Holiday Letter 2018

In 2010s by Steve Sliwa

Dear Family and Friends,

At the close of last year’s “season finale” holiday newsletter, we left the Sliwa family with cliffhanger questions: Would Steve’s start-up business accelerate?  Would Steve and Nancy continue their flying adventures? Would Tabitha’s new business be successful?  Would they all succumb to cuteness overload from their new puppies?

This year’s “opening episode” found Steve still hard at work for Seeq.  It seems that he and his start-up partner, Brian Parsonnet, are smiling a bit more as Seeq has been rocketing through a successful climb all year.  With new financing secured, Seeq has grown more than five-fold in customer contracts and more than doubled in employees.

Nancy’s role in the opening episode was more melancholy.  She worked hard to complete her duties as the executor of her mother’s estate, but was also diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease.  Dealing with those issues occupied several months and now seem mostly resolved.

In April, Nancy took an eagerly-anticipated trip to Israel as part of a packaged Michael W. Smith expedition. In addition to a tour of most of the Israeli-occupied parts of the nation and Jerusalem, she participated in two public concerts as part of Michael’s back-up choir. It was an incredible spiritual experience.  Nancy used the pictures she took and what she learned about Israel as the foundation of the women’s Bible study she taught over the summer.

We executed our ‘snow-bird’ transfer back to White Salmon in May, and began our summer travels and flying adventures.  A visit to Washington D.C. for a lovely ethnic wedding and a visit to our friends the Hazens on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Nancy’s flight in the Cirrus with Marcie to the 99’s International Convention in Philadelphia, with a side trip to Cape May to visit Marcie’s family. Nancy’s trip to Atchison, Kansas with Marcie in her Cessna 182 to celebrate Marcie’s induction in the Forest of Friendship.  Nancy’s trip to 99’s Southwest Section meeting in Ontario, CA to celebrate Marcie’s selection as the section’s Woman Pilot of the Year. 

In August Nancy embarked on a major life-style change.   She spent four weeks at the True North Health Clinic in Santa Rosa, California, participating in an extended water-only fast and converting to a whole-food, plant-based (vegan) diet that is also low in salt, oil, and sugar. She decided to adopt this style of eating to address the autoimmune & inflammation issues that have plagued her for so long. She felt she made progress and plans to return in January.

Rich and Tabitha also had a busy year. Rich left his job with Amazon/Elemental and took a short sabbatical.  He accomplished a lot of home improvements but also took several inspiring mountain bike trips through the Southwest with his dog Buster. He then accepted a position as Director of Finance at start-up SheerID, which allows him to live in Hood River and telecommute for most of the week from the Portland office.

Tabitha continued with Seeq, moved her Barre3 instructing to Hood River, and completed her first wedding season as a specialty/bridal make-up artist with her on-line company She also has plans in the New Year for a career re-alignment, and to take her own sabbatical.  We know the sabbatical will include yoga in Cambodia and a visit to New Zealand.  Next year’s installment should have a grand report from Tabitha.

We came back to Arizona a bit earlier than usual (part of the ‘snow-bird’ migration), just missing the extended monsoon rains that had deluged the Phoenix area and enjoying beautiful fall weather. 

We were able to participate in a gathering of poodles put on by the owner of one of Brandy’s multiple siblings and cousins.  Lots of poodles in a small space! But it was great to meet the enthusiastic owners of them all.  Brandy and Beckett, thanks to Steve’s training, were an island of calm in a sea of poodle exuberance.  Brandy and Beckett, having just passed their second birthday, are fully mature but cuter than ever, and so loving and affectionate (and mostly well-behaved,) they certainly repay our investment.

We are currently on a destination vacation in Kauai for the Christmas holiday with Tabitha and Rich and enjoying the time to recharge before the start of the new year.

Here’s hoping that 2019 brings you peace, prosperity, and happiness.

Nancy and Steve Sliwa 
Nancy went to Israel with a Michael W. Smith music ministry group.  
One of our favorite activities when visitors come: desert dune buggies guided tours. Here are Tabitha, Rich, Mark, and Tifani with Nancy & Steve.
Tabitha performs with her band “Family, Man” at a fund raiser for the arts in Hood River.
Seeq continues to grow.  Here is the Seeq sales and marketing team doing it’s traditional “Ta Da!” pose after its largest trade show.  Due to growth not everyone will fit next year.  Steve on left, Brian in the front middle left hand out.
Nancy took her flying buddies Marcie and Susan clay-target shooting with Master Instructor Mike O’Keefe and friends Val and Vicki.
Steve rendezvoused with brother Dave and niece Andie in Chicago to go to museums, learn about animation, and enjoy the sites.
Nieces Allie and Ashley visited us in Arizona early in the year.  It’s hard to tell but Allie was expecting.
Max became the newest family member with Allie delivering Sept 5.  He is already quite photogenic.
It’s a Poodle Party!  Just prior to this picture it was chaos, but the owner’s settled their pets.  Steve’s little princess, Brandy, is posing alone on the right.
Brandy and Beckett model their Christmas outfits.
Rich, Tabitha, Nancy and Steve celebrate Christmas 2018 in Kauai.
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