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Annual Christmas Letter

So, the letter below is the letter I wrote yesterday to send out to family and friends. But the more I thought about it, everyone wants warm and fuzzy so the letter that goes out will be revamped. I needed to keep this version to remind me of how the year really was!

Family and Friends,

2020 – what can we say about this year except that it will be over soon enough. Did you hoard toilet paper and meat? We did! The year did bring some joy – Ryan and Claire’s wedding! So, let’s get started….

The year started with a trip to out to Arizona, with a few stops on the way to see friends and family. We arrived in Flagstaff just in time to get the boys from Stephanie while she met with a divorce attorney – yes, she and Kyle are divorced, officially since July. On the way home from that trip, Mark and I got really sick (this was a driving trip, so imagine that fun!). We both believe we had COVID. In March, I went back out to visit Steph and the boys and took them to their first NASCAR race! They had a blast getting driver’s signature and cheering on Kyle Busch. A week later, we took a ride out to the west suburbs to “just look at” a German Shepard puppy and ended up coming home with my new baby – Mercury! Lucky for him, the world shut down that Monday and I got to spend the next 10 weeks with him. I went back to work in the office in early July for a few days and week. That was my schedule until mid-November when our office shut down (which is now as I write this).

In late June, we had two wedding showers for Claire and the venue in Peoria was able to host their 7/11 wedding although the guest list was slimmed down by almost 100 people. The wedding was so beautiful! Stephanie was a bridesmaid, and the boys were ring bearers. Two weeks later, my friend Vicky and I drove Ryan’s car to Arizona for him. We had a blast, stopping at a bunch of weird roadside attractions and hitting as much Route 66 stuff as we could. I was able to spend a few days with Stephanie when I arrived, celebrating her 27th (Golden) birthday with her. Ryan is working for a glass company while Claire is going to dental school. They live in Glendale. Stephanie moved into a house in Scottsdale with her boyfriend Connor in August and is working for a real estate company and studying to pass her real estate exam. Stephanie also got a new COVID puppy – Leo and Ryan adopted Chai, the kitty, from Stephanie. Everyone has new animals this year! Declan and Dylan are getting so big. They had to figure out e-learning in the spring but recently they have been back in the classroom.

Mark has had quite the year at work with all the unrest in the world. He is worked a lot of long hours and days straight. Thankfully, he was in the station for most of it as I was really worried for his safety. He did have to go back on the streets just recently for the election and I was thankful there were not riots in Chicago (which is mostly deserted and board up). I am very thankful that he is retiring in January. His job is not what it used to be, and he needs to be done.

2021 – well I hope that the year is better than 2020. Mark will be retired, and we hope to move sometime during the year. I will continue to work until we move. I will most likely take some time off to get settled in and then look for a job with less hours so Mark and I can enjoy his retirement.

I recently became a Thirty-One consultant and have reopened my website – to use as a vessel for my blog and a place to sell my cards and crafts. Life is busy and fun!

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Well, Hello there! It's been a long time since I have written to you all! I have had a lot of changes happen in 9 months! I am currently working again for the Morgan County Schools Nutrition program.

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