Friday, December 23, 2011

Cheaper than stamps.

(No cats were harmed in the making of this picture.
However there may be poop in my shoes tomorrow.)

Dear Friends, Family, and Internet Stalkers,

It's been another exciting year here in the Douglass household. We have managed to survive yet another year of southern living mullet and pick-up truck free. And when I say survive, I really do mean survive. This year we got to experience our first Spring in tornado alley. There's nothing quite like long, stormy nights spent crouched on the floor next to the litter box in your 15 square foot half bath with three other people while tornado sirens blare outside to really give you an appreciation for Tennessee's quaint southern charm.

Amelia still loves Barbies, drawing and telling people what to do. She's also developed an affinity for dressing the cats in human clothes and telling them what to do. Her biggest achievement this year has been figuring out that it's much easier to let other people do things for you than it is to actually do them yourself. She has also learned that big blue eyes, flattery, and feigned helplessness will convince people to do just about anything, while thanking her for the privilege to do it.

Thanks to the miracle of modern medicine and our continued choice to parent him through pharmaceuticals, Liam has remained suspension-free and on the straight A honor roll so far this year. Not one to sit by and be the forgotten middle child, he has replaced his behavioral issues with reckless, daredevil stunts. Whether it's donning his Superman cape to leap from the top of the two story play set, or standing on his bicycle seat while flying down the hill, he's determined to make his mark in the world, and occasionally the ER. He's decided that he'd like to be a director like Spielberg when he grows up, or possibly a mother, because mothers "get to play on the computer all day."

Ben has spent the year tirelessly working to prove that parents know nothing, twelve year olds are above rules, and an insanely high IQ means little without common sense to back it up. He's also been conducting experiments in how the rate of one's pre-teen mouthiness is inversely proportional to the amount of TV and computer privileges one gets. I'm pretty sure he's close to concrete evidence on that one. He's moved away from the idea of becoming an actor and now wants to pursue a military career. He's begun to look seriously at military boarding schools, and we are more than supportive of this endeavor. I'm sure he'll find military school to be just the break he needs from our strict rules and unreasonable demands at home.

A few weeks after Christmas last year, Will deployed to Afghanistan. There he has been able to spend a year taking in the views (and more importantly, the aroma) of the lake of raw sewage, shower with other men, breathe thick, unrelenting dust, and regularly sit in a bunker while insurgent rockets rain down. But it hasn't all been bad. Sometimes he gets to ride in a helicopter over combat zones to work at the base with the slightly better food! In a few short weeks he'll finally get to come home, where, according to Army social services, he might try to kill us! Assuming we all come out alive, we're hoping for a much more low key year in 2012.

The biggest news for me is that I'm fat again! Not as fat as I once was, but fat enough to make my enemies and detractors extremely happy. The bright side is that I've been able to really explore my creative side while finding new and stylish ways to wear stretchy pants. Also, it's eliminated those pesky come-ons at the gym. So really, it's like a blessing. I've also been lucky enough to garner a small income from writing this year. It's not enough to actually pay for anything, but just enough to obligate me to write.

I hope your year has been equally spectacular!

And remember, "Happy Holidays" is what the terrorists say.
So, Merry Christmas from The Douglasses

(In case you missed it, you can read last year's Christmas letter HERE.)

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