our 2014 Christmas letter
Their 3-foot fake Christmas tree is lit up like a… well, you know. Which means it’s time for Ian and Anna’s annual awkward, third-person Christmas letter!
If 2014 had a theme, it would be TRANSITIONS (no, Ian and Anna did not get photochromatic glasses).
Their biggest transition is having family close by. After years of joking about Ian’s parents moving to Boston, Dane landed a job managing two funeral homes on Cape Cod. In October, they made the cross-country move, bringing Ian’s Grandma Judy with them. We still can’t believe that an hour and a half bus ride now gets us a home cooked meal, free laundry, and the opportunity to paint walls a color besides white.
At REUNION, the community has sent off several staff and leaders to new places of service. Ian and Anna are excited for their friends’ new adventures, but miss them dearly. This has also means they have been serving more in new places. It’s pretty incredible to see how the community has come together!
At work, Ian has stepped up to new responsibilities, and seen two big projects through to end-of-year milestones. He also accepted a position teaching a fall studio at Northeastern, guiding seven aspiring landscape architects through an exciting project. Copyediting is featuring more in Anna’s professional life, with not only more opportunities to copyedit at work, but also a few freelance copyediting work as well.
But some things have stayed the same.
In August, Ian and Anna returned to the Dominican Republic for their fourth annual mission trip. This year, they co-lead the trip with another couple, and both served on the construction team, painting houses for families in La Mosca, the trash dump community where the Vargas family serves. Although their Spanish is still terrible (Ian’s best sentence is “Yo soy un penguino” but at least Anna isn’t calling Ian “mi esposa” anymore), thankfully the relationship with the Vargas family and the La Mosca community is one that transcends language.
Per usual, they also packed in lots of other adventures. In February, they drove to New Jersey to visit good friends and enjoy a wintry getaway. In May, Ian took a work trip to Santa Barbara to visit a lighting factory, and Anna tagged along to visit the beach. They traveled to Kansas for Anna’s cousin Brian’s high school graduation where they saw FLOTUS give an address to the graduates, and again for Ian’s cousin Jered’s wedding where they marveled at how lucky Jered is to have Jill. In September, they flew to Atlanta for the wedding of their good friends Fox and Sara, a.k.a. #Foxlanta, and had their first taste of Southern hospitality. They also played hosts to old college friends, revisiting their favorite Boston haunts and exploring new ones. They virtually attended Anna’s brother Caleb’s K-State graduation (virtually, thanks to online streaming, because of the proximity to Ian and Anna’s trip home for Christmas).
Ian and Anna also were able to knock out a few bucket list items. Anna grew up a die hard figure skating fan, but living in Kansas was only able to watch on TV and sock skate on hardwood floors. In January, Nationals were in Boston and Ian bought tickets. Anna may have cried and hyperventilated when Dick Button, Brian Boitano, and Kristi Yamaguchi made special appearances. Ian, the consummate music fan, fulfilled his dream of attending Newport Folk Festival, seeing the likes of Shakey Graves, Willy Watson, Gregory Alan Isakov, and Roderigo y Gabriela (yeah, Anna hadn’t heard of them either).
Ian and Anna are so thankful to be surrounded by family this Christmas, and hope your holiday season is full of joy!
Want more? Read past Christmas letters here. 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2009 | 2008