It’s that time of year again, summer is here in the Southern Hemisphere and we’re about to take our annual vacation.

As always at this time of year we pause to think about all the good things in our lives, and to reflect on the year nearly done.  We’re fortunate to be part of a global community of close friends and family, and we appreciate every one of you.

Our year has been a busy one.

Shane has been travelling like a mad thing, again (to which the response is “nothing new there” :-)) The work with the Agile Alliance has given me the opportunity to work with some wonderful people and travel to interesting places over the last year.  I’ve also been working in the IIBA team writing the next release of the BABOK, mainly working as a distributed team which means plenty of early morning phone calls, and late nights editing material.

It started with a trip to the USA, during which we had the chance to see Cousin Paulien.  Then in March I was off to Saudi Arabia, closely followed by West Coast USA in April.  In June we took a break and had a wonderful time cruising off Queensland, August was the Agile 2012 conference in Texas, closely followed in September by Baltimore and Vancouver (with a nasty immigration experience thrown into the mix).  Around all those have been regular trips to Australia and Auckland, so I’ve been home about a week a month this year.

I continue to be very happy and content at Software Education, working with some fantastic people.

Nancy became the Bionic Woman this year, her left knee was replaced with a titanium prosthetic in July.  The surgery was painful, and the recovery has been slower than she wanted, but the result has been fantastic.  She’s able to walk around without pain and is steadily getting her fitness back.

In November she, Caren & Derek took a stand at the Arts Trail, selling their wares – they were very successful, nearly selling out of stock.

Arts Trail  On the family front we are all well – Cressida is healthier than she has been in a while and is doing OK.  Arnold and the boys are thriving, Robert is now 22 and working in a local cafe, Arthur’s 19 and about to start a professional chef’s course and Joshua is 12 going into his last year of primary school.

Early this month we went to Brisbane for a week and saw the family there.  Matthew & Colette are doing well, no date for the wedding yet.  Connor is 13 and starts high scool next year.  We attended his graduation event from primary school while we were there, and proudly watch him get the class prize for Philosophy.  Kyla is 10, and thriving.  Melody is very happy in Brisbane, about to move to a unit where she can keep a pet (so we expect to get another grand-dog soon).

Serena & Steven are doing well – they are both working for Weta Digital now, and have been working crazy hours – they’ve both got credits for work on The Hobit and love their work there.  A wedding date has been set for 1 September next year.

Jade and Cam are wonderfully happy together in Auckland.  We’ve had a number of opportunities to catch up with them through the year and it’s a pleasure to see them together.  Wedding bells are on the horizon, pending the legislation change in NZ for sex marriages.

So that’s our year in a snapshot – busy, busy, busy and happy, happy, happy.

The pace of life means we don’t get to see you as often as we would like, but that doesn’t mean you are forgotten – dear friends and family wherever you are in the world we think of you often and hold you close in our hearts.

All that’s left is to wish everyone who reads this the very best for the holiday season, many blessings, and a healthy, safe and prosperous 2013.

With much love and good wishes

Shane & Nancy

Scots Ball 2012