It is time once again for a look back on a year in the life of the family Pritchard. This year was one of growth and travel, laughter and tears, creative inspiration and not nearly enough sleep.
We rang in the new year deep in the heart of Death Valley National Park. Our little hideaway offered quiet days, incredible views and plenty of low-altitude passes from the local F-18 squadron. In May we celebrated our ten year anniversary! We kept the promise we made to ourselves years ago, and marked the occasion with a trip to Paris. Autumn and Carson remained stateside with the grandparents. We enjoyed a week of late nights followed by lazy mornings, incredible food and beautiful sights. It rained every day and we couldn’t have cared less. We spent the entire week in the city, scouting restaurants, museums and ice cream parlors. Highlights include an evening concert at Notre Dame Cathedral, more than a few mind-blowing meals and several hours sitting on park benches doing absolutely nothing.
We returned home feeling a little guilty for leaving the kids behind and promptly planned an end-of-summer trip to Disneyland as a thinly-veiled attempt at penance. It was a memorable trip…you can read more about it here. A general lack of planning and preparation threw some salt in our camping game, but we did manage to sneak outside for a night or two under the stars. We woke one night in Samuel P. Taylor Park to the rumbling of an earthquake – an interesting experience when you’re connected to the earth beneath a canopy of mighty redwoods.
Autumn came bounding out of Kindergarten and tumbling into the First Grade at Lafayette Elementary. She devotes much of that energy to her art: drawing, painting, cutting, gluing, molding, sewing and generally creating. She entered the PTA Reflections Art Contest this year and saw her entry recognized at the school and district level before moving to the state competition. Autumn also began playing soccer with the SF Micro Soccer league. What the matches lack in competitive game play, they make up for in giggles and priceless views. The soccer pitch is at Marina Green – a stone’s throw from the water, with views of GG Bridge, Alcatraz and Angel Island.
Carson started his second year at Presidio Preschool, where he made strong connections with his teacher Dustin and a small group of friends (both real and imaginary) who seem to focus their energy on building things up and promptly tearing them back down. When he’s not busy playing with Lego, he can also be found playing with Lego (this kid has a habit). Carson and Autumn got to experience MakerFaire for the first time in May. Fire breathing robots, giant bubbles, remote controlled battleships and massive Tesla coils sparked enough interest to make this a perennial adventure. In the fall we got our hands dirty as we designed and built our first medieval siege weapon and hurled unsuspecting gourds into the wild blue yonder.
Twain Harte has long been a special place for the Salsig clan, and this year Jody poured herself into revitalizing the family cabin there. It’s a throwback to the mid-century, and has been renamed Winter’s Camp, in honor of Jody’s grandfather William Winter Salsig. This all came to life in stolen moments between growing a business and fulfilling her role as SuperMom. PritchardPeck Lighting continues to ascend in both the profile of their work and recognition from their industry.
It was an engaging year for me at work. I took on a bigger role at Williams-Sonoma and had the opportunity to do a bit of travel. In May I traveled to Nashville to visit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, an amazing organization with whom we have a long-standing partnership. That inspiration led to some quick, creative work with a team of talented folks to bring online donations to our brand websites in time for our annual giving campaign. In September, I had my 20-year high-school reunion and had a chance to connect with some close friends and some vaguely familiar faces. All in all, I’d say we’ve aged pretty well. In March we said goodbye to my Uncle Dennis, who left us too soon, but left behind an amazing family and memories that will keep us laughing and smiling for decades to come. We miss you, Uncle D.
We loved spending time with you all this year – whether it was a weekend brunch, a trip to the mountains or just a fleeting moment as our paths crossed. And if it’s been too long, let’s do something about that in new year. May peace be with you and your loved ones this season and always.
Matt, Jody, Autumn and Carson
San Francisco, CA