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To: My Fans!
From: Ann
Happy 2006!

January 2006

Hi, readers!

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is hearing from old friends and catching up on the events and milestones in their lives. And I absolutely love receiving a great photo along with their news. For my own card this year, I chose one of my favorite subjects – my dog Sadie – and snapped a picture of her sitting cross-pawed with a red and green manicure! Sadie is a good sport, even though I’m quite certain she must feel silly sometimes! And she’s been very patient when I’ve staged her photo shoots.

I’m happy to say that all of my news for 2005 is good. My writing projects have been challenging and exciting, and my friends and family are healthy. The Martin family celebrated my father’s 80th birthday and my aunt’s 75th birthday in July, and Dad and I joined my sister Jane, brother-in-law Doug, and seven-year-old nephew Henry for an August beach vacation in Rhode Island. August was also a milestone birthday for me – my 50th – and I decided to celebrate it by inviting Jane, Doug, and Henry to come to Disney World with me. We scheduled the trip for November to take advantage of the smaller crowds and the great Florida weather. When I tell you how much fun we had, it will probably sound as if I’m a Disney World spokesperson! Each of the different kingdoms was more fun than the last (although I think the Magic Kingdom was our favorite), and we enjoyed exciting roller coaster rides, character breakfasts, the Hoop-de-doo Review dinner show, and a fabulous performance by Cirque du Soleil. The only thing that made us feel better about having to go home was the decision to come back again next year!

Later that month, Sadie and I traveled to my parents’ retirement community in Pennsylvania to spend Thanksgiving with them. When I visit, I like to bring Sadie to the Alzheimer’s Wing in which my mother is cared for. The residents there enjoy interacting with animals, and I’m pretty sure that Sadie likes being the center of attention.

I reunited with Jane, Doug, Henry, and my father for Christmas in New York City. I especially loved being with Henry because he takes such joy in all the traditions and festivities. He was so excited that on Christmas morning he woke up at 3 a.m. and never went back to sleep! We had a wonderful time opening our stockings and gifts to each other. One of my favorite gifts was a beautiful photo album put together by Jane, chronicling the Martin family events of 2005. I love flipping through the pages and being reminded of the great times I’ve had and how lucky I am to have such a wonderful family. I’m going to share a few of my favorite pictures on the webpage, so be sure to click on the “photos” link.

While I’m sad that the holidays are over, I’m also excited to be back at work and beginning a new year. Winters here in the Hudson Valley can be absolutely beautiful, and nothing makes me happier than when I’m writing in my cozy office as the snow falls outside. So keep your fingers crossed that there’ll be another white winter here, and I send you all my best wishes for a happy, healthy, and fun 2006.

Happy reading!