A Christmas Letter for 2020

My kids were home from school for a bit this Christmas, and if we could have, we’d sing at your door. But since we’re still mid-pandemic, and this is the warmer way to go anyway, here are a few (unpolished!) carols from my family to you and yours:

Actual Carols: we messed up, didn’t dress up, and it’s the video isn’t well framed, but it’s from our hearts.

And now for some Yuletide Trolling…

We were trying to come up with something to say in our holiday letter this year. What can we say about 2020 though? The kids and I do sing a bit, so I suggested maybe we throw in a QR code so folks can pull up a virtual carol from us, much like this one.

Said Ethan: “and if we don’t end up recording something, we could just send a rickroll!” And thus the following was born.

2020: Give it UP!

To be sung in your mind to this tune, even if we don’t manage to do it digitally. Also while we had more verses it was way too much. So, just repeat the chorus as needed.

Hello family and friends,
This year’s been weird,
and way too long!
Just when we thought that it would
never end,
it’s almost over,
so we wrote you this song.

We just want to
tell you how we’re feeling,
and we’re guessing
you’ll understand:

(chorus)
2020’s been a trip
2020 made us sick
With a virus going around
To hurt you
Even though it’s been a ride
We are gonna stay inside
Not that we’ve been tryna hide, or
desert you.

We haven’t seen you,
for so long
Our hearts are aching to …
say “hi” in person!
Bugs, fires, and earthquakes
and more going wrong
Hoping covid life
will not worsen!

As for us? There aren’t so many stories,
but here’s a few you will understand:

Mary finished up high school,
I’ve been breaking all my tools
trying to make my house look cool
so it sells.
Ethan’s gonna ace his math,
We voted out a psychopath!
(Hope that only makes you laugh:
we mean well!)

Yeah we’ve had our share of Zoom,
all cooped up inside our rooms,
but we’ll all get through it soon;
have no fear!
Now it’s time to say goodbye.
Hoping we all stay alive,
Even all the better, thrive,
through next year!

(Oooo! COVID SUCKS!)
(trying not to spread,
trying not to spread)

(repeats as needed; we had more but it was boring, but if you want the even more boring version of the year, keep scrolling)

The digital card & the more traditional account of the year

January & February:
– Ethan started his first semester at USU, and got a job working at Home Depot in Logan
– Mary was just chillin in high school
– Aside from work, I was just dealing with a chronic sinus infection that led to surgery.

March, April, May, June, July:
– I got surgery on March 10. A guy in the waiting room was coughing like mad. I had just started healing up nicely when I got a fever that ran off and on for the next few months, plus a bout of pneumonia. I didn’t test positive for Covid, but didn’t have access to a test until April, so we don’t know if that’s what was up. I really haven’t felt truly well since then.
– Ethan came home for school. Mary too. They spent a long time on zoom & Bug Fables. They also got sick too for a bit, but didn’t stay sick like I did. As soon as it’d been several days between my fevers, they left so they’d have more freedom at their dad’s.

August, September, October:
– Ethan went back to school.
– Mary headed to snow college but honestly didn’t love it too much. I guess that first semester of college is hard, especially when you’re in the middle of a pandemic. Also we did find out she is indeed neurodiverse, and that may have also push her to burnout.
– I had a rough time rattling around in this home by myself. And political tensions were rough, so between feeling sick and not particularly safe with a few locals talking about civil war, I hatched a plan to sell the home and go nomadic for a while.
– My brad nailer broke as I was working so hard to get things ready. It’s in repairs til this day.

November:
– We voted! I know a lot of folks here aren’t too happy with the changes, but I’m hopeful we’ll become less polarized with time.
– I’d been eyeballing Eden as a possible place to stay, and wondering how I’d transition from living in a too-big home to a smaller condo, so I got a short term rental there. Aside from singing so much I might have bugged the neighbors, it was lovely. I even met another single mom who was buying a place there!
– Mary came home from school, quarantined for a bit, then joined me in Eden.
– Then Ethan joined us after his negative covid test. We stayed in Eden except for a few days when we’d come down to work on house projects.

December:
– My brad nailer was still in repairs, so we rented one and busted out lots of random work buttoning up trim on the house. Then we listed it for sale, and got a wonderful offer right away from folks who want to buy our furniture, tools, food storage, and decor along with the house! This is a wonderful thing as it’ll make the transition a lot easier for them and for me.
– Our short term lease in Eden ended just as we went under contract, so I’m back home for a bit longer.
– It’s been a LONG time since we had proper haircuts. My hair is past my shoulders. I like it short but can’t go get cut every 6 weeks, so long hair it is for now. Ethan’s hair is past his chin. I’d cut it for him, but his dad wants to see it first.

Going forward:
– Both kids join their dad for the rest of the year or so starting tomorrow.
– Mary’s enrolled at UVU with the encouragement of a dear friend. They’ll attend online.
– She’s looking for work, hoping to do some construction with her dad since she’s learned how to be quite handy.
– Ethan’s finished his first year and is doing super well. He’s hoping to get a QA job.
– I’m just continuing to do my work. I’ll be moving out in January, assuming everything closes properly. I’m not positive where I’m going yet, but have a few options and am excited to see where life leads me now.

Here’s to a better 2021!

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