Dan, Kristen and Family Highlights 2020

Dear Family and Friends,

Happy New Year and well wishes times a million! We are hoping everyone is healthy and hanging in there and maybe even thriving in some areas.

2020 has been an “interesting” year given Covid, protests, wildfires, and divisiveness in politics. Sometimes it feels like we are reading the news and listening to podcasts more than ever. Other times we pull ourselves away from the small screen and immerse ourselves into the natural beauty just outside our doors and windows.  

Our biggest day-to-day change is living in Pebble Beach about 80% of our time (instead of the reverse). Working from home allowed this. We are so thankful to be able to walk, run and bike along the ocean most days, and to explore hiking and biking routes in the Del Monte Forest and Monterey area. 

Our big personal events from the year included Veronica and Fletcher’s wedding, road trips to the Pacific Northwest (together for the wedding and Kristen solo to see her parents), and trips early in the year with the kids – to the Big Island in January, and Sun Valley/skiing just before the lockdowns hit. 

Hobby-wise: After Kristen and Dan’s in-person beginner guitar lessons at Intel ended, Dan practiced with Yousician until he was able to play the White Stripes song Seven Nation Army with critical acclaim at a Zoom dinner with the kids. After that he temporarily placed the guitar in its case and moved to another hobby – scanning and uploading boxes of photos from generations of Lenoskis and Petersons. Kristen continued guitar playing at home, and music lessons via Zoom. One day her guitar teacher said, “Want to write some songs?” With that, she caught the bug for creating chord progressions and the songs to go with them. She’s also been freewriting with Stanford Continuing Studies creative writing classes.

Health-wise: Dan has gradually built up an impressive home gym, with weights, a rowing machine, a BOSU ball, mats, and a jumping box (with options to jump 20, 24, or 30 inches). On rainy or smoky days when we don’t bike, run or hike/walk outside, we Zwift on our bikes inside. Kristen’s been taking classes on Nutrition and Exercise Physiology through Stanford Continuing Studies and both Kristen and Dan have made small daily changes as a result (breakfast, more salad – a diet tailor-made for rabbits).

Work-wise: As the VP-GM of the BXD group at Intel, Dan continues to make progress in building the business and the group. As many of you know, Kristen had been dreaming for a long time of taking a year long sabbatical and then diving into her coaching practice. Her last day at HPE was planned for March 30, 2020, long before we knew Covid would impact us like this. She continued with the sabbatical and transformed her previous plans (social travel; house remodeling) into education, creative writing, music, Zoom connections, and a few carefully planned, pre/post quarantined, Covid-tested road trips to the Pacific Northwest and Northern California. 

Kid-wise: It was a big year for Veronica. She and Fletcher were married at an intimate wedding in a gorgeous mountainous retreat in central Washington. Veronica graduated with her MS in Nutritional Science from University of Washington. Because her thesis defense was on Zoom, we were able to watch her present her research. We were impressed with her articulate presentation and with her composure during the Q&A. After a late ski honeymoon this coming February, she looks to contribute her skills in the work world. 

Nicole and Ryan are engaged and are closing in on wedding venues in Northern California, while carefully considering timing options.  Nicole is currently enrolled in a Masters in Education program at USC over the web from Seattle. Her aim is to become a High-School Biology teacher. Over the years Nicole has continued to develop her interest and expertise in Marine Biology and scuba diving through both education and work.

Steven completed his MS in Computer Science at USC and moved to a many-windowed apartment in Seattle with his long-time girlfriend Melissa. He’s now working for Amazon (AWS) as a software engineer. Steven and Melissa continue to cook mouth-watering and photo-worthy meals such as hot pot and savory chicken thighs.

With Kristen’s folks in Portland and all the kids in Seattle, we see ourselves spending more time in the Pacific Northwest in the future, while also continuing to enjoy Northern California and our friends and family here.

We miss you. It’s rare if we’ve seen you in person (in Jan/Feb or socially distanced later on). We have relished the video and audio connections we’ve had. Most years we look back and wish we could have seen you more, but no year has this been more poignantly true. We truly hope to sustain and grow our connections with you in the coming years. 

Love, Peace, and Joy,

Dan and Kristen

Click on images to see what we’ve been up to: