Friday, December 19, 2014

The Jon and Shelby Christmas Letter

2014 started out with a breakfast of pancakes made from scratch with real maple syrup. The only better way to start out the year would have been with biscuits and eggs, but pancakes are good too. Despite the less than perfect start to the year, it has been a very good year.

Shelby on the Four Pass Loop

Many adventures were had in 2014. The first big trip, my dad and I backpacked the Grand Canyon. It was pretty awesome to get down into the canyon. The view from the rim is amazing but to hike all the way to the bottom was spectacular. In the fall Shelby and I did a 26-mile backpacking loop called the Four Pass Loop near Aspen. This was one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done with the leaves just starting to change and the wildflowers still blooming below giant red and white peaks. We also spent many a weekend camping and climbing around Colorado, with the highlights being two all-day climbs up Mt. Royal in Frisco and the Sheep Rock formation in the South Platte.

Climbing Mt Royal in Frisco

The first cause for celebration this year was when Shelby graduated from nursing school at UC Denver! It was so good for her to be done and to get out into the work world. First she had to pass the NCLEX, but that proved to be a breeze for her and now you can call her Shelby Salley RN.

But pretty soon you can call her Shelby Banks RN.! What?! Yep, we got engaged! One Sunday afternoon in September, I hiked alone to the top of Mt Zion in Golden and then prayed my rope would be long enough for the rappel to leave some flowers for her. Luckily, the rappel was 100ft long and my rope folded in half is also 100ft long, so that math worked out nicely, and the flowers made it to the ledge where I would propose to her that Tuesday. Despite pressuring her to lead the first pitch, which isn't very fun and she had done before, she said yes! Now we're engaged to be wed in March 2015.

You would have thought it unlikely last summer but the odds were ever in our favor. We met in June of last year. I was itching to learn how to climb and Shelby was willing and able to show me the ropes. Somehow she trusted me to belay her on a climb in Clear Creek Canyon and we started climbing together regularly. Friendship turned into relationship, and before we knew it, we were 1000 feet above that same canyon as the sun was about to set and I got down on one knee. 

Anyways, once Shelby started introducing herself as Shelby Salley RN., she found a job! Now she's working as a nurse at Professional Pediatric Home Care taking care of the kids. It has been a good opportunity to gain some valuable experience working as a nurse.

I've been working as an engineer at ITN Energy Systems for two and a half years now. This year I've had some good variety at work by splitting my time between a water filtration project and a battery project. Both are very interesting and enjoyable projects to be on.

We are excited to get married in March and can’t wait to see what our next year together will hold.