Season’s greetings, friends from near and far!

Sadly, for the second straight year, we were unable to get a family Christmas card prepared and mailed. I tried. Oh, how I did try. But getting the whole family on the same page at the same time is next to impossible. I am the only one remotely amused by the idea of a silly card.

If I have time, I will probably come up with a full 2022 year in review here on the blog, but here is a more succinct, classic Christmas card version of our year in review.

Edie turned 4 in October and continues her full-time schooling at Four Seasons, where she advanced from the Swallowtail class to Monarch. What a rambunctious little tot she is, always jumping and climbing and doing acrobatics everywhere she goes. She hates sleeping. She could easily stay up til midnight or later every night, then once every couple weeks go down at like 4:00 and catch up on lost sleep all at once. She’s pretty outgoing and, from what I’ve observed at school, is more or less a ringleader of a big group of boys. Edie was largely very healthy this year. She seems to be able to shake off any little bug that comes her way.

John turned 8 in August and is back in public school in third grade, after spending first and second grade in private school in the COVID era. Though he’s not quite the social butterfly his little sister is, he made a quick transition back to Jollyville and is excelling in his studies. John played baseball in both the spring and fall, where I was his coach. He advanced to kid-pitch this fall and even got to pitch a few times. John got to do solo trips with each parent this year—with Dad to DC/Baltimore in June, and Mama to Los Angeles in August. In a surprising turn, John agreed to bunk up with his little sister and share a bedroom! Man was John sick a lot this year, just repeatedly. I bet he didn’t go more than two weeks without an illness or injury that knocked him out.

Lauren turned 38 in February and continues rolling with the punches at WFM. She is now leading a category at the global level—the Southwest regional game just couldn’t contain her. She had to transition back to a hybrid work environment this summer, but maintains an office in Edie’s old bedroom. I couldn’t begin to tell you where all she traveled for work, but she was a frequent flyer, thanks in part to both of her cousins getting married this year. Anyone who hasn’t visited our house in the past couple months would be surprised to see her furniture additions and renovations.

Baxter turned 11 in May and is very much a senior dog, struggling to climb the stairs, get onto couches and beds, and function in general. Despite a fatty mass growing out of his doggy penis area, the vets say he’s healthy as a clam and should live a lot longer. He still escapes every chance he gets. You might remember his adventures in the city sewer/drainage systems this past summer!

The house is undergoing changes as well. We’ve added new garage doors, and I built a wooden walkway out to the shed. We have put the down payment down on new siding and windows, which should be coming in early 2023 after we work our way to the top of a very long wait list.

Oh, and then there’s me. I continue to work from home from my posh backyard shed, which help up magnificently well in all seasons after the mini split unit was installed. I was promoted to Sr. Mgr., Lifecycle Marketing at ConsumerAffairs in February. I now have three direct reports as we grow one of the larger email marketing programs in the country. I turned 40 in August and celebrated with a trip to LA to take in my first ever home Chargers game. As mentioned, I took the boy on a baseball-themed trip to Nationals and Orioles games in June. I lost 20 pounds doing keto in February and slowly gained it all back by December.

As a family, we did a spring break trip to Chicago in March (with John and me making a pit stop in Kalamazoo, MI on the way). We began what we hope to be an annual tradition by spending virtually all of July in the Midwest—a week in South Dakota and a couple weeks in Minneapolis. And in a matter of days we’ll all head to New Mexico for Christmas break and explore a new area.

2023 has lots of fun in store as well, we hope. Lauren and I will join Alex and Ann for a weekend Nashville trip in February. I have plans to do a spring training baseball trip with bro-in-law Tim in March. And we sure hope to do another July up north. The kids are expected to welcome cousins #15 and #16 too!

Well, thanks for stopping by and reading this year. I don’t know who outside of my mother is actually reading, but the stats say there are hundreds, so… who am I to disappoint the masses? Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!