Sent January 25th, 2020

Any kind of internet-based journal, be it a blog, newsletter, or twitter account, would not be complete without at least one post apologising for not writing more. So let’s get that out of the way: for those that found this mailing list from either my Christmas card (in lieu of a proper Christmas letter) or website, thank you for your patience.

There have been two major difficulties in writing a letter to send out to my friends and family. The first is that I was inspired to do this by a good friend who has set a very high bar for correspondence. The second challenge is that I lack the works to even begin to capture the experience of Amelia’s first year of life.

On the bright side, I’m on time for Chinese New Year.

Perhaps it is easiest to set aside the task of trying to capture all that has happened in the last year and instead focus on what is happening now.

With the final accomplishment of being able to stand up on her own without any assistance or an object to hold on to, Amelia is fully mobile and unstoppable. She started to walk by holding on to things between 10 and 11 months; she only ever crawled as a means to reach objects to pull herself to standing.

This last tuesday, Amelia started attending daycare. Saying goodbye is always hard in the morning, but the teachers report Amelia enjoys her days exploring her classroom, eating meals with her classmates, and playing outside. With the help of her much adored teddy bear, she has also been able to take naps with the rest of the class.

As Amelia was entering daycare, I was also making my own transition. This month I started a new job at Stripe. I immensely enjoyed my time working for Amazon, but after spending almost 10 years there, I made the difficult decision that it was time to try something different. For those that are not familiar with Stripe, Stripe is a technology company that provides small and large businesses alike tools for ecommerce. I learned a lot both from making the decision to leave Amazon and how it felt when I walked out of my office for the last time. I couldn’t possibly do that topic justice here but I hope to write about it in a future letter.

No letter would be complete without a heartfelt expression of gratitude for the continued support provided by Yuling’s mother Feiyan. Feiyan has been with us every day since Amelia was born. Her generous support allowed Yuling and me to return to work without having to place Amelia in infant daycare. When Amelia started eating solid foods, Feiyan always prepared nutritious, home-cooked food for her. We’ve always been able to trust that Amelia is safe in her care.

Nor would it be complete without a nod to the patience and forgiveness of our cat, Xiaomeow, and our dog, Sushi, who have remained loyal despite not always receiving the attention they had become accustomed to. Both are in good health and slowly growing accustomed to the increasing attention that Amelia gives them.

In the next year, Yuling, Amelia, and I are looking forward to spending nice summer days at the Woodland Park Zoo and the not so nice days at the Seattle Art Museum.

From my family to yours, I hope you enjoyed your holidays, and I wish you a safe and joyous new year.