Happy 2014 & a Brief Review of Some Recent, Full Years, with love from Nancy & Joe
It's been a while since we managed to share a year's highlights with you. We LOVE hearing your news and want to uphold our end of the bargain and quickly bring you up-to-date. In 2012 we moved to northern California after more than 30 years in Minnesota. We're in a converted warehouse loft condo in Emeryville, a small city surrounded by Oakland and Berkeley, across from San Francisco (on the Minnesota side of the Bay).
We moved to be near Mavis & Nia, who both settled here, while also being able to easily walk/bike/transit to shop and visit folks. We miss MN and our family-friends there a lot but are very grateful for being close to family and friends here, too.
The past few years have included quite a few momentous events. In 2009, Nia married Mark Stelzner, and we delightedly added a lovely (and baseball-loving) son to our family.
In 2006 we moved from Duluth to St Paul to gain the benefits of the big airport nearby and live in a big city again. 2008 was a year of long-planned major expansion for New Moon, launching a creative online network for girls, supported by our first outside investors. Also, of course the horrendous financial crisis and recession, which threw countless wrenches in the expansion plan and also led to the closure of Dads & Daughters.
Also in 2009, we discovered the joys of grandparenting firsthand with the birth of Lucy (Lucille Elizabeth Vokes-Ruffcorn) to our "volunteer" daughter Sarah Vokes & her husband Ryan Ruffcorn. Sarah & Ryan's second daughter Greta (Margaret Evelyn Vokes-Ruffcorn) joined the clan in 2012.
Meanwhile, New Moon became a virtual company with everyone working from home, after painful staff layoffs and closing our office in Duluth. The silver lining is that the changes saved the company.
In 2010 we started thinking about moving to CA at some point before our still distant retirement. With our girls both there, it made sense to move before we retired and build our community there. we started searching for a condo in a walkable area on our regular visits. Due to the real estate meltdown, we lucked out and were able to buy our warehouse loft apartment in late 2011. We easily rented it out and thought we'd move in a few years.
Then in early 2012 Joe was unexpectedly laid off from his job in St Paul and we decided to take the plunge and move sooner rather than later. It was a whirlwind with generous support from family and friends helping us make the transition in just a few months by offering longterm use of guest rooms in both CA & MN, endless packing & moving help, painting and renting out our condo in St Paul, and refreshing our spirits and energy when they flagged - extra special thanks to Linda & Robert, Ellen & Gary, Emily, Naomi & John and Alice & Petra. We moved into our CA condo in late Sept 2012, and the next month...
...our grandson Sam (Samuel Elliot Kelly-Stelzner) was born.
2013 was filled with lots of Sam time; we "Sam-sit" 2-3 days a week and LOVE it!
His parents, Nia & Mark, continue to grow into the wonder and fun (and other stuff) of being parents. They are also vibrant faces behind the counter at the two Starbucks in downtown Berkeley. Mark is now seeing clients in SF and Oakland on the way to his license as a skilled, generous family therapist.
Mavis began graduate school at University of San Francisco in the fall. She's on a 2-year path to an MBA in nonprofit management & organizational development. Joe is thrilled to have a Jesuit education passed on to the nest generation. :-)
We really enjoy her boyfriend Jon, a kind and interesting man. (In a fun coincidence, Jon & Mark both grew up outside Syracuse, where Joe & his sisters all lived during & after college.)
Maya continues to guide investment planning for folks from her SF office, which expanded into lovely new digs.
She also continues to volunteer for great causes and be a joy in all of our lives. As you can see, Maya is also an excellent Auntie.
Here they are taking over Times Square in October! -->
We also had fun celebrating Nancy’s 60th Birthday in November with friends from college days to the present.
Seeing all the great birthday messages Nancy received reminded us again of what wonderful family, friends & colleagues we share our lives with!
Joe continues to write and consult. His ninth book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Being a New Dad , was published in the Spring. He spent the summer writing his tenth one, The Idiot's Guides: Pregnancy for Dads, which releases the first week of 2014.
He remains involved in working with a) men who have a loved one with an eating disorder, and b) therapists and other professionals who want to reach and use clients’ male loved ones as treatment allies and resources. If you want to write a book, he can help with that, too!
For some odd reason, more out-of-town visitors have come to see us during our brief time in the San Francisco Bay area than ever did during our 18 years in Duluth. Hmmmm…why would that be?
Joe’s sisters had a great time here meeting Sam and exploring the environs. -->
And friends from NY, AZ and MN also stopped by. You're welcome anytime - our sofabed is pretty comfortable!
Also in 2013, one or both of us journeyed to Minnesota (Joe for his State Fair fix),
New York City, DC, Boston, and Philadelphia.
It may sound trite and/or corny, but we continue to be grateful—including for you!
All the best for 2014.
Love, Nancy & Joe
Joe Kelly & Nancy Gruver
1500 Park Ave. #325
Emeryville, CA 94608