Joanna’s annual take on the year gone by

2009 Christmas Letter

It isn’t easy to know why the twists and turns of life’s journey bring you to the places they do. Sometimes the light shines clearly on your path and, at others, you have to go within and listen to your intuition in order to navigate safely when the way seems dark.

It’s been an eventful year.

Moving to Oregon
In the spring, we sold our house in Rochester (in 3 days!) and readied ourselves for a move to Eugene, OR, to start our new life. Kevin and I both looked hard for full-time work and I landed a fantastic job with a hospital foundation. I’m a communications specialist—writing, editing, creating graphics and websites, and spearheading social media campaigns—for Sacred Heart Medical Center Foundation. Going back to work full-time has had its challenges, but I love my job and the people I work with.

Kids in School
Duncan and Berry started school together in the fall at a Montessori school, which they both really enjoy. It’s amazing how much they learn and pick up—the songs, safety tips, knowledge and new skills. We’ve all been well trained on what to do should we become accidentally set on fire. Stop. Drop. And roll.

Living with a Parent
My mum moved from South Florida to live with us in Eugene (we’re actually about 10 miles south in the little town of Creswell) and spends lots of time with the kids after school while I’m at work. Navigating an adult live-in parent relationship is an interesting task, one that we’re all learning and growing from. But I’ve spent years missing having my family close, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to enjoy it now.

The Pets
Our very old cat, Hobbes, is still hanging out with us, meowing as loudly as ever. She’ll be 18 in the spring. We found new homes for our multitude of turtles before moving, as we didn’t think they’d appreciate the cross country trip. If you ever met our attack fish, Sid Fishious, you may be sad or delighted to learn that he/she passed on of natural causes before the move. We’ll always have our memories—like when Duncan was a baby and it escaped from the tank at 4 a.m., slapping itself on the floor until Kevin scooped it back up into the tank. We added two chickens to the family in the fall—Bernadette and Penelope (Benny and Penny for short)—who reside in a coop in the back yard and are finally laying eggs.

Family Changes
Perhaps the most unexpected news is that Kevin and I are divorcing. It’s not the fork in the path that either of us had hoped for, but I’m at peace with the decision. Our focus is on making sure Duncan and Berry continue to feel loved and secure—and for all of us to heal as we move forward into the next phase of our lives. Love, prayers and thoughts are always appreciated.

I hope all is well in your world. We always love hearing from you.

Warmest wishes for a peaceful holiday season,