Tweet Nothings

Dear Friends and Family,

Once again it’s time to reflect on the preceding year, which seems to have marched out of our lives with exceptional haste. We seem to out-do ourselves with the activity level every year. With that in mind, and since Twitter is the new government-sanctioned means of communicating vital information and policy, here’s the Milhizer year in review in bite-sized chunks. Enjoy.


That about says it. Twenty seventeen was full of adventures for all—new school for Nate, new job for Eric, piano competitions for Gus, new sport for Barbara and travels to Scotland, England, Boston, and Michigan for 7 weeks in the summer. Twenty eighteen promises to be equally as busy. Now that it has launched, hopefully Pogo Energy will continue to grow. Gus plays as a finalist in a concerto competition in January. We are traveling to the Northeast to visit college music programs over spring break, and we are looking to take a big family trip in June. We also hope to spend as many weeks in Northern Michigan this summer as we can. We wish you a wonderful holiday season and happy 2018.


The Milhizers

Obligatory Slide Show



Basket of Adorables

Dear President-elect Trump and patriotic, faithful readers of the Milhizer Christmas Letter 2016,

As time is running short and unconventional qualifications are trending, we would like to submit for your consideration our candidacy for the following cabinet posts based on our extensive experience and in-depth assumptions of the scope and responsibilities of each department.

Department of Labor:

Eric Milhizer has set a new record for the number of jobs held in 2016. In fact, his recurring re-employment is part of the reason new jobs created is at a record high! Having moved three times in the past 12 months, he has a comprehensive understanding of the labor market and especially the fickle nature of “turn-around” small companies who have, in fact, little interest in turning around. Eric’s range of experience is vast, as he his spending his “job intermission” doing quality woodworking projects and teaching himself Swift programming. #retooling!

His next confirmed role will be Driving Instructor for a local teen. Full disclosure, he was a member of the IBEW Local 538 in the summer of 1986 while re-wiring the Ford-Mazda plant in Flat Rock, Michigan; however, he has never been to China, nor has he ever knowingly employed under-age workers—mostly because he can’t get his under-age sons to do any work.

Department of Education:

Barbara Milhizer has been to private school, paid for private school, been to public school, and is in her third year of teaching in public high school. In that time, she has taught an extremely diverse student body – both AP and non-AP kids, those who drive Jeeps and those who drive Lexuses, and even one kid who actually liked The Scarlet Letter. She has tremendous experience in communicating with millennials through lectures delivered entirely via Snapchat and memes. She is adept at both teaching to the AP exam and ensuring that her juniors and seniors develop life skills, such as punctuating correctly, not nounifying words with the addition of –ment to any word, and developing a love for poetry, books, and life-long learning, while assuring their parents they will still go on to medical school. In her free-time, she grades papers, plans new lessons, and explores what additional banned books she can teach. #jobsatisfactionment

Department of Energy:

Gus Milhizer is uniquely qualified for this position, as he has more energy than has previously been measured in any individual, much less a teenager. Though having just started high school, Gus is excelling in his classes as part of the Carroll Medical Academy. He plays percussion in the band and piano in the jazz band. He auditioned for, and made, the Philharmonic for the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra, where he spends Sundays playing percussion and piano. He was named Dancer of the Year in 2016 and performs hip hop and contemporary dances with his company, DV8. And although his social media has been hacked by his parents, results only yielded extensive searches on best movies, directors, and movie quotes. He will start learning how to drive this December, allowing him to be in 2 places at once in order to accommodate his schedule.

Secretary of State:  

Nate Milhizer is a natural candidate for Secretary of State, as he has vast international experience, having already logged international trips to Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, England, Scotland, Ireland, and Canada in his short 10 years. Last March he presided over a diplomatic mission to his home country of Colombia, where he won hearts everywhere we went. He is a master negotiator and can extricate us from sticky diplomatic situations, having assured his teachers that he is “the master of getting out of things.” He can smooth over any international incidents with his natural charm, masterful magic tricks, and by playing the full Bon Jovi catalog on the guitar. Hobnobbing with the ambassador set will not be an issue, having spent his summers at sailing camp in Michigan and learning to play tennis and golf this fall.

If you are truly serious about Making America Great Again, the Milhizers are clearly the only reasonable choices to take on these positions, and we can save the taxpayers with a 4-for-1 relocation package! We’ll be waiting for the Tweet announcing our appointments…



Or, maybe we’ll just keep doing what we love, finding the joy in family and friends, reading great books, and embarking on new adventures. We’re excited for what awaits us in 2017 and wish you a year full of peace, health, joy, and love.

The Milhizers


We already paid for this promotional video; here it is (so we can write it off as campaign expenditure)


School Daze – Milhizer 2015

This year’s annual Christmas reckoning comes to you yearbook style. It was a year where Gus entered boldly into teenhood and Nate demonstrated some latent talents. My year of teaching high school English flew by, and Eric job-hopped to a great new position he’ll start right after the first of the year.

Looking back there were many accomplishments: I survived my first year of teaching and went back for a second. It’s pretty cool to spend my days talking about poetry and have someone say, “I never liked to read before” or “I love poetry!” I was honored to have been a small part of 150 kids’ lives. This year I’ve added an AP class, and I’m enjoying the challenge. I’m not sure they are, but they can address that in their own holiday letter.

Eric started a new job last August, and it served as a great learning experience leading to his new job as head of marketing for a web hosting company. He’s thrilled to be in a new industry and in a turnaround situation that is poised to do very well with a little marketing help. Eric is teaching himself Swift programming for an educational app he is developing. At the rate he’s going, it’s sure to be a hot holiday must-have come Christmas 2019.

Gus (8th grade) played his first public piano concert and wedding, spent another summer at Interlochen Arts Camp, and blew away the ACT as a 7th grader. He is still in the hip hop company and will test for his 2nd degree black belt after the holidays. He continues to be a respectful, happy-go-lucky kid, and we’re just waiting for the surly teenager to emerge.

Nate (3rd grade) started out the year with a broken big toe. Monopoly accident. Long story. Last spring, he decided to try baseball, and 2 seasons in is the lead pitcher and has several hits and runs to his credit. In his last game of the season, he pitched a no hitter. He traded in the piano for the guitar, and his only complaint is that playing the guitar makes him too popular and thus gives him “some issues with the ladies.”

As always, a major feature of our year was travel. We spent spring break in Costa Rica and took a summer trip to the northeast, hitting Boston, Maine, and Montreal. While Gus was at Interlochen, Nate and I spent a month in Northern Michigan, where we enjoyed all things cherry-enhanced.

The upcoming year promises to be as eventful. Spring break will take us to Colombia. It will be our first time back since adopting Nate. We’ll be in Northern Michigan again for a month this summer, and who knows where else in June. This year will bring Nate braces and Gus to high school. It will provide both Eric and myself career challenges and rewards (hopefully Eric’s will be more economically advantageous than mine, but mine make for awfully entertaining stories).

We wish you a happy, healthy 2016. Roll film…

-The Milhizers

Milhizers in Europe 2013

Follow us on our journey to 3 of my all-time favorite cities. I had the great experience of living and studying in Munich my junior year of college. I have not been back to these cities in 20 years. So, it seemed like the perfect opportunity when the boys complained they were not invited to our trip to Turkey 2 years ago. It was dubbed the Mozart/Castle/Beer Tour. Something for everyone! Here’s how the trip rated for each of its intrepid travelers:

Barbara: Still amazing cities. Even better on a post-college travel budget. Can still rock the German and the chocolate croissant.

Eric: Beer. Pretzels. Milka Bars. He’s in.

Gus: Museums, concerts, subways! Already knows 30 useful phrases in Czech and is deciding where to be an exchange student first.

Nate: Walked those little legs everywhere with little complaint.  Thumbs up.

Snootpourri: Part 1

I’ve got several bones to pick but no uniting theme other than, it’s what I’m thinking about this week and what some of you requested.

First, I need to address an old request to innumerate the most annoying consulting terms. I have to admit I have been avoiding this one. It seems a little like eating my young given this is how I make my living. If I divulge my secret that what we say is rarely meaningful or comprehensible, that might impact me negatively. And revenues from snootycall, delightful though it is, won’t pay the bills.

As a sacrifice to entertainment, friends, here goes…

1. Sniff test

If I don’t know what it is, I’m sure not sticking my nose in it to find out.

2. Paradigm shift 

Holy hyperbole! Font changes are not paradigm shifts. The Zombie Apocalypse is a paradigm shift. Wait for it.

3. Copacetic

Unless you find yourself on a spiritual journey and weaving hemp sandals, just don’t.

4. Metrics, bi-yatch!

Ok, I’ve never said that, but I’ve often thought it.

5. Strawman

I don’t even know what that means, but sometimes I’ll use it clearly out of context just to see if anyone else does.

6. (Insert Any Adjective) Leadership

There is always a new book touting a super-secret, previously undiscovered, completely revolutionary (!) way to be a jackass and get people to do your bidding. A better approach would be Don’t-be-a-Jackass Leadership. It’s not new, super-secret, or revolutionary, but it is rare and inconvenient, I know.

7. Verbifying nouns, e.g., “bonused” as in The managers were bonused on their performance. Sounds unpleasant.

8. Nounification of verbs like leverage and Impact, as in A sure way to impact your billable hours is to leverage vocabulary to baffle your client.

9. File under over-used: Core Values. I’ve never seen a company without 4 out of the 5 same values in various forms. Just once I’d like to see Fancy Pants on the list.

Ok, fellow PeopleResults, Accenture, and consultant snoots, I know you have my back on this one. Bring us home with your favorite nuggets.