Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Annual Boring Christmas Letter
So, I was going back through my previous Christmas letters, trying to remember what tiresome, dull parts of our life I write about each year, when I realized by looking at the dates that this letter, our 2008 edition, would be the eleventh one written in a row … meaning I’ve already rambled on endlessly about our family for the previous ten years. In a nutshell:
1998 (First letter!) – Brayden’s adoption is finalized and Kellen is born. Life is great.
1999 – Kendrie is born. Life is great.
2000 – 2002 – Changed about a bazillion diapers; moved twice; life is still great.
20003 – 2007 – Cancer sucks.
And now, 2008, can you guess what the prevailing theme of our letter is once more? Can ya? Huh? Huh? Can ya? Yep, cancer still sucks.
If you already know, I won’t bore you to tears with the whole story … if you don’t already know, then why the heck don’t we keep in better touch, huh? Blaine’s cancer came back late this summer … six weeks of radiation …. Feels crappy ….. won’t know until next spring if treatment worked …. Chronic pain management …. Feels as if reconstruction will never be complete …. end of story.
So! Moving on!
The kids are all doing great and have settled in happily to our OKC lives, although believe it or not, they still talk about how much they miss Georgia. And their friends there. And how the playground at their old school was SO much better than the playground at their new school. You know, important things like that.
Brayden started middle school this year (6th grade, age 11) which pretty much left me a sobbing ball on the floor the first day. OK, not really, but I have to admit that NOT walking her into the school the first day was sort of painful. And weird for a control freak like me. She is enjoying life, played soccer (for probably the last time, seeing as how her age group no longer provides snacks) and sings in several honors choruses. She is obsessed with Webkinz (to the point of madness … mine, not hers) and can argue paint off walls, but since she’s the only child we have who gets herself out of bed and dressed in the morning without direct supervision, we’ll let those other parts slide. Overall, she brings us great joy (when she’s not driving us crazy with the begging to go buy more Webkinz.)
Kellen is becoming less and less of a boy every day (5th grade, age 10) and more and more of a young man, which quite frankly I’m not real happy about. He’s almost as tall as I am, although weight-wise, should legally still be in a carseat. Does that tell you we haven’t quite reached the “eating you out of house and home” phase yet? He is on a year-round competitive soccer team and loves it, currently playing a version of indoor soccer called “futsal”, although for now he says that next year he’ll play football instead. He competed in his first triathlon this fall, he’s in the gifted program at school, and has also taken piano lessons for the past eleven months. To my pleasure (and surprise, if we’re being honest) he loves it and shows no sign of quitting anytime soon. Mainly, he loves playing outside, doing any kind of sports, getting dirty, and finding ways to avoid getting a haircut. He also can pout like nobody’s business, and is mastering the art of muttering under his breath, but since he’s the only one of our kids who actually keeps his bedroom clean, we’ll let those parts slide, too.
I still think of Kendrie as “my baby”, although at age 9 (3rd grade) she informs me every day that that’s NOT the case at all. At least until it storms and she wants to sleep in bed with us … then she’s perfectly happy to exploit the baby-angle all day long. She is also taking piano lessons with Kellen and enjoying it, although she’s much sneakier about not doing her piano homework. She continues to play soccer, joined chess club, and is still in the gifted program at school, but to hear her describe it, a perfect day would consist of never getting off the sofa, watching continuous episodes of “Suite Life” on the TV and having a bottomless box of Cheese Nips by her side. But since she’s cute, funny, and “my baby”, we let those things slide as well.
I notice that letter after letter after letter, my life stays pretty much the same. I love staying home with the kids (except for the days when their non-stop arguing and bickering takes over and I seriously contemplate running away and joining the circus.) I love their school(s) because there are plenty of opportunities for parents to get plugged in. I make copies for teachers, help with popcorn days, serve as PTO secretary, and organize the monthly skate night fundraiser …. Even better, I’ve met lots of great moms (and some dads, too!) and feel like slowly but surely I’m finding my niche here. I got to scrapbook with my girlfriends twice this year (TX and AR) but missed our “big” annual autumn get-together (did I mention the suckage that is cancer?) One of the highlights of my year was getting to go on an Alaskan cruise with my mom and an alumni group of her high-school friends. They were great about including me, and she and I had a wonderful time. Other than that, I’ve pretty much been on the taxi-driver-school-volunteer hamster wheel that comprises the life of a stay-at-home mom. But I’m not complaining … better this than a “real” job that I wouldn’t enjoy near as much!
We also added to our family this year with the purchase of “Barley”, a golden retriever who is now six months old and shows a real talent for sneaking chocolate chip cookies off the kitchen counter. She also has an annoying tendency to grab something (anything!) she’s not supposed to have, then running and hiding under our bed to eat whatever it might be (food, paper, used Kleenex out of the trashcan, she’s not real picky.) The good thing is I don’t think she’ll fit under there for too much longer …. Luckily she’s cute in the meantime.
And Blaine, in all honesty, is plugging along. (PS Cancer sucks.)
I hope you and yours have had a wonderful year. Thanks so much to our friends who took the time and made the effort to visit us here during this past year, or let us visit them. It’s strange – we’re “home”, yet we still miss our friends from other places, but many of them have moved on as well. It’s odd to feel homesick for friends who live in completely different places now. (Does that even make sense???) Regardless, just trust that if you’re getting this letter and you’re away, we miss you. If you’re getting this letter and you’re local, we’re so happy we’re friends, and we wish all of you a joyful holiday season! Merry Christmas!!
PS. Special thanks to my good friend Lisa of LD Images for designing our card this year! (and last year, now that I think about it ... hmmmm ... maybe I need to offer to pay her at some point!)