The Christmas letter draft that didn’t make the cut…

…. accompanied by the out-takes that didn’t make the cut for the official card. Because you know I am always down for sharing the outtakes. Familyphotos2018-13

Dear family, friends, and distant friends who receive a card late after I guiltily receive their own Yuletide cheer, as well as total strangers living at outdated addresses because I put off updating my list too long: Merry Christmas.Familyphotos2018-40Familyphotos2018-42

We still live in our 980 square foot apartment and, thanks to Amazon announcing this area as its new HQ2, we will probably never be able to move. Come visit! But please don’t stay too long unless you are prepared to fold yourself and all your luggage up into a very tiny ball which Henry will then hurl around the apartment while Etta cheers.Familyphotos2018-38Familyphotos2018-39

Hannah defended her dissertation last spring and is proud for her first job as a full fledged Dr. to be doing the identical thing she was doing the last years of graduate school (teaching/administrating stuff), only she now boasts the distinction of being paid less somehow. She promptly turns over her entire paycheck and a little extra to pay childcare, which causes her to think of employment as a special spa membership that includes grading and student disputes. Henry uses her dissertation drafts as coloring pages, otherwise known as academic upcycling.Familyphotos2018-54Familyphotos2018-59Familyphotos2018-70

Henry has mostly stopped biting other children, a positive note to end 2018 on. Etta might someday get a tooth to bite something, but in the meantime, she is developing a very thick skin for all of the times Henry’s love endangers her person. Familyphotos2018-74Familyphotos2018-76Familyphotos2018-100

James continues to work in the ever-encouraging, uplifting, and harmonious realm of politics. Familyphotos2018-104Familyphotos2018-105

By the end of the week (the day?), our home is a disaster, it is hard to always remember when Etta was last bathed or if Henry ate enough vegetables to insure that he doesn’t get scurvy and grows up to prefer Mozart and Shakespeare and Hannah’s hair is 78% dry shampoo. Things are loud and chaotic and busy and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Familyphotos2018-117Familyphotos2018-120Familyphotos2018-121In the pursuit of The Photo to grace our annual missive, Etta was kicked in the head, Henry escaped no fewer than a thousand times, lots of tight lipped commands were issued mid pose, and chaos ensued. Maybe the outtakes tell the real truth of things as they are right now.

Life is full and it is good.  There are some tears, but a whole lot more laughter.

Merry Christmas. Familyphotos2018-109Familyphotos2018-111

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5 Responses to The Christmas letter draft that didn’t make the cut…

  1. Viktorija says:

    Your Christmas letter was perfect! And sounds an awful lot like mine (if I were to write one!). Life with two toddlers is messy, loud, full of tears (sometimes theirs, maybe more often mine), but I also wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂

  2. Carolyn says:

    Haha! I loved this Christmas letter! Looks like your family has a lot of joy and love. 🙂

  3. Libby says:

    Hannah, I don’t know you personally but I’ve been subscribed to your blog now for a few years and can I just say, I love you! Your family, your heart, your honesty….I love it. I appreciate it! As a mom to a newly 2yo and his brother due next month, I welcome the outtakes and realism. Know that you’re fighting the good fight, and you’re winning. In years to come you’ll look back (as I know I’ll do the same) and miss the trying and chaotic times. Merry Christmas my internet friend. Look forward to seeing more of your adventures in the year to come!

  4. ctmyoung says:

    Loved it – the candor, the wit about chaos, kid’s chemistry and the always cute couple. Authentically telling and the honest relating of life’s trueness of itself – priceless + plus it is good writing. Well done. Best post ever. Xo (Aunt) Carol >

  5. Hannah, we lead very different lives – I am a 60-something, never-married woman with no kids. I’m also an artist, which is how I found your blog (looking for art-related stuff to read!). But I just love you and your little family and wish you all the best from California. Merry Christmas, and I hope your HQ2 fears do not come to pass. 🙂

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