Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Letter 2006

Get ready to be amazed and entertained, it's time to read the 3rd annual Dave and Natalie Bradley Christmas letter...

2006 has been a relatively relaxing year for us. We only moved once and only flew up to Seattle 6 times. It was definitely time to settle down after last year's 8 moves so we signed a year lease on a duplex in Mountain View, a block away from 2 Starbucks and near a bunch of friends. Natalie is enjoying the backyard; her cousin Heather even flew down to help plant flowers--we found that Miracle Grow dirt lives up to its name. And we like the free internet service provided to the City of Mountain View by Google--speaking of, I just ran into Eric Schmidt (CEO of Google) last Sunday at Home Depot buying Christmas lights. He didn't seem to remember me from last time we met, but I was able to thank him for GMail.

One of the blessings that came with moving back up to the Bay Area this year was being able to take 45 of our Younglife kids—many of them seniors that we've been with since they were freshman—to summer camp "Malibu" in Canada, an incredibly beautiful camp next to the Chatterbox falls northwest of Vancouver. We had an unbelievable week, as we always do at Younglife camp.
Last month Natalie and I got to perform a skit (see video ) for the Younglife banquet; we take advantage any opportunity to be on stage.

Our church is 20 minutes north from where we live, Central Peninsula Church in Foster City. My friend from Sacramento, Justin Buzzard, was named Pastor of Young Adults this year and leads the twentysomething bible study group that we attend on Thursday nights. We have had a great time there and met many wonderful new friends.

We gave in to the peer pressure this year and started a blog—it's where we post pictures and videos for friends and family to see what we're up to. The blog's name, "Life Snacks" stems from one of Natalie's nicknames from San Diego. Check it out, you'll see Natalie doing a 360 on her wake board, Dave riding up the fastest elevator in the world in Taipei, video of Ryan and I driving to Arizona and back in one day for spring training, and coming soon… clips from last year's Europe trip—including our brush with the pope and our interview of a friend of Prince Charles. And while you're there, be sure to leave your comments and click on the ads on the right side of the page about 50 times per week =), that will help us pay for Christmas presents this year.

We found a renter for our condo in San Diego so that helps with a little bit of the mortgage. We're looking forward to selling it so we don't have to be long distance landlords. Sales pitch: Brand new, near UCSD, between La Jolla and Del Mar, walking distance to Torrey Pines state beach, beautiful sunset views...

I graduated from Santa Clara University this June! After four years of no sleep I finally get to go to bed before midnight. Thank you Natalie for putting up with the many late nights, the study groups, and for being a constant support through it all.

I've been a program manager and mechanical engineer at Panta Systems for one year now and it's treating me well. The best news for us this year was our historic victory over IBM and HP for a world record Oracle benchmark. We shall see if that translates into increased sales.
Bradley Mechanical Engineering took a break this year to concentrate on the MBA and the startup, but may ramp back up again in 2007. If you know anyone who needs a product designed and manufactured, maybe I can be of service.
Natalie is doing very well with First American Title, she's a natural saleswoman (the trustworthy and hardworking type, not the shady type). Everyone in her office loves her and all her clients want to do more business with her. She's enjoying working from home in her robe and is growing attached to her treo.

Natalie and I celebrated Canada Day (July 1st) in Victoria before heading down to Seattle to celebrate our own country's independence 3 days later. While in Victoria we were able to visit the Bouchart Gardens, watch fireworks with hundreds of people dressed (and painted) in red, and ride a horse drawn carriage around town.
We drove down to San Diego for a 3-day weekend to stay in a bed and breakfast Natalie won through work. It was... interesting; a house in the middle of nowhere poorly converted into something resembling a "castle," and the innkeepers were the 'Renassainse Fair' type. Good thing it was free.
I went to Taipei for 2 weeks to meet with our manufacturing partners there for work. In my spare time I was able to travel around by train and subway, sample the great foods, and even get on TV marching with a bunch of protesters that wanted to depose the president.
For Christmas this year we're skiing in Whistler, celebrating Christmas Day with my family in Sacramento, then off to Park City, Utah for more skiing. Looking forward to that.

Natalie and I have been especially blessed by our friends and family this year; you are in our hearts and prayers this Christmas. Please keep in touch and let us know what's happening in your life.

Merry Christmas!
Dave and Natalie Bradley

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