christmas letter 2020

Twenty-twenty, am I right? Phew, what a year for us all. We have experienced loss, grief, smiles and laughter, a whole bunch of video calls and meetings, and by the grace of God, deep joy. We pray that you and your loved ones are healthy and whole, and that you are able to find contentment and thankfulness wherever you find yourself this holiday season. Here’s a little glimpse into what has gone down in the Butterfras household over the last year.

This year started out as any other. We had big dreams and plans for travel, and surprisingly, a small part of that came to life. In February, I (Tiffany) had the incredible opportunity to travel with my boss and a group of teammates to Houston (hey!) for a weekend training in Les Mills The TRIP. This is a cycling class experience that knocked my socks off. Definitely the most fun I’ve EVER had exercising, and an incredible weekend training with some of the best teammates a girl could ask for. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the construction of our The TRIP studio has been put on hold, but I’m still reeling from this program and can’t wait for it to come to our club.

I still work at VillaSport, although we all did take a break there for a few months between March-July. During that time, I launched a Facebook LIVE online workout group, and recruited both old and new colleagues to offer free workouts every single day during lockdown. It was a really sweet community, and we came together in ways we could and lifted each other up via video stream. It was super fun, but I am REALLY glad to be back to in-person classes, even if we do have to wear a mask while exercising. ;)

Ryan is now working from home for Compassion International; a mandate that started because of COVID-19 and was offered as an option to continue once businesses started opening back up. We’re really thankful to have him home, as the boys love wrestling and working out with dad during his lunch breaks. Working from home presented its challenges for sure, but I think we’re finally getting into the swing of this new routine, and enjoying the time together.

Jude will be 5 in January, and is the extrovert of our family. His preschool shut down in March, and we decided to not re-enroll him in the fall. He’s definitely missing his friends and the interaction he’s used to. We’ve taken up doing more walks in the neighborhood and playing outside every chance we get. Thankfully, we’ve seen family even more this year than in years past, which is something he looks forward to, and counts down the days for our next visitors. He’s very much obsessed with dinosaurs and knows a ridiculous amount of information on the topic. He loves reading books and learning as much as he can about prehistoric creatures.

Jake turned 2 in September, and he’s our spitfire child. He’s always on the move; like, literally moving even when he sleeps. He knows what he wants and sets his mind to it. He has the cutest giggle, loves to wrestle and dance, and his favorite is playing in the car with Jude. He is tiny but strong. We’re so thankful for both our boys and have loved watching their relationship grow this year.

We were still able to vacation with Ryan’s side of the family in July in Destin, FL, although our plans to extend the trip and go to Disney World had to be cancelled (something Jude is not letting us forget, and is determined to do as soon as it’s safe again). We loved getting to see family and spend some time on the beach playing volleyball, kayaking, and riding waves. It was Jake’s first time to be in sand, which he was not a fan of at first, but both the boys ended up having a blast once they got used to it (much different terrain than they’re used to up here in the mountains).

At the end of July, two of my nieces, along with my parents, came to visit as a celebration trip, as Bekah graduated high school and Bethany turned 13. We had an amazing time hiking in the Rockies, visiting Boulder, staying in Denver, and playing lots of Catan. We’re very excited to be visiting my side of the family for Christmas (after self quarantining as much as possible, of course).

We had several other friends and family come visit us this year for just a weekend or several weeks! We always love when we can host friends and show off this beautiful state. Come visit us soon! Our door is open as soon as it’s safe to hang out in groups again.

2020 has rocked our worlds in more ways than one. COVID-19 definitely shook the way we live and interact with each other. It also slowed us down enough to pay attention to the injustices happening around us. Around the end of March, Ryan and I decided to start a podcast where we would host guests to tell their story, and stand in the space and margins that our society has built, and listen. We just finished season 1, which focused on racial matters. We interviewed 25 incredible people, and are completely honored that we were able to learn from them and share their stories. If you’d like to take a listen, you can find us at OnlyUsPod.com.

While quarantining restricted us in many ways, it also taught us many things. How to love our neighbors and care for them better. How to esteem others higher than ourselves. How to work together and sacrifice our preferences for the good of our community. How to take our time with our families instead of always rushing around to the next thing. How to live together and how to be patient. How to be creative with staying in touch and care for each other from a distance. How to cherish the time we do get to spend together.

As this year comes to a close, it’s ok to feel a sense of relief to watch it go. Let’s give ourselves some grace, and remember that we made it through, and sometimes, that is enough. As we walk forward, let’s stop to remember for a moment the good that was experienced this year, even if it’s small or hard to find. The gift of life is one that I’ve been reminded to treasure in some heartbreaking ways, but a gift I hope we don’t neglect to give thanks for each day. There truly is good in each day, and joy to be shared with everyone we get to encounter, whether it be in person, through a mask, or through a screen.

We are so thankful for each one of you, and as we reflect, we pray that you find the love and peace of Christ everywhere you look. We pray that you are met with joy when you wake in the morning, and that this coming year brings many opportunities to behold the goodness of God and his beauty in our world.

Much love to you,
The Butterfras Family

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