Monday, January 01, 2007

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from the Fibbs

In Greek mythology, Janus is a two-faced god, one face looking back in time and the other looking forward. I often feel like Janus, especially this year. Having closed one chapter of my life and begun another, I too find myself looking both backward on wonderful experiences and friends and forward to an exciting, yet unknown future.

* * *

Happy holidays! We write to you from our cozy apartment on the Upper West Side in New York City, where Christmas really is all around us. We are staying here for the holidays, enjoying the fantastic musical offerings, window shopping at Macy’s and along 5th Avenue, ice skating outdoors with friends (and hundreds of other people!), and planning to be at Times Square with Stephanie’s brother to watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve.

Our big move this fall from our hometown of Colorado Springs to the Big Apple for Brandon to begin his master’s program at New York University is our big news of 2006. Living in Manhattan is an educational experience in itself. In many ways, adjusting is much like moving to a foreign country. Luckily, living in a foreign country was always something we relished, and we find our new lifestyle captivating, even if we do haul our laundry down four flights of stairs and three blocks. Though we miss our wonderful friends, we are very much at home in New York.

But our year contained many other significant moments, too. Stephanie’s dad treated the family to a cruise to the Mexican Riviera in March. We shared eight wonderful days – on the open sea, lounging on deserted beaches, swimming and snorkeling in azure-blue waters, and sipping drinks out of coconuts. Zihuatanejo was our favorite port city.

In June, we were confirmed in the greater Anglican Communion, a step in our faith journey we had been considering prayerfully for some time. We cherished and were sad to leave behind the faith community at Grace & St. Stephen’s.

In one short week in July, we lost one generation but gained another. Stephanie’s last grandparent, her beloved grandmother Olivia, passed on. She was nearly 92. A few days later, We became an uncle and aunt when Brandon’s brother and his wife welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Aaliyah Megumi, into the world July 25. Unfortunately, since the three of them live in Okinawa, we have met Aaliyah only in pictures.

Since we were physically separated for our anniversary in September, we celebrated our first two years when reunited in October. As we learn and grow more as a married couple, we find each year together, each year of learning to put the other first, a greater reason to celebrate.


This fall I began my graduate work in Cinema Studies at NYU, one of the finest film schools in the country. While it is amazing to think I have begun such a momentous undertaking, it is no less amazing to realize I have already completed my first semester. Returning to school has been a rewarding and enriching experience, both academically challenging and creatively rewarding.

This November, I turned 33. Not normally a year to elicit too much contemplation, I found myself struck often by the fact that I am now the same age as Christ at the end of His life. Stephanie’s surprise gift to me was tickets to the revival of Les Miserables, a glorious and touching story of grace.

My family is well. My mother celebrated her first wedding anniversary in Oregon. My sister also undertook a monumental move this summer when she left Michigan, where she had lived since getting out of the Army, for the warmer climes of San Diego, California, where she should start in the new year as San Diego’s newest police officer. And my father retired after almost 20 years with the Colorado Springs Sheriff’s Department.


My big news is that NASA has recruited me to work as a public affairs specialist at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. It was a very difficult decision process, but we both felt I should take the opportunity at NASA and be challenged in new ways. Nevertheless, both leaving the Space Foundation, where my career has been so nurtured, and leaving Brandon every week will be hard. I will stay in D.C. during the week, and Brandon and I will take turns commuting to see each other. I start Jan. 22, and this should solidify my status as a “space geek.” As I settle into both places, I look forward to renewing my extracurricular activities by finding a soccer team, book club, and German language group. And, hopefully, a couple places on the East Coast for snowboarding!

I was not the only one in the family to move this year. My twin sister moved back to Colorado Springs and is teaching fifth grade, and my older sister, after graduating with her nurse practitioner’s degree, moved to San Diego to work at its Children’s Hospital.

We have been pleased to welcome visitors to our apartment already and would be delighted to see you in New York (or D.C.!), too.


Anonymous deon said...

Hello Brandon & Stephanie,

Happy New Year, and may you both be blessed with better health, wealth and prosperity in this wonderful year 2007. Stephanie, it would be nice to meet you, seeing as though I live in the D.C. area. Let me know when you will be in town, and perhaps we can meetup for coffee or something. Have a wonderful Holiday and God Bless you both. Take care.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Beth said...

Hi both of you! Loved the update. NASA!!!! Wow. That is so great Stephanie. Congrats, what a huge accomplishment to take that step in your career! Miss you both but love to see and experience NYC through your thoughts and eyes (thanks for pics!).

12:53 PM  
Anonymous SD said...

Tell Stephanie I wish her a big Congrats on her new job!!!! How fantastic!!

12:55 PM  
Anonymous mom said...

I love the picture of you two with the park behind you. I want to get it blown up to an 8 x 10 and put it in our stairway!

Hope you had a great first day of the new year!

Oodles of love,

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zoowie, is that a real tat?

7:33 PM  
Blogger Brandon Fibbs said...

Alas, only the temporary variety.

7:34 PM  

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