2017 Christmas Newsletter

25 12 2017

Like I noticed last year it’s getting more and more difficult writing our Christmas Newsletter. Could be me getting older or could just be our busy lives. One thing’s for sure I do enjoy thinking back through the year and years gone by remembering all the great times spent with family and friends. As you may have noticed I like to talk much more about our vacation and fun times than the daily routine of work and school. So what fun have we Windstrups been up to this year?

In May I was a bit nervous with my little girl going to China alone with her girlfriend for a couple weeks. They had a marvelous time together visiting both with Gabrielle’s friend’s family and setting out on their own to explore Nanjing and Shanghai. When Easter came we took some time and headed south to my parents’ house. Even though we’ve been in France for more than 15 years now we’ve rarely spent Easter together. It was nice. In June Jeff and I had our long weekend getaway. Continuing on from Eastern Europe’s Prague last year Vienna was on the itinerary this year. Both nice places to visit you can see and feel the opulence of the rich imperial city in Vienna. After that welcomed break I had to prepare my thesis presentation to the board of professors at university. It hasn’t been easy at my age working on a 2nd masters in professional training. This second year is even more difficult than the first. I’m pleased to say it was worth all the work as I passed. After that Jeff, David, and I went old-fashioned tent camping for a few days in Brittany. Jeff and I also made time for camping and kayaking in Normandy this year. Simple camping is yet another of Jeff’s “new things”. When summer came around we were very much looking forward to our big summer vacation this year in the US. Chicago, Clearwater, and Miami. It was great seeing everyone. We went rafting with the Olson’s, a White Sox ballgame with the Mann’s, shooting with Jeff’s cousins, visited the Jelly Belly factory, Henry Ford Museum, and the Amish village with grandma. And we all got together for backyard games and then Chicago RidgeFest. I was pleased to see my friends of old. And sadly we showed our respect at the passing of Jeff’s lifelong best friend. Our hearts goes out to Dorothy and we’ll fondly remember Paul forever. After a few weeks in Chicago we were on to see Jeff’s family in Florida. It’s been so long since we’ve seen them. Jeff’s aunt and uncle, sister, step mother, brother and sister and all their families. There were a lot a people to see. Dawn even had T-Shirts made for the occasion. We went to a water park, an escape room, various restaurants, the beach, and Mary Jo had an awesome yard party and dinner at their place. Everything we did together was so much fun and such a good feeling seeing them after so many years.

Summer fun over it was back to school for David, Gabrielle and me. I guess David, Gabrielle and me are all sophomores now. David’s second year in high school at Notre Dame du Grandchamp in Versailles, Gabrielle’s second year at la Sorbonne in Paris, and I too am in my second year of study at a university close to home. My work is basically the same but Jeff changed positions at his company. He went from IT to program management. He likes it. David turned 16 and is into playing online games, tea, and has started making YouTube videos. Gabrielle turned 19 and is also into tea, traveling and her boyfriend. In addition to camping and bushcraft Jeff is also into airsoft now. And me, as you know, I cannot stop my dance even if my body is giving me signs to slow down. In November we spent time with David’s godparents in Aix en Provence where we all climbed Montagne Sainte-Victoire. Not too shabby and not slowing down. Further, I recently got involved in our town’s politics by joining one of the four parties running for mayor and municipal council. Our party group did not win so I nor our guy for mayor won but I enjoyed the race. It was close. I think I’ll try next time round.

To wrap up the year we’re at my parents for Christmas and vacation. We wish you all the best this Christmas and we hope the New Year finds you well.

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