Merry Christmas, everyone. Troy here.
We’re trying something new with this year’s Klongerbo Christmas letter. Instead of trying to cram 100 words on a card to capture an entire year’s worth of events (and ruining Sarah’s cute layout), we decided to go with a full Christmas letter, posted online.
If you’re reading this, welcome.
As you may have read on our physical Christmas card, our 2021 had some ups and downs.
Most of those were packed into a 50-day stretch starting in May, when Sarah and I found out we would be growing our family, only to learn two months later that we had lost our little baby.
The highs, then the lows.
Sarah wrote about it better than I ever could, so you can read her story.
If you’ve experienced this type of loss, you understand it’s quite complicated. As we’ve talked with friends and family who have gone ahead of us in losing a baby, the reactions are far and wide.
My biggest reaction: that of disappointment.
You just get your hopes up.
Beyond that, as men, we don’t know where our responsibility lies. The thing that felt the best for me was to just sit by my wife as she cried. Rarely shy to open my mouth, I healed by sitting in the silence with her.
It was a reflective summer.
As for work, we’re both mostly “out on our own” now.
Sarah is killing it as a freelancer, where she designs websites and writes copy for businesses, putting her love for words to the test. You can learn more about her work here on her website (where this letter is posted!).
Sarah transitioned away from her full-time agency job at the end of last year and now works about 50/50 time — partly on her freelance work, and partly for an advertising agency called Till. She loves the team she works with at Till (remotely; she’s the only one from South Dakota) and enjoys the creative work.
As for me, I’m still plugging away with Fisheye Marketing, where we celebrated five years earlier this summer. Hey, five years ain’t nothing to slouch at!
It’s such a blessing to have meaningful work and to strive toward building something bigger than yourself. Fisheye has had its own highs and lows, its own triumphs and bumps… but this is a Christmas letter, not a LinkedIn page or business website. (Actually, this is a business website, but I digress.)
Also, I started working in the world of e-commerce, alongside my bro-in-law Matthew. We’ve been shipping boxes across the country, selling bee foundations. Ask me about it in person. Like I said, this is a Christmas letter.
Now that we’ve got some highs, some lows, and our careers out of the way, there were a few other things we did this year that I’m sure those of you who don’t follow us on social media would love to learn more about.
In early February, one of my longest-standing golf buddies and I made the trek to the coast of Oregon to check off one of North America’s meccas of golf: Bandon Dunes.
Word count doesn’t matter in an online Christmas letter, so I know I can type forever about this trip without any repercussions… but I’ll save you all the strained eyes and summarize that it was absolutely amazing experience (even though we did a little too much, playing all five golf courses in just three days, all in the soaking rain and wind).
Late February carried with it the passing of Sarah’s grandmother, Helen Munce, after a long bout with Alzheimer’s disease. Anyone who knows the disease understands the feelings toward the end of the journey with it, but Sarah and her siblings honored her amazingly at a small family funeral in February, where they all contributed to the service.
Again, Sarah said it all better than I could if you want to read more.
Now, for some Klongerbo travel news…
As you all probably know by now, we Klongerbos like to travel. (Admittedly, probably Sarah even more than I.) But we do our best to get around and see what’s beyond the Klongerbo backyard fence and the walls of our downtown offices.
Golf did what it did.
I played tournaments; Sarah came and caddied when she was able. I don’t think I played a single round of note all summer. Is this what getting older looks like? That I just play averagely crummy golf the rest of my days? Sheesh, I hope not.
But hey, any time you get to travel around and drag the sticks, that’s always a plus — regardless of the quality of play. That said, I think I enjoy golf now in my 30s more than I ever have. I hope each decade does that for me. I say that sincerely.
In September, Sarah and I did another thing we’ve never done before: a “workation” at the Schock family cabin in the Black Hills.
We hauled our computers out and simply worked, read, walked, hiked, and reflected. (And saw a few thousand buffalo storm a valley in Custer at the annual Buffalo Roundup.)
It was a fantastic week — a quiet week — that I know we’ll relish having memories of.
And to finish the year, we sprinkled in a bit more travel with our biggest trip of the year. For Sarah’s 30th birthday and our sixth wedding anniversary, we did an East Coast road trip.
We flew into Philadelphia (what’s up, Dill and Krissy), took the Amtrak to New York City (heyo, Levi and Suzy), drove to the Berkshires and upstate Connecticut (fantastic meal, aunt Barbara and cousin Ingrid), and cruised down to Rhode Island for a few calm days on Aquidneck Island.
There were highlights everywhere on this trip, but here were a few:
It was awesome. Want more? Scroll back through Sarah’s Instagram, or ask us next time you see us.
In November, we were able to cap off the year with the Klongerbo family in Eagle River, Wisconsin.
It was the first time that Grandma June’s entire family was under the same roof in many years (my guess would be at least eight). It was an amazing time of connection and family.
We even took pictures of the group. Here, look at us:
We are so blessed. God has decided to be so generous with us.
Even through the trials of life, we’re seeing how He works and where He moves. His love for us is so deep, and as we’ve pursued Him, we’ve found that our marriage has continued to get stronger each and every year.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday and a wonderful 2022 ahead.
— Troy (and Sarah… and Pali)
P.S. If you didn’t receive a physical card from us and want one next year, please email us so we can update your address.
P.P.S. If all that weren’t enough, you can check out a few other highlights from our year in the photos below.
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