Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Merry Christmas 2011
CHRISTMAS LETTER 2011:
Merry Christmas Friends & Family!
We moved! And that pretty much sums up the entire year; organizing, purging, fixing, staging, listing, showing, negotiating, packing, loading, storing, waiting, closing, cleaning, painting, unloading, unpacking, organizing…and renovating--which will likely continue for many months to come. Good thing HGTV is our favorite channel. It’s amazing how much effort is required to move five people a few miles across town.
Our favorite part of the moving process was six weeks of “homelessness” between houses. We passed the time in Brussels, Belgium where Brent spent weekdays working at his company’s European office while Michelle and the kids explored the country (poor Brent). Morgan’s friend, Ima, even joined us for the first week. On weekends we packed up our diesel Peugeot station wagon and unlike most Europeans, we drove! We took advantage of Brussels’ central location with weekend road trips to Paris (sunset atop the Eiffel Tower—très bonne), Amsterdam (charming bike rides--and unforgettable half-naked people in the park), Germany’s Rhine River Valley (amazing hikes to beautiful castles), and Belgium’s Ghent & Bruges (picture perfect postcard towns). We ate lemon sorbet and croissants to our heart’s content and discovered a new found love of real Belgian waffles, Speculoos cookies and Belgian french fries eaten with tiny plastic forks (yes mom, the fresh fruits and veggies were great too).
On the way home from Europe we stopped for a 24-hour whirlwind tour of New York City. Ethan was so jet-lagged he fell asleep standing-up in the corner of the subway station—among other places. But breakfast in central park and cooling off in a downpour at the end of a record heat day were memories well worth a little sleepiness. After a few days back in Chicagoland we headed out for one last roadtrip to Utah and then Colorado for the wedding of Michelle’s youngest sister, Rachel.
The kids love adventure as much as their parents and did great with all the travel and transition this year—nevertheless they were happy to get back to their favorite activities at home. Morgan is almost thirteen (7th grade) and constantly amazing us with gravity-defying gymnastics tricks. Isaac is ten (4th grade) and loving his travel soccer team, reading Harry Potter, playing the piano and creating with Legos. Ethan is six (1st grade) and proud of the one-mile and ½ mile races he ran this year. With Ethan in first grade, Michelle is alone on school days—but still anxiously awaiting the day she finally feels bored with nothing to do. Brent works in Marketing at Fenwal, Inc. by day, then puts on his paint jeans and works on home improvement projects at night. Despite our whirlwind summer he also trained for and ran the St. George Utah Marathon.
This year has been nothing short of eventful. As we head into the holiday season we are especially grateful for our Savior and the love, guidance, protection, comfort and peace provided us while making big decisions for our family this year. May you also feel His love and peace this holiday season and throughout the coming year. Merry Christmas!