L'Shana Tova

Happy New Year!

Here it is the beginning of 5756! My how time flies. A lot of the people receiving this letter probably thought we fell off the side of the planet. In some respects I guess we kindof did. It has been a very turbulent year for us. But first, some historical perspective.

May 1, 1993: Jonathan is born. Jackie plans to take 3 months off work and then Marc will be the full-time "care provider" (the preferred terminology is Dad). However, plans are changed when Jackie's work needs her to come back early so she works part-time for the third month of her baby-leave and brings Jonathan to work with her. A piece of information. If you are concerned about separation anxiety and guilt about leaving your kid when you go back to work - bring the kid to work for a month. This increases your stress level enough so that when you finally get to leave him/her at home the reduced stress compensates for wishing you were with your child. Meanwhile Marc's consulting business (JMZ Consulting) is doing well. When Jackie goes back to work full-time the transition goes well.

January 1994: Jackie changes jobs (from Perceptronics) to Xontech. Because of Xontech's procedures Jackie didn't actually get a chance to work officially until September of '94. She did however get a full-time salary and plenty of time to consult for Perceptronics. JMZ is also doing very well. In fact, Marc has more work than he knows what to do with and has to hire programmer to help. Jonathan is doing very well, and loves all the attention he gets from both his parents. Oh, and don't forget the earthquake. Despite being only a mile from the epicenter, the damage to the house is relatively minor - all plaster and paint.

September 1994: Jackie begins working on her first project for Xontech and is immediately made Technical Lead. Jackie is dividing her time between Jonathan & Marc, Xontech, consulting for Perceptronics and some other smaller clients, and being treasurer for AAUW, AWIS and New Life Computer Foundation. All in all her life is very hectic. Marc's time is spend first with Jonathan then with his work (often till 2 o'clock in the morning) Life in the Zev household if very busy.

November 1994: On the way to a Chanuka celebration with Marc's sister, the van we are driving in is broad-sided by a coked-out motorcyclist. With the exception of some minor cuts on Jonathan's face, the family is fine. The van, however, is not so good. The autobody shop says it will take 3-weeks to fix the van. It actually takes 2-months to get the car back, and afterwards it has to be brought back several times to finish all the work. In addition to having to deal with not having the van, this incident adds stress to our lives because the insurance company decides that the accident was our fault, even though the vehicle code says that we had the right of way, and even though the motorcyclist was high on cocaine. Go figure - I guess insurance companies don't have to follow the law. We could have fought it in court, but between the legal costs, the cost in disruption to our lives and the cost in stress, we decided it wasn't worth it. The decision didn't actually cost us very much.

March 1995: We all (Jonathan, too) go to Maui for a week to celebrate Marc & Jackie's 5th Anniversary. We schedule to have the earthquake damage to their house repaired while we are gone. Of course, the work is not completed. After repeated attempts to get the painter to do all of the contracted work (each time they came back, they would do a little bit more) they walked off the job. There is good news though. Jackie is given a promotion and a raise. Also, Jonathan's vocabulary, which was normal for his age, explodes in the month after we get back from Hawaii. It seemed like each day he would say stuff he hadn't said the month before. My favorite part about having a kid (after the hugs) is watching them say and do stuff that they couldn't do a month ago.

May 1995: We celebrate Jonathan's 2nd Birthday with a wonderful party with all of his friends at the park.

June 1995: We go to Yosemite with Jackie's folks, her brother and his family, Jackie's aunt and uncle and a friend from college and his wife. With all the rain this year, the rivers and waterfalls were at record levels and it was magnificent!

July 1995: Marc and Jackie go to Solvang alone (without Jonathan) for the first Jonathan-less trip since he was born. Everyone survives, and even has a good time.

August 1995: Jonathan is enrolled in nursery school two days a week to start in Sept. Jonathan breaks his leg. Don't ask us how, but he broke it and then walked on it for 1-1/2 weeks with a limp but with out pain. Not 1 but 2 Drs said "Wait. The limping will go away." But we took him to an orthopedist anyway. By the time of the appt. the limp was gone and doctor said there should be no long term effects. Marc accepts a permanent part-time position with his biggest client, while still maintaining JMZ Consulting. And Jackie hears rumors that she will be promoted to manager soon. Hopefully, she will get a raise, too!

Last year was definitely mixed. The accident, the earthquake repairs, and Marc and Jackie's workload meant that stress levels were often running high. On the other hand, the family is healthy, had some great vacations, and we enjoy our work. We are looking forward to a 5756 with all the good parts of last year, but with less stress! We hope the coming year is good to you, too. Let us know how last year went, and what your plans are for the coming year. If you have e-mail, you can reach us at jzev@xti.com or mzev@itg.ccmail.compuserve.com.

Thinking of you, Marc, Jackie and Jonathan Zev

Created 12/25/95. Send corrections, criticisms and comments to: jzev@isx.com