Sunday, December 24, 2006

Holiday Letter 2006

This letter went out in the mail with our Christmas cards to all sorts of people. If you didn't get it, we probably don't have your physical mailing address. We placed it here it is here, on the blog, for you to read. And it has pictures, which the printed version doesn't have.

Merry Christmas!

We hope this letter finds you well, happy, and joyful this holiday season. Each year we spend in this world seems to get better and better.

This past contained quite a bit of news to report. The biggest change is RT’s job situation. When we last wrote a Christmas letter, RT was working for AT&T, which was going through a merger. We do not know how familiar you are with working for a company going through a merger, but this is how it works: You need to present yourself as completely invaluable and profitable to the company (so they don’t decide to downsize you) while at the same time, be completely anonymous and blend in to the background (so they don’t notice you enough to downsize you).

Now, RT does not work well in situations like this because he really likes standing out from the crowd. He goes out there and says, “I can do this and I can do that and I can help out and we can do something amazing.” Unfortunately, what was expected from him was “Do anything except amaze us. Sit down, be quiet and wait for something to happen to you. Repeat this course of action for at least two years.”

Well, the two years didn’t even wind up being six months. RT got a job for a Seattle-based consulting company called The Mosaic Company ( So far, things are going quite well. RT is doing constructive things, gaining power, and shaping the world to his particular vision. And by this, we mean he has gone crazy mad doing home repairs that have been put off since before the wedding.

So, as of this writing, there are no floors on the first level of the house. But, by the time you read this (depending on the postal service) there will be hardwoods everywhere. It will be the ultimate playground for children with rubber bouncy balls. We have a large and growing number of friends with kids who should give it a try.

So… what else is going on besides work and home repairs? Not much. Well, what would be about average for us, which seems like a lot whenever we compare notes with other people. Just goes to show what all you can do when you never turn on the TV.

We did not go on a vacation this year unless you count a weekend in Chicago, but considering we both worked during that trip, it can hardly be called a vacation. We did get to sneak off to east Texas for 4th of July to stay with friends and watch birds flit in the trees and go out in a boat on a body of water. That was pretty cool. We didn’t realize until we got there how much we needed to just rest.

CT got to go to dayjob-sponsored conferences in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Boston. The Chicago show was combined with a weekend on the town with RT beforehand, which made the trip much more worthwhile. Conferences, however, are not the same thing as a vacation. At all.

We are still continuing to produce the SALON home concert series, and inaugurated a couple of new homes for that. CT sang at one of them, for the first time in years. She also got to record a new song by composer Mike Capps, “Easter Wings”, who also recorded 2 wonderful piano pieces and another piece for tenor and organ. (Even the greatest composers seem to write for tenor eventually. ) And yes, there are .mp3s of CT singing out there, but you have to email us for them. This is just our sneaky way of saying, “Drop us a line!”

RT continues to put up his shenanigans on his blog

We produced a podcast for a high school art class, and RT made a little film about things he learned in a coffee appreciation class. CT gave hour-long workshops at 2 Toastmasters conferences about the voice, drawing from her music studies to help professional speakers. We both ended our officerships in Toastmasters to focus on other things. RT presented a session on podcasting at the Trinity Arts Conference.

The book pile is as big as ever. RT is going through the complete Flannery O’Connor, while also taking in a huge pile of periodicals and comics and podcasts every month. CT got through some marketing books and (via the miracle of audiobooks on iPods) a biography of Will Shakespeare. We are both listening to Seth Godin books via iPod (he writes about marketing). CT also got to take in a collection of Jane Austen’s very early works and fragments, and hopes to get through one of the long novels. It was nice to discover that JA was not at all a good writer when just starting out, but got much better the more she wrote.

We are looking forward to 2007 and all the change it holds. We are going on a family trip to Oregon in May, we may be selling our house, and quite possibly we will finally get that concealed/carry permit that seems to be a citizenship requirement in Texas. On that holiday-inspired note…

We hope you are doing well, and hope for an exciting 2007. The best we have to offer goes out to you this holiday season. We cherish you and are continually grateful for the time we have together.

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