Sunday, January 20, 2013

2008 Christmas Letter

Hello friends and family!
We began 2008 with a family cruise around the Mediterranean. . . no wait, that wasn’t us.  ;)  We began 2008 with Dan turning 32 and with me turning 30 (celebrated by eating Chinese food out of boxes and staring dully at a Patriots game with male family members while my girls enjoyed ice cream.)  Dan handled his more advanced state with aplomb and adequate cake.  I, on the other hand, may be increasing in age, and possibly in wisdom, but certainly am not doing so gracefully.  Those of you on Facebook have stopped reading by now, being weary of my ramblings already and my all-too-frequent status updates, as when I thoughtfully inform the browsing world when I am tired, desire brownies, or have accomplished a minor domestic task (such as conquering the dishwasher.)  These same long-suffering friends know that I posted my reflections on 30ness on my Wall (yes, on my own Wall) . . . and I have now lost the non-Facebook half of my audience.  Okay, suffice it to say that I tried, unsuccessfully, to gloat about how proud I was to have survived for so long under the harsh conditions of life in New England, and to fashion myself an undying optimist.  
Following this riotous celebration of my significant natal anniversary—I’ve only complained about the method of partying once or twice, really—I decided I wanted to ski for the first time, since 30 is the new 10 and all.  So my parents kindly took the kids, and Dan and I cruised the bunny slope.  I proudly succeeded in stiffly and screamingly sliding down the hill, without crashing into any undesirable objects or persons, very gradually stopping when friction finally overtook my skis.  I only went down backwards once. 
The next landmark event (other than my teaching the rest of the year at Montessori school) we visited family and some friends in Virginia during April vacation, stopping by D.C. to see the Smithsonian and what was left of the flowering cherry trees.  In May, the family trekked up to New Hampshire for our first visit to the delights of Storyland; the rain really limited the lines, and I found that—while I shy away from the real thing—my girls and I really like kiddie coasters and “flying fish” rides.  This summer, we took advantage of the fact that we live in RI, and got to spend plenty of time at the beach with Dels (google it, you non-New Englanders!J )  I also took a course in Child Development; since I’ve already watched my two blossom from babyhood, I thought it would be an easy A.  No, no, I’m just trying to complete my degree in Early Childhood (I’ve been working in primary grades ever since I got my MSed, go figure.) 
Of course, this September I ended up freelancing and consulting from home.  I never usually contradict myself, but . . . I love teaching, but I’m so glad to not be teaching right now.  J  (Well, I teach CCD, but that’s only an eight kid class once a week.) Tearfully sent Annemarie off to first grade (all of one block away) where she merrily has been walking every weekday since.  We all walk her to school of course, and ended up walking to more places than usual because September was also the month that some individuals borrowed our car indefinitely. 
For those who have not had the privilege of first-hand experience, it is very annoying to have one’s car stolen.  And not only did our Honda leave us without a word of farewell from its grimy carpet or crayoned walls, it just so happened (as is truly not usually the case) to contain my purse, safely concealed in the trunk and forgotten after a late night at swimming lessons.  And therein (as is also not usually the case) was my digital camera, containing whimsical shots I’m sure the thieves would find diverting, to be precise, about 97 pictures of my daughter on her first day of school.
I think we handled it well.  One of the first things I did, upon hearing of the car’s absence, was to walk around the driveway waving my arms, saying, “But it was right there!!  Right there!” I went placidly through the stages of grieving, daily thinking it would turn up in our driveway, possibly renovated and with a sympathy card.  Then came anger, as I contemplated the demise of the miscreants . . . Then acceptance.  I went out and started a Neighborhood Crime Watch, and have befriended several local officers. 
Many people were kind enough to pray for us, and sought to console us, mostly by saying one of two things: 1.  It could have been worse.  (Someone even reminded me that my kids could have been in the car.)  2.  Look for the blessing!  (Let’s see . . . I lost a car, but gained a neighborhood . . . ? :)  I eventually concluded that everything we own is being Divinely lent to us, and now the Almighty is lending my 1994 Honda Civic, with the dented hood, to someone else.
Poor saps.
Dan is doing well working in Providence.  His company is weathering the recent fun of the economy pretty well, thank God, which we earnestly hope is the case with all of you!  He also takes voice lessons and helps out with choirs, and plays in a volleyball league. 
That’s about all  . . . to write these, I flip through the old, tattered calendar of the past year (well, what pages are left anyway.)  In the interest of being thorough, the only other items popping out at me are Healthy Kids Day at the YMCA (we do spend a lot of time there), Free Coffee Day at Dunkin Donuts (I do drink a few too many DD beverages),  blueberry picking (I still have bags in the freezer), and The Big Apple Circus (okay, we went there once.)
In conclusion, I suppose I am expected to brag about my girls.  But the fact that they are great swimmers and inspired ballerinas and avid readers will no doubt be of more interest to me than to you.  (Did I mention they are budding humorists and practiced singers as well?  Here are samples of how they sing ABBA [preferable in our eyes to endless reprises of the Wiggles or—Heaven forbid—Hannah Montana]:  “You will be dancing please!”; “Can you hear the drums, Flamingo?”; “One of us is boring”; and “Mommy Mommy Mommy.  Must be funny.”)  But suffice it to say that our children are what one would expect our children to be, only much better.  Frankly, I don’t see the point in going on and on about my own kids.  Self-aggrandizement if you ask me.  Beware of parents who do this.  It’s just a form of bragging.
We remain grateful for the many, many blessings in our lives, particularly for family, health, and all of you!  We hope you find every legitimate happiness in the good things God has placed in your lives.  However, if you happen to have my car, we have to talk.
Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

       Katie, Dan, Annemarie and Claire

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