Clem, Paley, Lochlan, Margot and myself would like to wish you all safe travels and full bellies over the holiday season. We were not able to get a family letter put together in time to send out with our holiday cards. I am just happy I was able to get the holiday card out before Christmas this year. 2013 was a year of a lot of challenges and happy memories for our family. For this year’s holiday portrait we decided it was time to shoot at home for once. We got lucky with the weather and the gaudy gold couch you might be commenting about is actually Brian's Grammie's couch that has been in the family for over 60 years.
Paley graduated from preschool in the early summer and started kindergarten in the fall. She still keeps in touch with a lot of her friends from her preschool and has many new friends in her new elementary school. Reading and homework are her favorite tasks at school and she's made great strides with her math and reading. She is looking forward to the new year because it means she gets to move up to First Grade! Paley performed in her first school musical this fall and is looking forward to the Spring Musical next year. Paley has joined the ranks of the Girl Scouts as a Daisy with a few of her new friends. She also took her first overnight train ride north to visit Ama and Grandpa.
Lochlan earned the nickname "Bruiser" the first day he started crawl back in May. Physically he's made great leaps in his development but walking has been a major focus these past few weeks. I am happy to report, while he has made several small attempts over the past few weeks, on Christmas Eve he made his first long stride of about 8 or 9 steps. He won the "first to walk" and the "first to crawl" categories for sure. Lochlan did have a rough start in 2012 with his double hernias but happy to report he has healed nicely from the surgery for the critical abdominal hernia and his belly-button hernia has already started to improve on its own.
Lochlan and Margot celebrated their first birthday party back in October and as of today (Christmas Day) the twins are 14 months old.
Margot had one amazing year with a lot of firsts herself, from the first word (Bye Bye) to the first to identify things after being asked. Margot also had her own struggles back 2012 and we are happy to report that at her NICU followup appointment over the summer she passed with flying colors. Margot is our adventurer and extremely curious and inquisitive. Constantly noticing new things around her, she is also our little hen who likes to fly the coop as soon as door is open. Mimicking adults is a staple in her party repertoire, along with keeping her brother entertained all day. After most nap times, she has Lochlan in stitches — what's happening in that room, I have no clue! Margot along with her older brother and sister, have made regular visits up to Mimi over the past few months while she undergoes chemo treatments. All 3 are a great source of smiles and giggles for Mimi and the whole family.
Some other big changes rocked our family this year and were certainly great tests of courage for the whole family. Brian's Grammie Mary passed away in May after 91 years of a wonderful life, finally joining his Grandpa Frank. We also lost another great family member, Uncle Red, a long time friend of Mary & Frank. It's certainly comforting to know that somewhere the 4 life-long friends are back together again, partying up in some club.
Mark/Clem had another busy year at Apple. He is still a manager in the photo apps team and working hard but certainly taking time now and then to partake in outings with his Scooter Club. Of course our 3 kids and erratic schedule really shapes the amount of partaking. In the new year Clem will be looking to finally trade up the MINI for a family wagon of sorts, hopefully an electric hybrid of some sorts. He’s also looking forward to rediscovering what the inside of a gym looks like (if the kiddos allow it).
Brian survived the first full year as a stay at home dad of 3 and he is looking forward to planning his 40th birthday party during the 2014 holiday season. Unfortunetly he doesn't have a lot to report about his year because it was spent changing diapers, juggling bottles and running after fast babies. He's focused on getting back in shape in the new year before the big 40 but more importantly keeping the twins on a two naps a day schedule. Fingers Crossed! Oh, and yes, writing more on the family blog.
We have many family trip planned in the New Year. Aptos is on the itinerary as usual for Spring Break and this summer we are looking forward to exploring the world of Family Camps. Clem grew up going to family camps, while this is a new experience for Brian and the kids. We hope to do a little road trip up to Eugene and Idaho in the summer. And a mini camping trip in August.
While our family blog has dipped in updates now and then, Brian is hoping to keep on top of things in the new year. Check the blog this weekend as we will post more photos from this years holiday portrait sessions. Until then, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! See you all in 2014.