What. A. Year!
Seriously. I don’t even know where to start.
I started by reading last year’s letter. You know, I’ve been writing Christmas letters since my senior year of college. There are still some of you who get our Christmas cards that remember those old letters that would come on Christmas-y paper tucked into an old fashioned card (before photo cards).
That first letter went out in 1990. So here we are, a full three decades into this tradition. I’ve missed a couple because of kid chaos, but overall I’ve been pretty good.
I’m sure I have them all somewhere. I’d love to see if ever there has been a year as wild as this one.
You all know well this year started off with two big Cs. I had just received the cancer diagnosis when a week into the New Year every single member of our family was diagnosed with COVID. Except me. Which was an absolute miracle because it meant my lumpectomy did not have to be delayed! Bray got really sick, and still doesn’t have his sense of smell back. The kids were fine but it meant homeschooling for several weeks right before surgery.
The surgery and month’s long radiation were successful and I rang the bell right before Easter weekend! Thank you all for your prayers and support during this time.
All the while the kids played spring sports (the boys playing on a wonderfully fun team, the Astros, for spring baseball and little bit playing Grace softball) and Bray and I juggled really busy jobs.
No sooner did sports end than we had a fifth grade GRADUATION on our hands and I could hardly believe we were going to have middle schoolers this year! I basically stopped writing for months after cancer so I don’t really have a record of all these precious moments at the end of elementary school. I think I’d burned up all my words.
A gorgeous family vacation to Bar Harbor, and a little reminiscing of where we spent our honeymoon, brought me back to life and gave me words again. We had an amazing trip, full of lobster, boating, Acadia National Park, and downtime together.
Beyond that, I don’t remember much over the summer. We did get to celebrate Bray turning the big 5-0 with at a party at our house. And we finally got to see my dad and stepmom, twice!, after two years apart because of the pandemic. The kids were obsessed with the farm and the horses and the baby may become an outdoor survivalist.
The summer flew. So fast that suddenly we had 6th graders. Middle school. Sheesh. The boys played on the school football team and little bit ran cross country. Just over a month later, we were celebrating the trio’s 12th birthday. I also got a clean bill of health from MD Anderson (no check ups for a year!).
Now we’re nearing the end of the first semester and two of the three are playing basketball, while the baby decided to sit this sport out. The eldest is playing the trumpet in band and little bit is also training for cheer team tryouts.
And since it wouldn’t be a Vincent Christmas letter without a bombshell at the end, there is more big news this year. After a wonderful nine years at ExxonMobil, I’ve accepted a position as Assistant General Counsel for a business division of Honeywell. I learned so much and grew as a lawyer tremendously while at EM, and now I’m excited about this new opportunity in my career. As the icing on top, I will go from a 33 mile one way to commute to work to a ONE mile commute. God is good.
While this year held much good for us, we know so many are still suffering because of the pandemic and other losses. I pray we can encourage one another and hold each other up during these really challenging times. I don’t know what we would do without the support and encouragement of our community.
From the Vincents to you, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a 2022 filled with great joy.
Tracy Furman says
You will be missed at the Tiger both professionally and personally! I am truly honored to have worked with you and witness your example of strength and love during this year which was definitely one for the books. I look forward to seeing what’s next for you and will keep in touch with for sure!! Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family and all the blessings you can handle in the new year! Love to you!!
Stacey Swilling says
How I wish I’d been reading these updates every year! I’m so glad to hear things are going so well for you! What a beautiful family.
One comment, though…if your first letter went out in 1990, wouldn’t that be your senior year of high school and not college? 😉 Don’t age us too much just yet. Haha.