Dear family member, friend, stalker or random stranger,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Hopefully this letter finds you celebrating in the revelry of the Christmas season. Our family keeps our decorations up until February second, so reading this letter before then fulfills any obligation we have to each other of yearly holiday correspondence.
Now here in seven bullet points are the highlights of our family’s year. I thought about including some random photos, but then I realized you’d see how tall/fat/ unkept we’ve all become during the last 12 months and I decided against it.
- As usual, our family didn’t run any marathons or “fun runs”. If you asked my kids what a 5K was, they’d think you were springing a math quiz on them. Besides Byron, who continually runs laps while thinking, the rest of us avoided exercise and competition as much as possible. But I’m thinking about getting a new pair of sneakers if that counts for anything.
- The older three children are active in the North American Explorers, a Catholic scouting group just taking root here in the U.S. Highlights of the past year have included a trip to the local Coast Guard station, a camping trip to Upstate NY, and having an excuse to play with fire and tie things in knots (but not simultaneously, usually.) As a bonus, Tony is a scout leader and he looks really hot in a beret.
- Addie wrapped up fourth grade and started fifth, Bryon continues in the third to fourth grade ranges and Edie continues to excel at looking cute and avoiding all school work. We’re pretty sure she’s in first grade but she won’t admit to learning anything. Fulton is working on learning his letters and numbers and hacking his iPad. If the FBI shows up at our door due to a security breach in the Pentagon’s servers, I’m blaming Mr. Nimble Fingers.
- Tony wrapped up his second year at Drexel University in the Math Forum. While I’m still uncertain as to what he actually does all day, except for sitting at his computer trying to catch me on Google chat, he was fortunate enough to go to Poland and meet with other computer people who do similarly techie things that I don’t understand. Tony throughly enjoyed his first trip overseas, taking wonderful pictures and collecting thoughtful souvenirs while I was fighting an imaginary army of bats, zombies and Jason Voorhees every night from under my covers.
- Teddy started sleeping through the night at the beginning of this year allowing Tony and I to wake up and not wish death upon every living thing. The Bear continues to crawl all over the house and his favorite new words are ‘ewbacca’, ‘oda’, ‘R2’ and ‘dark side.’
- I performed in our church’s second annual dinner theater show, ‘Me and My Shadow’ in February. Playing the role of a snippy, gossipy neighbor wasn’t easy, but somehow I managed. I also took a lead role in a horror movie / documentary called “The Kitchen Renovation Project From Hell.” It’s the tale of one family’s nightmare journey through the remodeling of their home. I’m still waiting for filming to wrap on that.
- In July, we spent a week with my mother in Ocean City, NJ soaking up the sun and salt air. Highlights included trying to cram three kids and my husband into a two person surrey and not making it past the third hole on the ‘Haunted Minigolf’ course. The sign said “No refunds” and I told them I thought it would be too scary for them, but noooooooooo, they said they could handle it. Now, when mama says, “I think this might be too scary for you” and they protest I say, “Who was right about the haunted minigolf!? Who? Say it! Mama!!!” And they hang their heads because they know I’ve won.
We also had some surgery, health scares, a nursing crisis, possible head trauma and untimely death (RIP Butters the cat) but we managed to go another year without moving or having a baby.
May God richly bless you and yours in the coming year with health and happiness (but if he sends you misery and woe, be sure to be thankful for that too),
Sincerely, Kelly, Tony*, all the kids and the rest of the Quick Takes Crew.
*Tony did not actually read or approve any of this letter in advance and does not want to be held responsible for any of the content.