparents’ sod houses are still standing. We also went to the old school house and the “Norwegian” cemetery. I’m glad we got to see the school house one last time because it burned down after we were there. After our “historical” family tour we went to Fort Robinson to stay for a few days and a few other family members met us there. During our stay we went on a horseback trail ride and a chuck wagon dinner. We also had a BIG thunderstorm! We lost power for a while and had to stay in out of the storm. The plains are NOT somewhere you want to be outside when there is lightning! We made the best of things using a camp stove to cook dinner and portable lights. It just added to the adventure! The trip home was a quick two day drive with just one stop overnight in Billings. We were gone a total of 11 days.
In July we added a new furbaby to the family – Tommy, a 4 month old buff colored tabby kitten. He was originally adopted by Scott’s parents but he was too much for them to handle. It was an adjustment for all, especially Pita our 12 year old cat, but everyone is getting along and there’s always excitement in the house!
Scott, Nick and I went to the Gorge Amphitheater in Eastern Washington to see Dead and Company. It was my first time seeing any version of “the Dead”. Great show!
In late July I went to Ocean Shores with my sister to have a display table with my Mary Kay products at the Hog Wild motorcycle event. The days were long but it was fun. Lots of people and music!
From Ocean Shores I went home and then immediately to the airport to go to Dallas for Mary Kay Seminar, our annual conference. Every year four groups of about 9,000 women each go to Dallas for seminar for 3-4 days. So for about 2 weeks Dallas is abuzz with a bunch of “Pink” ladies! It is always lots of fun and lots of learning.
Scott became Director of Development for RE/MAX Professionals Olympia, Tacoma, and Gig Harbor. Last year in July he had become Primary Managing Broker of the Olympia office and continues in that role, as well. He also still handles his own real estate broker business, the Fannie Mae contract and a lead generation online business. He’s one busy man!
In August we also went to Chicago for another RE/MAX conference. Again, I got to relax and sight-see while Scott was in meetings but we also spent a few extra days there to enjoy together. We took the Architecture Boat Tour which was great and full of information. We also went to the shopping district and got to browse in the upscale shops like Burberry, Ralph Lauren, and Gucci. I was actually impressed with how much there is to do and see in Chicago. And seeing Lake Michigan was very cool!!
The latter part of August was a huge downturn for me. The house that I have in Shoreline was burglarized and someone moved in without my knowledge or permission! I wrote about it here. My son Terence had moved out in July and I was in the process of doing some repairs before leaving to Dallas and then Chicago. When I returned and went to the house in late August there were people living there!! They tried to tell me they rented it from someone on Craig’s list but the whole thing was a sham. They left the night that I found them but there was a lot of damage done and things stolen. I secured the property as best I could but they returned many times and caused more damage and chaos. One of them was finally arrested at my neighbor’s house and I haven’t seen signs of them since. I’m so glad they are gone, at least for the meantime, but the damage they left, both physically and emotionally for me still hangs on. I plan on selling the property.
Scott’s son Nick went to Finland for the month of September to visit with a friend. He had a great time and enjoyed the country.
Scott and I went to Wenatchee to look at the area and houses, and to Kennewick for a RE/MAX balloon event. Last year I got to go up in the tethered balloon! This year the wind wasn’t cooperating for anyone to go up, unfortunately.
Scott also went to another RE/MAX event by himself in Coeur d’Alene, ID
My next big trip was to Kenya in October. My brother-in-law Mark had gone the year before to help build a medical clinic in a remote village near the Maasai Mara game reserve. I wrote a post about it here. This year the plan was to work on a residence for the staff that work at the clinic. Unfortunately none of the pre-building was done before we got there so we had to change our plans some. We did help clear the foundation, order supplies, and helped in the clinic. We spent one week staying near the village and working at the clinic, and then one week in Nairobi visiting the church, touring two slum schools, an orphanage, and a couple of women’s organizations that help women from difficult situations earn money by making jewelry and sewing clothes and household items. It was an incredible experience! So much of it is hard to describe without actually being there. I have a ton of pictures and several stories. I will share to those interested, in person and on my blog. We also got to go on safari in the Maasai Mara and saw lions, elephants, hippos, a leopard, cheetahs, wildebeest, warthogs, giraffes, and so much more!! I have tons of pictures but I will save those for another post 😉
November did not start out well. The 1997 Ford Expedition I had been driving decided it was done. With over 200,000 miles on it, it finally gave up the ghost by throwing a spark plug. The positive outcome of this was I got a new Subaru Forester!! Thanks to my wonderful hubby 🙂
Scott’s daughter MacKenzie came for her annual visit from Austria in November. Her daughter Lily is now 16 months old. It was great to see them both. Vincent, her husband, wasn’t able to come this year either unfortunately. Someone has to make the money!
On November 17th I gained a 5th grandchild! Emma Ruby Schumacher was born to my son Terence and his wife Holly. They now have a full house with 4 kids!
Thanksgiving was a quiet celebration with just Scott, his parents, Nick and I.
Early December Scott went to Dallas for another RE/MAX event and some personal business.
We had another quiet dinner with Scott’s parents for Christmas Eve, then went to my sister’s on Christmas Day for dinner. And for my birthday, two days later, Scott took me to a very nice dinner at the Pacific Grill in Tacoma. This is one of the best places I think we’ve ever had dinner in Tacoma.
Which brings us to today, New Year’s Eve. Nick has gone to Leavenworth with his friends to celebrate so Scott and I will just have a quiet evening home alone with the furbabies 🙂
It most certainly has been an eventful year, with lots and lots of memories. We look forward to more positive events in the coming year, although hopefully a little less chaotic!
May all of your hopes and dreams come true in the New Year!!