Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas from the Claytors 2015

What’s up!  All you Selfie-Stick using, Trump praising, DeflateGate Conspiracy Theorists better strap in for the bestest holiday letter you’re going to read this year!  At least this week.  OK, maybe just the most convenient one for the day, whatever day “today” happens to be.  I know…I tend to overreach sometimes.

He finished up Middle School, and Colin is officially a Prospect High School Knight.  He continued rocking steady, playing guitar and singing with his band The Difference.  In addition to playing school dances and a couple sets at local bars and festivals, they won a local Battle of the Bands, which qualified them to compete in a similar event at a seedy nightclub in Chicago (that growed ‘em up real quick!)  To round out the wholesomeness, he played Mr. Banks in the middle school production of Mary Poppins, as well as multiple supporting roles in Spotlight Theater’s Les Miserables.  So with that balance, we should be able to postpone any candlelight vigils for The Boy…at least for now!  

Caitlin had a fun ending to her second year at University of Illinois, joining her choir to perform at a Foreigner concert, and somehow wound up on stage playing bass with the band.  Yeah, it was that kind of year.  She spent another summer at home working at Dad’s office, and scored a gig singing the National Anthem at a Schaumberg Boomer’s baseball game.  Again, random amiright?  She then headed off to her 3rd year at the school, working toward a Music Education Degree.  Making one more step toward adulthood, she’s moved into an apartment with fellow members of The Marching Illini.  She’s been promoted to a Squad Leader and participated in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Please…PLEASE someone tell her this level of charmed life is NOT NORMAL!    

What is there to say about Otter?  He’s enjoying the quiet life of a house dog, and there’s not a bed or couch that’s safe from his epic naptime.  The comings and goings of teenagers, rock bands, and renaissance recorder players, and play dates with his next door buddy Riley doesn’t seem to faze him at all.  Good Dog!

Kelly has finished up work at the hospital and is off to bigger and better challenges starting in the New Year.  In the meantime she’s still writing and in between mandatory periods on the disabled list due to repeated broken feet and toes, she joined the Barrington July 4th Parade with the Hoofed Animal Rescue and Protection Society.  She also took a few summer nature hikes with The Boy to just get him out of the house, and hit a home run scheduling an awesome (and much needed) restful cabin vacation with Chris in Big Bay (UP) Michigan.  And lest anyone has dared forget her wicked, evil, humbling route setter skills…just swing by Vertical Endeavors and ask for one of her climbs, labeled under her super spy alias “Sally”.  Do ya feel lucky, punk?  DO YA ?      

He hasn’t run into traffic just yet…but that might be because Chris was on the move more than usual and couldn’t find a busy enough street.  In addition to route setting and clinics, he joined the revival of No Holds Barred Climbing Competition, again serving as MC.  After taking the family on super fun vacation to a friend’s Wisconsin lake house, he jetted off to Holland for a week to train some new airline staff.  That went so well, he was sent again to Germany for more of the same because speaking Dutch and German in the same month is like super easy.  Back in the states, recorder playing with The Baron’s Noyse included an actual wedding gig.  That’s right…GIG.  Someone actually paid him to wear Ren Fair clothing and play in a recorder trio for 2 hours.  Some people will do anything for love.

If there’s an emoji to truly express our holiday wishes to adoring fans, we haven’t found it.  Cactus, Pie Slice, Fist Bump, Soccer Ball, we love you!

Chris, Kelly, Caitlin, Colin, and Otter!