Woofing you a Merry Christmas

Andy and Jennie’s
Christmas 2001


The year in pictures.

This is why we put off getting married for ten years. In one year we had a (-nother) wedding reception, bought a house, had our first child (Ruby, see below) and got a dog (Panang, above). A ride on the rollercoaster.

Please click on a photo for a larger picture


photophotoThe Psychedelic Koalas, Andrew’s band, celebrated their first anniversary. It’s easy to avoid splitting up due to "creative differences" when you’re not that creative. With their amiable blend of party rock cover songs, the Koalas continued to rock (or is that harass?) San Diego.

Meanwhile, Andrew decided to take his sailing to the next level and joined Harbor Sailboats, a sailing club that rents large keelboats and gives sailing courses accredited by the ASA (American Sailing Association). Andrew will take any course that puts Jennie in a cute photo.

Jennie stretched into her third year as Public Relations Manager for Macy’s in San Diego and hired a new assistant, Greg.


photophotophotoWe flew to England for our U.K. wedding reception. Jennie’s parents, Jerry and Judy, came too and we had a fun time exploring London, Devon and the Cotswolds.

Staging ourselves at the Crown of Crucis in Ampney Crucis near Cirencester, we were delighted to receive 70 guests for the weekend celebration. Take a look at the photos.

Afterwards, we visited Andrew’s cousin Fiona and family, Andrew’s grandmother, and the good old English countryside.
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photophotoWe had learned earlier that Jennie was pregnant!

Clueless about being parents, we took every baby class we could find, learning all about nappies, birthing and other things best not discussed. We visited the doctor once a month, getting excited when we saw the ultrasound of our growing daughter.

A due date of September 26 made us get serious about house-hunting. This was an instantly miserable exercise since everything we liked was waaay too expensive. It’s depressing when reality meets ego.


What about work? Jennie continued working for Macy’s organizing special events. She opened a new School of Cooking and worked on events for Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, and Lord Wedgwood.

photo photo photoAndrew’s publishing business passed the five-year mark. He worked on books for Los Angeles and Orange County, and worked with partner Bob Krist on books for New York and Bob’s home of Bucks County.


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We spent a wonderfully romantic long weekend in Mendocino (north coast of California). Courtesy of our kind friends Kelli and Steve, we stayed at a private and remote cliff-top house, with an outdoor jacuzzi open to the ocean and stars. This was possibly our most relaxing holiday ever.

For Memorial Day, the band and its entourage -- 13 people in all -- drove 250 miles east to the Colorado River for "Rock on the River." We got fed, played in power boats, drifted down the river, and the band played to a sold-out crowd of 50 golf carts.

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photo photo On June 29, 2001 we became the proud owners of a house. Having both been renters for almost twenty years -- embarassing we know -- it was quite exciting. This was the first place in our price range that met all our picky criteria and driving away Jennie said "let’s buy it now!" We had no idea how to make an offer but, after a few hours with a friend in the business, we put in a bid. The house is in Rancho Penasquitos in north San Diego known for its cool climate and family neighborhoods. It’s further away from the beach than our old place of La Jolla but a similar distance to work (20 minutes) for Jennie. Come take a look.


photophotoAfter two weeks of painting the downstairs and hauling carloads of junk, we moved in to our new place. Jennie’s coffee-girl friends -- Mary and Liane -- were the first guests. We love being home-owners! To celebrate, we had a house-warming party.


photo On July 20, the Koalas made a small step for man but a giant leap for a bunch of marsupials by playing their first bar gig. In front of paying guests (albeit mostly friends) they trotted out three hours of dance hits.

photoJennie had not one but three baby showers, organized by her family; coffee-girls Mary, Liane and Theresa; and friends Kelli and Gray. Along with generous donations from Blake (son of Janet), Ben and Katie (children of Mary and Chuck), Erin and Rachel (daughters of Sue and Dan) and William (son of Theresa and David), we became the grateful recipients of the vast number of accoutrements required for a baby.


photophotoOne benefit of our new house is that, finally, we have a guest room. Lisa and Selvan from Gibraltar were the first to test it out -- now it’s available for you! We also met Jennie’s ex-work friend DeeDee with John and newborn Sarah.

photo photoAndrew took his third weekend sailing class and qualified to skipper a 42’ yacht. The seas will never be safe again.

photophotoOn the 25th, the Koalas graduated to monthly gigs at the Comstock Bar and Grill. Tom and Brian displayed the official Koalas fan-club T-shirt.


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We were so excited about September, for the arrival of our baby. But, as you probably know, things unfortunately did not go as planned.

Andrew’s mum had flown in and Jennie’s parents were on standby when, one day after her due date, our precious daughter stopped moving. After a wonderful journey of 40 weeks, Ruby Ann died on September 27, 2001, and it was of course a heart-wrenching shock for us. Her cord had entangled with her leg and cut off her oxygen. She was a real sweetheart with a perfect face and bright red lips and had so much ahead of her. It was a terrible experience but we are grateful to have been able to see and hold our darling first child, and thank everyone for the terrific love and many messages of support. Read more about Ruby here.


We spent many weeks being quiet and trying to rebuild our strength. Andrew’s mum looked after us well and we ended the month at Phil’s Second Halloween Party.

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photoTo get away from it all, we took a road trip to fabulous Las Vegas. Wow what a fun place. We stayed at Paris and the Flamingo, and spent the nights gambling for free drinks, listening to great bands and watching the fountains of Bellagio. Oh yes, and if the tax man is reading, Andrew took some photos.


photophoto Ever since we met, Jennie has wanted a chocolate brown Lab. Now that we have a garden her dream came true with the addition to our family of Panang. Named for our favorite Thai food, the seven-week-old puppy was soon chewing every flower and electrical cable in sight. Here she is with her favorite plastic plant pot.

Panang was a good Christmas present for ourselves and we hope to expand our family further next year.

Read next year’s letter, Christmas 2002

Last year’s letter

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