December, 2008

Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas!

We now have our final occupancy for our tiny little Tahoe project. Woo Hoo! Since we were mildly pre-occupied this year, our big vacation to an exotic dive location was postponed till next year. If that is all you all you are interested in, you can stop reading now... pause.... Well, since you are still here, Mike turned the big four oh and we celebrated with a surprise party, Lori is still at Intel, but has changed to a new job, Mike celebrated his 15th year at Lockheed, and we spent all of our non-working time focused on our Tahoe house.

In February, Lori decided to leave the warm comfy confines of software and embarked on a new path as a CPU Program Manager. The new position came with a new alphabet soup, players, and tribal rules. She is looking forward to next year having survived her rookie season. Since the team is split between the US and Israel, she has traveled to Israel twice this year, and expects more trips to occur in 2009.

Mike has survived fifteen years with Lockheed Martin, he hit the big four-oh, and somehow found himself elected as President of the Cedar Flat Improvement Association. For birthday number x0, we purchased a used Honda HS928TAS snow blower, "Harry". When we found out that "Harry" was sold by a Ducks fan and delivered by a Red Wings fan, the deal was almost off.

In order to keep this letter under 10000 pages, we won't repeat everything that is on our website with regards to our Tahoe Construction. We instead will provide some of our favorite memories, from Aardvark to Zyzzyva:

A is for the Awesome neighbors!
B is for the Big, beautiful fireplace built by the brother's Trowbridge with mantle by the spouses Janz
C is for the alcohol Consumption to conclude our daily chores - power tool or no power tool strength?
D is for the Dust that decimated furnace filters and coated counters; However the tide is starting to turn...
E is for Every tile that Mike had to measure, calculate, and cut. The diagonals were definitely a doozy!
F is for receiving FINAL on November 14th, 2008 ... surprisingly easer than expected
G is for the Gutter we had to install. (See "I" as to why)
H is for all of the Help we received. We wouldn't be this far along without you
I is for the Ice that slid from the roof and sheared the bolts on one of the entry steps
J is for Jake, who is still always right
K is for the Kitchen completion ... with enough (fluorescent) lumens to rival the Las Vegas strip
L is for Luxury now that we have a real bed to score some snores
M is for Marleau's midnight stroll and Murray, who sounded the alarm; Marleau's response: What did I do?
N is for the Newell post; measure 18 times, cut once ... perfectly, install, drive 400 miles for new newel post
O is for the sum total of money left in our savings account
P is for the January Peril warning that scared flatlanders off the road ... but not us
Q is for the lines we shouldn't have now that we have three toilets
R is for the Rain, hail, and snow that slowed down, but could not thwart completion of our deck masterpiece
S is for the Stair structure precision; sixteen steps, each a sixteenth of an inch too high, spells a snag
T is for the Tennis elbow Lori contracted from the tons of tiling. Thank the deity the deed is now done
U is for the Unfinished floor ... give us a day or two and we'll check this one off
V is for the View - we can appreciate it, again, now that "Final" is finally behind us
W is for the Working dishwasher; washing, rinsing, and removing cats from drying rack is no longer required
X is for Xmas 2008 which this letter will be mailed before (barely, but still 2 months earlier than last year!)
Y is for the Years of planning that is coming to fruition
Z is for the Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz we didn't get

This January 18th, we'll celebrate Mike's major milestone of 10 years since his Stem Cell Transplant ... they're almost willing to use the "cured" word. Next year we look forward to to going back to our normal life now that the "cabin" has Final. Lori is excited about making cards for her new cause, Cards for Hero's, while Mike intends to join Lori on one of her business trips to Israel so we can dive the Red Sea, see the pyramids, ...

Feel free to email us at or peruse our previous Christmas letters and view our favorite photos and projects at

We hope the coming year brings peace, good health, and a safe and wonderful holiday.


Mike, Lori, Magic, Marleau, & Murray