Greetings from wet Seattle. Merry Christmas, happy holidays and a wonderful New Year!

I'm still living in laid-back, rainy Seattle in a cute little house with my brilliant and kind boyfriend Alex. In our garden this summer, leeks were a disappointment, but kale, arugula, tomatoes and strawberries were prolific. The kitty that comes by the house (D.K.) got really sick in the fall and after nursing her back to health, we officially adopted her. I've been playing volleyball with friends from work in a little 4 team league. We went from last place in the spring, to first place in the fall!

My parents moved to Anacortes over a year ago. Anacortes is about one and a half hours north of Seattle on the cusp of the San Juan Islands. It's a cute little town on the Puget Sound. Mom and dad see bald eagles and herons in their backyard. They have been finishing out the lower level of their beautiful house for the past year. It's been a project and a half, and it's almost done. Mom has put her heart into it, and it's looking great! My brother Owen is still in Seattle. He's recently moved in with his kind-hearted, belly-dancing girlfriend Amy. In a bizarre twist of fate, Amy's parents have also recently moved from Illinois to the Puget Sound area.

There have been changes in Jordan-land this year. I got a new car in August. After quite a bit of research, I decided to buy the Honda Civic Hybrid. It's got both an electric and a gas engine. After spending the past year applying to Econ Grad School, I had a change of heart. I realized that I'm not well suited for the combination of 99% math and isolated study. I am now without a future plan. If you have suggestions, email me. :) I changed jobs at Amazon. I'm now the "2 pizza team leader" for Product Merchandising. That's Amazon-speak saying that I run a lean team (unable to eat more than 2 pizzas) that owns both the technology and the business of displaying products on our website. It's an exciting job because I get to own the full package (including the decisions about what we work on). If you have opinions about pricing, rebates, comparing tech specs, or comparison shopping, send them my way. I'm obsessed.

There are lots of exciting changes for those that I love. My cousin Kerry married Graham Sinclair last July in South Africa. Right before that wedding, her brother Kevin announced his engagement to Rachel Frank. I was a co-Maid of Honor at the wedding of my close friends and former roommate Cathy Polinsky and Russell Belfer. In another great Amazon match, Amy Arnold and Allen Murray were married while Rebecca Staffel presided. Some of my close friends from Amazon are starting to have children. Meg Halverson and Bill Hummel are the proud parents of baby Carmen. My former boss and close friends Lauri and Greg Nakamoto, are expecting in February. Finally, Alex's mother Babette is now engaged to Terry Bowen.

I've spent a lot of time with my friends and family who live outside of seattle. I got a chance to go to the Brown family reunion again this summer. My Uncle Don and his fine clan were up in Anacortes to celebrate father's day this spring. My little cousin Zoe is now talking and walking. Now that my parents are settled into their house in Anacortes, we've gotten regular visits from family. Jill & Tim, Kevin & Rachel, Kerry & Graham and Stephanie Wetzel all swung through the Pacific Northwest in the Fall. I attended my 5 year college reunion this summer. It was bizarre. Every one was exactly the same. And we related in the same ways. It's amazing how seeing old friends helps you remember who you are. Finally, we had a big family Thanksgiving with Mom, Dad, Owen, Amy, Alex, Amy's parents Stan and Nancy and Alex's Mom Babette with her fiance Terry.

Alex and I had a great year traveling. Late last year, we went to Japan. Then we went to South Africa with the whole Hay family for Kerry and Graham's wedding in January. The wedding was in the wine country outside of Cape Town. After that, the Hay family retired to Sabi Sands for family safari. I got about 20 ft from an elephant! Alex and I are starting to get excited for our trip to the Yucatan Peninsula in January. Here fishy, fishy, fishy...

I wish you a very merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a wonderful new year.

Yours,
jordan

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