It’s that time of year again when we have the wonderful opportunity to play “catch up” with family & friends that we don’t get to socialize with regularly. This year’s Christmas newsletter was more of a thoughtful piece on my part, but I know how many of you love the “year in review” format of past newsletters… so here you go!

MILESTONES REACHED THIS YEAR:

  • Audrey & Claire complete their first season of Snowburners Ski School & act like they own the mountain now! They also began dance lessons for the first time: Thanks to a gift from Grandpa Ralph, both took ballet this fall.
  • Claire graduated from preschool at St. Columba & officially became an elementary school student this fall. She also learned to ride her bike “two wheels” and races with all the neighborhood kids now.
  • Elise turned 1 in May after starting to walk about a month earlier and hasn’t stopped moving since.
  • We moved AGAIN, but this time just across town to a beautiful place in the McKinnises neighborhood, so now we’re a snowball’s throw away from our best buds.
  • My Mary Kay team and I earned our THIRD company car, and this time Kenny & I decided to take the actual car instead of monthly cash compensation. We received our new black Saturn Vue in November & we love it! I also became a Senior Sales Director this year thanks to my new offspring Sales Director, the lovely Layla Bauder of Portland, OR.
  • Kenny trained for the Iron Horse Classic with biking bud Darren McKinnis, but it was snowed out for the first time ever! Maybe next year… When he wasn’t busy riding his bike, fly fishing, or cooking a fabulous dinner for us, he was on road for Toray — having his busiest travel year ever!

TRAVELS TO TELL ABOUT:

  • We visited my sister Carol in Vail in March on a road trip that included a stop in Denver for my Mary Kay regional conference. We had perfect ski weather while in Vail & despite the odds, we had clear skies on the drive to and from Denver — phew! Kenny & the girls visited the Denver Zoo while I attended the conference, and we did some much-needed shopping at Cherry Creek Mall while we had the chance.
  • Grandpa Ralph (my Dad) gave us the wonderful summer surprise of renting us a van to drive to California in late July. While there, we stayed with my Grandma Marel in her new Long Beach condo and visited with family & friends — including my life-long friends Melodee & Bliss. We spent a day at Disneyland — a must for a family with three girls — as well as enjoying the Long Beach Aquarium, swimming at Grandpa Ralph & family friend Gloria’s houses, and stopping at the Grand Canyon on the way home!
  • This Thanksgiving, we were blessed with the opportunity to drive to Oklahoma in the new Saturn Vue to visit with Kenny’s immediate family. We stayed just outside Tulsa in Sand Springs at Kenny’s sister Rosanna’s brand new home, which became “cousin central” for the weekend. Between Kenny & his two sisters, there are nine granddaughters and one grandson for his parents Dean & Karen, and they went into non-stop play mode: enjoying the trampoline, the huge grassy yard, and the entertainment room! It was also nice to see his sister Elizabeth’s newest addition — six-month old Cadence Grace — while she’s still crawling around like a baby.
  • As previously mentioned, Kenny had a busy year traveling for Toray. Most were to his usual stops of San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver B.C., Salt Lake City, Denver (& the mountain towns of Aspen & Steamboat Springs), Montana, Wyoming, & Wisconsin to visit Land’s End. But he did get to go to New York a couple of times too & work with his home office team, which he doesn’t always get to do.
  • I traveled a bit this year as well for my Mary Kay business, flying out to Portland twice to debut my new Sales Director Layla in May & to work with new Star Recruiter Carie Green in November, and flying to Kalispel, Montana to work with on-target Star Recruiter Svetlana Sheifer & her growing team. It was my first time in Montana and I was really impressed with Kalispel’s natural beauty. I also flew to Dallas for our yearly Seminar, which is such a fabulous event that it makes up for the unbearable heat!
  • On the agenda: Another trip to Cali for Christmas! We look forward to spending the holidays with family & friends this year now that we have a reliable & roomy car to get us there. Let’s hope the snow holds off for a bit longer!

WELCOMING VISITORS:

  • Our first house guest of the year was Grandpa Ralph, who flew in to celebrate Elise’s first birthday with us in May. Because he’s such a history buff, we visited the Animas Museum while he was in town and learned a lot of cool facts about Durango’s century-plus history. We also enjoyed swimming in the hotel pool a few times!
  • Kicking off summer vacation with the Gotcher Sr’s & the Eklunds was a blast. Kenny’s parents came to visit just a week after we moved into our new place in Edgemont Ranch, joined soon after by my sister Cristina & her family (husband Jeremy, 2 1/2 year old son Elijah, and new baby girl Ariel, born in April). We had a great time making home-made pizzas with Grandpa Dean, watching the Durango Railroad come into town, and enjoying summer activities up at Durango Mountain Resort such as the Alpine Slide, scenic view chairlift, and bungee bouncing in the Village.
  • My sister Carol & her fiance Chris came to visit us at the end of the summer, and we made our last trip up to DMR for summer fun before the season ended. They will be getting married in Vail next June!
  • My mom (Grandma Yolanda) came to visit us in November & got to spend over a week hanging out with the girls & helping us get organized in our new house.

This year was eventful and memorable! We feel extremely blessed to be living in Durango and enjoying quality time with the girls & the outdoors while we both work from home. We are so thankful for the family who came to visit us this year, as well as those who hosted us on our travels. Keep in touch and know that our door is always open if you’d like to visit us next year! And my New Year’s resolution is to keep up with this blog much better next year so that you can always find out what’s new by stopping in for a virtual visit.

Love & hugs,
Renee & the Gotcher Family

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