Goodbye 2019 and Welcome 2020!

It has been a couple of years since we did any official holiday greetings so we thought we should provide a proper update.

The story so far…

Let’s start with 2018. The year started with big and exciting changes. Sam and Sydney were recruited to run the security program and the security operations center respectively by a software company in South Florida. The sunshine and warm temperatures made it easy to leave the cold confines of Northern Virginia and our government jobs for new challenges in private industry.

We took over 60 lawn and garden garbage bags of stuff off EOTI in Charleston South Carolina. Many items were used parts kept by the previous owner for “just in case” some items were eye glasses, and medications for sea sickness.

And we bought a sailboat. It is a Moody 46 (46 feet long) and it is our new home. Sam moved to Florida in February. Sydney stayed in Virginia with Stuart and Simon while they finished their senior year in high school.

We really enjoy Epcot at Disney World and grabbing some non-standard photographs whenever we can get away with it.

Simon and Stuart graduated high school. Woo hoo! And started a new adventure as college students at University of South Florida in Tampa. Both boys are studying mechanical engineering and are adjusting to dorm living.

Boat life for kids and dogs is really ruff. Says Hazel.

Sydney joined Sam in Florida in June after Stuart and Simon graduated. And she adjusted to life on the boat pretty quick. Even Hazel adjusted to being a boat dog, although she is not a fan of life on the lean. While getting on and off the boat is always interesting, doing so as a dog when King Tide is in play makes it even more interesting. Hazel was not a fan of wading through water to go ashore with fishing swimming between her legs.

The waterfront at Singapore. The team we have in Singapore is amazing to work with. One of the highlights of Sydney and Sam’s career will have been working with these professionals and hosting them here in the United States.

The new jobs really are amazing. Sam and Sydney travelled to Singapore to visit the office there. Singapore is a beautiful city and the people are friendly. We had a wonderful time there and can’t wait to go back.

The prettiest mermaid in the ER with a smile even though she just got told she has cancer. How does a man find a woman this strong?

While 2018 started with lots of promise, excitement, and adventure, it ended with a thud. Sydney woke up in the middle of the night on November 30th with chest pain and shortness of breath. The trip to the ER started with the thought that this was a heart attack and ended with a diagnosis of cancer. Sydney had Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Now what happened in 2019….

Sam says Sydney looks sexy with no hair, but he would say that. There isn’t anything noble about losing your hair as anybody who has met Sam will admit.

2019 was a really sucky year. 2019 was filled with cancer treatment. Sydney underwent intensive chemotherapy, lost all her hair, radiation therapy, and more tests than you can count. As of September 18th, she was officially done with treatment. Even though the year was filled with enormous stress, extreme anxiety, and lots of very sad conversations we tried to stay as positive as possible focused on the future. As our new employer says, be a frog, always move forward.

Stuart and Simon were part of the show at the giant Disney World aquarium having finished PADI Master Diver. Will they switch from engineering majors to Oceanography?

Simon and Stuart completed their first year of college. They spent the summer on the boat with us and went from never having scuba dived to master scuba divers over the summer. They ended the summer by going on Disney’s Adventure Quest, scuba diving the big aquarium at Epcot. Yes it was as cool as it sounds. They have found a true passion.

Might have seen one like this before! Couldn’t resist a second picture this year here.

And with summer over it was time for Stuart and Simon to return to Tampa and school.

But wait, there’s more….

Dorian was a category 5 storm when it hit the Bahamas. This storm devastated the Bahamas and that was all we knew when making preparations for it to hit or be a near miss in Florida.

How tough is Sydney? She walked around on this foot for a day before we went to the hospital.

The picture says a thousand words.

While Sydney was going through radiation treatment (a daily treatment for 3 weeks), Hurricane Dorian decided to threaten south Florida. Missing radiation treatments is dicey as to the result on treatment. Since we now live on a boat, these things require additional preparations – things like taking down the sails and all the canvas, securing the dingy to the bow, generally making sure that nothing will catch wind or become a projectile. While preparing the boat for the hurricane – Sydney slipped and broke her foot. A little known thing about chemo treatment is that among all the other bad effects (loss of muscle, loss of balance, increase heart issues) is that your bones get brittle.

Sunsets are about romance. Sunrises are about adventure.

As we enter the new year, things are slowly getting back on track. The cancer treatments are complete, the broken foot is healed.  We are exercising more.  The jobs are amazing, with great people to work with, and an awesome supportive culture. Definitely a work hard, play hard, with lots of respect for the employees. Looking forward things appear to be bright. Now we are starting to do what we set out to do in 2018 – enjoy our time here in South Florida  and sail our beautiful boat around the Caribbean.

Photo was taken by friend Tonya off of SV Solmates when they visited Bahia Mar.

A day spent sailing is a day spent learning about nature. You can’t have adventure without adversity. And, how would you know it was fun if it wasn’t at least a little hard to do?

It has been an exciting and scary couple of years. Everything seems to be settling down. We certainly hope so because it is time for us to go on sailing adventures!

Here is to a healthy and adventurous 2020!