Merry Christmas from the Fibbs'
What I want to write about is the breaking story that the President authorized illegal spying on our own citizens. What I want to write about is the just-passed ban on torture, as if such a thing doesn't call our national integrity into question just because it was ever brought to a vote in the first place. What I want to write about is the monstrous Patriot Act and the brave statesmen who are fighting its reimplementation.
What I want to write about is the culture war's slosh over into Christmas: the Christmas vs. Happy Holiday debate (never mind the fact that the word holiday is derived from "holy day") or the fact that so many churches are canceling their services this Sunday so all their uninterested parishioners can stay home.
That is what I want to write about. However, as this is the season of peace, I thought I'd give my vitriolic blogs some rest and you the peace. I've decided to be perfectly uncontroversial for the rest of the entire year! Isn't that magnanimous of me...
Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Happy Hanukkah!
We continue to fall ever deeper in love with one another and are delighted that there is still so much about each other yet to be discovered. For our first anniversary, we traveled to Ouray and Telluride, Colorado, to attend the Telluride Film Festival. We reveled in five days of film going and celebrity watching while tucked into a cabin in the stunning and jagged Sangre de Christo mountain range at the cusp of autumn. The first year of marriage was delightful and challenging as we grow together and learn more about one another.
Our lives together have encompassed one of our shared loves – travel – and taken us to Crested Butte, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Leadville, Aspen, and numerous locales in Colorado; Portland and the coastline of Oregon; northeast Iowa; and Cape Canaveral, Jacksonville, and Pensacola, Florida. Yet we have become happily settled into our little downtown apartment. Since our offices are across the street from one another, we often carpool to work and come home for lunch together. We’ve also started walking across the street to attend Grace & St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. While we still consider ourselves part of the family at Radiant Church Assembly of God, we are enjoying our split spiritual personality.
STEPHANIE: One of the true highlights of my year has been the opportunity to visit my dear grandmother in Iowa three times. I was able to combine one of those trips with welcoming my twin sister home from three years in Panama.
I am still at work to promote continued space exploration. One perk of the job is that it keeps me traveling...
In July, I was lucky enough to attend the return to flight of the space shuttle and witness the launch of Discovery and mission STS-114. Even “Wow!” cannot describe what an amazing experience it was. I worked at the press site for both the first attempt on July 13 and the actual launch July 26. Standing approximately foud miles away, I was overwhelmed by the sound waves that rolled through my body and by how quickly the shuttle disappeared into space. We all ran back inside to watch the replays on TV!
Another wonderful trip took me to Seattle in August. I’ve been told I was there during the few days of sunshine, which is probably why I found the city so stunning and beautiful. I loved Seattle, Puget Sound, and Pike Place market.
My extracurricular activities included taking a German class last spring, joining a book club, playing indoor soccer weekly with a fabulous group of women and outdoor in the spring and fall, and, of course, snowboarding. And we love to entertain in our home, having friends over for dinner regularly.
After donating 11 inches of my hair to Locks of Love in May, I am (mostly) enjoying my newly short hair.
BRANDON: This year I got a little older, plunging deeper and deeper into that nebulous world wistfully referred to in hushed tones as thirtysomething. I also got a little heavier—why didn’t anyone ever warn me that getting married would be such a threat to my waistline?
Like last year, this year was one of many new beginnings, chiefly professionally. In January, I began teaching a film class at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. It was an eye-opening and fascinating experience to learn about the jubilation and complexities of college from the other side of the lectern. Part of me suspects I chose the subject of the Hollywood epic just so I’d have an excuse to talk about my favorite film, Lawrence of Arabia.
Despite my scholastic knowledge of film, I also wanted to compliment it with some technical knowhow. So about the same time as the university job, I began as a producer at a video-production company where I have been learning videography and editing and even a little acting.
I continue to stay active in other areas of film. I found a perfect second job as a critic at the Web site, DVDFanatic.com. And this will be my third year as a judge, chair, and moderator of UCCS’s Annual Student Short Film Festival, the only such festival among Colorado’s universities.
If that weren’t enough, as I write this, I am currently suffocating beneath graduate film school applications. I very well may be writing this letter from a different address next year. Keep your fingers crossed with me!
It was also a big year for my family. In May, my mother was married to a man whom she has known since childhood but with whom she only became reacquainted after moving back to Oregon. It is wonderful to see her so happy with such a fantastic husband. My sister, who finished her associates degree in criminal justice may soon be moving to Oregon herself to apply for a position with Portland’s finest. This summer my brother was discharged from the Marine Corps after nearly ten years and will be remaining in Okinawa with his wife. We had a wonderful time together as he stayed with us for nine days in August while completing his outprocessing. In the past year, I’ve also had the blessing of becoming reacquainted with my father; we have so much catching up to do.
Other noteworthy events of the year include attending an extraordinary U2 concert; and a trip to Florida to take a special VIP tour of the Kennedy Space Center and see the Space Shuttle Discovery and catch up with family members and several dear Navy friends I hadn’t seen since I left Sicily.
May you find God’s deep peace and scandalous grace this blessed advent, friends. You are in our hearts and prayers this and every season.
“O God, who makest us glad with the yearly remembrance of the birth of thy only Son Jesus Christ: Grant that as we joyfully receive him for our redeemer, so we may with sure confidence behold him when he shall come to be our Judge; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen” – The Book of Common Prayer