Christmas 2010

Here is our Christmas letter for 2010.  We included this in all of our Christmas cards, and I wanted to post it here for our online friends:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  Things have been moving so quickly in our world for the past year that sometimes it’s hard to remember just where we started and just how we got here.  Pam and Will and I have had a very eventful 2010 overloaded with blessings.

First, and most important, Will is now 3.2 (3 years, 2 months) and perfectly healthy and rambunctious.  He is curious, opinionated and compassionate.  He is an absolute pleasure to be around, and is growing intellectually and physically so very quickly that it’s hard recall all of the milestones.  He can pedal a bike now, can read short words and has several of his favorite books completely memorized.
Willpower was also given the honor of being the ring-bearer in the wedding of his girlfriend/teacher Kate Messmer (now Beaumont) as she was married in July.  He was adorable in a tuxedo and performed his job admirably after a considerable amount of bribing.  Ms. Kate has been wonderful to our family and it was a blessing to share her day.

Pam spent the year working at United Way of Champaign County, raising desperately needed resources for our area’s outstanding non-profit agencies and programs.  She was her usual tireless self, doing whatever is necessary at the office, being Super Mom at home, helping with her Grandma Jean Lenny as much as possible as she recovers from a stroke, and of course volunteering in numerous ways in our community.  Most particularly, she is very active in Urbana’s Rotary Club, and will become its President in 2011.

We also traveled to Panama City Beach in Florida for our annual summer vacation, this time with Pam’s parents and three other families – the Cirks’, the Hartman’s and the Melton’s.  We enjoy that trip so much every year.  Over Labor Day weekend we reunited with Al, Susan and Allison Adomite and recreated a small piece of their annual summer vacation as children, spending a few days at Bull Shoals Lake in southern Missouri with Joe and Shirley Bator and a host of other friends.  And for Thanksgiving, we traveled to see Papa Jim and Grandma Angie in their new home in Youngstown, OH.

As for me, 2010 will be remembered for quite some time as the year of change.  Professionally, I began the year working for the Devonshire Group, but the challenging real estate market forced restructuring and my divisions were sold in November to MSA Professional Services, a larger company out of Wisconsin, and my duties shifted a bit to focusing exclusively on engineering and architecture.

Politically, I began the year working on a hotly contested statewide Primary and my client fell just a few hundred votes short.  That defeat, however, allowed me to pursue an appointment to a vacancy on the Champaign City Council.  I was successful, was seated in April, and began to thoroughly enjoy my time as a policy maker and candidate.  I have made wonderful friends on Champaign’s Council and staff.  November’s big election, however, brought a different and unexpected opportunity. When a significant shuffling of positions created a vacancy in the office of Champaign County Clerk, I pursued and have preliminarily secured the appointment, pending confirmation by our County Board. (UPDATE 12-25: The County Board confirmed the appointment on 12-22.)  The position is full-time, has many challenging and exciting responsibilities, and I hope to take office in early January.  My political fortunes this year have been nothing short of remarkable – I began the year as an activist and blogger, and am ending it as the likely next County Clerk.  I can’t give enough thanks for the family, friends and fortunate circumstances that have made these things possible.

However, by far the most significant and exciting development in our family for 2010 is that it is growing!  Pam is expecting our second child, sometime in late July, and while it hasn’t completely sunk in yet, Will 3.2 is excited about becoming a big brother, and we’re excited to become parents again.  To stay up-to-date on baby developments, please visit and remember that both Pam and I post more frequently, both short updates and quick snapshots, our our facebook pages – here and here.

As 2010 winds down all too quickly, we want to give our thanks to God for our abundant blessings, good health and our remarkable friends and family.  We are blessed beyond all expectations.   Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!


Pam, Gordy, & Will  (& Baby Hulten, arriving July 2011)

And this is the video that we sent to our parents a siblings a few weeks ago that we told them was Will’s video Christmas wish list, but was really our way of letting them know that Pam is expecting.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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