This is our Christmas letter for 2015. I usually send one out, but hey, I’m paying for this website. I might as well make use of it, right?
It has been an incredible year, and I say that without sarcasm or a single tinge of irony. Each year I live, I think that it cannot get better than this.
Vitauts has lived here for over a year now, and we are all doing well. Maija has her space in the basement, dad has his room, and I occupy the spaces between.
Maija is a senior at Westside High School where she is living
the dream. She is on the speech team and getting good grades. Her job at Justice, a tween girls’ clothing store, at Westroads keeps her very busy. She’s making friends and having a wonderful time. She’s three months away from turning 18, and it is so weird to see her all grown up with one foot out the door. As you can see, she now has blond hair and everyone thinks she looks terrific. I agree!
Vitauts has been the subject of most of my posts for the past few months, so if you dig a little bit, you’ll know all about him. We went to Rick and Susan’s party on Saturday night, and dad played solo with the gang. He kept saying, “How long has it been since I have seen Rick?” It had been about 4-5 months, I think. He had a terrific time anyway. He doesn’t want anything for Christmas, but he does appreciate correspondence. If you ever want to send him a card or letter, please feel free! Email me for the address or look us up. I’m sure it’s online somewhere!
Kyle is working at Hyatt Hotels as a customer service/booking agent. He bought some new equipment so he could work at home in his above-the-bank Ashland apartment where he still lives with his high school buddies. We have spent a lot of time these past few months at The Approach climbing gym near 72nd and L in Omaha. We both bought equipment and have memberships. He is a much better climber than I am, but we’ve both learned a lot and felt the pain and strain of rock climbing! He came by a couple weeks ago to test out the Cadillac and to clean up my yard. Fifteen bags of leaves, a broken lawnmower, and gutters that seem to work, and all is well at the old homestead. He’s still driving the Honda Civic with the green body and black hood. It’s the unkillable car. I think he’s tried, but it’s still holding on. He is the single nicest person I think I’ve ever met. I have no idea where he got that from, but I think he has a real talent for just talking and listening to people. It’s really neat to watch him just open up a conversation with Vitauts, or some random person at the gym and sincerely engage. It’s a gift.
I am still at Westside High School plugging away as Team Leader of Humanities and trying to wrap my head, heart and soul around Composition, especially AP Language and Comp. It has been a stressful but rewarding year. I am still coaching speech, and I have over 180 students on my watch. I wish I had a photo of Westside… our team or anything. It’s kind of weird to work at a place for so long, but really have no record of being there other than my speech team. Oh well. I work there. Trust me!
My new adventure has been starting a business with my brother, Alan. We are the founders of JAG Entertainment, LLC which is currently in the process of making our first gaming application called Fantasy Brackets. We’ve kept is a bit on the downlow because we don’t want our idea to get stolen. JJ Grinvalds is our graphic designer, and You can see a bit of his handiwork right here. Although the developers aren’t matching the screens exactly, I still think it looks pretty cool.
We plan on launching a public beta within the next month and the final release is scheduled for the end of February. It’s an exciting time to be alive and to feel like we’re involved in something beyond ourselves. Al and I are always busy and always worried and stressed about the process, but so far, so good.
We have a Facebook, Twitter, Intagram and some other social media sites as well as fanbrackets.com which is currently under construction. Please help spread the word when the time comes, and if you are interested in becoming an investor, let me know!
I have to go see Macbeth with Deron in just a few minutes, and I thought I could finish this before time ran out. I’m almost done!
The Grinvalds’ Annual Christmas Bonanza Smashtastic Party is scheduled for January 2nd. I hope we don’t destroy Sue and Glen’s lovely house!
Oh, what made this a great year? So much. Too much really. Lots I can’t talk about, but some that I can. I was able to travel across the country to meet and hang out with amazing people in San Francisco, Oregon, and New Orleans. I traveled to Colorado with the family. I overcame Achilles surgery and can mostly walk again! I turned 43, started yoga and saw Star Wars The Force Awakens twice already. I got a new patio swing. What more is there to be said? I have the best family in the world, including my extended family of cousins and friends. I cannot imagine living a day without knowing that they are out there!
Have a wonderful Holiday Season! We love you all!