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Dear Dennys waitress, did you know that my daughters want to be you when they grow up? They’ve carried around their little notepads taking our food orders all week. It’s a little disturbing for Jeremy and I that our kids aspiration is to work at Dennys, though. Dear sewing machine, as it turns out, I’ve been mistreating you for all these years. I haven’t changed your needle even once. Or cleaned you. Please don’t quit on me now, though. I have about forty new projects lined up. I promise I’ll get some canned air the next time I go to the store if you just quit jumbling the thread all up. Dear self, please make a mental note that a child’s purpose in making a gingerbread house is not to create something beautiful. It’s also not to do something fun together as a family. The one and only reason they participate is to eat the candy. So next year remember to pass up the fancy pre-made kits with the stale, inedible candy and instead put hours and hours into making your own gingerbread walls so the kids can devour seventeen pounds of sugar while “decorating.” Dear 2011, I think what I’ll remember most about you is how the summer tried to scorch us all to death. But I’ll forgive you if you just give us a little snow. Even a few flakes would be acceptable. Dear husband, hands down, my favorite memory of 2011 is still thanks to you and the boat that came around the bend in Oklahoma. Funniest story ever.  Ever.