Y’all, y’all, y’all, y’all, y’all.
It’s time for the Hutchins-Jackson Household Year Five (which is our sixth year, because we started counting at Year Zero, duh) Holiday Letter. TRY to control your excitement: no unseemly fist pumps or whoops of joy are necessary.
In an effort to spare those of you who hate Holiday Letters the pain of reading this one, let me sum it up for you: none of our kids is or has made someone pregnant, no one is in jail, and I haven’t killed anyone, although I’ve considered it. Eric hasn’t left me, even now that I am going through early menopause and on 14-day cycles that leave me alternating continuously these last few months between raging PMS and iron-deficient exhaustion and weepiness.
If you are still sick enough to keep reading after that intro, I can’t save you from the pain of the “Most Boring and Pathetic Holiday Letter ever.” If you’d prefer to relive Christmases past, try this one: 2010.
So, let’s see, what shall I inflict you with? I think the easiest way to ‘splain is to use categorization. I love me some good categorization, and some bullet points.
Somewhat awesome and newsy stuff:
- Liz graduated from high school and is on an academic & athletic scholarship in Colorado where she survived her first semester and swam “distance.”
- Marie works as a researcher at a non-profit cancer center and attends grad school.
- Thomas works in “bonds” (not as in James, but as in finance), or, more accurately, DERIVATIVES, although I don’t understand what he does so I can’t pretend I know why derivatives is more accurate than bonds. And he is studying for his MBA.
- Our own Clark Kent made state in cross examination for debate and passed all his classes (for the SEMESTER; we’ll talk about the grading period, below).
- Susanne swam, sang in the choir, and made her social life her utmost priority.
- Eric has started pre-construction for our someday house in Nowheresville.
- I have an editor! Easy to Love But Hard to Raise is out! I have 5 and possibly even 9 books coming out in 2012! Up first (2nd quarter 2012): The Clark Kent Chronicles, How to Screw Up Your Kids, Couples Who Make You Want to Puke, Hot Flashes and Half Ironmans, and Puppalicious Stories of Pets and Other Nonhumans. Whew! I’m exhausted!!
- I am redesigning our Houston master bath, and we will have hot water in there for the first time since we moved in, starting in January. Too bad we had to rip out all the walls to fix that pre-existing oops. (Thanks, sneaky former owners, who chortled with glee when we discovered this AFTER closing)
- Eric and I created and did our own half ironman triathlon on my 44th birthday, here in our neighborhood, just the two of us. It rocked.
- We added another dog (Petey!) to our menagerie of pets. He came with two eyes, but he’s down to one, thanks to our big yellow alpha male dog Cowboy.
- We took dancing lessons, and it was FUN. We weren’t any good, but who cares?
Not so awesome:
- Liz is no less of an emotional rollercoaster at college than she was at home.
- After a great first grading period, Clark slid steadily downhill all semester, ending in the third grading period with a record number of zeroes and F’s. He’s lucky he is a good test taker, but his grades are still dog poo. And after a new puppy and an aging dog, I know me some dog poo. Clark may be attending community college when he graduates if he keeps this up.
- Despite swimming her best ever with almost no effort or practice recently, Susanne quit, rejoined, and re-quit club swimming. We worry that without it she will have nothing to battle us over. Scratch that — we are CONFIDENT she’ll find something.
- Eric has a jaw partially packed with bovine bone and he has several implant/grafting procedures left to go, due to ignoring an abscess. Oh, and I can’t leave out the accompanying terrifying heart infection. DO.NOT.IGNORE.TOOTH.PAIN.
- I won another fiction writing contest, had even more great agents circling, and couldn’t land one — didn’t even hear back from most of them. The industry is in turmoil, and many stores like Border’s are in the toilet. I can read the tea leaves: time for a paradigm shift, so I made one. I now have an agent/manager, and his name is Eric Hutchins. I also have a publishing company: our own, named Skip Jack Publishing. Stay tuned.
- Speaking of toilets, the remodel is, of course, running behind. We’ve had no bathroom for three weeks, and we anticipate no shower and no potty for us downstairs for three more weeks. We have to pack a bag and hike upstairs to go take a shower. It’s like living in a college dorm, again. I think we need a bed pan. Or a cat box.
- We whiffed it on the official half ironman triathlons this year due to travel and tooth abscess. And flu. We are in training for April ’12.
- We quit dance lessons. We couldn’t fit it in. We are sad.
So, that’s about it, people. Us, it’s all about us. We made it through another year, together.
And, despite my current menopausal pissiness, I must admit…it really was awesome, and I am the most blessed woman on the planet. Or I will admit it again when I’m through this hormonal invasion. Until then, approach with caution but no eye contact. Better yet, stay safely far, far away. Or at least outside my throwing distance.
p.s. Congratulations to Ann Brennan, the winner of a free, signed, crappily gift-wrapped copy with shipping included of Easy to Love But Hard to Raise. Read her winning comment (and she got some of the bonus points, too, thanks Ann!).
p.p.s. Here’s the picture we used for old-fashioned, printed Christmas cards, the kind in a paper envelope with sticky stamps: