2013 Christmas update letter

In a previous post called Are you on my Christmas cards list?, I talked about the update letter I include with all of my Christmas cards. Since there is zero chance of me ever being able to afford to send all of you a Christmas card, this is as good as it gets this year. (Some names have been changed to protect the identity of the innocent).

2013 Christmas CardHere we are again, back at the Christmas update letter. We hope that this update finds you healthy and joyful (or at least somewhere in the general vicinity of those two).

Wow! What a year of never-ending changes. Let’s look at the beginning of the year. Our attorneys recommend that we not talk about [the hubby’s] accident, so I’m not talking about, OK?

Let’s just say that on March 7th, 2013, he finally got the ankle surgery he needed to fix the damage done in the accident that happened April 10th, 2012; you know – the one I’m not talking about?

The surgeons (plural) were surprised by the extent of the damage done and fixed it the best they could. After months of rehab and light duty, they released him to go back to full-duty this past August.

Since we’re not talking about it, I won’t mention that because of the damage, he can no longer run without pain and it’s very likely marathons are no longer an option. Never say never, right?

However, he can walk, he can bicycle, he can fish and he can work. I’m glad for all four – he’s pleased about the first 3.

[My youngest] is getting tall and is as skinny as ever. [The hubby] and I pulled a good one on [her] this year. She and [my oldest] went off to church camp the second week in June.

We completely took her bedroom apart, took down a real wallpaper border – fabric softener and water make an AMAZING wallpaper stripping solution – painted, put up a peel/stick border, decorated with butterflies and lady bugs, brought in new furniture (well, new to her; Bookoo.com helped us find some amazingly great deals ), put up glow in the dark stars and planets on her ceiling, put up new curtains, put new linens on her bed and put in a new ceiling fan.

Good thing about the ceiling fan, too, because when we took the old one apart it was HOT. REALLY HOT. That was one of those “Thank you, God, for protecting us” moments. We had the room ready for her when she came home from camp. She was quite surprised and very pleased.

[My oldest] has grown so much that she is constantly wearing “floods.” Good thing Capri pants are still in fashion. I’m not joking, she’s nearly as tall as me. Now, those of you that know me I’m sure are saying, “Yea, so? MOST living, breathing creatures over the age of 12 are taller than you.”

That, although mostly true, is beside the point. This is my baby who is 11 ½ years old and she’s going to be taller than me. That’s ok, though, too, because I outweigh her and I’m meaner. It’s all good.  This past August, [she] moved out of the elementary school and into the middle school. After taking on the challenge of opening a locked locker and winning, she felt quite confident to start school.

Because the school is on the other side of a major highway, she rides the bus. Eeeeeexcellent. I LIKE the bus. She’s finally getting a good feel for changing classrooms every period, having changing schedules on alternating days, and has discovered some seriously awesome talent for art. Cats are the latest subject, but I’m sure that will evolve with time.

[The hubby's] work schedule changed dramatically in October. The entire department switched from 8-hour shifts to 12-hour shifts. The days on/off rotate through a two week cycle, and he gets every other weekend off. He used to get EVERY weekend off. 12-hour shifts, no matter what anyone else says, are HORRIBLE. We both hate them. Nuff said.

My life has gone through some amazing alterations, too. Between caring for a post-surgical hubby from March until May and riding my bike, not too much was happening. The summer was taken up with [my youngest’s] bedroom, a trip to visit my brother on the lake, getting the girls ready for school and blogging.

Yes, I am a blogger for the ChicagoNow blog site, and my blog title is There’s a Bug in My Coffee. I’ve written 65 posts and my regular readers have grown from the 10’s to the 100’s in just a handful of months. If you want to check it out, click here and give me a read. (You are obviously already here, but this is a copy of the letter).

In addition to adjusting to [the hubby's] new shifts, I am no longer a stay-at-home-mom. At the beginning of November, a wonderful former employer, Searls Windows and Doors, Inc., hired me for the third time. (I think they like me).

Here is why I think they are wonderful – they hired me after being a SAHM for over 11 years, I work part-time around my kid’s school schedules (don’t ask me what happens over school breaks – we haven’t gotten that far yet), and they encouraged me to continue volunteering at my church every other Monday. They WANT me to keep volunteering. Who does that? Searls does.

This is why you should never burn bridges when leaving a job. I’m being trained in receiving inventory, invoicing, billing and tackling special projects. It was so cool when I got my first paycheck.

Unfortunately, I’m still trying to figure out the balance between work and home. I’ve never worked outside the home as a mom. I’m trying to fit groceries, laundry, meal planning/cooking, dishes, housekeeping, homework helping, blogging and volunteering into a shorter and shorter day.

[The hubby] has stepped up and is helping more around the house. The girls are learning wondrous new skills like sorting and folding clothes. [My oldest] comes home to a sleeping daddy and hungry pugs 2-4 days per week. She feeds them and takes them out almost every day, even if I’m home, and her allowance has been increased accordingly.

[Mischief] and [Stinky], our adorable, snorty, farty pugs, are doing really well. [Mischief] is 7 years old and [Stinky] is 8 years old. You’d never guess it for how spry and funny they are. Well, [Stinky] is funny; [Mischief], not so much.

[Mischief] is part goat. She eats silly bands and poops rainbows. She even managed to process a 6” rubber lizard completely intact. I never would have known until I was cleaning up after her. It was disgustingly impressive.

[Stinky] is sweet, funny, skinny and has the worst breath of any dog ever.  She had gotten terribly chunky on her regular kibble, and she tended to need the Heimlich to clear it out of her airway at every meal. We switched her food over to a commercially made raw food patty, and in about 5 months, she went from 22 pounds to 16 pounds.

She looks FANTASTIC and she’s more playful than she’s ever been before. Her stinky breath is from rotting teeth the puppy mill breeder never took care of. We had a discussion with the vet about fixing her dental problems, but when she was 22 pounds, she only had a 50/50 chance of surviving the anesthesia. We opted to not do anything.

Now that she a svelte 16 pounds, the vet believes she would do just fine, so we’re going to have the dental done this winter. I’m so glad we will be able to take care of that for her; I know she will feel better and be healthier, too.

We had some other exciting achievements this year: [my youngest] ran her first competitive race in May at our church’s 5k and 1 mile fun run. She ran the 1 mile as a 9 year old in the 9-12 year old category. She took 10th overall, and second amongst the girls. Our little speedy ran a sub 9 minute mile. Whoa.

I can’t wait to see what she can do as she gets older and lets her daddy coach her.  I ran the 5k. It was the first competitive 5k I’d ever run (walked) in my life. Let’s just say, I jogged about half of it and I finished. Yay, me.

Back in September, I was blessed to have an adventure vacation in South Dakota. Our group traversed the entire Michelson Trail – over 100 miles in 5 days, on a bike, in the Black Hills. Ooorah. It was fun, it was challenging and I will never, ever do it again. Kinda like when I hiked into the Grand Canyon; totally worth doing…..once.

Well that pretty much wraps up the “new and exciting” around the our household. We pray that your home is warm, your heart is full of love, and that peace reigns in your life every day. Merry Christmas!


[The Hubby], Me, [My Oldest] and [My Youngest]   ([Mischief] and [Stinky] offered up some “Hi there, I can smell you” licks for everyone, too!)

Isaiah 9:6 KJV

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 

Source:  Biblegateway.com

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