To make up for it I thought I'd do a Christmas card post and you could all just feel like I sent you each your own special card from our family--humor me, guys.
This year has been a hard, but great one. In some ways it feels like we've come so far. From my sister passing away and having lots of time to sit on muy butt and recuperate from foot surgery, to touring a bit of the Puget Sound and Zion's we've had some hard and great times respectively.
Martin was called to be first counselor in the Bishopric of our ward and was ordained a High Priest in early April. His parents were able to travel to Seattle and be there and so Martin's dad was able to do the ordination. It was a very humbling time for him. He was prepared for the job (and by prepared, I mean the spirit prepared him) and I know he was pre-qualified for this in the preexistence. I have a strong testimony of that. Martin also has been as busy as ever at Microsoft. He enjoys EVERY meeting and every tough decision and loves working with such a diverse set of people (he's the only American on his team besides one other). When I say he loves his job, I don't know if I can explain how much to you. We both feel so grateful that he can be doing something that both makes him feel like he's needed and makes him happy. At work he is known as "The Bulldog" and it makes me laugh because nothing is further from the truth at home! He continues to be the Uber-father. He makes time for us even when there is no time to be made. He is still my best-friend and confidante. I love him more every day. . . is that possible?
Side note: this year we will be celebrating our 15th Anniversary!
Alex turned 12 this year and was ordained to the office of a Deacon. His Grandparents Chamberlain were able to be there and it was amazing for me to see the serious way Alex approached having the priesthood. I cannot understand where the maturity and wisdom came from except to tell you it came. He continues to play baseball. Morning.Noon.Night. If the world were a baseball field Alex would be eternally happy. I think he dreams of that. He played a great season, followed by a fun summer in Utah visiting cousins and swimming. His favorite thing was to see how many times he could go down the water slide at the pool in North Ogden. I think the final count was around 30. Alex also started playing and taking a real interest in football. He had his first season and he enjoyed getting beat up and bruised. Me and his Dad loved cheering him on. Alex's piano studies continue and he is excelling. He passed me up long ago and he can listen to a song on the radio and duplicate it at the piano. It excites me, because I wish I'd have been a more dedicated student of that instrument. His GPA has been sufficiently high and we are proud of his study habits and accomplishments. He also knows every sport fact and stat there is to know.
Olivia turned 10 less than a month ago and the double digits have settled on her becomingly. She is the smartest little thing I've ever seen. She is very brainy, just like her Dad. Math and spelling seem to come to her easily, and she works hard at her other studies that she has a harder time with. She reads--and reads--and reads (and reads). She has accumulated more "Eager Reader" hours at school than anyone else in the 4th grade and is currently reading at a 7th grade level. She loves to play the piano too and is giving her big brother a run for his money. She writes songs and likes to perform them often (to the enjoyment of the WHOLE family). Olivia is kind and helpful and her little brother thinks she can do no wrong. Isaac and she are fairly inseparable and they keep each other company. She dances once a week and likes Jazz best. She is the smallest girl in her class because I think a) she's small and b) she's in an older class, but she keeps up with them fine. At her dance recital this year she was at ease on the stage and came alive when the curtain came up. I was like, "Is that my child?" She's usually so shy but it seems performing suits her!
Isaac (the Cuteness)
Isaac cracks me up all day long. He has started school and is a champ in Kindergarten. He is a little distracted, but is doing fine, other than with his scissor skills (he just can't figure out how to hold them!). He has made fast-friends with some fellow class members and has turned out to be quite social (who knew?). He plays all.day.long. The sun rises and I hear him up and playing in his room and he is LOUD. Everything in Isaac's world has the tendency to explode and/or burn and/or crash and this makes things very exciting around the house (did I mention he's loud?). He has a kind, generous, sweet heart and NO GUILE. He reminds me of his Dad that way. He is looking forward to his birthday, and it is already planned, but doesn't come until the end of May. He assures me it will go by quick, however. He also loves soccer and play-dates and Macaroni-and-cheese wedges from Jack in the Box.
This year we lost my sister dear. I miss her and love her and think of her every day. It was the hardest thing I personally have ever experienced. The pain is only lessened by the fact that I know this life is but a preparation for the eternities and I will be with Jenny soon (maybe not soon enough), forever. My faith has grown immeasurably from the experience. It seems like a hard way to learn a lesson but a lesson has been learned. I trust in the Lord and his intentions for me. I try not to dictate to him what I think will be best for me. He, obviously, is the gardener (as Jen would say). I have also learned my problems are nothing, and to be grateful for every breath my lungs take and every moment I have with my children and husband. I like exercising because I love that bit of time I have to myself to reflect on how my life is going. I like reading and blogging and doing homey things (NOT COOKING) and talking with Martin. I think my likes change from month to month, but the thing that remains is that I LOVE being a Mom, even if I'm not great at it.
Merry Christmas to everyone!!