Updated: Dec 24, 2021
Welcome to our 2021 virtual holiday card!
2021... for the Norenas was as unpredictable as the first pandemic year. And again, we have a lot to be thankful for and so much to look forward to in 2022.
January, February and March flew by, and at the beginning of April, we did the postponed "Great American Road Trip" we had planned in 2020. Unfortunately, Ana could not join us and, although irreplaceable, Mateo's friend Kate was a great addition to the trip. Shocking news awaited our return, and a week later, Moises was unemployed. As if it came from heaven, Marilu received an offer for a job the next day that news arrived, giving us the peace to take things calmly.
We took a "transition" trip to Mexico at the beginning of the summer before Diego and Mateo went on their 25-day canoe trip to Boundary Waters in Minnesota. Ana spent the summer with us, while Marilu stayed busy at work and Moises experience the "at home dad" full time job.
Summer flew by, kids went back to school and after a beautiful fall we are ready to close the year with Moisés' new job and looking forward to Marilu's family visit.
She has been busier than ever as she continues her "transpersonal therapy" certificate and works full time for the local parish. She is in charge of the coordination of religious education something Marilu has been involved with as volunteer for years. She enjoys coming home around 5:30 pm and asking "what's for dinner?!"
After the job news, the transition started. It was peaceful with many ups and downs and, at times, a lack of clarity. It started with a walk of 50 miles of the Appalachian Trail, where he learned all that is needed for whenever he decides to do the whole thing. During this time, he also created Moises' 10 Commandments for Innovation, did innovation consulting, considered a franchise, and ultimately took a job at Mitek that has taken him back to the architecture field, something he never imagined! The job is remote and is in an innovation incubator, quite a refresher from the last two corporate roles. He also continued to paint and this year took a course to learn the techniques of the great masters, his first practice was with this self-portrait.
Oh boy... I mean teen. Mateo turned 15 this year and started high school. He is very emotionally stable, exceptionally social, and has a great group of friends, which was why we stayed in town as we considered job options. Surprising to everyone, including him, was exceptional in track, ended up first place in hurdles, and broke the school record for pole vault. He reluctantly went on the same trip with Diego; although he was not in his group. He enjoyed it but did not love it. He started high school and is doing great, and is pretty independent. He counted the days to become 15 1/2, and we went to get his driving permit on the very day. He is now putting on the hours to get his license next year. He is also working at the yacht club with Diego and making his own money; next year, he may not work as he is looking forward to being part of the varsity track team. We´ll see!
Ana finished her sophomore year and is now a junior at Purdue's School of Industrial Engineering. She continues to thrive and now lives in a house right outside of campus with her best friends. The summer was not as pleasant as she'd liked; the pandemic made it challenging to find an internship so she came to Cleveland, where Moises employed her on personal projects and gave her some innovation experience. She continues to be part of Purdue's Gymnastics team and is also very involved in Purdue's Women Engineers. We are proud of her!
She turned 20 at Purdue, and took this wonderful photo on the same place where we took the picture of Moi´s graduation 20 years ago.
The first semester was not great, the school was hybrid, and he didn't seem interested. He has matured significantly and decided to make his senior year of high school at Cleveland State University. Moving from the local high school to the college campus has been a positive experience; he is pretty engaged, and this decision will save him one year of college. This year he made the postponed canoe trip. Unfortunately, they could not go to Canada, but Boundary Waters in Minnesota was a great compromise. The trip was 25 days and he came back ready for more! His maturity is also reflected in his musical taste. He is now a self-declared "deadhead," he attended the concert in Cleveland and later twisted Moises' arm to take him to the ones at Wrigley Field. He's quite a hard-working guy, he was the dough master at Danny Boy´s a local pizza place and is now a server at the yacht club... great plans require money! The year concludes with the anxiety of waiting to hear from college applications and with the exciting prospect of spending two weeks in Sicily teaching English to a family at the end of the year and the beginning of next.
He is now 5 years old, and he's a blessing to the family. He's pretty happy because Moises is home most of the time, although he spends most of the day sleeping and demands a lot of attention at bedtime!