Why 2016 Stole Christmas (aka the Vernon XMas letter)

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It’s been a little over a month. Truth be told, I’ve been wanting to write more (BECAUSE THE SOUNDERS WON THE MLS CUP) but life has a way of pressing all the right buttons to deflate any amount of ambition. My last post was political and a bit of a downer. This post is dark but funny. At least that is what those who have received it responded to me. I intend on sending out the rest of our Christmas letters today but if you just want to forgo the pomp of opening up an envelope, please enjoy the following wishes, hopes, and general overview of our 2016:

Ladies and Gents, boys and girls, cats and dogs (and rabbits),

I bring you the annual Vernon Christmas letter!!

*much fanfare was heard in the empty auditorium*

It’s the type of year that’s made you push off your dentist’s appointment for three months. And plan a year in advance to see a movie (okay, we now know that’s called “adulting.” It doesn’t help this year’s case). A year where we taught our little girl it’s okay to bounce on couch cushions if they are on the floor, but not if they are on the couch itself. When Spider-Man is back on the silver screen, jumping around and boosting morale in a world that needs it most. A time when the world lost Alan “By Grabthar’s Hammer” Rickman and David “Space Cowboy” Bowie and Gene “Waco Kid” Wilder amongst countless others. I am saddened to think that Cara won’t grow up with these legends.

Cara is now at the point where she is dictating what I wear. If it’s not Mickey or Minnie, I am not going to work. If it’s not polka dots, you can count Kristen out of the office as well. During the transition from our Bothell house to the Lemieux’s house to our present home in Kirkland, Cara rode those whirlwind four months like a champ. She learned to put her toys away, throw a temper tantrum, use her words, cry when she’s hangry, and sleep through World War III. Kristen and I have taken up the game of “That’s You” whenever we spot something introspective.

Kristen and I visited the fatherland of Ireland where Guinness is a religion and drinking a sport. Cara stayed with Joe and Denise while Kristen and I tried to desperately not to kill ourselves. Within the first hour of landing and obtaining a car, it was very apparent that no matter how much studying we did, we were not prepared for left-hand driving in Ireland. The roads are narrow, the people are fairly patient, and thank God for Google Maps because the layout the Irish landscape has makes zero sense. The sights were full of splendor (skip the Cliffs of Moher tourist trap and go meet God at the Cliffs of Kerry), the talks were long (the Connemara road made sure that Kristen and I had to talk to each other if only to not go stark raving mad), and the pit stops were just delightfully quaint (it’s Ireland. “Quaint” is something they mastered before the USA was even an idea).

When came back to the US of A, it had not changed much. The pace of life is faster and not just because we have responsibilities. Ireland seriously has their chill button in the permanent “ON” position. Kristen jumped right back into the fire with her new engineering lead position at Aviation Technical Services. It’s a fun circus on the good days, a bucket of hot trash on the bad ones but since she can keep Cara and I out of trouble, she’s obviously overqualified for the job. I am happily employed with the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention in Seattle. The Records Division has afforded me the opportunity to pick up a new skill (professional writing) and hone old ones (patience and understanding). I’ve also gone clinically insane in tackling the monumental temporary position of Project Program Manager for the Records Division. I like it though, and that’s all that matters, right? *twitch*

We also came back to a new house. A house, and this is the kindest way to put such a delicate subject, that needs more facelifts than Madonna. Many words and phrases describe this house. “Good bones” and “wonderful potential” are thrown in to provide positive linings to the occasional “Well…that’s interesting…” Chins up and drills on, the Vernon and Lemieux families have put their various skills and talents together to make sure the laundry room and Cara’s bathroom are all ready to be used before we tackle the roof and all its potential “learning opportunities”. At least the roof has Christmas lights to go with the expert tarp job. Next year, we’re going the full Griswold.

We hope to have a proper housewarming soon. Kristen’s craft room needs it…the heat ducting is all wonky.

From our family to yours, we hope you all have a lovely holiday and a happy new year.

Merry Christmas,

Michael, Kristen, and Cara

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