Season's Greetings from the Kaubells!
This has been a year with more ups and downs than usual for us. The highlight was Matt's ACM Software System Award. It's like the computer science version of the Academy Awards, so just think of Matt as winning the "Best Boy" award. We had to dress up and did a tolerable job of it. Dressing up is such an unusual event for us that we even took pictures and have enclosed one.
It was a great trip. The ACM put us up for two nights in a beautiful hotel in downtown San Francisco and we took advantage of the great location by walking all over Chinatown in search of the perfect red bean cakes --- another Kaubell food-centered activity --- and walking the labyrinth at Grace Cathedral (with serendipitous live music, no extra charge!).
In August, we spent two weeks in the Pacific Northwest, where Matt attended a marathon conference while Holly drank coffee, read novels, shopped and visited her friend Freida. We also had fun trips to visit family in Carmel and Rancho Mirage and friends Richard and Marion in San Diego.
Shortly after we returned home, Holly's 19 year-old-cat, Baby Kitty, shucked the last of her nine lives. Those of you who had seen us interact with BK know that our relationship with her was complex, so her departure was bittersweet.
In April, we celebrated Holly's mother's 80th birthday, with a big family gathering. In September, Holly's mom died peacefully in her sleep. She had not been ill, although she was visibly losing strength. She had handled her many years of disability with a lot of grace and her sweetness and laughter are missed. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, the family gathered in east Texas to visit places where they lived when they were young and spread Holly's parents' ashes. While we were there we visited the chapel at the Lone Star Steel Company, where we were married almost 13 years ago.
Holly continues to work on various research projects related to Hurricane Katrina evacuees living in Austin. She has also continued to do training on worker wellness for social workers in stressful jobs. This fall she has been supervising a couple of graduate students.
Holly's back problems have diminished, so she's back to riding a bicycle some and doing more normal activities and not having to spend so much time with her physical therapist. She took up belly dancing this summer. Exercise with sequins!
Matt enjoys his theorem-prover software development and is playing squash with a good group of guys from four countries. Of course, there's more to life than that. There's TiVo!
We are grateful for the stability in our lives AND are looking for ways to incorporate some low-risk novelty (no sky diving or backpacking trips to Iraq).
We wish you the best ______________ (fill in the blank!) in the coming year.
Holly and Matt