The 2014 year brought about many changes, my favorite of which is that it closed the book on 2013. In other just-as-good news, Caleb Lund has taken up operations at Bridger Vet! I am happily demoted to keeping up If you find that you need a vet-clinic fix, that is as good a place to start as any.

Sadly, Eleanor and Beatrice are no longer puppies. When the three of us aren’t off hiking, we can generally be found in our favorite armchair. Unfortunately, that chair holds one person and one dog or two dogs, but not one person and two dogs. The girls and I hope that Santa brings us a chair that we can all fit in. At the same time. And we don’t mean a sofa, a bean bag, or a raft.

For all of my parents’ worldly travels, neither had been to Normandy. So, once they finished up at the World Equestrian Games in September, Joel and I met up with them to go through some of the traditional Normandy D-Day sites. We spent a happy week touring the Pegasus Bridge, Pointe du Hoc, and the American Cemetery as well as Mont St. Michel and the Lemans race track. We survived questionable directions to find the good Calvados, French public restrooms, and Joel learned that “Regardez la ligne!” is the same in both English and French, according to the slightly unfriendly gendarme. Joel and I then did a week in France on our own, meaning macarons, cheese, baguettes, and charming villages. And I must say that Joel is amazing. He did all of the planning and reservations for getting us all to France and back again. He did such a good job that I’m never plotting our trips again. That horror now belongs to him!

Call me Violet, Violet Beauregarde, because I wear too much purple. At least that is what I hope you call me as Joel simply referred to me as “Frankenberry” or “one step away from being a marshmallow peep.” I found it especially funny—and touching—when the women of Bridger Vet all wore varying shades of my favorite violet hue on one of my days there. I’m still working on making Tiny Goat Friday go viral, making pies, and sampling cheese. I’m spending the month of February down in Perth with dearest Wen. Joel insists on torturing me with every car show known to man, and we’re going to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone next year. I solved the mystery of the hot pink squeeze chute. I hiked and found dinosaur bones. Joel and I are still the world’s biggest cosmic joke on one another. Here is just such an example.

Joel: The song “C’mon Eileen” does not require jazz hands.

Erin: Boogies anyway, jazz hands to full effect.

May this Christmas season find you well-loved, happy, and a feeling of purpose for each day that you wake up. Should you find yourself in Austin, we’d love to see you. We’ll even take you out for tacos!