2012 Holiday Letter

I really enjoy writing our holiday letter every year. It’s a chance for me to reflect on everything that happened throughout the year, good and bad, and it lets us share some of the special moments with our friends and family (or at least recap them, for thos'[;pe of you who have already seen everything on Facebook). For lazy or impatient readers, we’ve included a “cliff notes” at the bottom so you can still pretend like you read the whole thing when you see us in person next. Enjoy!

Ever since we moved here, we’ve been getting more involved in winter sports. We celebrated Dan’s birthday in Leavenworth, which is a super cheesy Bavarian-themed town nestled in the middle of the Cascade mountain range. Imagine Solvang, California covered in snow, and with more bratwurst and fewer windmills. I don’t think anyone from Germany could visit without rolling their eyes, but its a fun place to spend a weekend and its about fifteen minutes from a ski resort.

That weekend is where we discovered (after several hours of pain and profanities) that Katie is a terrible snowboarder and Dan is an even worse snowboard instructor. The next time we went to the snow (a month later in Copper Mountain, Colorado), Katie decided she wanted to try skiing instead. As this meant that she would now be armed with two long sharp ski poles, Dan wisely signed her up for ski lessons and then spent the rest of the day hiding on the opposite side of the mountain. It turns out that skiing was much easier for her and a lot of fun was had by all.

One of the sadder moments of this year was in April when we lost our dog Samantha. Because we adopted her at an older age (we got her at 12, she was 14 when she passed away) we knew our time with her would be shorter, but we still weren’t fully prepared for the pain of losing her. She had lived a rough life before she came into our home, but we can at least be grateful that she was comfortable and well-loved in her last few years.

Samantha left quite a large hole in our hearts and before long we were casually browsing PetFinder and checking out dogs at local shelters. We really like older dogs because they’re sweet, mellow, and generally content to just sit at your feet and sleep. It wasn’t long before we adopted a new dog named Sierra (on the right):

Sierra is about ten years old, and enjoys napping, getting belly rubs and chasing squirrels. And that cute troublemaker next to her is Koji, who we’ve had for almost two years now (If you weren’t privy to the Saga of Koji, I recounted the story of how we adopted her in our 2011 Holiday Letter). She’s a large part of the reason why we needed another dog, too. With Sam gone, Koji was starting to act like an only child, and we all know how those turn out…

Both Sierra and Koji accompanied us on our 2012 vacation, which involved driving around 2,000 miles through Idaho and Montana, and mooching off visiting with friends and family along the way. Big thanks to Gregg and Stacy Irwin in Idaho and Bill and Lucy Ruediger in Montana for their hospitality (as well as their excellent taste in film and beer, respectively). We had an amazing time hiking around the geyser basins at Yellowstone and watching bison at the National Bison Range.

Another big change this year was when Dan’s parents moved out of the intolerable wasteland lovely town of Roseville, CA and up to join us here in Seattle. “Don’t worry”, they reassured us, “We won’t move too close to you”, as they proceeded to buy a house two miles from ours. Its been great having them up here though, and they seem to be enjoying it. Their assimilation into True Seattlites™ is happening at an alarming rate, though. In several months, they’ve already sold their car, ride the bus everywhere, and installed a rain garden. Its only a matter of time before Dan Sr. quits his job to become a crab fisherman and Barb starts raising free-range grass-fed goats in the backyard.

They even discovered that their new house was previously home to a semi-popular grunge band (at least we hope that’s why the basement is soundproof…). But in all honesty we’ve actually really enjoyed them being up here. Dan’s dad now works at Amazon too, which is fun but extra confusing for everyone else (“Sorry, wrong Dan Ford” is becoming a frequent occurrence there).

I’m going to take a minute here and do something I don’t often get to do living in Seattle – brag about our weather . Yes, it is sometimes often grey and drizzly here, but the advantage of weather in the Northwest is that we don’t have to suffer through the extremes. For 90% of the year, temperatures stay between 50-70 F, which are universally tolerable in jeans, a hoodie, and maybe a beanie (the official dress code of Seattle, acceptable to wear anywhere from dive bars to the opera) and it rarely rains hard enough to be anything more than annoying. Remember when most of the country was roasting in a heat wave this past summer?

I sure don’t. You can see that it was just great up here in the Northwest. On the flip side, when it gets “cold” here, its still business as usual; you’re just allowed to be whiny about it. You’re not excavating your car from twelve feet of snow every morning or walking around bundled up like an Eskimo. Not to mention the only hurricanes we get up here are greasy spoon diners.

I will confess that I am looking forward to some sunshine as we finish out the year visiting friends and family down in Southern California for Christmas. This is one of my favorite times of the year, partly because I can actually buy eggnog in stores (seriously, why don’t they make this stuff year round?), but mostly because we’ll get to see a lot of family that we don’t see very often.

2012 has been a great year for us, and I hope the same has held true for everyone else, too. Happy Holidays, everyone!


Dan and Katie Ford

TL,DR: Katie learned to ski. Sam died and we adopted another dog named Sierra. We drove around Montana and Idaho for a while and saw some buffalo. Dan’s parents moved to Seattle, where the weather kind of sucks but at least it doesn’t get heat waves and hurricanes.

3 Responses to “2012 Holiday Letter”
  1. Gunnar says:

    Happy new year Katie and Dan!
    I just got your sweet christmas card today, thank you so much for it. Loved your holiday letter, I sure would love to check out Leavenworth one day, haha. All the best for you and your “lil family”, hope to see you soon

  2. Melissa says:

    I LOVE this letter. You always know how to make me smile 🙂 Miss you! xox

  3. I really did read every word! Hope you and Dan have a wonderful year. We really must go skiing soon (and we can leave Dan to the snowboarding!) Mac Mommy ❤

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