Our first annual holiday letter

This photo of our family accompanied this letter when we posted it on Facebook.
This photo of our family accompanied this letter when we posted it on Facebook.

Dear family and friends,

We hope that this is the beginning of what will become an annual tradition. We are nearing the end of a very eventful year for our family. Not only did Target begin selling a store brand of our favorite cereal—Blueberry Crunch®—Dustin also bought a purple tie.

Oh, and our family grew by 50% with the addition of Fiona Claire Joyce.

Fiona was born on Thursday, 15 July, in Washington, D.C., which means that she was born without a voting representative in Congress. We are amazed by how quickly she has grown and learned new things. At her last doctor’s appointment, she weighed 13 pounds, 14 ounces and was 23¾ inches long. She loves her pacifier, reading books, modern art (she’s not an art connoisseur so much as she’s interested in bold shapes and contrasting colors), and her best friend, Dinky. Dinky is a squirrel puppet. We named him after the Dinky Train in Princeton, New Jersey. Fiona had her first solid food on Thanksgiving Day, and she just mastered the Greek alphabet.

Okay, maybe not quite yet. But she’s working on it.

One of Fiona’s favorite pastimes is riding around her hometown on the bus. She gets to sit in our lap and look out the window at all the fascinating people and buildings passing by. She also enjoys riding the subway, though the inside of a tunnel is not quite as interesting as a city street. Indeed, she enjoys this so much that she is a 100% car-free baby. That’s right: in her five months of life, she has never been in a car. Her transit adventures began two days after she was born, when she rode the bus and subway home from the hospital. So, not only is she protecting the environment and promoting good urbanism, she’s also building major street cred.

In short, Fiona is an amazing addition to our family. She is beautiful, with a glowing personality, and she loves socializing and exploring the world around her. We are so fortunate to have her.

The rest of our lives are much as they have been for the past few years. Susan continues to teach government at Bladensburg High School in Prince George’s County, Maryland, just east of Washington, D.C. Dustin is still doing political consulting with a downtown D.C. firm, though he now works from home fulltime to look after Fiona. We are still living in our beautiful apartment on Meridian Hill, a mile and a half north of the White House with a sweeping view of the nation’s capital from the Washington Monument to Washington National Cathedral. (If you ever find yourself needing or wanting to come to D.C., please accept this as an open invitation to stay at our place anytime.) In spring we went to Philadelphia and the surrounding area for a week, and Fiona took her first train trip and first overnight trip to Charleston, West Virginia, in September. While we try to take one or two big trips each year, and having a baby has limited us a little bit this year, we are already working on some big plans for the coming year.

We hope this letter finds you well. We have certainly appreciated the support you have provided as we embark on the adventure of raising a baby. Please let us know if there is anything we can ever do for you.
We wish you joy and happiness through the holidays and all the best in the new year.

Susan, Dustin, and Fiona

This article appeared on pages 4–5 of Issue 1 | January 2011.

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