Friday, December 21, 2007

The Christmas newsletter that never got sent

Every year we get some Christmas cards with newsletters from friends and family. I know some people think they're pretentious or braggy, but given the right mix of good news, happy moments and real life stuff, ie. not too much bragging, I think they're a great way to keep up with the people you care about. I really like them and look forward to them every year.

Every year I think- I should do that. And every year I leave it too late and it never happens. This year I actually wrote one, but then ran out of time to pretty it up and get it sent out. My friend Katie suggested I just post it on the blog, which is what I'm doing. So here it is....

This year we thought we'd start a family newsletter for the groaning please! We enjoy getting them from friends and family each year, and hope that this one makes you just as glad. We hope this letter finds you well, and looking forward to the holidays and the coming New Year. We've had a year of many things....good experiences and bad, new adventures and more renovations, sadness but also great joy.

We've watched Ethan grow from a baby to a little man, and what an amazing thing it's been! He's now over three feet tall, talks a mile a minute and is getting more independent every day. He's also a bit of a goofball and makes us laugh all the time, even when we're sleep deprived beyond belief! He's mastered the tricycle, sand "cake" building, helps his Dad with projects and has acquired his own tool belt. He knows how to use a drill! This fall, Ethan started pre-school three mornings a week and he's been making new friends and learning new things ever since (some good, some not so good!).

This summer we managed to get away for a much needed holiday- our first road trip with a kid! Being the Powells, who do nothing half-heartedly, we embarked on a three day drive to the east coast via New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. There were plenty of stops along the way- for photo-ops, picnics, running around in playgrounds, sightseeing and shopping (LL Bean in Freeport, Maine was amazing!). We rented a beachfront cottage in southeast New Brunswick for one week, and fit in many day trips including PEI, La Dune de Bouctouche, Hopewell Rocks on the Bay of Fundy. We ate a ton of seafood, enjoyed a few days of beach bumming, shell collecting, and flying kites. We loved every minute and hope to go back again soon. Travelling with a 2 year old wasn't nearly as traumatic as we feared.

Also this summer, Colin's brother Jay and his wife Angela welcomed their new son into the world. Blake is an adorable little boy who is healthy, content and happy, and has brought great joy to Jay & Ange. We're so happy for them and also for Ethan, who will have a cousin nearby to play with.

We've managed to fit in a few home renos- this year's were scheduled, unlike our previous "surprises". The house continues to improve and looks less "dump-like". I continue to have ideas and Colin continues to execute what he calls my "vision". Colin replaced all the nasty yellow siding and soffits, I painted all the doors, the backyard has grass (hooray!) and no major landscape elements (read:overpriced trees) have died this year. The kitchen is done. Yes, a 2.5 year project has finally come to a is indeed a Merry Christmas for me. Next up- moving Ethan and his big bed to a newly decorated room, then organizing our office in his old one. We may build a fountain in the front patio this summer- seriously.

This year we've also watched my mom struggle with illness, after her cancer diagnosis in July. There has been surgery and chemotherapy, and in January she'll begin radiation treatments. It has been a tough journey for everyone, but one also filled with hope and remarkable spirit on my mom's part. Through it all, my mom has remained so strong and upbeat, with her sense of humour intact. She has seized every opportunity to be happy and enjoy what she can, when she can. She has not buried herself in reading and researching and worrying about this disease, which would be her normal reaction. She has probably had private moments of sadness and despair, but we have had far more laughs than tears. She is even suprised at herself in this regard. And I have seen a whole new side of my mom, and I am proud.

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas and wishes for much health, happiness and good fortune in the New Year! cookies and be merry!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just read this now. A little late, but the best Christmas card ever! You brought a tear to my eye Bea. Love you.