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Dec. 2015


          I'm writing from snowy Mitchell, SD. The sun changes its mind every day or two, with highs ranging from the upper 20's to the mid 40's. There are only a few pockets of snow refusing to melt today at the park across the street. Unseasonably warm, but only warm in relation to expectations. Sounds great, doesn't it??

          I do wish I was with you in Texas – or you here with me – for reasons having nothing to do with the weather. I love you and miss being around you! I think your suggestion that we stick together in future holiday travels is a good one. But I'll see you again in about a week, and we can spend the rest of break together! That'll be nice. I've been having a tough time sleeping; I'm used to a bed that's warmer, and that has 1.2 more mammals in it! (Ollie is the 0.2.)

          I really appreciate you taking care of Ollie and putting up with his anxiety and energy and demon-worminess while I'm away,

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You are a really good doggy-mama ... even if that Goobah gets away with things – and gets all the treats! – while daaaaad's away. Do you think Ollie has brought us closer together? We can share Ollie battle stories, and have to work as a team to take care of his quirks and meds and such, so I think he has. Plus we both love him (and each other), and he loves us, and we are a family (pack). I like that. He does keep us (or you) up at night, and makes travel and social planning more difficult, but I think we're managing alright. I'm glad we got him together – he's the immediate reason we moved in together, after all! (Huh... usually couples have 8 or 9 months warning before a situation like that! Haha.)

          It's hard to believe we've known each other for 2.5 years already – since July 6, 2013! (Yes, I did look that up on Google Calendar, but not before remembering it and being pretty sure!!) It's even harder to believe that we'll be married in just over two months! I'm really looking forward to being your husband, and to you being my wife, and to making an honest pup out of Goob, and to being part of one family with you. Of course, we already are a family (how/when did

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that happen? – a mystery!), but soon everyone else will feel that way, too. So, it's been two years since I got my first tattoo, and how long since yours, 4 or 6 years?... Maybe you got it after leaving Boston. Well, we should think up something matching to get to celebrate us, as we've been planning. I feel like I want it to be something simple, awesome, classy, unique, meaningful... so many requirements, yet still so vague! Well, we could use 02.26.2016 for starters. And/or a representation of our rings. I don't know, but we have to decide soonish!

          With the start of a new year just around the corner, I always like to make plans, resolutions, etc. You know that. I haven't sat down and thought through any 2016 resolutions yet. (Not that my 2015 goal of being on time to things was particularly successful!) But here are some things I want to do in life in general, in no particular order: MARRY YOU!, hopefully have a kid or two, have a dog or two (but not 4!), have a grandkid or three, travel to Norway and Ireland (summers?) and of course Italy and anywhere else, get tenure and a handful of years later get us both jobs we love with colleagues we like and friends in a hip

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but safe (and no so backwards) area, and write a handful of operas that get performed somewhere, and see our country become more compassionate and take care of people better, and write Halloween music that people sing like Christmas carols, and both of us keep in shape and keep up with Ollie somewhat, and learn to relax and just sit on the couch with you and hang out. And I'm happy that, in thinking of all those things, I want you there with me to share in those experiences, and take me along on adventures and life goals of your own.

          I love you, and I can't want to see you and be with you again! Call me, and text me, and Yahtzee me (but don't actually get so many Yahtzees, defending champ x74!), and soon I'll be there! Take care of Ollie and yourself, and tell your parents hello for me when you see them. Bye for now!

                              Your Love,

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