Happy New Year!

Welcome to those of you who just received our New Year's cards!  (If you didn't get one, don't despair; just send me your address.  :)  I promised more, so click below for lots more news and photos to accompany it . . .

We rang in the new year with Emily's cousins in Atlanta.  Tristan's band played an assortment of 1990s covers, which was great fun for Emily, who last listened to the radio in the 1990s and actually knew most of them. Cousin Mary and her fiance Eddie came too.  Here's Emily with Tristan and Mary:

Emily, Tristan, Mary

We also got to see an exhibit of artifacts from King Tut's tomb.  Rob, a most culturally literate husband, knew the correct way to wear an Egyptian headpiece.

King Rob

We visited more museums and restaurants, but enjoyed visiting with the family most of all.  On the way home we visited Rob's cousins in Belhaven, North Carolina, where he worked on his adaptation of the Vulcan Neck Pinch for cats.

Rob and Bootsie

The spring semester went by in a blur.  Rob was finishing his thesis project, the last big nail in the coffin requirement for his Master of Landscape Architecture degree.  Here's the finished project, a proposal for an integrated urban college campus.  If you don't know a lot about architecture, then trust me, it's really, really complex and brilliant.

Thesis Model

Emily was called on to help a good friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to take an extended leave of absence for treatments.  She picked up two extra classes, one of which met at the same time as another class she was already teaching.  While a rather nightmarish situation, she learned a lot from it and helped to fold a Thousand Cranes for the day her friend returned.

With all the traveling we did this year, we didn't have much time for our garden, but it cooperated anyway, providing lovely blooms.


We also tended a few edibles, like lettuce and cherry tomatoes, and of course, enjoyed our herb garden, which continues to prosper despite our gross negligence.

The end of the semester brought traveling in abundance: San Francisco and Atlanta in one whirlwind weekend, to attend the AIA convention and see our cousins get married.  In San Francisco, we dined at The Stinking Rose with our friend Mike, where we enjoyed garlic-infused tapenade, chicken, mussels and even ice cream.

Garlic Night

We did not, however, enjoy smelling our garlic-infused clothing for the rest of the trip.  Ugh.  We also got to spend some time with Emily's aunt Debbie, including a heavenly afternoon tea overlooking Yerba Buena park on a cold, drizzly day.

Em and Deb

We left San Francisco in the middle of the night to fly to Atlanta for Emily's cousin's wedding, and left Atlanta in the middle of the night to fly home.  Between the two redeye flights, no one remembered to take any pictures of the lovely ceremony and family fun, but this photo from our New Year's Eve with the affianced couple shows just how erudite and refined they are:

Par Tay

Oops.  I meant this photo:


A couple of weeks later, Rob left for a travel-study trip to Chicago with his students, and just after he returned, Emily tagged along on his second travel-study trip, this one to Paris.  (Can you blame her?!)  We enjoyed 10 days of shopping, sightseeing, and fumbling our way through the French language, from the ancient Chateau Vincennes . . .


. . . to the modern Villa Savoye.


Summer could hardly get any better after Paris, but we tried, spending time at Rob's parents' place in Ocean City with his family and making a day trip to Philadelphia for his birthday, where we ate The Best Cheesesteaks (what else?!) and explored the Magic Gardens, a sprawling and fun urban art project.

Magic Gardens

In the fall, we enjoyed the company of friends at the Virginia Wine Festival for Emily’s birthday, which also happened to be International Talk Like a Pirate Day:


Rob made good on a longtime promise by taking Emily to see a U2 show, something she’d dreamed of for, oh, about 15 years or so.  And we saw the first snow of the year in Denver, where we journeyed for the wedding of our friends Luke and Courtney.  In between elk sightings, jerky tastings and Highland hijinks, Rob conquered a mountain with a little help from his friends.


Our new and very dear friends Matthew and Jamie invited us to a concert of the Swell Season, whom you might have seen in the excellent movie Once (sorry for the poor-quality video and possible copyright infringement, but yes, he really plays like that, and surprisingly, it took him until the very last song to break a string.)

Emily attended an English teachers’ convention in Philadelphia, and Rob tagged along this time for dinner at Iron Chef Morimoto’s ultra-cool restaurant.

Iron Chef Night

And Rob’s family generously invited Emily along for her first professional football game, from which she emerged relatively unscathed (if unimpressed.)  Our holiday season was marked by a huge snowfall . . .

The Big Snow

. . . which we abandoned as soon as possible for the Bahamian sun, returning only under duress.


Not pictured: the daily frustrations of life and work, the innumerable joys of marriage, the prayers offered up in our times of greatest need and greatest triumph and many places in between.  Rob keeps one foot in the design world with some occasional projects, including a lovely Middle Eastern-style house with a courtyard in the back.  Emily draws immeasurable amusement from her piano students, who can be trusted to never walk through the door the same way twice.  Rob plays his guitar to relax.  Emily plays around with writing to get herself worked up.  Rob thinks he's going to get a dog after he graduates this spring.  Emily thinks not.

We remember each of you often, and if we haven’t spent time together recently, we’d really like to!  Please call, e-mail, drop by or send a carrier pigeon as soon as you can.

Happy 2010 to all!

Rob and Em