New Year, New Beginning

Welcome 2012

A new year means another opportunity to learn from the past and live your best life.

January 2012

Dear Friends,

We love new beginnings. There’s just something exciting and refreshing about discovering the possibilities in what lies ahead. Whether it is the birth of a gurgling baby, so small and filled with life, who can grow up to be anything he wants; the purchase of a new home with its big empty rooms and unadulterated décor, waiting to be transformed into an inviting den in which family and friends can gather; or a blank page or canvas which has the potential to be filled with strokes of creative genius; everything new has the potential to be something fantastic that is remembered for many years to come. This is why we love hanging up a new calendar, planning another year of events, and welcoming the chance to craft new dreams, make new friends, and forge new paths through the journey that is our life.

Throughout 2011, we witnessed many events that changed the course of history and significantly impacted our culture. We all watched in horror as a 9.0-magnitude earthquake, tsunami with 30-foot waves, raging fires and a nuclear meltdown ravaged Japan, literally changed the landscape and left 15,703 dead. For us the story was made personal as we worried about friends who lived there and the journalism colleagues like Hagit Limor who visited with the Society of Professional Journalists and suddenly found themselves caught in the midst of the maelstrom.

Watch Hagit Limor’s report from Japan

Then there were the twisters that tore across the country last April, breaking records as 753 tornadoes killed 364 people in the American Southeast. Having grown up in tornado alley, I know the terror that comes when warning sirens blare, the rains pour down horizontally, the skies turn green and the winds batter your home, tearing at it like vicious claws, threatening to destroy everything you possess. That scene came to vivid life for the residents of Joplin, Mo. when an F-5 tornado flattened a third of the city and claimed the lives of 157 people.

Watch “Joplin, Mo., Tornado Caught on Tape” on

Steve Jobs, the creator of Apple, died. He was a brilliant man who changed the way we listen to music via the iPod, altered the way we communicate with the invention of the iPhone, and even made the sharing of ideas easier with the iPad. Like so many of you, we utilize his products daily and wondered what would happen to the company following his death. Yet his legacy continues, his dreams live on, and every day a growing number of customers utilize the tools he created while corporations around the globe strive to keep up with his fascinating, game-changing concepts.

Watch “A Tribute to Steve Jobs” on

Oprah Winfrey brought the “The Oprah Winfrey Show” to a close after 25 years. Many of us grew up with her, inviting her into our homes each day and watching as she taught us countless lessons about life, relationships, and the importance of pursuing dreams, forgiving others, and living without regrets. But as the last episode aired, Winfrey already had big plans for the next chapter in her life, the birth the Oprah Winfrey Network, and the people she will continue to interview, the stories she wants to share and the goals she needs to accomplish.

Watch Oprah launch OWN Network on

Finally, almost a decade after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, U.S. President Obama announced that the United States “conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden.” By the end of December, the war in Iraq came to an end as the last U.S. soldiers left the country. Even though crowds across America celebrated these recent events, the reports were bittersweet as we remembered friends and family who died, from those crushed when the buildings fell at ground zero in New York to the classmates and others who served in the military, and lost their lives as they fought the war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq. Perhaps President Franklin D. Roosevelt expressed our sentiment best when he said, “More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars—yes, an end to this brutal, inhuman and thoroughly impractical method of settling the differences between governments.”

Watch “Franklin D. Roosevelt: The World War II Years” on the

The past year is now but another chapter in the tome of our human history, a time that will go down in infamy as one of great loss, unfathomable disaster, and heartbreaking tragedy. The end of 2011 gives way to yet another year, a chance to be reborn like the mythical phoenix that dies in flame and is reborn in the ashes. As Greek philosopher Plato once said, “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” Now it is our time to learn from the lessons of years past, roll up our sleeves, embrace this new moment in our lives, and diligently strive to make the best of 2012. We hope that all of you take this opportunity to lick your wounds, heal from the tragic losses we’ve all shared and those that are personal to you. As you do so, strive to live without regret, focus on the blessings you did receive, and keep your heart open to the little miracles that happen every day. We hope you have a phenomenal year filled with precious moments, comical episodes that make you laugh out loud, and enough love to buoy your hearts come what may.

Live well,
Jathan & Heather

What events most impacted you during 2011? What goals do you have for 2012? Tell us on Facebook!
Share your memories from 2011 and tell us your plans for the new year.

© 2012 Jadeworks Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Celebrate family and friends this May

May 2011

Dear friends,

Life definitely has a way of changing overnight, and none of us could foresee that President Obama would announce tonight that Osama bin Laden had finally been found and killed, 66 years after Hitler’s death was announced. The news has been received with celebrations by many, as crowds gathered to party outside the White House gates, at Ground Zero, and even at Times Square. And while this event in history may bring Americans some closure, particularly those who lost loved ones during the horrific day we watched the World Trade Center towers collapse, we watch thoughtfully as events continue to unfold over the next few weeks. The president reminds all of us that the War on Terror is not over, American troops will not return home immediately as many would hope, and that now more than ever, we must all be cautious because retaliation by Al-Qaeda is possible. Times like these make us increasingly aware of what is important, and in our case that is our friends and family. Tell your loved ones how much you love them, and better yet, show them by treating them to a family get-together. In fact, this is a great month to do it!

As some of you already know, we have a special place in our hearts for everything Mexican, particularly the cuisine! Since I spent my early years in California and Texas, many of my friends have always been of Hispanic descent. Even when I lived in New York City, I discovered that the tradition continued because many of my friends were from San Antonio, Dallas and other cities with a strong cultural heritage and ties to the Latino community. So in honor of that tradition, we’re going to feature several Mexican dishes during the month of May (when Cinco de Mayo is celebrated, meaning “the fifth of May,” which is actually a commemoration of the Mexican militia over the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1812 and not Mexico’s Independence Day as many mistakenly believe). So look for those recipe ideas as the month progresses.

Bison in Wichita Moutains Wildlife Refuge

The Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge located 90 miles southwest of Oklahoma City is the oldest managed wildlife preserve in the United States.

Memorial Day is commemorated at the end of the month and many of you will have time off from work and we’re sure you’re looking forward to getting away for a mini-vacation. This year we’re going to try out the camping gear we purchased several years ago, but never seemed to get around to using. Both of us went camping as children, but somehow the experiences we had were never that pleasant. Parents either forgot to pack food or thought we’d catch fish and eat it (which we never did). In Heather’s case, six kids and her mother were crammed into a tiny tent in the heat of July. The only positive experience I did have camping was when I lived in Dallas and friends and I camped among the bison at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge near Lawton, Oklahoma. The views were breathtaking and the animals were awesome as the moved fearlessly among humans. We did get rained out, however, and one of my friend’s tents floated away, so hopefully that won’t happen this time. In either case, please send us your camping stories and any tips you have that make camping safe and fun. We need all the help we can get! Then, next month, we’ll share our adventure with you.

Heather and I both turn another year older this month (but don’t even think about asking us our ages!), but we figure that any year we are healthy and above ground is a good one. We also have several friends celebrating wedding anniversaries this month, so we’d love to congratulate my cousin and her husband, Tabitha and Scott E., my former Spanish professor and her husband, Allison and Ivan M., and our friends Tom and Carla R. on yet another year of marital bliss.

We hope you’ve been enjoying April’s book club pick, The Cabinet of Curiosities, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. We’ve received numerous notes from readers, which is always fantastic. One reader said “the Pendergast books were among her favorite series and this one is the best.” Another thanked us for introducing the Pendergast series to him, because now he “is definitely hooked!” We feel the same way. So be sure to check out Preston and Child’s latest novel in the series, Cold Vengeance, which will be published on August 2nd. For more information, visit the authors’ Website at We will also reveal our latest book club pick this week, so stay tuned!

Finally, remember to check our Food page for recipes you may have missed, like our favorite peanut butter cookies, a classic meatless Italian dinner menu, some treats from our first ever breakfast week including our bacon and egg quesadillas, and our succulent oven-braised short ribs.

Whatever you’re doing this May, we hope you’re safe and healthy, that the time off from work allows you the chance to get in some much needed recreation, and that you find something wonderful to celebrate, even if it is just the simple pleasure of gathering together with friends and family.

With love,
Jathan & Heather