January 4, 2004
As our holiday vacation draws to a close, it is once again time to share our 2003 family news with our closest friends and relatives. Overall, this was a good year filled with significant challenges and transitions.
Jessica is halfway through the eighth grade; her last year at Bi-Cultural Day School. Between school, homework and three nights a week of gymnastics, Jessica is frequently up until the early hours completing her homework. This lack of sleep doesn't seem to be causing any harm other than the anxiety it produces in her parents. Her grades are quite good, she's made some wonderful friends, seems as happy as a fourteen year-old teenage girl is likely to get, and is at the brink of competing Level Eight (out of 10) in gymnastics
. She is planning on attending New Canaan High School next year and is looking forward to having way fewer courses, a shorter school day and wearing jeans to school.
Hannah is in sixth grade, her first year of middle school. She is also doing quite well in school. At eleven, she is absolutely delightful and delighted with her school, friends, gym, build-a-bears and assorted television shows. She had an outstanding Level 6 gymnastics season, winning four out of her five meets, including the Connecticut State Championship
! She is now in training to begin competing Level Seven.
Susan has become really involved in our synagogue. She is a member of the Synagogue Board. She is also serving as co-chairperson of the membership committee and is creating a new youth group for post Bar/Bat Mitzvah aged kids (like Jessie!). In addition, Susan continues to work at Banana Republic, drive the kids to and from school every day, and to and from gym at least three nights a week. She continues to be quite committed to her own fitness, consistently visiting her gym three or four times a week.
After almost three and half years, Gary decided mid-year to leave McKinsey and Company where he was a Partner and leader in the Marketing and Sales Practice. He was lucky enough to be offered a variety of new opportunities including senior positions at one of the largest global advertising agencies, a prestigious marketing consulting firm and heading the North American arm of a leading branding firm. We came very close to taking a terrific client-side option in Northern Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C. but opted as a family to stay put in Connecticut, closer to our family in Boston and Brooklyn Heights. Gary ultimately left McKinsey in October to become the Chief Strategy Officer at Interbrand
the leading branding firm and an Omnicom Company based in Union Square (Manhattan).
Our year was blessed by many visits with family and friends. Our vacations included a trip to Captiva Island and Disney World in Florida, Newport, Rhode Island (with Gary's sister and her family), and the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts (with Susan's dad and his wife Rena). We also made frequent trips to Boston and New York City, most recently with some good friends from St. Louis. Susan and the kids also traveled to Chicago and St. Louis for a variety of Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and gymnastic meets.
Gary's parents moved from Florida to Boston in the early spring. They have settled in remarkably well despite Gary's dad's continued ill health and the challenges that presents to Gary's parents as well as to his sister and brother-in-law who live ten minutes away. Susan's father had a very unfortunate accident in October. He was struck by a bicyclist while stepping off a curb in downtown Boston. He has already undergone two surgeries to repair his broken hip with a third planned in January. He's got some real challenges ahead of him but continues to be absolutely committed to doing what is necessary to get better as quickly as possible.
We wish you a very happy and healthy 2004, one we hope we will be able to share with you personally in the coming months.