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Dearest family, friends and major American cities, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Can you believe 2016 is already nearly over? It’s especially hard for us to kiss this year goodbye. Not only are we so busy, but unlike some of y’all up north, our late-fall weather is so mild and gorgeous—no snow or freezing temperatures down here! It almost makes us want to take a leisurely stroll to the coffee shop just down the street. But we always end up driving the SUV, ha!

Anyway, time really flies when Ted Cruz is out-of-state on the campaign trail and not hanging around making awkward conversation after church. Maybe that’s why this has truly been an incredible year for us here on the Gulf Coast—where to start? Nothing has made us more proud this year than the continued success of our beloved Beyoncé, who continues to light up and amaze the world with her beauty and talent. This year she broke Madonna’s record for the most VMAs won in a single night (eight!), became a CFDA Fashion Icon and earned over $210 million for her Formation world tour (through August, at least), not to mention designing an athleisure collection and inspiring us each to lose 20 pounds! Everyone in Houston is literally flawless now. Solange put out a new record, too, which we think is wonderful. It’s so important to have hobbies.

We’re equally proud of our adopted native son, J.J. Watt, who not only won his third Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2016, but also continued his journey to becoming one of the most handsome and hilarious entertainers of the new millennium by hosting the CMT Music Awards and making some fun cameos in sitcoms. He did injure his back, but lucky for us he’s still in so many commercials we hardly noticed he wasn’t on the field.

We want to share our sincere thanks for your thoughts and prayers for us a year ago, when oil prices were falling off a cliff. Everyone was saying we were in for a major recession, and while admittedly the local economy has cooled off a little—I guess we can’t be at the top of the Forbes list of Best Cities for Jobs every year—things seem fine, if not better than ever. Honestly, it was exhausting trying to figure out what to do with all that $100/barrel money even with all the new luxury stores constantly opening everywhere. Anyway, since the downturn we’ve been having an amazing time bargain-shopping at the Marshall’s on West Gray and going to Caracol for happy hour instead of dinner. Being on a budget is such a hoot!

Speaking of fine dining, as you know, since 2009 we’ve decided that being a “foodie” is our new hobby, in addition to hunting, watching football and voting down equal rights. As it turns out, we’re really good at it! We’ve always said we had amazing taste, haven’t we? For example, three years ago, we’d never heard of a James Beard Award, and now we’ve won two in a row! We’re just #blessed to have such amazing restaurants, chefs and food traditions (that’s a foodie phrase we just learned!).

Of course we still love our barbecue, breakfast tacos and queso, which we mention because don’t you miss queso? We’re eating some right now. It’s Christmas queso, which is the same as regular queso, but we add extra red and green bell peppers and enjoy it on the patio. (Again, sorry about all that snow up north! Yuck!) We hope your year was as perfect and inspiring as ours, and wish you all the best in 2017! 

With Love, Houston

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