As a wrap up to the year and also because I didn’t have time to write a blog for this week, I’m re-purposing our 2012 Christmas letter as my blog post for this week.

If you follow my blog, thank you for the time you haven taken over the past year to read my ramblings and hear about the happenings in our household. I wish you and those dear to you a very Merry Christmas.

It’s been a year since we downsized from our house in Petaluma to our cozy condo and we finally did get some pictures on the walls. Sorting through the 1,000 pounds of books still in boxes in the garage? That hasn’t happened yet but we’re setting some lofty goals for ourselves for 2013.
Ethan, aka Specialist Rustad, entered an entirely new phase in his life and enlisted in the army. What attracted a 24 year-old college graduate with a degree in film to want to become “Army strong?” There were a bunch of factors but the biggest reason was that after spending a couple of weeks at Travis Air Force Base as part of a ridiculously demanding and unrewarding sales job – imagine something akin to selling generic ShamWows – he was inspired to take on a much more meaningful challenge.
He did his nine weeks of BCT (Basic Combat Training) at Ft. Jackson in South Carolina. It was as tough physically, mentally and emotionally as he hoped it would be – making it “awesome.” (Actually, he used more colorful language as you might expect when fresh from boot camp.) After graduation, he was sent to the DLI (Defense Language Institute) in Monterey, CA where he will begin the first of his AIT (Advanced Individual Training) in his five year MOS (Military Occupational Specialty – yes, the army is all about acronyms) as a Cryptologic Linguist. He will be there studying Korean for the next year; a skill that he can put to use right away to translate “Gangnam Style.”
The past year for Valerie, has been much more business as usual now that she is in her junior year at Chapman in SoCal. And she is all about sticking to business; if she’s not in her room working on a graphic design project, she’s at her part-time job as an accounting clerk at a law firm, or a nearby martial arts studio studying sword fighting. She is so much about building her portfolio, savings account, and muscle tone that we have to remind her that college should also be about having some fun.
Last year, Steve drove 15 minutes south to take Jennifer Lynn to school in Petaluma. This year, Steve’s driving 15 minutes north to take her to school in Santa Rosa. She voluntarily did something that for many high school students would be their worst nightmare: switching schools. Her new school offers an International Baccalaureate degree which is a very challenging (there’s that word again) curriculum. Making friends at her new school has gone great; however, conquering the calculus and physics homework has proved to be a tougher assignment. The next milestone for her is getting her driver’s license something that Steve, who does almost all is the chauffeuring, is looking forward to now that Jennifer’s social net covers the north and south ends of Sonoma County.
Steve continues to draw, write, consult, cartoon, shoot video, design and do pretty much anything else that he can wedge under the marketing umbrella. Good thing in this economy that he’s versatile. I’m grateful to still be at the Petaluma Visitors Program doing writing and marketing to attract visitors to picturesque Petaluma. We are so thankful to be in good health surrounded by faithful friends.
We wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and blessings in the New Year.