Thursday, December 17, 2009

our 2009 christmas letter!

my my my how things can change in a year! i believe i insisted last year that i would put out a real christmas letter this year, in an envelope and everything! little did i know i'd be sleep deprived and loopy from having our fifth baby! last year i purchased new stockings and holders since we were done having children.. yet here we are! needless to say, 2009 has been an eventful year for us, both in gains and losses. we started the year with one of the biggest surprises of our lives (since, ahem, the one we had ten years ago ;) finding out we were expecting a baby in october. we found out shortly before my 31st birthday, knocking out my life long vow that i would never have children after 30. theMr turned 30 in may. he made me promise not to have a party for him and i actually listened. lucky for him i was still too sick to function! i did, however, surprise him by having his best friend come for the weekend from michigan. they played golf and we all had dinner and went to a movie. i think that was probably his favorite way to spend the momentous day! may turned to june and zaza turned 7. what a cool guy he is! so much like his dad, which is probably why i like him so much :) he has grown and matured so much in the last few years. he is currently in first grade and thriving. he is joining the wrestling team and can finally take all that energy and put it to good use. he still loves to run, climb, jump and build things. he is a boy, through and through. at the same time, my grandmother, june, was coming to the end of her life. i had the honor of caring for her in last months and day. while it was hard to let her go, we were relieved to see her suffering ended. she passed on june 16th. i was able to write and deliver her eulogy, which was fitting as she was one who always encouraged my writing. i mourn that she never had the chance to meet esme, although she would have had a fit about her name! the princess turned 5 in july. what a character she is! she is in transitional kindergarten this year and doing great. she's already developed quite a reputation for being funny and clever. she's a typical middle child, entertaining and finding attention wherever she can! her best friend, kaitlyn, is in her class and they are navigating the world of school together. i'm told they are often seen walking the halls holding hands. the bean turned 10 in august. she gets smarter and more beautiful every year. she is kind and compassionate and joyful, i'm not sure how we got such a great kid! she's an excellent student and has many friends. she is a huge help with her baby sister! i lost my other grandmother, nanny, in september. she also had been failing for some time. although it was hard to see her go also, we enjoyed having our family from all over the country in town for a few days. my cousin and his family stayed with us for several days and it was great! we rarely see that side of the family due to the distance. it also motivated us to get many projects finished that we were completing before the baby was born! and then she was here! on october 7th, at 9:44 pm, Esme Grace entered the world at 7'5 lbs and 21 inches! i had another very fast labor attended by both of my sisters in law. all went well and she is adorable:) she looks so much like the princess it's uncanny. she manages to convey her wants and needs quite loudly and makes sure you hop to it! usually this translates to being held by mommy and mommy only! while that tends to make it difficult to get anything done, i am savoring and enjoying my last newborn. all of the other kids are wonderful with her, even the little guy. he turned three in november and still manages to be the child who constantly keeps us on our toes. whether he's dumping an entire container of cream of tarter on the stove top or smearing peanut butter on his head, he's a busy guy. i may be counting the days until this one starts school! he's funny and charming and affectionate (when he wants to be). he loves to watch mickey mouse and spend time with his best buddy, jonah (my nephew). he proved to be the hardest to potty train and may even take the award for most stubborn, quite an accomplishment in this house! but he's cute and funny and hard not to love! we look forward to an exciting christmas and a new year, hopefully without any of the surprises of last year !! we have been blessed beyond measure and we are so thankful. the Lord continues to be so good to us, despite ourselves. He teaches us new things every day and gives us so much more than we could ever deserve. we look forward to serving Him this year and watching our family continue to grow (figuratively... not in numbers!!) may this letter find each of you blessed and ready for a new year!

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