Marriage means sharing many things, which I knew going into the whole bit. But sharing the writing of the Christmas letter? That I was not prepared for, and the realization tested our relationship only a few weeks after we said our vows. I had written a letter every year since heading out on my own and all of a sudden Jared thought it was a good idea to take over the duties.

Turns out he’s funnier than I am and I (usually) use commas correctly, which is a good thing this year — wait for it! And we both have learned how to share, although that first year included quite a bit of pouting on both our parts.

Here’s this year’s compilation.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thank you, five months of maternity leave, but you weren’t enough and we decided to move back to the farm – or as Alice’s friends call it, The Moon – so we could spend more time together and traveling.

Thank you, drought and hailstorm, for reminding us why we weren’t farmers before now.

Thank you, Target Range School and the Missoulian, for amazing careers that almost kept us in Missoula.

Thank you, small army of family members, for revamping the 1970s décor in the new-old house. It’s amazing what fresh paint and new flooring will do to make a place feel like home.

Thank you, dog, for Squidget’s first trip to the emergency room and abrupt ending to her first backpacking trip. Turns out farmers used a lot of the lake water for irrigation this year (re: drought) and our boat would have been grounded had we stayed any longer. And Alice really loves answering people’s questions about Squidget’s scars. Jared loves that Alice has stopped pestering him for a dog.

Thank you, Rhad and Linda, for scaring the pee out of Jared by taking him through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado in a 12-foot raft. Everyone’s glad he made it to the end alive and with a dry Settlers of Catan game board.

Thank you, Delta, for canceling a flight for our Bahamas trip and putting us in first class for the new flight home. It made it a little easier to leave the paradise where we celebrated Jared’s parents’ 40th anniversary.

Thank you, applesauce pouches, for keeping Squidget alive throughout the many road trips and airplane rides we took this year as we zigzagged the country to visit family and friends, who we hope to see more of in the coming year.

Much love.

*Thank you, Jimmy Fallon, for the format idea.

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