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A Christmas Update
December 2007
(Click here for our 2007 eCard)


Dear Family and Friends,

Here it is – the 2007 Ryan Family Christmas letter. Yes, we know you’ve been anxiously waiting for it the past year. After all, it’s cold outside and it’s always nice to have fresh fire starter!

We’ve been quite busy this year, but it’s been (mostly) fun. We spent January getting used to the bitter, cold Palouse winter. Even with growing up in the snowy Upper County mountains, Frances couldn’t get past the unrelenting freeze that set in shortly after the New Year. It was Paul’s first experience driving in the snow, and scraping car windows – but he learned the lessons quickly.

In late February and early March, we escaped the ice and headed to the UK. Okay, not exactly a tropical escape, but it was certainly warmer weather than what we’d left behind! We spent 10 days visiting family and friends, eating fish and chips and curry, and learning to navigate traffic islands while driving on the left-hand side of the road. (All without damage to the rental car.)

After returning from our holidays, we met with a real estate agent to start the process of looking for a house. Little did we know that the housing market would take a nasty little turn and there wouldn’t be anything on the market that we liked (and could afford). However, keeping positive, we hope to find something – one day. Watch this space …

Also in March, we picked up our Christmas presents (a little late): Trek 7200 bikes. We spent the rest of the spring and summer taking short trips to many-a-wonderful places including Moscow and Wallace, Idaho, and Cle Elum and Tekoa, Wash. We hope to have more time next year to take some longer weekend trips, and plan to take advantage of the many “rails-to-trails” around the region (old rail lines converted to recreation trails).

In May, we ran in our first-ever Bloomsday 12K in Spokane, Wash. Even if you’ve not run the course before, you can probably imagine the horrors of anything named “Doomsday Hill” – a mile-long, up-hill grade in the last mile and a half of the race. But, we both managed to survive it, and got the “finishers only” t-shirts to prove it! We did a few other races throughout the year, including the Runner Stumbles 10K in July and the inaugural Roslyn Brewery “Beer Run” 5K in September.

’ best friend, Rachel, came for a visit in July. It was probably the hottest weekend of the year, but we decided to hike the Elk Falls trail in Idaho none-the-less. Then toward the end of October, Frances took a trip to Portland, Ore., for Rachel’s baby shower (even though Rachel steadfastly refuses to name the baby after her).

Earlier in October, we took a trip to Yakima, Wash., for the 5th Annual Fresh Hops Festival where we sampled a variety of brews from breweries around the Pacific Northwest. It was a great way to discover new and delicious local brews.

October and November also saw us creating our new family Web site (www.RyanCentric.com). Both of us have been very involved in the design and planning process, although it’s fair to say that Frances has done the ‘Lion’s share’ of the work. We plan to update the site regularly with our latest-and-greatest adventures and, of course, our spectacular amateur photography
, so feel free to check back often.

We are already looking forward to 2008, and are certain that it will be a great year full of fun and surprise. We hope that the past year has been good to you, and that the year to come brings you all of the joy and happiness you deserve.

With all of our love, Paul and Frances


p.s. For a giggle, we "Elfed" ourselves this year. Check out our fly moves here.

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