Happy Holidays, with Love from the Kaputs

Monday, December 25, 2017

This post is a copy of the holiday letter Mike & I sent out to family & friends... & the image above is the front of the card we sent. Oops - though, luckily, we sent out very few of them because we were too tired (from sending wedding invitations, thank-you notes, etc.) to do a full-on Christmas card mailing this year. 

Anyway. Mike wrote this letter, so it's in his voice, & parts have been redacted for publication here. Happy holidays, friends.


Friends, family, compatriots,

Growing up, both Kate and I loved receiving annual holiday letters from friends and family. These letters, which recounted the joys, successes, and milestones of the previous year, were just one more way to stay present in the lives of our loved ones, near and far.

Today, we’re blessed to have friends and family all over the world. Though we all share the joys and sorrows of everyday life online, we thought it’d be a lovely tradition to send our own holiday letter to give you the big picture view of our family’s year.

So, let’s get to it: 2017 was, to put it mildly, a hell of a year. The biggest news, of course, was the dizzying rise of the price of bitcoin.

Just kidding! The biggest news was that we got married! (Though seriously, check out bitcoin.) We sincerely could not have imagined a better way to celebrate our union than with the people we love most.

Most people know that Kate and I count our friends as family, and on November 11, we were lucky enough to be surrounded by the best family imaginable. Most people also know that a few years ago, both Kate and I would’ve put “getting married” low on our list of likely things to happen in the near future, so it’s an understatement to say that “finding your person and marrying them” was such a pleasant surprise.

In fact, we’re so eager to start our first full year of married life together that we accidentally ordered holiday cards that say 2018. The future is, quite literally, now.

2017 was also notable in a number of other ways.

We attended beautiful weddings that took us all over the country, including New Orleans, which is most certainly haunted, and Washington, D.C., which is definitely in need of an exorcism. In May, we moved into a new apartment and decided to call it our home for the next few years while we ease into this whole “being adults” thing. We also adopted a second cat, which is enough responsibility for now. (Our cats are named Helo and Dora. Helo is named after a character in the 21st-century reboot of the science fiction show Battlestar Galactica; Dora is short for Nymphadora, a character in the Harry Potter series. None of this should be shocking to anyone reading this letter.)

For Kate, 2017 brought amazing new opportunities and experiences. Kate has been blogging steadily for 10+ years, maintaining a blog that showcases her beautiful complexities, amazing characteristics, and unique insight on the world. Personal writing is like a window into a person’s soul, which meant Mike, who read most of her blog after their first date, fell in love before Date #2. (Thankfully, this worked out.)

This year, Cleveland Plus named Kate one of the top Cleveland top bloggers to follow, so now, when people on the internet want to know more about CLE, they can more easily find her blog, which we can all agree is the role she was born to play in the blogosphere. (Check her out at www.greatestescapist.com)

This year, Kate was also published on Alma, Localeur, and in Cleveland Magazine; this is in addition to her full-time job. In her spare time, she fit in seeing Billy Joel in concert and reading 75+ books. The sad part is that 75 books is 25 fewer books than she read last year. That is not a joke.

Last but not least, we were overjoyed to celebrate the retirement of Kate’s mother, Joyce, after serving as head of the children’s department at the local library for 16 and ½ years. Joyce continues to be a bright and beloved light in her community — and is a better dancer than both of us.

Mike, on the other hand, is lucky he managed to stay alive, free of incarceration, and gainfully employed in 2017. (Calm down guys, it’s kind of a joke.)

Mike continues to work as a consultant at an online marketing agency, where he puts Don Draper to shame. His pet project focuses educating marketing professionals about artificial intelligence. So far, it has attracted significant interest from key players in AI, led to high-profile speaking gigs, and even gotten some paying sponsors. Not too bad for a passion project he’s been developing on the side.

Mike has, this year alone, started writing two novels that will probably never be finished. One is a sci-fi thriller of AI run amok; the other is a young adult fantasy novel in the vein of Harry Potter. He’s also spent a huge amount of time trying to learn more about real estate and understand cryptocurrencies. On this last point, he’s become fond of saying that there are two types of friends: friends who humor his discussions of bitcoin, and people who used to be friends. He makes this joke before crying himself to sleep at night.

On Mike’s side of the family, we were been truly blessed to watch Mike’s sister Maggie graduation from Ohio University in May. The entire Kaput clan made the trip to Athens to watch Maggie walk. It has been one of the proudest moments of Mike’s life to watch his sister grow into a smart and talented young woman.

Thank you for taking the time to read about our family, support us in our endeavors, and make our lives so rich and full of joy. To reward you for reading such a lengthy letter, here some of the books we loved this year that you may want to read yourself:

Kate recommends: Everybody’s Son by Thrity Umrigar (a Clevelander!); The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas; and Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. Mike recommends: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashley Vance; The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials Into Triumph by Ryan Holiday; and Red Rising by Pierce Browne.

We can’t wait for the adventures 2018 has to offer. Until then, we wish you and your loved ones a holiday filled with joy, warmth, and good tidings toward all humankind (or most of it, depending on your mood). Above all, we wish you presence. We spend most of our time thinking about the days to come, but the days happening now are the most valuable things any of us own. We hope you’re able to sit back and savor these treasures.

Mike & Kate

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