Sze Family Newsletter 2023
When we first started writing this newsletter, the year of 2023 seemed to have flown by and it seemed we didn’t do much. But the more we thought about it, the more we realized that it was actually an eventful and grateful year.
After more than 9 months of renovation, we finally moved back into our house in late January. The first night we moved back, we felt so privileged to have the best neighbor we could ever imagine. They knew that we didn’t have time and “tools” to make dinner, so they prepared dumplings for our kids.
Looking back, we still can’t believe how Winnie managed to handle the moves (twice) and the whole project of house renovations. It feels like “mission impossible” even after we moved back in. Not only are all the interiors new, but the remodeling was also tailored-made to our daily routine. Life just got easier and simpler because of the project.
Trips and Activities
Over spring break, we took the kids to Park City for a ski trip. It was the kids’ first time there, and Cliff had always wanted to take the whole family there because he had such a good experience on his three ski trips with guys. The kids loved it a lot, and 8 parents got to have dinner and drinks in Salt Lake City while the kids were having a movie night.
The annual run starting from our house has somehow become a tradition. Last year a 10K run was done shortly before the renovation started. This year, we barely moved back in and we held another 10K/5K run/walk. Participation rate was good and everyone had a great time. The route was different from last year. We enjoyed the scenic route with lots of bluebonnets along the way.
During the summer, we participated in the Redfish swimming team summer league, competing against other neighborhoods. The kids enjoyed spending time with their friends during the events. They practiced every day from mid-May until the end of June and had a meet each week. After the championship game, we flew to Hong Kong and stayed for two weeks. The kids had a lot of fun when we took some studio photography there.
On our way back to the US, we stopped in Taiwan for a few days. It was a short but enjoyable trip. We had the opportunity to eat local food and spend time with friends and family. After the Asian trip, we signed the kids up for a few summer camps to keep them learning. Charlotte and her best friends attended an overnight pre-teen camp,which was a four-day trip. This was the first time she had spent her nights away from home with other preteen girls and parents we didn’t know (besides sleepovers at close friends’ houses). This is the final year that all three children will be in the same elementary school as Charlotte will be attending middle school next year.
In December, we finally arranged a long overdue trip with our neighbors. We visited Vegas with a lot of nature sightseeing including the Grand Canyon, Antelope, Zion and Bryce national parks. It was quite a relaxing trip.
Cliff treasured his time with his parents in Hong Kong in June, three weeks before Winnie took the kids and joined him in Hong Kong for another 2 weeks. Even though it’s extremely hard to start working at midnight local time in the Hong Kong office, Cliff still managed to be productive during the 3 weeks. Cliff’s work has been going well this year. He has been involved in a few reorganization events that have affected his team. His work is also getting even more visible to the company’s executives.
Cliff ran less this year as he added weight training into his routine. He focused more on his running strides and leg posture. Somehow it messed up his normal movement and he pulled his back in November. He is still quite optimistic that this is just a normal progression for him to get into a long-term better posture so that he can run more and longer in the future.
We have been thinking a lot about each kid’s potential and how to best support them in developing their potential. Cliff has been continuing to help the kids with violin, and he started teaching Avery piano early this year. We have decided to let Avery take official piano lessons starting in January 2024. Cliff has also started adding math into the kids’ daily routine, and they seem to be enjoying it.
The kids continue to swim in their year-round club and practice four times a week. They enjoy practicing with their friends and have been making great progress. Charlotte especially loves hip hop and continues to take dance lessons. She would share her new dance moves after the lessons with the family.
We try everyday to enjoy our family time together. We know that they have the potential to do great things, and we are committed to helping them reach their full potential.
Winnie found her daily workout routines and she has been enjoying her workout classes. Between kids after school activities, the rentals and house errands, she decided to join the PTA Executive board and helped in the kids’ classrooms as well. Kids have been enjoying seeing her around at school and during school parties.
Winnie has welcomed two new family members, a niece and a nephew, in her host family. Winnie is thrilled to be an aunt, and the kids are delighted to have more cousins to play with. They enjoy seeing their cousins and holding them, as they are still babies. This year, they were all able to spend Christmas together and enjoy each other’s company.
Kids’ Own Words
We asked the kids to write a few words about their year. Here is what they had to say:
I think this year has been awesome because we went on a lot of trips and had lots of fun with friends and family. We went to Taiwan and had delicious shaved ice with mini mochi balls and went to 4 national parks in one trip! We moved back to our renovated house and I got an A-time at swimming! I am excited about next year and cannot wait for what it brings. YAY!
This year I am so happy I went to so many places. For spring break we went to park city and also, skied.Then we went to hong kong for summer and went to Taiwan and the Taiwan food was good. Before school I took off my braces. It was uncomfortable and it was one day before school. In 3rd grade it was exciting and it was the best year of school. I got the best teacher and it was my favorite year of school. I went to Las Vegas and Houston for winter. For Las Vegas, I went to the Grand canyon and the antelope canyon. we went to the national parks we went to bryce national park and zion national park and we went back to Austin and went to Houston for Christmas and I got so many gifts and I got a soccer ball, a football and a magic kit and I got a nerf gun and a hot dog from santa and a rattle snake eggs which is not real it is a pack with rattlesnake something inside the bag and it is only four pack in one.
In Las Vegas, we went with our neighbor. We rented a van and me and my friend in the back we named our section in the van “A class” for the rest of the trip then we had to go back to Austin and went to Houston for the rest of the trip.
In Vegas, Westin was the best hotel ever. My friend liked it and he said the same thing. My friend made up funny things in the van and the shops and we giggled a lot.
I love this year because I went to so many places and national parks.
This year I went to so many places like Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Utah,and houston. I love those places.I lost six teeth. I love Hong Kong because the food and Disneyland is so cool. At Christmas I got a towel and A JOURNAL KIT! and I love those presents. At the Grand Canyon I got a connect dots book. I twisted my foot. I could not walk for three days. It was not good. During spring break we went to ski at park city. During winter break I went to Las Vegas with my neighbors and mom and dada and sister and brother. In Las Vegas the hotel we went to was Rio. It was the worst hotel because I got to sleep on the couch. Westin was the best. I met somebody named Larry and Kitty. I went to so many hotels: Rio Westin holiday inn and wingate.
The Sze family would like to wish you all the best in the year ahead. We are so grateful for all the wonderful things that happened to us this year. We are looking forward to an even better year in 2024.