For some unknown reason, I was unable to get holiday cards out in the mail this year, so here it is, our virtual greeting to all of you.

2009: what a year. It started with the Dietrich family vacation to Jamaica, where the boys enjoyed swimming in the ocean, swimming in the pool, and naked soccer playing. They did not, however, enjoy riding the ponies.

A few weeks later, Mark and I had the distinct honor of traveling to Washington D.C. to witness the inauguration of Barack Obama as our 44th president.

March and April stunned us with what we thought was a recurrence of Austin’s cancer. This earth-shaking event proved to be relatively easy and quick (relatively being the operative word there) and suddenly we were right back where we’d started.

As spring arrived, we began an unexpected house search, came very close to buying one that wasn’t right for us and then finally found The One.

Summer flew by with a quick trip to Cape Cod, a few weeks in Chautauqua and much work preparing our current house for its market debut.

Fall was filled with significant milestones as Braedan eagerly started kindergarten and Austin reluctantly started preschool. We finally took possession of the new house and began what continues to be an on-going renovation project. Austin’s health was questionable, uncertain, indeterminate . . . and carefully watched.

And, well, you know where that led us.

All in all, it was a year of drastic ups and downs: good health, bad health and in-between health; old houses, new houses and almost houses; lives beginning, most notably that of our niece Amira, lives ending and lives being lived to the fullest.

As it began, 2009 was marked, more than anything else, by an enormous sense of HOPE. 2010 will begin the same way.

Happiest of new years to us all,

Krissy & Mark, Braedan & Austin

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