Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day - 2009 in Review

Miller Family Newsletter – 2009 in Review

Wow – what a full year 2009 was! We were so busy we didn’t even get our family newsletter out by the end of the year! So, instead, we have included our note while wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day.

Many of the changes we experienced this year anchored around Lynn’s graduate school work. In August, Lynn successfully completed the very challenging classroom portion of her Nurse Anesthesia program. As a result, we made preparations for the next step – her 16-month-long clinical rotation. She was excited to get back to taking care of patients and get out of the study chair where she was beginning to grow roots!

The exciting part for us both was that this next stage led us to move to sunny southern California. This meant packing up all of our things, selling our house, moving 1,363 miles in a Penske truck and finally settling in to a new home for the rest of 2009 and all of 2010!

Although Texas’ home market did better than most during the recession, just the process of selling our home was difficult. Our demanding and finicky buyers and the process of concluding the sale long distance from California made us truly appreciate all the incredible help from our family in getting us to the finish line! Laura helped us move our two cars, two dogs and moving truck out – an incredible feat itself (thanks Mom). We found a nice rental home with a backyard for the dogs in Highland, CA, about an hour and twenty minutes east of Los Angeles. Lynn is 10-15 minutes from work in the Loma Linda area and Matt is travel nursing at a Kaiser Permanente hospital in Fontana about 20-25 minutes from home. Rossi and Chloe, our little dogs, are adjusting well. They love their backyard and bark at the neighbor’s dogs when they get the chance. We take them to a dog park nearby and Matt jogs the neighborhood with them to wear them out.

Our new neighborhood is very pretty. We are not far from the beaches of Orange County, the wineries of Temecula, the casinos of Las Vegas, the skiing and mountain hikes at Big Bear and the desert parks and rock climbing in Joshua Tree N.P. One reason we opted for California was because it would also give us a chance to be near our grandparents, LuLu and Bob Bob, and our aunt and uncle, Bob and Alice, in the Palm Desert. We even stopped by to see LL & BB in our moving truck on the way to Highland!

In March, Lynn and Matt went to Galveston, TX for their spring break and spent a week sailing boats to get certified as bareboat captains. We weathered the wet and cold and bonded with our new friends, passing all the tests by the end of the week. We dream of chartering a boat somewhere warm for a few days when school is over and work allows… : )

Lynn had major surgery on her knee this summer – a planned event but difficult and involved lots of family support and physical therapy. She progressed from hospital bed to couch, wheelchair to crutches and in a short period of time went back to school/work. We appreciate all of the doctors, the nurses, the physical therapists, the classmates who wheeled Lynn around and all the other family and friends that provided love (and even delicious food!) to speed her recovery. She is still going to PT twice a week, but can ascend and descend stairs and even gets exercise on the Christmas present her husband bought her – a shiny new bicycle. We know it is a long process and Lynn may need another “scope” in the spring to continue progressing, but we hold hope that all this effort will allow her a more pain-free lifestyle. Lynn even talks of skiing sometime in the future – although her orthopedic surgeon still cringes at the thought!

Sadness descended upon us all in September when Matt's grandmother, LuLu, got sick. We took her to the hospital, but after only a few days we lost her. If there was any blessing, it was that she did not suffer and that many of her family were able to talk with her and visit before she passed away. She is greatly missed and we think about her all the time.

Other big events this year included going to Sacramento, CA for my cousin Lydia’s wedding and going to Charlottesville, VA for my brother Charley’s wedding. We had the opportunity to see Lydia’s husband Scott again and talk with more of the Yomogida family. We enjoyed a beautiful ceremony, ate fancy sushi and listened to traditional drum music. It was a fun time and Lynn especially enjoyed taking pictures of the event.

Matt was the best man for his brother’s wedding. His duties included successfully navigating Charley’s bachelor party in Las Vegas with no lost souls and delivering a few speeches at the rehearsal dinner and reception. We had a fantastic time- such a beautiful fall day in Virginia, and had a lot of fun catching up with family from all over the country. My brother’s new wife, Kristen, has been like family for some time now, but it was wonderful to make it official.

Looking forward, we have a full year left in California with many new adventures. We have had a few visitors already – Laura, PJ & Peter, Peggy, Cameron, Charley, Bob Bob, Raj and Rob to name a few and we look forward to more friends and family coming out in 2010. To answer a few questions many family have been asking, 1) We don’t know quite yet whether we’re moving back to Texas, on to Colorado or staying in California until we figure out Lynn’s work, but we’re up for any and all adventures, and 2) speaking of adventures, we may start thinking and planning to add to the family once we get other plans sorted out. We’re excited to make the most of our 2010, and look forward to hearing about your plans for this year as well. See our new address below and drop a line or give us a call so we can catch up!

Lots of love and Happy Valentine’s Day,

The Miller's


Anonymous said...

Love it!!! Love it!!!What a year!!

Jennifer said...

What a great review! Glad you're enjoying your time in CA!

Catherine said...

Loved the card, thanks so much for thinking of us! Maybe we'll plan a trip to CA this year sometime! Of course, we'd be bringing our almost 3 year old bundle of MESS!