Dear Friends & Family,
As the year winds down, it seems a good time to catch up with those who are dear to us around the country and the world. (If you’re reading this, you made the cut!) Since we can’t possibly sit down for a leisurely meal and visit with everyone we’d like to, we bring you this meager substitute: our 2021 Christmas letter!
After a mostly-locked-down 2020, it has been a delight to be able to be out in the world once more. As folks have gotten vaccinated (3rd time’s the charm!), we’ve been spending more time with family and friends once again. (Particularly startling is seeing the bottom half of people’s faces who we’ve only known from the eyes up!) We’ve visited Kris’ sister Kim in Seattle, had a rich and full time with Kris’ family in Indianapolis, and reveled in several lovely places around Texas with each other and with Sean’s family. Oh, the joy of seeing something other than our own walls once more!
In the latter part of the year, Kris finally gave up her commute to our beloved St. Mark’s community and started as the Director of Children and Family Ministries at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church & School. It is a mere 3.5 miles from our home and also happens to be Sean’s 1st and 2nd-grade alma mater. While learning a new set of traditions and building relationships with a new group of people has been demanding, Kris has received an enthusiastic welcome from the leadership both at the church and the school. She’s also been very involved in our community garden and the local “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” efforts and on our evening walks seems to be known by everyone in our neighborhood!
Sean started working for Doximity in April, writing software to help doctors do their jobs better and more easily. The company is remote-first, and Sean has greatly enjoyed the ability to ply his trade from wherever he likes, be it the coffee shops and breakfast taco joints near our house or a relative’s home halfway across the country. He’s also begun getting back into performing, joining the San Antonio Choral Society this summer and recently playing out with a band for the first time in several years (at a bar that had a pig-in-residence named “Minnie Pearl”).
Our kids are all doing interesting things in the world:
- After working at the zoo for a couple of years, Maggie earned a promotion to full Zookeeper and adores (most of) the animals she gets to work with there. She continues to make steady headway on her degree and her project turning an old airport bus into a tiny home on wheels. (She’s officially the handiest person at our house now!)
- Liam graduated from UT Dallas in May with a Software Engineering degree and is now working for a company there while saving up for planned travel adventures next year. He and Sean enjoyed a week-long graduation road trip together through the American Southwest, culminating in an 18-mile rim-to-river-and-back hike at the Grand Canyon during which they both thought they might die.
- Abigail is nearly done with her biology degree and has embarked on a Surgical Technician program here in San Antonio, which she is loving. (“Dad! I got to help with 2 C-Sections yesterday! It was SO COOL!”) She and her beau Christian are renovating a house downtown together.
- Savannah is in San Diego, enjoying the West coast life while doing great work as manager of a Cava restaurant and making steady headway on her Psychology degree.
- Emily is having a grand time doing the most important job there is — being Mom to her daughter Juniper, who joined the world in February. She and Xander (who heads up the city of Kyle’s design and branding efforts) still hang their hats in San Marcos, so we still have good reason to go up for visits regularly!
Other notable events: surviving the Texas Snowpocalypse (40° indoors with no power for 12 hours at a stretch), playing music together, ushering for theater under the stars at the SA Botanical Gardens, a delightful long beach weekend with all the Texas kids, lots of care and feeding of the feral cats that call our yard home, getting to drive an Indy 500 pace car, enjoying dozens of butterflies and hummingbirds in our front yard pollinator garden, gently tiptoeing past the baby skunk who lived on our front porch for several days, finally finding a good habañero and carrot salsa recipe, nearly stepping on an alligator near the coast, playing lots of board games in person and online, petting kangaroos, and playing Pickleball for the first time.
As 2021 winds down, we wish you the peace of the Christmas season (well, the post-shopping portion of it) and every blessing for the year to come. And if you ever find yourself down our way, please stop on in — we’d dearly love to have time with you!
Warmly and sincerely,
Kris & Sean