Disclaimer: Yes, this post will serve as our family Christmas card, a much-needed blog update, and the final blog post of the year. Yes, you can call it "lame", if you'd like. I prefer "efficient". And if you're a family member looking for our Christmas card and haven't read my blog before, check out the "Cast of Characters" page down to the right. I've given the girls all pseudonyms to ensure plausible deniability when they're older. But I'm sure you can figure it out.
2014 was a year of ups and downs, as they all tend to be. We worked. We played. We traveled a bit. But we are all healthy and together at the end of the year, so I call it an overall win. We truly do have much to be thankful for. As I've written before, we are rich. No, we don't have our dream house yet. No, we haven't won the lottery. But we have a comfortable snug home with heat that we can turn up in the winter. We have warm clothes to go play outside in. We have more food than we should probably eat. We have a high-quality and safe school to send our girls to. We have loving parents and siblings that live too far away. We have a loving family of close friends that live a bit nearer. We have friends and family scattered across the nation that pray for us, cheer us on, and bring smiles to our days. We are rich.
And the rest? Well, we're working on a little concept called "contentment".
The girls are just getting bigger and better every day:
HeyMama is 6. She loves to read, loves to do math, and says she wants to be a scientist when she grows up. And no, BestestHusband didn't tell her to say that. But he might be a bit proud... She started playing the piano, and is quite diligent about practicing. She gave a short concert of Christmas music at our friends' house on Christmas Day, and is anxious for lessons to start up again in the new year. She enjoys gymnastics more than ever, and can frequently be found hanging upside down or jumping from things. And she is the most perceptive, doting, and sweet big sister a baby sister could ever hope for. And she likes to talk. A lot. I'm still trying to find a way to bottle her energy. Or just find a mute button.
MeToo is 5. She loves to do whatever her older sister is doing. So she's into reading, math, and maybe being a scientist too. Or a unicorn trainer. Or a dance teacher. We might need to start dance lessons first... She is a child of wide-eyed wonder, finding magic in the most mundane of tasks. "Mama! Come look! I pooped a 7!" And she was right, it really did look like a 7. Other letters and shapes eventually followed. MeToo will interrupt dinner with, "Guess what! I'm having a dream inside my head RIGHT NOW!" She's full of fun ideas and whimsy. She's currently lobbying us to trade her to a neighboring family so she can have a brother.
LittleDebbie morphed into HurricaneDebbie, and is typically a Category 5. At 16 months old, she is already the strongest personality in the household, and that's really saying something... She has quickly learned to communicate her wishes, and this week has decided to do that via sentences: "I need milk!", "I need Uppa!", "I need Daddy!" She has also learned quickly how to climb up to the top bunk, rock standing in the rocking chair, retrieve things from the middle of the dining room table, let herself out the door to outside, and undo an hour's worth of cleaning and organization in 2 minutes. According to BestestHusband, she is a living example of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. And she makes me want to drink. Good thing she's so dang charming and cute...
The dogs continue to add love, fur, and noise to our household. They have become skilled opportunists, seizing on the chance for a belly rub any time one of us sits or leans over to the floor. They even demand belly rubs from the girls. And you know what? It works. It's sweet to see them develop relationships with the girls, and see the girls take more responsibility in their care.
BestestHusband started a new job at a tech company downstairs from his previous job. What's a guy with a PhD in Chemical Engineering and a background in discovering oncology drugs doing working at a tech company? Something Very Different from what he did before. But he still has the same bike commute. (Some call being a one-car family being "cheap", again I like to call combining a commute and exercise as "efficient".) In his spare time he plays the role of SuperDad, stalks Boston real estate for our future house, tends a good-sized garden, makes out-of-this-world mexican sauces, and helps reign in the chaos that has become our household norm.
I'm still doing many of the same things as last year. I work per diem at local rehab hospitals a few days per week. I shepherd the girls to and from the bus stop. I try to keep up with a kamikaze toddler. I started running again this past year, mostly to improve my patience level. And I started baking sourdough bread. And at the end of the day, when the house has been destroyed by my kamikaze toddler and my patience has been destroyed by everyone else, I at least have something tasty to show for my time.
So if you're in the area, stop by for a slice of fresh bread and a glass of wine I'll be ready to pour. We have a guest bedroom, and plenty of mayhem to share. We are truly blessed by what we have, but are pretty much constantly exhausted by it. And we look forward to a new year of exhaustion, love, joy, tedium, exasperation, and blessings in 2015.
The Bundles Of Joy Family