Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays 2011!

 Just thought I'd share our holiday letter-and the photos we used in our greeting postcard. I'll be posting some 2011  running wrap up/welcome 2012 after Christmas...But for now-Merry Christmas!

George and I post Turkey Trot 4 Miler in November

George on the New River in August 2011.
Annette and teammate Pam Smith at World 100km Championships-September 2011
Mama Grey at play
Dear Friends, Family, and Kindred Spirits,

If you are reading this we’ve all survived another year filled with joy, challenge, celebration and anticipation of weekends and days doing what we love to do! Don’t get me wrong-we both really like what we do for work (most of the time anyway), yet days to play hard, or just hang out, don’t come often enough.

George continues to work hard for the New River. He’s been traveling more than ever this year-zipping around the 3-state watershed and spent a week in Milwaukee at a conference. Again this past summer he headed up the New River Expedition, paddling from the headwaters in NC to the end in WV. The event raises awareness of human impact, offers communities lots of opportunities to help clean the river, raises money for NCNR, and is meant to be tons of FUN!

George has further developed his whitewater skills and kayaks and canoes whenever he gets a chance. He is also teaching himself to fly fish. I think as long as George gets to hang out by a river, he will be a happy man! Don’t get me wrong, he still hikes, occasionally runs & bikes, and can sit on the couch for a ball game like a champ, yet it is on the water is where he comes alive!

Annette continues her work as a school counselor, with all the budget cuts and getting added responsibilities she is working at least 8 more hours a week than this time last year, just to survive at work. She is, thankfully, still able to manage quality time for running and training.

Running highlights for Annette this year were setting a course record at North Face’s Bear Mountain 50Miler in NY in May, running a 3:01:30 marathon at the World Master’s Marathon Championships in July in CA, and representing the United States with Team USA at the 100km World Championships in Winschoten, Netherlands in September, where she came in 6th (7:54:59) and helped USA win a silver medal.

We spent a week together in Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park in July and camped, hiked, postholed and skid down snowfields at 11,000+ feet. Big mountains are fun!

Mama Grey is as fabulous and crazy as ever! We can’t believe we’re about to spend our 5th Christmas together!

Although we both still enjoy winemaking, gardening and canning-work life has gotten in the way a little more this year, so we have less to “brag” about in that department…(Though if any of you are around come July of 2012, the cranberry semi-sweet wine should be in it’s prime!)

Happy Holidays and Happy 2012!

Annette and George