Our family wishes you and your family a very Merry Christmas. It is out hope and prayer that you can experience the true meaning of Christmas this year, giving thanks to God the Father for the Gift of His Son Jesus Christ. We hope this season finds you in good health, with family close by if not in proximity then in spirit. We have much to be thankful for in 2017.
We celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in September. We were able to take a rare weeklong vacation alone together to Destin in June, only to be chased inland by tropical storm Cindy halfway through the week. In July we had our annual Miller family beach trip to North Myrtle Beach, with almost fifty aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, and friends coming and going.
Matthew turned 19 in October. We celebrated his birthday with a family get-together in Athens. He finished high school this year. He continues to play music at house shows and other venues around town, including a concert at Georgia Tech. Matthew has worked at Whole Foods for over a year. For the first time in years he’s been able to find a diet that gives him energy while minimizing sniffles and colds. This year Matthew adopted Pluto, a grey cat who eventually warmed up to the entire family (except Barney). Having a cat prompted Matthew to move to the downstairs bedroom. He converted his old bedroom into a music studio, that doesn’t seem to bother the neighbors.
Anna turned 21 in August, which was cause for another family celebration in Athens (halfway between Atlanta and Augusta). She is a junior at UGA, and she’s loving it. Anna moved from her sorority house to a rental house on Milledge Avenue with six friends. She interns at Grace Athens church, cuts hair on the side, designs t-shirts, and takes portraits. She spent her second summer as a counselor at Camp Highland in the north Georgia mountains. Anna spent spring break in Florida and road tripped to St. Simons Island for the Georgia/Florida game.
Will and Mary-Clayton celebrated their first anniversary, and had a busy year in Augusta. Will finished most of his classwork by the end of the summer and began rotations in a general practice, the emergency room, and in surgery. They road tripped to New England, camping and hiking in Maine and catching a game at Fenway. They both went on mission trips: Will to Peru and MC to Washington with the high school kids at First Presbyterian. Will & MC also took separate trips to Texas. Will worked at The Masters shuttling dignitaries, and they rented out their spare bedroom for the week. They enjoy taking Okie for a swim in the Savannah River or Augusta Canal.
Ceil loves her job teaching art to kindergarteners and first-graders. Her classes have expanded from two to three days a week at two different schools. Ceil took more trips to Jefferson to spend time with her mother.
Dave enjoyed a less-stressful year at work, his 30th with the same company. He ran his 30th Peachtree Road Race, again accompanied by Will. Dave continues many of his same old routines, attending a dozen Braves games with various friends (Ceil even went!) and selling on eBay. Dave also made more trips down to Macon to see his parents.
Barney loves to play with his younger/larger/stronger cousin Okie, though Barney is thoroughly worn out afterward. His new goal in life is to meet Matthew’s cat Pluto. So far they’ve only seen each other through the window. Ol’ Barn is just now starting to show his age, sleeping off particularly active days downstairs by himself. His eyes aren’t what they used to be, though he’s still expert at catching popcorn in his mouth.
With the kids spending less and less time at home, we’re slowly trying to rediscover life as a couple. We joined a challenging Bible Study. In the winter we took a class on Wednesday nights, and during the summer took a dance class with friends.