Hey there family, friends, colleagues and random people who find this online,
We say “mostly-annual” since we didn’t write a letter last year and that’s because it was kind of a rough year for the Wood Family and honestly it was tough to get motivated to put fingers-to-keyboard and rehash it (we also didn’t write one in 2009 but that was because of the whole new parents-moving back to Iowa-Hope starting law school-Geoff working on several random projects thing was going on and we just never found time). We’re not going to rehash 2012 now, either, but we did want to point out two major life highlights: Hope wrapping up her formal education with law school in May and Graham starting his with pre-school in August.
That brings us to 2013 which was a much better year.
We’ll start with Graham since he is the youngest and has the shortest pinky (the two ways we determine who takes the first turn in board & card games - which is one of his favorite pastimes).
The not-so-little guy is now “4 and a half” and is in his second year of a pre-school at a Montessori School that is part of the Des Moines Public Schools. He’ll continue in this classroom one more year (Kindergarten) before transitioning to a new class for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Grade. He has three best friends at school that he tends to get into a bit of trouble with but overall school seems to be a positive challenge for him and an experience that he enjoys. Montessori education is rather unique in the public school system and he’ll be able to stay with this program until high school.
Outside of school, Graham enjoys participating in an extracurricular drama club and has asked enough times to play basketball and football for “our team” (the Iowa State University Cyclones) that we’re starting to look into little league sports (we tell him it’s better to play with other kids his size for now). He also joined the Science Center of Iowa’s pre-school for the summer months and enjoys access to their exhibits.
Hope had a tremendous year and is now a fully licensed attorney in the State of Iowa! She opened her solo practice - Hope Wood, JD - in May and works with private clients of all types as well as in-sourcing work for other attorneys around the state.
Hope enjoys the challenges that practicing law brings and parenting it with starting a new business. Among the greatest reward is the flexibility that owning a business brings and being a part of Graham’s activities like her parents did for her growing up. Hope stands out from the traditional attorney by using technology solutions (and Geoff’s expertise). She started her business as a paperless office and can work from anywhere using cloud-based services and a Google Voice number. Her license is limited to Iowa, but will go to the state line to help.
It was a year of change for Geoff as in July he decided to leave the company he helped build for the last several years and then started a new venture that month around supporting the Iowa startup community called “Welch Avenue”. He now curates and sends out a weekly newsletter of the top stories related to the Iowa startup community - for current Iowans, former Iowans or anyone with an affection for Iowa (you should sign up for it right here) - and also hosts an interview web show/podcast each Wednesday. In September he joined the team at Startup Genome where they’re building the most accurate global map/database of startup activity. It’s really neat, check out your community’s map and if you’re part of the startup ecosystem be sure and join. He also grew an inspiring amount of facial hair.
As we look towards 2014, I think our family is most excited about just experiencing our “new normal”. For the first time since all aforementioned life changes of 2009, not one of the three of us are in transition and that alone is pretty exciting. Of course, we thrive on change so look for something to be completely different by this time next year.
Hope, Geoff and Graham Wood