I was shocked when I checked my blog to find that our most recent New Year’s letter was January 2018. I suppose you’ll just have to fill in the blanks for the past two years.
Our family’s grown up a lot since then. Dominic is now the tallest one in the family, and he’s 15!
While 2020 has been a stressful, unexpected year, we’re grateful it’s behind us, and we’re looking forward to the future.
Dominic – age 15, 10th grade
- He’s enjoying learning the lay of the land as a sophomore at Bingham High School. It’s hard to believe, but he has grown taller than both Vickey, and then Pete this year. He is doing well in his classes and has managed high school well thus far.
- He assures us that the time he puts into gaming on his Xbox could pay off in a big way in the future. Given that e-sports seem to be taking over the world, we’ll look forward to the day that we will be driving the fancy cars he promises us.
- We call him Chef Dominic because he likes to cook and bake. He has mastered the art of grilling meat, and his latest craze is egg, bacon, and cheese croissant sandwiches. Yummy!
- He’s becoming very interested in cars and mechanics and enjoys his auto class at BHS. He has a driver’s permit now. Vickey says the two most difficult practical things to teach a child are 1) Toilet Training and 2) Driving… She’s not sure which is worse.
- He’ll become a priest in the Aaronic Priesthood this month.
Eliana – age 19
- Ellie graduated from Bingham High School last June. Given all the craziness that the pandemic brought into our lives, we were very proud of this accomplishment. We loved the video graduation program and, most of all, the graduation parade. We got to drive Ellie and her friend, Camery, down the parade route. It was a highlight of 2020.
- She was the Senior Class Vice President and was able to participate in and help manage Bingham’s huge fundraiser called “True Blue.”
- When COVID-19 hit, she had to overcome the challenge of managing Bingham’s traditional ‘Senior Quest’ in a whole new way. Instead of it being limited to Bingham, it became a valley-wide online activity. Ellie handled all the logistics and managed a team of class and student body officers to keep track of all the teams, rules, and tallies. It a difficult task, and she did a terrific job.
- Ellie decided to take a Gap Year this year. She is working and figuring out what she would like to do next. We know that whatever she chooses to do, she will excel in.
- During this year, she has learned how to do her nails. We might be biased, but we think they end up looking better than most of the manicures she has had at professional salons.
- She’s still standing after her work (Copper Hills High School in the Jordan School District) required her to transition to teaching online last spring, then, this fall, to a hybrid model and ready to go virtual at any given moment.
- She planned a week-long getaway for Pete’s 50th birthday in April and watched as every part of the trip was canceled thanks to COVID-19. Instead, she helped Pete clean and organize our garage on his birthday (my idea, not hers), and then waited for over two hours for food that was never delivered that evening in the parking lot of The Cheesecake Factory in Murray. Not at all what she had planned.
- Vickey’s niece, Emma, returned from an 18-month ecclesiastical mission to Upstate New York (my high school stomping grounds) in August. She stayed in regular contact with Emma throughout her mission. (Uhm, missions are very different today than they were when Vickey and I served.)
- She’s enjoying teaching the 11 year-olds in primary and keeping tabs on them during the pandemic.
- She was happy for Ellie’s high school graduation and excited for Dominic to begin high school as a 10th grader.
- He’s been the director of marketing and communications in the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development since August 2018.
- He’s had one of his most stressful years at work, supporting Utah’s economic development during a pandemic. But he received two awards this fall: the Governor’s Award of Excellence for Leadership and a Gold Davey Award for the ‘In Utah’ campaign, for which he’s responsible.
- He was cast in Hale Centre Theatre’s production of The Titanic set for this fall, but it was canceled because of the pandemic.
- He’s been focused on finishing the basement, a project we started in November 2018. We completed the final part of the project, installing bathroom fixtures, during the last week of December. We also replaced light fixtures on our home’s main and upper levels with LEDs, re-painted and re-carpeted the entire house. Our home was a major construction zone for most of 2020. In the future, we won’t choose to do a home remodel during a pandemic.
We’re not sure what to expect from 2021, but we’re moving forward with faith in the Lord’s plan for us and all of our brothers and sisters on planet Earth.
Happy New Year, everyone!