2017 Christmas letter

Back to Banff: Reliving their epic “ROAD TRIP!” from 2015, Rick and Judy returned to Banff National Park, and environs, in Canada.

Emptier Nest

Rick and Judy even managed to attend a Vikings game this year 
at the new US Bank stadium, site of 
Super Bowl LII in 2018.**

After dabbling in fits and starts through various iterations over the past half decade of an “empty (or nearly) nest,” Rick and Judy experienced the first full year completely on their own in 2017—the first year since 1990 and the advent of kids, that is! We still have frequent contact with our girls and their men (We LOVE it and them!) but we no longer have anyone else living with us.*

Elise’s” room is now the “guest room,” and “Anna’s” room is now the “office.” They both still have things here in storage (after all, RICK still has things at his mom’s house!) but all that is tucked away out of sight.

Continue reading

2016 Christmas letter

Destination Denton: Matt, Elise, Anna, Judy, Alex and Rick (left to right) gathered for Christmas down south this year. Matt and Elise had to work around the holidays, so they couldn’t come home to Bloomington. Together in Texas we had a terrific time.

Big Year!

Anna and Alex were married on October 1.

The biggest news in this big year is that our baby, Anna, married her best friend and the love of her life, Alex Bauer. Perhaps we blinked: we’re not sure when or how the little frog who used to sleep splayed out on our chests–and who also used to scream through the night–grew up. She did and we’re pleased and proud of who she is.

There is a fun story. We were on a double date with Anna and Alex last January (dinner and a concert by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra). Anna excused herself to visit the ladies’ room, and Alex mentioned, almost casually, “Well, I made an exciting purchase today.” What, we wondered, could he mean? Continue reading

Merry Christmas, 2016!

Houston we've got a problem

Houston we’ve got a problem…

Merry Christmas from the Wattmans. Our family celebration this year took on a new dimension. We gathered at Elise’s home in Texas, rather than in Minnesota. The journey for Rick and Judy included flying through Houston, TX, which was a first for both of them. In the end, it may turn out to be their last as well. (More on that later…)

Circumstances conspired to effect this break from tradition: Judy’s mom did not come to Minnesota for Christmas this year; and Elise and Matt both had work in Texas which prevented their coming home for more than a day or two.



In the end, it was also VERY cold in Minnesota, so the relatively warm climes of Denton, TX, were a welcome respite from the frigid temps in the northland. When we left on Saturday, wind chill temperatures were in the 30º BELOW zero range.

We were surprised to find the Dallas temperatures temporarily at 20º ABOVE zero, but were soon rewarded with more a typical spread of 50º-70º. Continue reading