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Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2006

Dear Friends and Family,

It’s been a busy year for the Holmes Family. We have all been traveling a lot—particularly Jim. Business took Jim to Bangkok, Tokyo, Moscow, Bratislava, Taipei, San Diego, Newport (four times), and Delhi. [Photo of Jim in Delhi] Work took me to Denver for a conference in May and to St. Louis in July. I also spent a long weekend on the Mayan Riviera near Cancun in April. I got together with 20+ friends from my days at St. John’s School in Belgium. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort and just ate, swam, sunbathed, and talked for three days. I hadn’t seen some of these friends in 28 years! It was amazing how we were all able to reconnect after so many years. There was a lot of conversation about how tough it was to move back to the States after living in Belgium. [Photo of my Girlfriends and at at dinner on the beach]
We also had a new addition to my extended family—my sister Kate gave birth to fraternal twins on January 4 in Baltimore—so I flew up there twice early in the year, and then we all went up in June for their christening, followed by a visit to my Dad, who had just moved to Snow Hill, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. [Photo of the twins and Emma] Of course a year isn’t complete without a trip to Stone Harbor, NJ to Mom’s beach house. We all went this year, including Maggie, who miraculously is still with us after 12 years (the last three with cancer). In October I was able to accompany Jim on a business trip to Bratislava, Slovakia. I explored this former communist city for two days—it has a neat restored downtown. Then Jim and I spent three days in Vienna, which is only 30 miles away. It was fantastic to have so much time together—just the two of us. We mainly explored the city and looked at gymnastics classes and ballet classes. We limit her to two outside-of-school activities, just to keep us all sane. At home she loves to dance and act and is really into the Cheetah Girls and the Disney movie High School Musical. She also loves to play school and restaurant. She had her first sleepover at a friend’s house this summer and has had one of her friends sleep over with us. She is definitely not my little pre-school girl any more, but it is neat to watch her learn and grow. She’s also fun to talk to, and we enjoy mommy/daughter time together.

This year we got season tickets to the Gym Dogs (UGA’s women’s gymnastics team), mainly because Emma is so interested in gymnastics. However, Jim and I were surprised at how much fun it is to watch and attend meets—and how much we got into it. The team is popular and often sells out the coliseum here. The Gym Dogs went on to win the NCAA championships, and they are ranked no. 1 this year. We can’t wait for the season to start on January 6.

I’m still working at the University of Georgia Law Library as the Cataloging Services Librarian. The best things about my job are the flexibility to take time off during the workday to do things like see Emma do a class presentation, and my terrific co-workers. I would like to work less than a 40-hour work week though. I’m always busy. I am still having a great time singing with the Meridian Women’s Chorus. I’m also on the vestry at my church, and of course driving Emma around takes up time. I started taking a Pilates class twice a week and I absolutely love it. It makes me feel so good and strong.

Jim is still a Senior Research Associate at the Center for International Trade and Security at the University of Georgia. He took over responsibility for their student programs this year in addition to doing research, writing and presenting papers at conferences. He also enjoys serving as a mentor for Honors Program students. It was very exciting early this year when Jim’s first book Theodore Roosevelt and World Power: Police Power in International Relations was published. It will be available in paperback this February, so we expect you all to buy a copy! Books no. 2 and 3 are in the works for 2007.

We hope 2007 treats you all well. Please come and see us in Athens some time—it’s a great college town.

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