Christmas…New Year’s Letter


Each year, I have the best intentions of writing a Christmas update letter and every year, I sit staring at a blank screen, referring to our calendars and thinking to myself,“We did so much…” and “How in the world do I make a letter that doesn’t sound as exciting as a grocery list?”  And, as you can tell from the prolific amount of Christmas letters you’ve received over the years (yes, that would be a whopping zero), I come up with no answer, shrug and console myself that there is always next year…

So Christmas has obviously passed (unless you’re Catholic), but the New Year is just around the corner and I have energy, so here goes nothing.

Where to start?  I suppose it would be easiest to tell you what has not changed. Ethan is still Catholic and I am still a Catholic-loving Protestant.  I still teach piano and voice lessons and accompany for two strings studios.  Ethan is the CEO of Demme Learning and is a Township Supervisor.

In the early months of the year, Nick and Ethan took Tae Kwon Do at the YMCA until Ethan started traveling for work in the spring and Nicolas got a full-time responsibility in the form of a sweet little fur-ball that he named Aera (pronounced: Air-uh) because it sounded cool.  After naming her, we found out the name means “Lion” in Hindu, which is exactly opposite of our dog’s loving personality, so we’ll say that we’re being hipster and named her ironically.  For Nicolas, having a dog has been such a life-changer.  He is so good to his dog and takes such good care of her.  He’s really stepped up his game in taking responsibility in most areas of life.  We’re so proud of him.


In March, my brother Philip came up to live with us while he decided what was next in his life.  He’s currently enrolled in HACC while working full-time in the pharmaceutical industry.

Ethan and Nicolas also began a project to fix up this old car so that Nicolas will have something of his own to drive soon.


In school, Nicolas has found an affinity for all things computer, and loves his video production classes.  He is hoping to attend the Lancaster CTC for his senior year if he can pass two tough classes this semester (Chemistry and Algebra).

In his spare time (hyuck, hyuck), Ethan trained for and completed a Half Ironman, a Marathon, climbed a 14,000 ft. mountain, and participated in the annual 100 mile bike ride for YSC (Young Survivors Coalition).  You understand the laughter in the last sentence if you know anyone training for anything longer than a half marathon.  Training takes up all the would-be fun parts of life.  Example:

Me: What do you want to do this weekend?

Ethan: Well, I have to get in a long (choose two: run, ride, swim) Saturday and Sunday.  After that, I’ll probably be wiped, so let’s just watch some TV or something.

Me: Woohoo (sarcastically).

As for me, for the first time in over four years, I began to feel better in late May.  I still have setbacks on a weekly basis, and my new normal is not my old normal, but I’ll take it!  In everyday life, this means that I’m able to sing again (yay!) and am able to be more regular with commitments and writing.  It also means that I am slowly getting back to running races.  This year, I completed the Mt. Gretna triathlon and accomplished my biggest goal, which was to run a 10k.  My times were pretty slow for both, but I finished strong.

This upcoming year already promises to be a tough but exciting year.  Nicolas will be finishing up his Junior year of high school, Ethan is running a very heated race for State Senate, and I will be starting back to helping refugee families get resettled in Lancaster after a four year hiatus.

So here’s to a New Year!  God bless!

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