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A Christmas Update
December 2008
(Click here for our 2008 eCard)

Dear Family and Friends  

What’s that? It’s time for a 2008 Christmas letter? No, it can’t be that late already, can it? We’d better get busy hanging our 2009 wall planner...    

We’ll start with the weather – since it was a doozey this year. The year started out with a modest snowfall typical for the Palouse. No snow-removal equipment needed – but as the days went on, the snow continued to fall, and fall, and fall. The snow just kept falling and falling until a record-breaking 93+ inches fell in the region – closing roads and schools.

By the end of February we were actively searching for a house – and while the frustration of a failed purchase and a failing property market seemed to be conspiring against us, we finally found the perfect home and moved in toward the end of May. Two weeks later we planted our vegetable garden. And it snowed the next morning. Really. (The vegetables survived but a cool summer meant there was very little yield.)

Our new home boasts a population of less than 650 people and a sheep or two. It is about 25 miles from Pullman, where Frances continues to work for the Washington State University heading the marketing and communication team for the College of Business. She enjoys driving so the ½ hour commute doesn’t bother her – and luckily she can work from home if the roads are too treacherous for travel.    

In addition to braving the snow and moving home, the past year has seen us continue taking part in road races. We ran our second Bloomsday 12K race in Spokane, Wash., where we each improved our times over the previous year, and ran in several smaller races throughout the year. Paul also ran the Coeur d'Alene (Idaho) Half Marathon – his longest race to date – with a respectable finishing time. 2009 will definitely see us pounding the pavement some more. And if Frances can keep from injuring herself we’ll manage to get some miles in on our roller blades, too (last year’s Christmas presents).

One of the joys of finally having a house means that we can have house guests. Our first guests were Frances’ parents who’ve made several visits since our move. Her Dad even made a solo-visit one weekend with some power tools so that he could help with some much-needed projects around the house.

Throughout the month of July, several of our young nieces and nephews came to visit while attending week-long day camps in Pullman. We had a blast showing them around the Palouse, and they all got a kick out of seeing the bears in Pullman and swimming in the local pool.  

Once the kids were safely back with their parents, we took a much-needed vacation, which began with a drive to Vancouver, Canada, where we met with Paul’s brother, John, and Claire. We spent a few days in Canada together before making the trip back home with John and Claire in tow. Sadly, our small town’s only watering hole was closed for the week, so there was no pub-crawl on the agenda. We had a lovely visit, though, and were sad to see them go.

In November, we hosted Thanksgiving for some of Frances’ family. We’d recently re-finished an Art Deco table we’d purchased over the summer and were excited to break it in – it looked lovely filled with good food and great company!  

We continue to update our Web site (www.RyanCentric.com) with our latest-and-greatest adventures, so be sure to check it out for the most up-to-date stories happening in the Ryan Family.

With 2009 just around the corner, we are looking forward to more great things to come. 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  

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