[Yes, I published this on December 1st.  That’s because I got my Christmas cards out early for the first time ever this year, and I referred to this letter in the text of the card.  *Don’t be a hater* 🙂 ]

Some of us have called ourselves family longer than others.  Some used to call us family and now don’t.  But whatever, whenever, and whoever, we are us.  From all of us, at our house, Merry Christmas to you.

We are celebrating our 4th Christmas as a Hutchins-Jackson household.  Well, technically, it’s the 5th year, but we added 1 more Hutchins about a year into the timeline, so we’ll call the first year “Year Zero”.  Yeah, it’s confusing.  Deal with it.

Anyway, a five picture Holiday Card Retrospective.

2010 aka Year Four:

2010: L to R --Gigi, Aunt Elise, Uncle Bruce, Susanne, Mama Kitty, Poppy, the Bean, Clark, Pamela, and Eric


A Year of Adventure.


Looking festive.

2008 bonus video:  click here.  Our Family “Band” playing and singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”  Oh my.


It's all about football at our house.

2006 aka Zero Year:

Chattanooga with Uncle Bruce, Aunt Elise, Poppy and Gigi. And minus the Bean, who had not joined us yet.

Obviously, we were all alive before 2006.  We just hadn’t gelled as a family yet.  For more on this wacky transition, click here, here, here, and here.

So, the big question is, how did 2010 treat us?  What silliness will I now regale you with, pretending only the good stuff counts?


Poker with the kids in our matching Wutliss (Cruzan phonetic for "Worthless) t-shirts. This about sums us up.

All in all, I’d count it a success.  We started out and ended with five offspring.  One of them is mad at us, but that’s not unusual.  Usually, in fact, several are at a time.  One is heading back to graduate school, another graduated from college.  One earned the first F in the family and skipped class 23 times, and another followed up with a feathered flock of FFFFFs on his fall report cards.  One is about to graduate high school and another is about to graduate middle school.  One quit football but discovered debate.  Another scored a car and a boyfriend.  It’s been up down and all around.  Fun.  Crazy.  Sad.  Happy.  Awesome.

Eric and I continue our fiery “there are no words for it” wonderful marriage.  Seriously, pinch me.  It’s that good.  (A moment to reflect on everyone that said we would never last.  One word: wrong!)

His job is solid and he loves it.  We both wish he traveled less.  Someday.

My job is solid and I am grateful for it.  We both wish I could write as an occupation instead of an avocation.  Maybe someday.  🙂

We acquired a little place we call Shangri-La in Nowheresville, Texas, where Eric discovered his inner Bubba-mon and we installed our Quacker travel trailer.  We visit as often as we can, and we have purchased our house plans.  Someday.

We still can’t sell all the property we own in Lancaster, SC.  Buyers, anyone?

Our athletic pursuits took a nose dive.  Me: plantar’s fasciitis.  Him: work travel and health issues.  We are determined to regain our triathlon mojo in 2011.

I rewrote my first two novels several times.  I wrote a third novel.  I have agents circling (pray).  I started a blog about utter nonsense that thousands of strangers read for God knows what reason.  *Nice to meet you*  I write for three other blogs, too.  Oh, my.

Liz signed a letter of intent to swim for Adams State in Alamosa, CO while juggling the demands of choir.  Clark has taken Cross X debate on the National Champion Bellaire High School debate team by storm and has his eyes on state, and he was the videographer for the varsity football team.  Suz plays flute in the honors symphonic band at her “magnet” Performing Arts Middle School, and she swims at a high level, too.  We’re very proud of them.  And, they’re teenagers.  So, we battle teenage girl mood swings, the “I want” syndrome, ADHD, getting a straight truthful answer, social media, and social lives.  I’d get in more trouble than I could get out of with the three of them if I gave you the details.

We are just like everybody else and nothing like any of them.  And we love it.  Feel free to read more sometimes-true tales of our adventures here on Road to Joy.  Or not and say you did.  Whatevs.  Just know that in our corner of the world, t’ings is good, mon, even when they’re not.

Merry Christmas and Happy 2011.