Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Year End Review (aka The Christmas Letter)

First let me say that I struggle with the cheese factor in most Christmas letters. While I appreciate (and truly enjoy) getting the news of the year from the friends and family we do not see often enough or who live far away, I am always a little embarrassed (in my own attempts at writing "the letter") at the "look at me, my kids, my spouse - we're so great!" factor. So please forgive me if the following is either too boring (in an attempt at modesty) or too wildly boastful (as I do think my husband, kids and life are pretty great)...have I mentioned that I really do not like doing these letters? Here is my attempt at a look back over 2007 -

2007 began with a birthday celebration. H, B and C turned three in early January and we marveled at the seemingly warp speed of their growth and development. The boys are doing incredibly well and have become increasingly independent and unique. They are distinctly different despite sharing a birthday and we continue to watch in awe as they forge ahead each in their own way. They began attending a Montessori pre-school this year and have developed a whole new range of interests. Some shared achievements include swimming (they learned how last year and have been little fish ever since), riding bikes (see X games explanation below), basketball (Santa brought a new, taller goal and jerseys!), golf (all three have just mastered hitting over the creek at our home course and are very proud of this), all X games sports (we may have been premature in allowing the viewing of these extreme sports as C now regularly attempts to re-create what he has seen), football (genetically predisposed to this), baseball (played at Parks and Rec last spring) and soccer (will play this spring), books (we are regulars at our local library) and music (they are each very specific about what they like but group favorites are Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, Bob Marley and The Ramones).

H, our first born (he shares this fact proudly with anyone who might ask about birth order) is eager to please. He is generally happy, silly and kind. He is a great help to Mommy and Daddy and his brothers as well. He's quick to lend a hand, give a hug and has a smile and a laugh that are contagious. He loves school. Gravitating towards numbers lessons, he has surprised us with his ability to figure things out in mathematical way. He is always counting, adding or subtracting and can often be heard whispering numbers to himself as he drifts off to sleep at night. It's too soon to tell for sure, but we're hopeful that his math mind will get him into school on scholarship and lessen the financial shock of putting three children through college...a mother can hope :) H also had his first legitimate injury requiring emergency attention. He proudly sported 4 staples in his head at the end of the summer. The only disadvantage (in his world) was that he was unable to swim for 10 days.

B is our cautious observer. Thoughtful and wise beyond his age, he has opinions and ideas that are both exciting and scary (for me anyway). I am frequently caught so off guard by his keen perception of things that I am speechless (literally) and wonder how on earth I will be able to keep up with his intellect and wit as he matures. Inquisitive and full of joy, he has discovered a true passion for books. He has a list of things he wants to find out about at every library visit and has quickly discovered that anything he desires to know is available in a book somewhere. Recently, his quest for understanding has led to numerous books about volcanoes, bugs, tigers and snowboarding. A natural athlete, B is the fastest runner of the group and will challenge anyone he meets to a foot race. He also really likes girls (I guess he did not get the cooties memo that most boys his age are aware of). A serious flirt, he talks about the girls he's going to marry (there are several - yikes!) often.

C...if you have ever read this blog before, you know that C is a bit of a risk taker. Okay, actually he is all out crazy (in a good way). He's had an eventful year with no less than a zillion injuries (only one requiring a trip to the ER). Somehow this does not deter him. He continues to move forward at warp speed and if he thinks some feat of insanity can be accomplished, he is the first to try it out. Fearless and free spirited, he keeps us all on the edge of our seats. Silliness and laughter are his constant companions. And the boy can really dance! If there is even a hint of music to be heard, his body cannot be still. A serious eater, we are continually amazed at the amount of food this (our smallest baby at birth) child can put away in one sitting. Anyone own a grocery store, a farm? Want to "feed the children"? I already fear the grocery bill when he is a teenager.

Speaking of food and farms, we had the privilege of being part of a CSA again this year. Weekly visits to Cane Creek Farm were full of adventure as the boys enjoyed exploring every nook and cranny. This has been a real blessing to buy our food locally. It is an opportunity for the boys to understand where our food is coming from, that our health, our environment and our local community all benefit from our choices and to support local agriculture. Weekly trips to the farm, summer at the pool, two trips the beach, a visit to Grandma Rose's "farm" in NC and a visit to see cousins in Arkansas along with several visitors (cousins and friends) have filled our year up with memories.

Kelly has begun a new position, with a new company (he actually began his career there over 10 years ago). A long year of work related stress culminated in a brief hospitalization that caused us both to take inventory of what really matters. While contemplating and praying about how to make lifestyle changes for his health and overall well being, this new opportunity was presented (unsolicited) that seems to be exactly what he needed to begin making change. Of course, the transition into something new is not without it's own challenges and stressors. We remain hopeful that this door was opened at just the right time because it is where he is meant to be now. Since this is a "brag" letter, I should mention that Kelly and his good friend Mike Nance won the member-guest golf tournament at Barnsley Gardens in June. It was a great weekend of fun and celebration and a welcome few days of rest for me too!

And for the grand finale, I've enjoyed this year of growth and challenge as the mother of three little boys. We are immensely blessed to be here and very much look forward to another year of adventure and joy. Check back for updates as the year progresses...I am trying to be more frequent with the posts - we'll see how it goes. I am actually pretty amazed that this is getting posted before mid-year! Hope this finds you all well. Wishing you a prosperous and very happy new year....


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