Christmas Letter ’17

I’m going to open this digital Christmas Letter with the obvious:
I love Christmastime. I love sending mail. I love annual updates.

I think it’s funny how many people complain about newsletters because they make it sound like the sender’s lives are so perfect. Bragging, right? Eye roll. But think about it–who wants to share bad news? Disappointments, failures, health and/or monetary issues? (And who has time to list a year’s worth of that?) We ALL know that for every highlight, “Susie got into Yale!” there were plenty of stress and financial challenges. For every “Tom is the only Freshman on Varsity!” there was the occasional meltdown when mother forgot to buy bananas and coach says we must eat bananas every day. And for every, “Sally got the promotion!” there were late hours and missed meals. The bad can be assumed. And the brevity is for the benefit of all.

I usually put together some sort of newsletter, print it out–full color! and include it with my Christmas cards. Not this year. We lost a dog in January, kicking off the year with sorrow. Looking back, there were too many losses this year of people and pets, including our first corgi a week before Thanksgiving. And even though 2017 was a more good than bad year, I just couldn’t NOT think about the bad.

But I want to share the good! And there was plenty of it! So here goes:

Miskey joined our family in May. It’s been over a decade since we had a puppy and although she can be a handful, her energy and cuteness are refreshing.

Zach and Christina celebrated four years of marriage in June. (And FOURTEEN years of being a couple in November!) They have settled into their “new” house and are successfully making it a home. Both are succeeding at their jobs and their Fantasy Football leagues.

Nicole and Zach also celebrated four years of marriage in July. Both are enjoying their work, Nicole is back teaching with the BAMIT Academy at Jefferson High School after maternity leave and Zach is Admin at RESA Middle SchoolBen turned 3 in June and baby Van arrived in September (9/9!). The newly expanded family is doing well.

I published TWO books this year! Joining my debut novel, Pocket Money, in my catalog are Kinder Garden (which was an Amazon Best Seller!) and Baker’s Dozen, both Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mystery Kindle World Stories, available on Kindle only. I also had a letter included in a compilation called Dear Friend: Letters of Encouragement, Humor, and Love for Women with Breast CancerAnd I got to sell Pocket Money at the Chicago Printer’s Row Lit Fest.

I facilitated my final Word of Art this year. Word of Art 3D was the pinnacle of WoA events. We proudly partnered with Burpee Museum of Natural History in celebration of their 75th year. And yeah, I was published in that book, too!

Dave had the second BEST month in his twenty plus year history at the helm of Lamphere’s. The month of November was incredibly long and it’s nice to see him again.

We renovated the upstairs bathrooms! Instead of two odd bathrooms, we now have one lovely master bath. (This is the part where I don’t complain about how long it took or how much it cost, because anyone who has ever had construction done ALREADY KNOWS. And also, you know, brevity, lol.)

Dave and I attended a literary event featuring Stephen King and his son Owen in support of their new release, Sleeping Beauties, at which Dave received an autographed copy! (This was kind of a big deal for me. Seeing King in person was something I never thought I’d get to experience.)

Okay, folks, those are (most of) my highlights of 2017. All in all, not too shabby. I’m sure there are more good things I could add–and with the digital format, I absolutely can!

I hope your year was more good than bad, and I hope that 2018 is even better.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas
and a Happy Healthy New Year!


As always, for more information, click on the highlighted links.

About Mary Fran Says

I am an artist, crafter, designer and writer. I enjoy working with mixed media-- applying visual and tactile manipulations to telling a story. Not a lot of market for that, though, :), so I'm focusing on short story submissions and novel completions. Yes, plural. Lots of beginnings, too many ideas, not enough focus.
This entry was posted in Holidaze, It's all about me, It's all about You and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Christmas Letter ’17

  1. it’s because you’re awesome.

  2. Love the pictures, Mary! Thanks for sharing your year. 🙂

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