Happy Year of the Snake
Before she even knew about the book The Happiness Project, Yvette started working on her happiness project—the book's premise being to analyze all major aspects of your life to reach your fullest happiness potential. So, after eleven years at Alameda County Health Care Services Agency, Yvette took a big step forward. And quit. She successfully completed her requirements for certification as an Organization & Relationship Systems Coach with the goal of helping organizations learn to work together to solve big, wicked social problems. Yvette launched her consulting business, Y’s Change (www.wisechange.org), and looks to 2013 for even greater growth. Yvette has also enjoyed being able to devote more time to Savio and Sequoia, helping out more regularly in class and coordinating math & science activities at Sequoia’s school. She also has led us all to the East Bay Community Music Project, which coordinates regular gatherings for whole families to sing, dance, and make music together.http://www.wisechange.org/shapeimage_2_link_0
Yvette finished the year by rocking a new snowboard after her 1997 board and bindings began to break, while Sequoia and Savio got to do some skiing too. Liwen also went skate skiing with Savio in Yosemite, where we spent the winter holidays.
Savio on way to Glacier Point Sequoia has continued to blossom as a second grader, taking an interest in a wide range of activities: piano, Chinese, gymnastics, science projects, and reading lots of Roald Dahl and other authors who have won the William Allen White children's book awards. She has a penchant for drama (which we are trying to keep as the acting kind, not the drama queen kind). And she got into a serious relationship ... with the class parakeet, Zipper, who has been spending a lot of time in our home.

Savio entered a second year at his Montessori preschool. He couldn’t wait to move on from being a “napper” to being an older student who gets to participate in nature studies. Now he excitedly talks about lava, the moons of Jupiter, and mammals. While Liwen continues to bike him to school, Savio has also begun learning to ride his own bike. It’s been fun to watch him mature and realize his own growth. As he told Yvette, “Now that I’m four, I understand what you’re saying. When I was three, I didn’t.” Despite gearing up for a major infringement trial this winter, Liwen has continued to enjoy his work at Fenwick & West, especially the opportunity to mentor more junior attorneys. He especially relished being able to help pro bono on several immigration and employment matters. We understand that this Year of the Snake is supposed to be a year of steady progress. We like that. No need for drama or flamboyance. Just a time to pay attention to the things that matter and enjoy each other’s company. If that’s all we accomplish this year, it will be a successful year. May you have at least that much success in 2013.
Savio, Sequoia, Liwen, and Yvette This year we didn’t get to go camping as often as we had hoped, but we were fortunate to get to visit the Big Island and Maui. Sequoia loved playing in the surf, while Savio loved seeing the variety of fish, turtles, and coral. And of course they both love saying “humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa” (the Hawaiian state fish). On the Big Island, we opted to stay on the low-key Hilo side and gorged on the 7/$1 papayas. We also explored Volcanoes National Park’s lava tubes and calderas, showing the kids that the earth is still growing, like they are. Sequoia body boarding on Maui Sequoia’s friend Zipper The easier way to travel on snow Typical Savio pose at Volcanoes National Park Rookie soccer player Clockwise from top left: Olivine Pools; Looking for oval squid; Two swmming tortugas; Pipawai bamboo forest; Humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa; Waimoku Falls; Hungry for poke; Hungry for papaya                Playing with Gung Gung Zebra, Keeper, Panda, and Bear Yvette’s new Xtracycle Cousin Matthew & Jen’s Wedding with Damon and Grandma Yvette being pelted with fresh snow in Yosemite Zebra mohawk