Dear Family and Friends, 2013
‘Tis the season for writing Christmas letters, and so here goes:
This year has been rather long (nearly 365 days!) so I’ll do my best to recap. The year started off with a long lonely winter when Paul was flitting about the country in search of a job, that is, he was interviewing from New York to California, North Dakota to Houston… He interviewed at I think 14 places, and 13 of them were in person, so if he’d managed to fly the same airlines, he’d have killer mile-points… ironically we found out in February that he was accepted to the one place he didn’t visit personally for the interview.
In related news, the kids and I planned as many Dallas-based activities as we could cram into our spring. We visited downtown a couple times, went to all the parks we could, and spent lots of time with friends. In other words, we had a blast! Thanks to all our family and friends in Texas that helped us make the most of our last few months there. We also had an incredible amount of help packing up 5 years’ worth of junk out of our house, and babysitting so I could get even more done. There’s a surprisingly large amount of junk that can accumulate in that length of time, especially with kids.
School ended well for the girls, Afton loved her teacher, her class and her school, and we were both sad to leave them (especially since Rayna knew and loved the teacher too, and would have been in that kindergarten class this fall). Rayna got used to going to school every day at her pre-k school, and it was the perfect distance for me to get out walking every day, so it was a win as far as I was concerned. She thinks she doesn’t like school, though she loved her teacher and she still wants to be a teacher when she grows up (she mostly got upset when other kids got in trouble! She’s truly tenderhearted).
Soon summer came, and with it our move to capitol city… or close enough. We loved having help from Paul’s brother and sister, with driving out and moving in, and we love having nearly double the space to unload all our junk into J. We had to move in fast as Paul was off to Commissioned Officer Training (COT, if you want me to start using military abbreviations). It was another long month with him gone, but the kids and I tried to use it as best we could to get to know our new home (again, many thanks to Emalie for being another grown-up to talk to!). We went to the zoo, the beach, the national mall, a couple Smithsonian institutions, and we took a week to visit Great-Grampa Anderson and see the Hill Cumorah Pageant. I was particularly excited to take my kids to a place with so many great memories from my childhood. We were very excited for July to end so Paul could come home. Very, very excited.
With fall came school again, and the girls were off and learning. Grandma F. came to visit… though the much anticipated event took his time arriving. Asher Blaine Williamson is clearly the main event of the year, though it took clear ‘til September for me to get him into this letter J. He’s my favorite child right now, and I don’t even feel bad admitting it, since he’s the favorite of all his siblings right now too! He’s such a good baby, almost always smiling and playing, and clearly well-named: Asher means Happy, and Blaine for his Great-Grandpa. He loves to catch the attention of his siblings, and he smiles so big at them all, and giggles like crazy with them. Asher also started sleeping through the night by himself at 12 weeks old… which thing I’d always considered myth… He still usually wakes up sometime between 5-6 to nurse, but he goes right back to sleep, and I don’t mind because that means I don’t have to worry about him waking between 6:30-7:30 when I’m busy getting the girls up and off to school. I still can’t believe sometimes that I have 4 kids, let alone how smart and amazing they all are J.
Much love to you all, and let me know when you’re planning to take advantage of us and our guest bedroom, and our close proximity to so much American Culture—we’ll make your favorite treats and do our best to ensure you have a great time! We’re here for a limited time, and we want to make the most of it for us and all of you, if possible J, so let me know when you can make it!
Merry Christmas and Happy 2014!
Paul, Elise, Afton (7), Rayna (5), Malachi (3), and Asher (3 months)