Greetings! I hope your new year is starting off well! Last year was sure an exciting time, with the Bucs being the SuperBowl champs. [sigh]. We took our regular vacations, enjoying Mom's hospitality in the spring and fall, going to the Simmons family reunion, and This traveling to Sweden for his summer fishing week.

We had the hottest and driest summer in recorded history here in Europe. Water restrictions for the first time ever. Leah really enjoyed swimming with her "Schwimmfluegeli" in the lake. The weather was so hot, I even went into that cold water. Biking home uphill with Leah on the back was a bit of a challenge.

We had some landscaping done (and redone, because our new grass fried), and began to make outdoor alterations around our home.

We enjoyed some nice outings, with trips to the zoo, concerts, and Cirque du Soleil.

One really nice surprise I got during my fall vacation was Jake's "Halls of Horror" haunted house.

In December, we gave ourselves big gifts: Leah got a new big bed, I got a flat screen monitor, and This got a new TV. We celebrated the holidays with friends and a couple of parties.

My 40th birthday was low-key. This and I went to a small reggae show, and the next night to dinner.

I lost 20 pounds this year, and finally got back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Of course, I gained five back over the holidays. In winter, we exist on salmon and holiday goodies.

Leah is fabulous--healthy, smart, adorable. She is starting to learn more Swiss-German now, and is great with letters and numbers. In fact, she recently said to This, as they walked past the Gemeindehaus, "Look! There's an 'e'! One, two, three 'e's!" She has started writing letters, and has a particular interest in L, E, A and H. And she also drew a very nice snowman for Grandma, since Grandma doesn't have her own.

Love always,
Stacey, Mathis and Leah

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