2003 In Review

Hello there everyone, and welcome to our Christmas letter. I’d like to thank you all for coming, and invite you to take a seat, kick back, and enjoy your time here. You’re probably wondering why I’ve called you all here today. Well, like it or not, if you continue to read the words on this page, you are going to learn about the highlights of the year 2003 for Timothy and Jennifer Ellis. Not only that, but you, humble reader, will be subjected to reading the tale from the perspective of Tim, the [insert amusing adjective] husband. So, what are we waiting for? We’ve wasted an entire paragraph already; let’s dig into the meat of this letter!

GameCube!Basically, 2003 can be separated into two distinct portions. Two eras, if you will. BGC and WGC. That would be Before GameCube and With GameCube. Before GameCube was a time of sullenness and gloom. Entertainment options were limited to activities such as smashing nickels underneath passing trains on the way to baseball games. Oh… I guess there were the baseball games, too. But the Mariners didn’t win many of the games that we went to. BGC was generally a glum time. But on August 16th, all that changed. With a mere one hundred and fifty denelions, the GameCube was ours. With GameCube, the world was brighter. Gleeful entertainment was a mere push of a button away. The sun shined brighter, dogs stopped biting my calves, and the Mariners didn’t lose as many games. Life was good. Now that the stage is set, I’ll fill you in on some of the details of the two eras of 2003.

BGC – January 1st – August 15th

Perhaps the first thing of note that we participated in this year would be our excessive involvement in the wedding of my good friend Michael Ziemann to the lovely Brianne. I had the pleasure of donning the monkey suit and standing in the front of a church, and Jeni had the task of taking their pictures. This was Jeni’s first chance to do some real wedding photography, and it turned out fairly well. She took a lot of good pictures, and learned a lot. Mike & Brianne’s wedding was nice, and they got off to their honeymoon without any big snags, and with two lovely stuffed monkeys in their car.

fishing on Horseshoe LakeIn April, we went down to Vancouver to spend some time with my family, and ended up in a tiny little boat in the middle of a lake with only a tiny battery-powered engine to push us around the water. In other words, we went with the Ellis family to Horseshoe Lake on a fishing trip. Neither of us did any real fishing of course, since we didn’t have fishing licenses, but it was Jeni’s first experience with any kind of fishing. Amazingly, she actually enjoyed it. Go figure. Also in April, Jeni decided to try her hand at the Mary Kay business. She figured that since she liked makeup so much, she might as well make a little money with it. In May, we went down to California to be at Jeni’s college’s graduation. We got to spend a lot of good time with her sisters, and she got to see her friends graduate. Overall it was a fun experience. Plus, that trip finally put us both over the threshold of frequent flier miles we needed to have free tickets anywhere in the country. Woo-hoo!

On August 16th, using some personal cash I had saved up, I upgraded my video game system selection to the 21st century by buying a Nintendo GameCube. This leads us to the second era, WGC.

WGC – August 16th – December 31st

Universal StudiosThe most immediate result of the glorious new purchase was Jeni’s obtaining a job at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe (the town that I work in). For two long weeks, she stood as valiant daytime guard over the baby shoe bronzing booth, collecting countless information cards from interested potential customers. Yes, I am making this sound far more exciting than it was. Just after she completed this daunting task, we had a 9-day vacation in California. During our fun-filled trip, we walked down Hollywood Boulevard, had an action-packed day at Universal Studios, spent time with Jeni’s family, Jeni was a bridesmaid in her friend Nicole’s wedding, and I beat Rebekah at pool. Multiple times. Soundly.

In October, we celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, we spent a relaxing and romantic day at on Whidbey Island. Contrary to what many people seem to say, our first year of marriage was not especially difficult. In fact, it was quite enjoyable, and not just for the obvious reasons, either. We’re quite enjoying each other’s company, and have adjusted rather well to the joint decision-making process. And just for the record, we haven’t even once had a dispute over the toilet seat. :^) In fact, we haven’t really had any real fights at all. Oh, and Rachel: No, we aren’t pregnant.

Also in October, Jeni attended her first women’s conference with some of the ladies at our church. This made Jeni feel old. Perhaps Jeni needs to spend more time playing with LEGOs, like I do. This year I built the Smith Tower (a famous Seattle “skyscraper” from the early 1900’s) out of LEGO, and I am currently working on the Simpsons with J.R. and Micah. I definitely don’t feel old.

Anniversary on Whidbey IslandAs the year wound to a close, we had a relaxing Thanksgiving at home. Katie Gower and Joy and Heather Bagley came over to celebrate and give thanks with us. The weeks surrounding Thanksgiving were the only time this year that Jeni was able to see her best friend Heather. She really enjoyed their time together, even in spite of their willing exposure to an extremely cheesy cartoon rendition of C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Perhaps she even enjoyed it partly because of that. To each his (or her) own, I suppose.

After talking with Heather about it, Jeni decided in November to stop selling Mary Kay products. This was mainly due to the fact that the Mary Kay business model is largely dependent on the hard sell. Think used car salesman, only with a lot more makeup on. This kind of business didn’t really sit well with Jeni, and she decided to step down and seek other opportunities.

All in all, I like starting paragraphs with the letter ‘A’. In addition, we had a pretty good 2003. Even the seven and a half months before we got the GameCube. We have both grown spiritually, and Jeni especially feels closer to God than she has before. We have been participating in a weekly Bible study all year with a small group of people from church, Jeni has also been involved in a women’s Bible study, and she has recently begun the Experiencing God study with a different group of women. Both of us have been involved in the newly created “Good Works” ministry at our church that focuses on ministering to the needs of the community. I was given the task of being the “Media Team Leader” at the Anchor (our church). That basically means that I make sure someone is around to do sound and projector each week, I train new people, and I keep the church’s website up-to-date.

Since most of you have probably put this letter down five paragraphs ago and given up ever getting to the end, I think that I will now bring it to an end. We hope that your year has gone well, and hope that we hear from each of you in the next. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and don’t be a stranger. That’s all for now.

Sending our love,

Timothy & Jennifer Ellis

P.S. (My calves were never actually bit by dogs. BGC or WGC.)

– Tim

Merry Christmas 2003
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