Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Look Back at 2011 - Better Late Than Never

In 2011 I thought that I would do away with our Christmas Letter, but after looking back on the year I realized that I really needed to since we had a lot of changes and fun things happen in our family! So, here it is: The Durall Family in 2011
We kicked off 2011 with a trip to Disney World! It was SO cold (yes, even in FL it can get around freezing) but we had a great time anyway. This time around Kian was made Prince of the Day at Cinderella's Castle and participated in the Jedi Training Academy where he battled Darth Vader himself. He alo got to meet Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from the movie Tangled.

Flynn showing Kian what is in his pack while Rapunzel looks on.
(Shhhh, it's a secret and he was only shown because Kian asked).

In March we moved to a bigger house - almost double in size from our previous place! Everyone has enjoyed the extra space. Bailey has especially loved our fenced in back yard where he can roam for as long as he wants and come to the patio door and "knock" when he's ready to come inside. And there are sidewalks where Kian can ride his scooter or bike safely.
Kian turned 7 in May! (yikes!) He was a little fish this summer during his swim lessons, loved playing T-ball, and of course loved the British Soccer Camp he attended TWICE over the course of the summer. Then before Kian started 2nd grade in August, we took another trip to Disney World (yes, we are annual passholders). This time it was super hot but there was great fun had the entire time!

Kian in awe of his Phinea and Ferb cupcakes Cream and Flutter made for Kian's party

On July 5th Sarah and Jameson went up to Chicago and saw U2 perform for the second time during their 360 tour. They were able to get tickets in the (RED) Zone which gave them a close view of the stage and helped provide funds for those struggling with AIDS in Africa. Jameson thought he might have to catch Sarah after Bono walked past her, but she held her ground....barely.

The stage is "cutting through" Sarah's head and "decapitating" Jameson.
Yep, that's how close we were!

In September Sarah celebrated being a froster at Cream & Flutter (formerly Cakes on Walnut) for one year. Getting up at 5AM to get ready to frost the cupcakes is not a problem for Sarah - which only proves how much she seriously loves her job (this will make more sense to those who really know her and her morning persona). Not only does she make the frostings, she is also dyes sprinkles, bakes cookies and brownies, and frosts specialty sugar cookies for the masses in Champaign to enjoy.
At the end of November, Sarah and Jameson started a medically supervised diet. Yep, that meant no more cupcakes for a few months! But it has been worth it! Jameson has lost a total of 43lbs in the last 7 weeks and Sarah has lost 25lbs! Jameson said goodbye to two medications he has been on for several years and went down at least one pants size. Sarah is able to get in to smaller clothing - well, except for jeans. She's pretty sure there's no way to get rid of the "Kesler thighs" she genetically inherited. Before and after photos to be included in next year's Christmas letter.
Early in 2011, Jameson was promoted to Design Director on "Secret Project Y" at Volition. This was something he has sought after for many years and we all are proud of his accomplishments! Hopefully in our 2012 Christmas letter we can reveal the name of the project - we will have to wait and see! He also did quite a bit of promoting of Red Faction: Armageddon (the project he was on that shipped) which took him to London, Germany, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Dublin. We know what you are thinking: Yes, Dublin as in Ireland. No, Sarah did not accompany him. And yes Jameson felt Sarah's envy all the way across the ocean that he brought her back lots of gifts to get her to turn back to her normal coloring from the green hue it had taken on.

Jameson with the pint he poured perfectly at the Guinness factory in Dublin. He also had several other correctly poured pints at the famous Temple Bar during his stay (yeah, Sarah is still pretty jealous).

And the biggest news of all for all of 2012 was Jameson's induction into the Full Sail Hall of Fame. He was selected this year as one of 6 Full Sail Graduates to receive the honor out of a pool of 30,000 grads to choose from! Both of our families made the trek to Orlando to watch Jameson receive his award and give a moving speech about his journey in the video game world over the last 10 years. Saying that we are proud of Jameson does not even do justice to how we feel about this honor - we are beyond proud of him and all his accomplishments.

Jim, Jameson's boss on the last few projects he's been on at Volition,
introduced Jameson and handed him his award.

Kian cold not have been prouder of his Daddy!

All-in-all is was a pretty awesome year. So awesome that I just had to share (ok, brag). Even if it meant it was done a month after Christmas.

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