Happy Holidays! Though, at the rate I’m moving, this letter may not reach you until late January…in that case, Happy Valentine’s Day.
2016 kicked off with Collin diving into the Atlantic Ocean for the Bethany Beach Polar Plunge on New Year’s Day. While he flapped around in the arctic waters, we huddled on the sand, wind whipping around us, and wondered “Why didn’t we just make a donation from the warmth of our couch?” Even our 3-legged dog with a coat as thick as my post-Christmas waistline looked miserable.
While winter is typically a hibernation season for our family, there were some notables.
- Ana started soccer for the first time, unleashing her inner beast and developing a ‘win at all costs’ attitude that we’ll need to keep an eye on.
- We were grateful to inherit a back-saving snow blower from my father. After the first major snowfall, we hooted & hollered around that thing like cavemen discovering fire.
- Collin went sledding exactly once.
- Brian had surgery (he calls it MAJOR surgery) to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. And just how did he get a torn meniscus? Here’s an excerpt from last year’s holiday letter: “Brian began playing pick-up basketball at the gym twice a week. It’s a bunch of kinda in shape 40 year olds trying to compete with a bunch of really in shape 18 year olds.” That’s how.
- Just as we were about to lose our winter minds, Brian won a work incentive trip to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas! He and Ana swam with the dolphins, Collin split his time between the river ride and the Starbucks located in the hotel lobby, and I lay on the beach listening to couples argue over the cost of their bar bill “$24 for a margarita, Debra! Seriously? Wait a second…oh my god, you ordered two?!”
In the spring, when the ground thawed out a bit, we reemerged.
Ana turned 7 in April. She continued on with soccer but also added intense tree climbing to her leisure activities. The heights she climbed scared me, but it was mostly her traveling through the neighborhood, placing our Squatty Potty stool around the base of Maple trees, that really made me want to cover my eyes.
Collin joined a local NFL Flag Football League, and we’re proud to say his team finished the season undefeated! However, their champion status was never acknowledged at the awards ceremony. It seems that until you’re old enough to pay taxes, EVERYONE’S deemed a winner.
Brian and I took a nice impromptu trip to the Poconos area to see Amy Schumer at the Mohegan Sun Arena. I say “impromptu” because I was in charge of purchasing the tickets and I’m terrible at geography. Brian: Which arena are we going to tomorrow? Me: Somewhere in Wilkes-Barre. That’s near Philly, right? It’s not. Turns out it was almost 3 hours away. Who knew Pennsylvania was so big?
This summer was all about the beach and FUNLAND! Mostly Funland. Brian and the kids had a “we must win every stuffed animal even if requires dipping into the college fund” obsession. They were like trophy hunters, always on the search for a new animal to add to their collection. I’m surprised the summer didn’t end with each of them wearing a necklace made of teddy bear ears.
The kids started school in the fall. Collin turned 13 (a teenager!!!), got braces, and joined the 7th grade middle school football team where he proceeded to get a concussion that gave him a pass on homework for over two weeks. I’m not entirely sure he regrets the concussion. Ana, still into soccer and working on developing her fan base, entered 2nd grade. She loves her teacher, hates the homework. Brian returned to basketball and tore his other meniscus.
This December we went on a cruise from Miami to Belize, Roatan, Costa Maya, & Cozumel. Our most memorable moment was visiting the Gumbalimba Animal Preserve in Roatan and having tons of little capuchin monkeys climb all over us and pick our pockets on behalf of their trainer. The cutest little thieves you ever did see.
This year’s wish lists:
Ana – live puppy, live kitten, live horse, to have her American Girl doll’s limbs reattached.
Collin – every rated M video game he can’t have, cashier’s check/money order
Brian – for me to stop touching the thermostat, massage chair
Kim – Carb of the Month Club, tapeworm, peace on earth
As this year is coming to a close, we want to say thank you for being a part of our lives, whether near or far, yesterday or yesteryear, you are always in our hearts. May your 2017 be filled with an abundance of love, laughter, health, and happiness.
Brian, Kim, Collin, & Ana