2013 Christmas Letter

Dear Family and Friends,

Ran out of time to write this letter. Kind of the theme of the year: time disappearing. Whole months it seemed three times this year. But here are the highlights.

Amber has always been observant. She’s always been a fast learner, and smart. Now she’s combining the two. She’s figuring out causality and linking things, or even concepts, together that aren’t obvious, and determining results she didn’t necessarily see. She’s also become very creative, not just repeating back story lines or song lines, but making up her own stories and leading play with imagination instead of routine this-is-how-it-goes. And she uses bargaining on me when I want her to do something and she wants something from me! “If you get me some juice, I’ll brush my teeth.” She’s become even more independent too. She can dress herself, put Band-Aids on Mama’s cuts, and use the bathroom alone!

She’s SO tall now too, over 38 inches! She’s very good at doctor visits, not only did she stand for a full panoramic dental x-ray early in the year, she happily let the nurse give her a flu shot and didn’t cry when she got upset because it hurt. She’s able to pedal her tricycle. She has made bead necklaces (I tie the ends). She’s also writing some letters now. And this morning she read her first word by herself! “THE”

Not only have we played simple board games, but she correctly plays Go Fish too! She’s taking ballet at Colette’s studio, and gymnastics at daycare, and loves being in such things that encourage her to move! Very recently she started the “Look at me!” phase. She’s also been figuring out familial relationships over the year. She first got Mother/Father and kid, then sister and brother, and most recently husband and wife. For example, Rebecca has moved from Unc Rebecca (and Uncle Michael), to Uncle Michael’s Sister, to Uncle Michael’s Wife.

For those who don’t yet know, Michael and Rebecca are engaged! Amber liked Rebecca from the first time they met, which went a long way in my opinion of her. But about our third meeting, Rebecca and I started having good conversations, and I found I liked her on my own too. I’m excited to be getting her as a Sister-In-Law. So happy for them!

Apparently the only stuff that’s happened to me this year is going to MA – and Mom’s – for a Star Trek convention in May, going camping Up North for the 4th (only time this year we made it up – sad) and Memorial Day, going to IN to visit friends in August, going to Michael and Rebecca’s for Thanksgiving, making good headway on the yard and plants, achieving my saving goals, liking my job most of the time, getting in a short but routine every other week game, and going to Mom’s for Christmas.

I know what else: my friend Kevin from MA who I had been close to in years past died this year, he was 45. Happily, and before that, I reconnected with two friends, Troy and Katie, this year. Oh right! I also tried dating again this year using Match.com. Unfortunately two matches I was interested in didn’t pan out, and the third that actually started a relationship and seemed good ended up a friendship. Lastly, it turns out I truly do have high blood pressure, and after some more issues that ended in Urgent Care but were thankfully more minor than last Dec, I seem to be on a medicine that works enough.

Doing stuff for Amber and other family, keeping up with work and daycare, and just staying on top of house or technology issues has kept me too busy. But, I’m somewhere between alright and pretty good.

(Afterwards, I wanted to mention how caring Amber is too, but I couldn’t figure out how to add that in the letter. She also started switching feet while walking up stairs this year! So we took the baby gate off the stairs. And I forgot to mention she had such a fever on her birthday party day that I had to postpone it. But that was the last time she or I got sick at all in 2013! First holiday season we haven’t been super sick, so nice.)

Edit 1/17/14: Pictures prove we were Up North with Bonnie and Brice over Memorial Day, and I now remember buying the flags for the 4th on that weekend at a garage sale!

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