What a year! Here’s a short list of all the trouble we got ourselves into

Wow, what an unforgettable year.

As is our custom on this site, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for being a reader and to give you a quick update from all of us.

Our daughter, Erysse turned four this year. She loves attending preschool at St. Luke’s Lutheran School in Oviedo, Fla., and playing dress-up with her bengal cats, Pollux, Clio and Lia. Yes, they all belong to her.

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Erysse is an independent young woman who frequently gets into trouble by offering her opinion — even when no one has asked for it. Sound familiar?

Our middle son, Iden started kindergarten at St. Luke’s in 2010. This one is destined for the theater. He has an incredible singing (and screaming) voice and an over-the-top personality that makes us laugh. Iden is the kind of person who fills the room with his presence.

He’s also fond of pranks and gags, and is constantly annoying his big brother. Isn’t that the middle child’s job?

Our oldest son, Aren, just started the second half of third grade in homeschool. He’s highly motivated to finish fourth grade at the end of the year, having set his sights on studying astronomy at the University of Hawaii.

The highlight of his year was our family trip to Hawaii. He looked up into the night sky after we landed in Kona last fall, saw a galaxy full of stars, and said, “I want to become an astronomer!” Maybe that will be a good time to buy a few acres in Kona and raise coffee. Anyone have a few extra mil they’re willing to part with?

Kari wrapped up yet another degree from the University of Central Florida after finishing her MBA in 2009. This one, an MS in information systems management, will finally allow her to take over the world. Or something like that.

In the meantime, she’s been busy doing odd and end projects for friends and volunteering at St. Luke’s. Kari’s biggest project — and that’s meant literally — was losing the baby weight that lingered after having Erysse. She dropped 70 pounds on a medically-supervised regimen, and the weight has stayed off.

She now weighs less than when I met her in 1992.

You go, girl!

And me? Well, if you read this blog, you probably already know the highlights. I fended off a defamation lawsuit. That was a lot of fun. Let’s not do that again, shall we?

I saw clients come and go in 2010 — way too many to mention. As of 11 a.m. today, I’m still a syndicated travel columnist and National Geographic Traveler magazine’s ombudsman, a columnist for the Washington Post’s travel section, and a personal finance columnist for Mint.com.

Check back in an hour, it could change.

The one thing that has remained constant is this site, my valued readers, and the unwavering support of my underwriters. Without you, none of this would be possible. You’re the best!

We experienced some great family adventures this year, including trips to Beaver Creek, Colo., Southern California, Annapolis, Washington, Hawaii and Northwest Florida. Our resolution for 2011? Even more adventures together, and less time spent apart.

And speaking of trips, we’d like to thank our friends at the Beaches of South Walton for inviting us to Seaside after Christmas, which is where I’m filing this post from. In particular, I wanted to give a shout-out to Allison Yii at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, who took this picture, and Laurie Hobbs, for arranging the photo.

Pictured with us is Gilligan, the resident Macaw at the Village of Baytowne Wharf. We adopted him for the evening.

Happy New Year!