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Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says... 'Oh shit....she's awake!!'

""Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!""
— Unknown

Sunday, November 20, 2011

As we move from 2011 into 2012…


…We once again celebrate the friendship and support that our friends and family have provided throughout the year. We are thankful for the opportunities that we’ve been given. We are thankful for the love and friendship of our family and friends. We are thankful that we have the opportunity to make a difference in the world in which we live.

As is our tradition, there was a little fundraising going on in the Smith-Roberts household. Ann participated in the Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon and raised $850 for Dayton Project Read and Room-to-Read. We hosted Rooftop Rubi for Dayton PRIDE and a DVAC Artist’s Palate featuring the artwork of Julie Anderson and Lizabeth Whipps. And with the help of YOU, our FRIENDS, we raised $3,251 since last year bring the total contributions to LOCAL non-profits to $10,551!!! How easy it is to make a difference!

We had one new objective for 2011…that we didn’t exactly accomplish as planned, but I blame weather…to travel to one place that we have never visited before. We had found that we were traveling to the same places over and over and over. We planned a Cheese and Beer tour of Vermont with Ben and Julie Puterbaugh in September. Unfortunately, Julie’s work schedule wasn’t cooperating and Vermont was under water. Hopefully, we’ll make it happen in 2012.

We did manage to do a little traveling in 2012.  Sunset view from our room: The Standard HotelWe started the year in NYC in January with a stay at The Standard Hotel. Why January in NYC you ask? Because it is the only time I can “afford” to stay at this hotel. Situated above Highline Park in the Meatpacking District and known for the views (in and) out of the windows, it is a fun place to stay. Plus it has a great bar with fabulous views. Even if you don’t stay there, the Top of the Standard is worth a visit (just don’t wear shorts…because they won’t let you in). 249581_10150202752535976_640965975_7600070_5271304_n2012 was a year of traveling with friends. April found us in California for Passport to Dry Creek 2011. We were joined by Deb Cronin, Don Dawson, John Germroth, Randy Hamilton, Rob Leonard, Rodney Player, David Strohscher, and Lillian and Dave Sullivan. This was our second year making this great wine trip, Apparently, we had so much fun that we booked hotel reservations for 2012 three days after returning. There will be no redeye flight in 2012. Read more about our 2011 Passport trip. 2011-07-08_08-21-18_692In July we drove to Princeton NJ  to visit Bruce and Ellen Holroyd. We really miss them and are anxiously awaiting their return to Dayton (hint, hint). We even made a day trip in to NYC (okay, we had never been there before so I think it has to count as our never been before even if we made a trip in to NYC ) including a visit to the Bloomberg offices, found a fabulous place to stop along the PA Turnpike (Out of the Fire CafĂ©), and some of Bruce’s cooking including dinner with friends Holley and Larry Thompson and Leigh Sempeles. We even got to see the NJ bald eagles from Bruce and Ellen’s guest room. In September, John Germroth planned a driving trip East that included a visit to Dayton, OH and the opportunity to join him in NYC. So once again, John and I piled into the car and drove to Princeton NJ where we had dinner with Bruce and Ellen Holroyd and left our car before taking the train into The City. We also had a chance to stop and visit Kentuck KnobKentuck Knob, a Frank Lloyd Wright home in PA. Other highlights include the Bryant Park Fall Festival, a self-guided walking architectural tour, and lots of fire escape photos. Oh, another place we had never visited! Again, you can see the 2011 travel pattern repeated but we have really enjoyed the addition of driving vacations that allow us to spend quality time together…if you consider quality time John browsing YELP to see where we will stop next…and to find out-of-the-way places we would never have found.

And what is a year in the Smith-Roberts household without change? After 3 years with LexisNexis, Ann is now Director of Solutions Development for Digital Divide Data (DDD). DDD provides job and educational opportunities to disadvantaged youth in Cambodia, Laos, and Kenya. DDD was recently highlighted in a NY Times article on local sourcing, employing socioeconomically disadvantaged people in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), and was featured in Thomas Friedman’s book The World is Flat. While leaving some great people at LexisNexis, Ann will once again be working with Cynthia Hauck and Lori Silverstein who are responsible for tempting her in the first place. And, yes, a trip to Cambodia is being planned for early 2012.

And a quick update on our family: Grandma Evelyne fell and broke her other hip in February but has once again recovered remarkably well. She got out of rehab just in time for a Stewart Family dinner hosted at The Firefly Building. We hosted the Stewart Family again in September at the request of Uncle Bill Stewart. John’s sister, Karen Roettele, has returned from Kuwait and has settled in Denver, CO. Sydney Ann Lewis turned 21 years old…talk about something to make me feel old! Henry  Pitman, who cannot be in High School, and Caleb Malone are no longer allowed to grow up. Jason Lewis is engaged to Amanda Lovejoy and will get Alexia, a beautiful 1 year old in the process. Brian and Jennifer Roettele added Jacob to the clan. Carol Roberts retired from teaching. Cancer is having an impact on several family members including Carol’s sister Dee Auffrey, Uncle Bill Stewart, and Rick RobertsDad has just completed chemotherapy and we are awaiting good news. We are hoping that 2012 brings us a better health year.

And we wish you HEALTH and HAPPINESS for 2012 and beyond!

Happy Holidays!
Ann & John