Update 2016

A brief update on the Vignoles for 2016. We started the year with a very special trip to India where Julian and Anika got to meet their great grandmother who passed away a few months after our visit. The special moments were captured on video and in our hearts and memories forever. They also visited with many other close family members and friends in Mumbai and Pune and got a chance to experience a part of their heritage. They absolutely loved India and have been asking to go back again soon. We also spent 4 memorable days in Dubai visiting with Prachee’s family friends and taking in all the tourist attractions including the tallest building in the world (Burj Khalifa) and dune surfing in the desert.

The year has gone by so fast and the kids have been busy at their schools and with their activities. Julian turned 7 this year and started 2nd grade. He enjoys playing team sports (baseball, soccer and basketball), plays piano and is actively involved in his 2nd year as a Cub Scout. Anika turned 5 this year and celebrated her birthday in Disneyland. She is in Transitional Kindergarten (TK) at a new school and having a great time making new friends and learning to read. She continues with gymnastics this year and is working on perfecting her cartwheels. She loves to draw and paint and started classes at an art studio this Fall. Charles celebrated his 5 year anniversary at Xtime this year, is the Cubmaster of the Cub Scout Pack and has been busy coaching sports. Prachee has been with VMware for a year and half now and has taken on the role of executive communications which she is enjoying a lot.

The kids got to visit the Date grandparents in Maryland this summer and take in all the sights that Washington D.C. has to offer. Their highlights were the D.C. Zoo and the Smithsonian Museums. We also spent a week in San Diego over Thanksgiving with the Vignoles side of the family. You can imagine what a house with 7 kids from ages 1 to 8 years was like for 5 days. Never a dull moment.

We look forward to spending some quiet time at home over the December holidays with family. Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season and a new year of peace and happiness.

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2015 Update

The year goes by so fast, that writing our yearly update is a reason to pause and reflect on the highlights and challenges of 2015.  We hope this note finds you well and celebrating the holidays with your family and friends.

This year started with the sad news of the passing of Prachee’s grandfather in Pune, India at age 98.  Prachee was very close to her grandparents growing up in India and we were both fortunate to have spent time with them when we lived in Bangalore 6 years ago.  He passed away peacefully and lived a long, healthy and happy life.  Prachee’s grandmother is 93 years old and we plan to take the kids on their first trip to India in 2016 to meet her and all the extended family.

We’ve been fortunate, that 2015 was a well traveled year for us.   It started out on skis in Tahoe – Julian for the second time and Charles after 10 years.   It was a mild and dry winter in California, but it doesn’t take much to get us to somewhere sunny and warm.   We took our first trip to the Big Island of Hawaii in April and enjoyed its varied landscapes from windblown lava fields, secluded cove beaches, lush coffee plantations and cold and rainy volcanoes.   The kids always have a blast on the beach and Charles spends the whole week trying to figure out how to become permanent residents of Hawaii.

We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary a bit early with a trip (sans kids) to London and Barcelona.  We had a Date family reunion in London and a wonderful stay with friends from IESE Nick & Kate.  Then it was off to Barcelona for Charles’s 10 year IESE MBA reunion.   It was great to slip back into those carefree days of long lunches, walking all over the city and staying out until the early morning hours.  Julian and Anika loved their week with their grandparents Oma and Api (Charles’s parents).  Before we knew it, Julian’s Kindergarten year was over and Anika finished her first full year at Merry Moppett pre-school.

Over the summer, Julian and Charles went on a dad’s backpacking trip and we also had some family camping trips including the annual 4th of July pig roast.  This year we also tackled “the hill” – we terraced our backyard, added swings for the kids, a sitting area with a fire pit and steps all they way up to the top.   We even embraced the urban “farming” trend and got a coop with 5 chickens – Charles enjoys his fresh eggs every morning!    Prachee’s parents, Shobha and Vivek, spent the summer with us and the kids while they were out of school.  They took them to parks, on playdates, to classes and camp and generally had a really great time being together.  We ended the summer with a family trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico to soak up some more sun.

Prachee switched jobs this year, closing out 8 years at IronPort / Cisco.    She is now at VMware in a Business Operations role working with old IronPort colleagues; re-energized and loving the dynamic culture.  Charles has continued sailing and we did several family sailing day trips on the Bay throughout the year.   He also finished all the requirements for his Bareboat Charter Captain Certification.   Charles continues in Product Management at Xtime and this year expanded his responsibilities to oversee Xtime’s Email and Call Center Marketing application.

Julian turned 6 in April and has been enjoying 1st grade at Central Elementary.  He loves building legos, playing sports and he’s been taking piano lessons with a  wonderful teacher.  He had his first recital this year and has been serenading us with Christmas carols the whole month of December.  Julian played his second year of T-Ball (Mets), Soccer (Black Ninjas) and joined Cub Scouts this year.

Anika turned 4 in September and is in Pre-K this year.   She loves to draw and write and is constantly asking us to spell words so she can make crafts for family and friends.  Anika continues to amaze us with her energy and enthusiasm although she can be susceptible to “boiling” over.  She loves her gymnastics class and learned to be quite a swimmer this year.  She loves to pretend-play and roughhouse with her brother.

We spent Thanksgiving this year in Laguna Beach and Santa Monica with Oma and Charles’s sister’s family and are finishing off 2015 with Prachee’s family in town, including her brother Saurabh from London.

We wish you all a health and happy 2016!

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2014 Update

Dear friends and family,

We hope this note finds you well and celebrating the holidays with your loved ones creating great memories. In reflection of the past year, here are some highlights of what we have been up to in 2014.

Julian turned 5 years in April, graduated from Pre-K and started Kindergarten at our local Belmont elementary school. He loves his teacher, class, aftercare activities and learning to read and write. He went on his first 2 field trips this year, to the pumpkin patch and the Nutcracker Ballet this fall. He also played in the local little league and soccer league, took a ton of swimming classes and had plenty of pool play time all summer. He is also learning to be a camper and backpacker like his dad with a few camping trips this year with a great group of friends from our community. Julian is a very caring and sweet big brother who loves to have ‘sleepovers’ with his sister so he can keep her company at nighttime.

Anika turned 3 years this fall and started in the ‘young 3’s’ class at Merry Moppet preschool. This is our 4th year at this amazing preschool community. She loves her teachers and is making friends and learning so much every day. She took swimming lessons this summer as well and learned to swim which she is so proud of. She’s still working on coming up for air while swimming underwater J She is a sweet, loving, energetic, social and very willful little girl who keeps her parents and brother very busy! Her favorite activities are coloring, doing art projects and swinging at the playground or ‘parque’ as she calls it. We feel blessed to have these 2 amazing munchkins who fill our world with so much happiness and laughter. The kids are fortunate to spend lots of time with both sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins too!

In other news, we had our fill of theme parks this year starting with Disneyland for Julian’s 5th birthday, San Diego Zoo, Santa Cruz boardwalk and finally Universal Studios Hollywood with uncle Saurabh this Fall. We had our annual beach vacation this year in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and also hiked in Yosemite and backpacked in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Charles re-discovered his sailing passion this year by joining a charter club and getting his US Sailing certification. We’ve been enjoying sailing the San Francisco Bay with family and friends. He plans to continue with US Sailing all the way to Ocean Passage Making – Hawaii here we come! I’ve has been busy planning the landscaping of the back hill (yes, it may actually happen!), volunteering in Julian’s kindergarten classroom and generally keeping this family running. Work has been good for both of us as well. Charles’s company Xtime was acquired in November by Cox Communications: (http://www.autonews.com/article/20141111/OEM06/141119955/cox-automotive-to-buy-xtime-for-$325m-enters-service-software-business).

For friends and family near and far, we would like to wish you the very best for the coming year! We would love to hear your updates as well, so let us know how you are doing. We also hope to see our friends from Barcelona and Europe in 2015. It will be 10 years since we left Barcelona and moved to San Francisco next year. Hope to see many of you in 2015.

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/43904702@N00/sets/

2013 Update

Dear Family & Friends,

2013 was a busy and fun year for us with a lot of new adventures and time spent with family and friends.  In the spring we vacationed at our favorite Hawaiian island, Kauai.  The kids enjoyed spending their days in the pool or at the beach collecting treasures, making sand castles and cooling down with some ’shave ice’ (snow cones).  In the summer the kids went on their first camping trip to Memorial Park in the Santa Cruz mountains.  We went with 5 other families and Julian especially enjoyed sleeping in the tent, roasting marshmallows at the campfire, swimming in the creek and generally running around amongst the giant redwoods with his friends.  Charles, who grew up camping, is looking forward to more family camping trips in 2014.  We ended the summer with a trip to DC to visit Aji & Ajo (Prachee’s parents).  The kids had a blast playing in Aji & Ajo’s yard and visiting with Prachee’s cousins and college friends.  We especially enjoyed riding the metro to visit the Smithsonian Air & Space and Natural History museums. Seeing the shuttle Discovery up close and then watching the IMAX space show at the Udvar Hazy Air and Space museum in Dulles was a highlight for Julian.  Another first for Anika this year was a road trip to Los Angeles.  We did a house swap with friends with a condo right on the beach.  The primary reason for our LA trip was to celebrate cousin Sebastian’s first birthday (our nephew from Charles’s sister Claire).  We plan to start the New Year with a trip to Tahoe so the kids can have their first experience with snow!

Julian (4.5 years) started Pre-K in September and we’re enjoying seeing him develop new interests and friendships.  He is a responsible big brother who loves to take ‘lil sis under his wings to teach her stuff and make her laugh (like talking ‘minion’ and groovy dance moves).  This is his 3rd year at Merry Moppet preschool and next year he will start Kindergarten.  He played soccer with the local AYSO league this season and will start playing baseball in the spring.

Anika turned 2 this September and her hobbies are wrestling with her brother and changing outfits every hour.  She’s a very active and independent little girl and a bit of a trouble maker.  She definitely keeps us 3 on our toes!  She started pre-school 2 days a week this Fall and is enjoying making friends, doing art projects and running around in her gym class.

Charles and I got back into exercising this year after a long hiatus. We’ve stuck with our 2013 new year’s resolution and Charles has really enjoyed getting back into the pool.  No excuses, keeping the workouts going in 2014.  Work-wise there is nothing new to report this year – we are both enjoying our jobs and always striving to keep the right balance between work and play.

While this blog has been somewhat neglected over the last few years, Prachee updates our Flickr photo stream more regularly throughout the year, click on the “Flickr” tab above.

Sending you the warmest wishes for the holidays and the New Year.

Anika, Julian, Prachee & Charles

2012 Update

Dear Family & Friends,

A brief update on the Vignoles in 2012:

Anika just turned 15 months, she continues to amaze us with her independence and her ability to let her needs be known!   She started walking shortly after she turned 1 and now has graduated to running around the house trying to keep up with her brother.

Julian is loving his 3’s preschool class at Merry Moppet – new teachers, new friendships, new playground and lots more cool projects.  He’s enjoying being a big brother too (most of the time).

Prachee started a new role in Business Operations at Cisco this year and Charles continues as Product Manager at Xtime.   We also tackled a big home improvement project and added an extra bedroom and bathroom to the house.   The grandparents are enjoying this new space and getting to spend extra time with Julian & Anika.   Come visit us, we’d love to host you if you find yourself in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Our travel schedule has been much lighter these days, but we managed to get to the beach for a week in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in August.  As well as a long 4th of July weekend in San Diego. Overall 2012 was a year with lots of family time and adjusting to life with 2 kids.

While this blog has been somewhat neglected over the last few years, Prachee updates our Flickr photo stream more regularly throughout the year, click on the “Flickr” tab above.

We wish you happy holidays and best wishes for the new year!

Anika, Julian, Prachee & Charles

2011 Update

Dear Family & Friends,

We’d like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Of course the highlight of this year has been little Anika who joined the family on September 16 – if you haven’t had a chance to see it, we posted a video of her arrival on on a previous post.  Julian has been adjusting to being the big brother – fiercely protective, gentle, loving and occasionally jealous when he realizes he has some serious competition in the cute department.  More changes in the new year as he starts Pre-school after the holidays!

Prachee has been enjoying her leave and making the most of these early months with Anika.  I’ve gone back to my career roots as I recently started as Product Manager at Xtime, a company in the automotive service CRM industry.  Loving the challenges of a smaller company and being back in the car business!

While this blog has been somewhat neglected over the last few years, Prachee updates our Flickr photo stream more regularly throughout the year, click on the “Flickr” tab above.

Wishing you all the best for the new year,

Anika, Julian, Prachee & Charles

Video: Anika Tara Vignoles


For iPad and iPhone users which do not support Flash (it will say “Get the latest Flash Player to see this player.” above), click to play the video.

If you missed it, you can also see Julian’s Video.

Photo Gallery moved to Flickr

I’ve migrated all the pictures that were hosted on the server in Gallery 2 to our Flickr account. Unfortunately, the links to the photo albums within the posts are no longer active. However, you can access our Flickr photo stream integrated into the blog by clicking on the “Flickr” tab above.

Year End Update

Vignoles Holiday Card 20092009 was just one of those years – one I’ll never forget but glad its over!   It started on a rickshaw and will likely end on a beach.   The return from India to San Francisco, the birth of Julian and the sleep deprived “tunnel” of the following 8 weeks, focus on friends and family, my time with Julian, the job “search” and our trip to Uruguay round out the year.

Foremost, I’ll never forget 2009 because Prachee and I were blessed with a healthy and happy boy – Julian Saahil was born on April 7, 2009 in San Francisco.   It’s been an amazing experience, truly life changing in so many more ways than we expected.    I’ve had the incredible opportunity to take care of him at home through his first nine months and share the many milestones during that time.  Julian starts Daycare shortly after we return from Uruguay in January and I’ll be devoting myself full time to my job search (and getting back to the gym to lose a few of those sympathy lbs).  Prachee has done an amazing job of updating her Flickr page with pictures of Julian, you can access the photo stream from our blog: http://www.thevignoles.com (select the Flickr Tab).

Vignoles Holiday Photo 2009Returning from India was definitely bittersweet, we had a wonderful 2 years and will cherish the memories and the friends we made.  My last adventure in India was the Rickshaw Rallye – Craig Scott and I drove 1300 Km on the East coast of India (a blog of our travels: http://rickshaw.pracheeandcharles.com).  Upon returning to San Francisco we moved out to the ‘burbs, I’ll be brief and just say it’s a love-hate relationship.  One absolute benefit of being back in California is that we’ve been able to see our families more often.  Julian loves all the attention he gets from his grandparents and Prachee and I appreciate the free babysitting :-)   We are closing out the year in the Southern Hemisphere.  Julian gets to meet his Uruguayan family and get thoroughly spoiled by his Oma & Api (grandparents), I get my warm weather fix and Prachee is practicing her Spanish.

At the same time, I am glad this year is over.  It has been one of transition, uncertainty and shifting priorities – and for me a lot of soul searching as to “what’s next in my career?”    I guess that’s very much in line with the sentiment of a lot of people in the world this past year.  Looking forward to 2010 with a renewed sense of optimism and purpose for the challenges ahead.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year,

Julian, Prachee & Charles

Thanksgiving 2009

CousinsPrachee’s parents were coming out for Thanksgiving this year to spend some quality time with Julian, so we decided it would be a great opportunity to officially host our first Thanksgiving.   Claire and her boyfriend Jason as well as my Mom Joyce joined us for the weekend.  Prachee and Shobha outdid themselves with the Thanksgiving meal – everything was made from scratch, even the cranberry sauce!  I have to mention the cranberry sauce in particular because I kind of like the canned jelly one.  The fact that it comes out in the shape of a can and you slice it into jelly “circles” is for some reason appealing to me – I know, weird!   I was responsible for the turkey and after watching my friend Dana fry 5 turkeys for our huge Thanksgiving in Barcelona (during B-School) I was really considering frying the thing.  After much deliberation I opted for the traditional roasting and I am happy to report I didn’t embarrass myself – the turkey was juicy and thoroughly cooked.   Chris, Lindsay and Santiago couldn’t join on for the Thanksgiving meal so they came over the following day for brunch.  We decided to skip the leftovers and go with Bagels, Lox and scrambled eggs.  As you can see from the pictures Santiago and Julian were having a great time together.  The “adults” on the other hand got hyper-competitive at Wii Bowling – those guys at Nintendo really out did themselves!