A belated holiday letter from us to you!
Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! We hope you had a wonderful 2011. Here’s a glimpse of our year, categorized by venue and starting with life…
Around the house… where, this year, the evidence of imagination is everywhere! Daily, we watch the kids transform the ottoman into a pirate ship, the chairs into a doctor’s waiting room, the hallways into wedding aisles & the backyard into an African jungle. The action? Inspiring. The aftermath? Well, let’s just say there is no point in trying to “tidy” a pirate ship or a jungle (or at least that’s my excuse to myself & anyone who visits…)
T (18 months) is now walking & beginning to talk, and it’s no surprise that his first consistent words were “whoa!” (i.e. “I’m excited!”) & “night night” (i.e. “These people wear me out…”) He is the foil in many of his sister’s productions, at least when he’s not busy obsessing over cars, trains, books, family photos or pacifiers (one in his mouth; a spare in his hand!) He is at that precious moment of transition from cuddly baby to toddler-on-the-go, which leaves us savoring the snuggles, admiring the independence, & defending everything within reach. Currently, the only thing he shows zero interest in is his high chair, where his newest word (“no”) & phrase (“yuck, yuck, pfffttt”) have made it almost impossible to feed this lovable, huggable guy.
S (3) and E (5) are most often in their princess costumes, inviting us into a magical world where gifts hidden too well in a box of packing peanuts mean “Nana sent us snow for Christmas!” In addition to representing pure goodness (e.g. offering our nativity scene Jesus a room in their doll house), they constantly entertain and amuse us with their blend of impressive imagination and ever-increasing real world knowledge (one telling quote: “We have to run from the mean witch! Head for the woods! And don’t forget to bring the GPS!”)
For those wondering about the parental presence in these productions, mom is part stage-hand (“Yes, I can clean dog poop off your glitter shoe…”), part villain (“Bedtime!”) and – on one occasion – a hero (when she affirmed E’s response to the Orkin man who told us he’d be happy to kill all our dandelions. E’s words: “No! We use those flowers to make wishes! Don’t let him, mom!”) Of course, dad’s role is that of prince charming, which is ironic since he is always kissing the kids, except when he is worried that doing so might actually wake them up.
When not playing together or with T, the girls are pursuing their own interests. E loves to run (anywhere), draw (princesses and fairies), organize (things and people), perform (in costume, with a microphone), and help her mama bake cookies (but not clean up! In her words “I’m E; not CinderE”). She is pure joy, eternally enthusiastic, and a jumping-up-and-down, open-armed, caregiver to all. This year, E has asked Santa for 101 real dalmation puppies, a request that has her parents seeing spots (& not the kind of spots E wants…)
S is more likely to be playing music (drums or piano), setting a table (for her 15 dolls – all named some variation of “Angie”), collecting (fuzz & pennies), painting (on any canvas, including her brother), and using her craft scissors (to cut paper, but also necklaces, and on one occasion her hair). She remains eternally passionate (about everything), infinitely lovable (and loving), and greets the world with her head cocked, a hand on her hip and a twinkle in her eye. At the age of 3, she calls everything just like she sees it. Recently one assessment warmed our hearts when she told her dad he was “the best dad in the whole world… even Disneyworld”.
Around town: You may have seen us taking E to Kindergarten, choir or space camp… S to preschool, playgroup, or princess dance camp… or T (my traveling buddy) to all those places plus his own playgroup at church. If we’re not at those locations, try any UNC athletic event, where dad embraces both a job he loves and the opportunity to “take your family to work” on gamedays (despite S’ assertion that we’d get more milkshakes if he worked at our local, and much beloved, Chick-Fil-A).
Elsewhere: Trips to NY (including Niagara Falls!), the NC coast (& its turtle rescue center!), GA (the Santa train!), and anywhere else the kids’ imaginations take us. We are hoping 2012 will take us into 2 national titles (Bama football! UNC hoops!) & close to many of you.
And finally, from the deepest part of our hearts… we are sending our very best to you and yours for a Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year! God’s Blessings and the Peace of Christ to you all!
Mom, Dad, E, S & T