A Holiday Letter to you, dear reader

Friends and Followers,

In lieu of a Christmas Card this year, we are sending out a little update on how our 2020 has been. With the chaos and uncertain times, we thought it would be nice to check in with everyone and share how we’ve managed through the pandemic.

As you may know, I left my position at the law office with the expectation of returning once the kids got back to school in the spring. Obviously that didn’t happen, and so after conversations with my employer I gave up my position there. I stayed home with the girls, helped them with their online learning, and hunted for freelance and work-from-home job opportunities, with mediocre enthusiasm, as the government money was sufficient to hold us for the spring/summer.

Patrick was busier than ever at the beginning of the stay home/work from home efforts, and he was our guy who did everything out of the house while the country was still learning about how the virus worked, and how best to stay safe. Now he gets tested for Covid every two weeks (because of his work at the Motherhouse for Sisters of Providence), and I’ve been doing a bit more of the shopping.

Fusix turned a profit this year, and they feel like they’re surviving, so that’s great news. But if you (or anyone you know) needs anything remotely associated with technology, reach out to them first. They have suppliers for all sorts of things, but they don’t have an online store. Simply give them a call or stop by their storefront.  We talk a lot about supporting local, and I think supporting friends and family is right up there too!

I landed a full time writing job for Kingstonist, a local media outlet, after having written casually for them for nearly two years. I started my position there full time on Oct 1, and I love it. It’s work from home – and will be even if we go back to pre-pandemic life – and I get to know, and write about, about all the cool stuff going on around town! (I’m also part of the sales/advertising team – if you’d like to be notified of upcoming promotional opportunities on Kingstonist, let me know!)

As for the girls – they are growing like crazy and turning into little ladies right before my eyes. Here’s a “card” I put together and sent over email to everyone I had an address for:

Holiday Greetings 2020

The girls have been doing in-person learning, and they’re used to wearing masks all day. (And I’m almost used to checking to be sure we have enough clean masks!) Emma did not return to dance this year, and instead started with a Pathfinders group. (That’s Girl Guides, for those who, like me, don’t know the levels.) We put Rose on a waiting list for her age group at Guides, but she is taking one ballet class at a different studio, though with a teacher she had at Kingston School of Dance (KSD). It’s a very small class and her two dance best friends are doing it with her, so she loves it!

Our life is quieter – we only have 2 nights per week that have extra-curriculars, and Emma’s are more likely to be Zoom group meetings as the weather deteriorates. But that means I’m not dancing anymore. A bit sad for me, but I did it because we were already there. Instead I’m trying to take walks on my lunch hour, and sometimes I do some ballet or barre work in the living room. I miss the social aspect more than the actual dancing (though I definitely miss that too!), but that’s true in all areas of life right now.

Rose got glasses this fall. It’s been coming for a few years now, and she’s adjusted to them wonderfully. And Emma is trying an ADHD medication to see if it can help her have better focus at school. We’ve seen good results so far and no side effects. She notices a difference – she struggles staying on task and focusing mentally, not so much what you classically think of as ADHD – and has been completing more work at school.

Rose with Glasses

We’ve stayed in town almost exclusively (a few trips for family events) and are looking at what may feel like a long winter. But we are also all healthy and trying to make the best of a restricted situation.

We would love to hear how your year has been! It doesn’t have to be a long story like mine, but do share anything newsworthy – even if you think we may have seen it on Facebook!

Stay safe and healthy, and have an amazing holiday season – however you choose to spend it!

Best of the season to you and your families,

Jess, Pat, Emma and Rose

PS – A different “year in review” type post flowed out of my fingers after Christmas. Take a peek: Lost ideas and a quick look back

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