A Christmas Miracle – our year in review

Given that I’ve been ill with a viral respiratory infection and then pneumonia since around Thanksgiving, pulling off Christmas at all this year has been a minor miracle. Sending out Christmas cards? I’d almost given up on the idea, but apparently I’m just too stubborn to let it go. I’ve sent out Christmas cards with a yearly update since 1999 or 2000.

IMG_9977It took a while, but we managed a family photo when we were all in the house at the same time together and I didn’t look like death warmed over. Aren’t we lovely?

And so photo + Christmas letter written by Adam (the computer programmer) = Christmas cards to a handful of friends and family. If you didn’t receive one this year (sorry), read on for your update on our year.

Dear friends, relatives, and hangers-on,

We had another exciting year in the Miller-Bartlett-Gustina household. For starters, we weren’t satisfied with our pittance of four children. This summer we welcomed Honoka Sako into our family, a Japanese exchange student who is going to South Eugene High School. She’s quiet, well-mannered and generally helpful, and brings a love of Japanese boy bands and cake decoration into our home.

Joanna continues to herd children and assemble a career out of odds and ends. She writes regular copy for a handful of clients, about weird things she previously didn’t know much about. Joanna has also worked diligently on her memoir, finishing a first draft and trying to decide on a tattoo she promised herself as a reward. She’s currently recovering from pneumonia after a particularly horrible cross-country airplane flight, on the mend but still pretty wiped out.

Berry continues to grow and excel at school, regularly demanding that we make math problems for her. Her interests range from Power Rangers to the video game Terraria, and she can often be found drawing pictures of her favorite Teen Titans Go! characters.

Duncan continues to extoll his love of Minecraft, convincing all his friends to join his hobby and making us watch his favorite YouTubers. He is probably the most social of all of us, with weekly sleepovers and play dates.

Emma started middle school, and greatly enjoys it. She’s picked up the flute and regularly draws anime-style characters. When she’s not hanging out with the rest of us, she can be found on the treadmill, watching videos or listening to music.

Sam suddenly decided to take up wrestling, returning from practice bruised and sweaty most nights. Not entirely succumbing to the jock lifestyle, he also plays online video games with friends and maintains a mostly A grade at school.

As for Adam, he continues to keep things from falling apart at work, making sure the doctors are paid and the web site doesn’t completely crash. He treated himself to a new computer to maintain his nerd cred, and continues the tradition of elaborate weekend breakfasts for the horde of children.

May the next year find you well and healthy.


Adam, Joanna, Honoka, Sam, Emma, Duncan and Berry