Christmas 2020

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!  No matter how long it's been since we last connected, reach out! And if you're ever in the Austin area, let us know and hopefully we can plan a driveway gathering!

We only mailed out a handful of cards after years and years of not even creating a Christmas card. If you'd like a hard copy, let me know and I'll send one along in snail mail!

Kenzie, Ken, Travis, Sarah, Chance, Hannah, TJ holding Bear, and Tian, stand in front of a brown wooden garage door. They are wearing matching buffalo plaid pajama bottoms and socks and black shirts. Tian is slyly holding a "9" handshape.

Photo Highlights of 2020:

2020 Christmas Letter

A digital hand-drawn image of poinsettias and other foliage.
Flowers drawn by Sarah

2020 started out like many other years as we went to work, visited friends, Sarah traveled to LA for work, Tian and Travis started track at Texas School for the Deaf and the whole family went to watch their track meets.  By the end of February, we had bought our first pack of masks and by early March, we were all quarantined at home.  In mid-March, we had a family meeting to discuss safety protocols and the rest of our 2020 has been under the cloud of the COVID pandemic. Ken and Sarah have been fortunate to continue to be able to work from home and we’ve been thankful to be together through it all.  Staying connected through video chats, phone calls, and front and back yard visits has kept our spirits high. While we are looking very forward to 2021, we’d like to reflect on our main highlights from 2020!

Ken  Scan Mailboxes, as an essential service, is still going strong and growing. SMB received the honor of Entrepreneurship Award from the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities and a Resilience award from Zenefits for their work during the pandemic. Ken is also enjoying being back with Z/Purple as an Enterprise Solutions Engineer. Ken got us e-bikes we’ve enjoyed riding around town.

Sarah was awarded with staff excellence in the College of Education at The University of Texas, thanks to her phenomenal colleagues. In August, she “went back to school,” starting Project CLIMB, a 9-month legal interpreting program through the University of Northern Colorado, aimed at cultivating legal interpreters from minority backgrounds.

Hannah, 21, and Chance, 2, moved about an hour away to Temple to their own place! Hannah is managing social media and answering phones for a small business, all while in school full time and raising the cutest 2 year old to exist. (She’s looking to take on more clients if anyone needs her assistance.)  Chance is brilliant, of course, talking up a storm and signing with his Papa and uncles. While he enjoys playing Among Us and watching Paw Patrol, he loves Peppa Pig the most!

Mackenzie, 19, finished out her time at Garza High without the typical pomp and circumstance, but enjoyed a trip to the beach with a small number of friends to celebrate. She spent most of her year working at the famous Salt Lick Barbecue. She always comes home smelling great.  Kenzie cherishes her friendships and continues to sing and write songs.

TJ, 17, started working at Chick-fil-A, got braces, and bought his first car this year.  His very non-traditional secondary schooling is coming to an end with a non-traditional senior year to match.  He enjoys working, friends, gaming, and driving his manual transmission Veloster.

Travis, 12, enjoys gaming, drawing, and animating his drawings. (Be sure to check some of it out in the photo highlights.)  He got braces the week of Christmas and is growing up fast!

Tian, 11, is a big fan of TikTok, gaming, running, and all things science. Remote schooling isn’t his favorite, but his good sense of humor has gotten him through. (Sorry, teachers!)

Both boys graduated from elementary to middle school. They had been in the same building since starting TSD in 2012, but have not yet been able to attend in the middle school building.  We still don’t know if they will go back this school year and only time will tell. 

Bear, our two year old Goldendoodle is as sweet as ever! Sarah is glad she started ordering grooming supplies and a table in 2019, because they came in handy to be able to groom him at home. Bear likes fetching, eating, and snuggling.

Christmas letter disclaimer: 

By its nature, a Christmas letter is upbeat and positive. It highlights the best out of 365 days.  2020 was hard. Being a teenager is hard. Being a single mom is hard. Not being able to be around friends and family....hard.  Keeping ourselves and others safe during a pandemic is hard. Balancing work and school from home is hard. Tedium sets in.  Depression rears its head. Even without a pandemic, there are parts of life that are simply too painful or too private to include in a Christmas greeting going to the masses.  So don't let this honest look back at all we are truly grateful for fool you into thinking it was all roses.  If you've had a rough year or rough few years, you aren't alone.  And we are here if you ever want to talk.

Links to things mentioned in the Christmas letter:

Family Photo Credit: Amelia Hamilton Photography

Photo Highlights:

Scan Mailboxes Zenefits Resiliency Award

Scan Mailboxes Entrepreneurship Award, Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities

Sarah Brown Awarded for Staff Excellence by the University of Austin

Project CLIMB


Popular posts from this blog

A Review: Maya Chan Beach Resort In Costa Maya, Mexico

Travis Update Ending 2013

2022 Year In Review