Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Merry Christmas card 2020

 Since I've neglected this little blog entirely, I failed to post last year's Christmas card, but am sharing 2020s with two text versions, both equally true and indicative of just how much perspective and spin changes things - or just what mood I'm in when I write. :)

*also, I can't upload the actual Christmas card because I'm having problems with the website. But here is our pic.

When we look back on 2020 we see the chaos we've all experienced, the quarantine, the loneliness, the remote learning, everything that COVID so kindly gave us. We also remember the many trips and adventures we managed to safely take, the ways we coped, the memories we made together at home, the things we missed desperately, the things we didn't realize we take for granted, the fun we always manage to have. Our year was "unprecedented" as they like to say, not just with the macro-level crazy, but with personal pain and uncertainty - stories that shaped us but aren't ours to share. It's hard to put words on this year that I count as a great gift and a tremendous trial, a year that highlihgted our relentless privilege and good fortune, and a year that brought us to our knees. What we know with certainty looking back on this year so many of us would like to forget is while we are a little battered and bruised we remain the very luckiest people we know - we have each other and we have you. 

Peace, goodwill with all abide this Holy Christmastide.

Love, Adam, Sheri, Anna (10), Etta (6.5) & Thea (4)

alternate version:

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

2020 brought the Johnsons all kinds of mayhem and melancholy both COVID related and not. We started out the year on a high with a dream ski trip and then descended quickly into lock down, remote learning and fear, uncertainty and sadness. As a hospitalist at the VA here in Seattle, Adam has been taking care of COVID patients since March, but thankfully has avoided the virus himself (he has half a dozen tests to prove it!). Our social, active Anna (10!) has been living her worst nightmare without school, activities and sports. However, she has impressed and surprised us with her adaptability and her love for learning has enabled her to enjoy remote learning even as she mourns for in-person school and the million activities that make up her preferred schedule. Etta (6.5), meanwhile, is living her best life at home and with her family 24/7. Our little homebody has ne'er a complaint about what COVID has meant for her even as she 'claims' to miss school, church and friends. They both are fortunate to have fantastic teachers (4th and 1st grade) and a dear school family that we desperately miss. Thea, now 4, complains incessantly about missing her 'school' and Tot Bop and Story Time and gymastics and and and, however, since she now has pretty much constant attention from not 1 but 4 members of the family nobody feels that badly for her. I (Sheri) have clearly abandoned any career or hobby interests this year and focused on, well, getting us through this. While all my previous suspicions that homeschooling was not meant for me have been clearly verified, I find myself secretly grateful for all this low-key time that we've had together. I hate to admit that as anxious as I am for 'a return to normal' I'm going to miss having the girls home immensely - some times. 

Because we are who we are and we know what we need, we took as many vacations, trips and adventures as we safely could and as always, those remain precious highlights for us. We so look forward to being able to travel freely to and with our people, whose absence we feel more keenly every single day.

Apart from our families and presented with more than our fair share of sobering news, this year has brought us plenty of pain and hardship, but we are also keenly aware of how privileged and lucky we are to be unscathed by this horrific pandemic and how fortunate we are to look back with gratitude on a time that brought us even closer when it's devastated and destroyed so very many. We remind ourselves to take nothing for granted and to be grateful for each and every day. 

Which brings us to you, our dear family and friends. We miss you desperately and long for the day we can hug your faces again. 

May peace, goodwill with all abide this Holy Christmastide.

Love, the Johnsons