Saturday, December 26, 2009

Our Christmas Letter - 2009 Edition

Dear Family and Friends,

¡Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo!

Where do we begin? This is our very first Christmas letter, so there is much to say. We know some of you who have received this letter follow…er, followed…our blog fairly religiously, so we will spare you the month-by-month recap.

In the meantime, here are the highlights of 2009…
  • This year was an incredible year of “firsts” for our family, including birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and the big one-year anniversary as a family.
  • Samuel turned 7 in April, and the twins turned 5 in May. They were overjoyed by their celebrations and receiving gifts!
  • As a part of turning 5, the twins relinquished their “Aikas” (known to the rest of the world as “security blankets”). We eased into it, and the transition was much more seamless than we thought it would be.
  • In an effort to prep the twins for school and keep Samuel occupied, all the boys went to day camp every day for 8 weeks. The staff was amazing, and it was obvious that they were well loved there because they had so much fun, and we made some awesome friends in the process!
  • On July 9, we celebrated the one-year mark as a family. Deemed “Family Day”, we went out to lunch, shopping for new outfits and to a park where we could play and feed some “geeps”.
  • Samuel started the first grade in August. There was a bit of shell shock when he realized that there is more work and less play in first grade, but his progress amazes us on a daily basis.
  • The twins also started kindergarten. It has been a huge adjustment, but they are growing more and more each day, including talking in full sentences and playing together!
  • Andrea started grad school in August to get certified to teach art. It has been a great experience and it feels like I have finally found what I am meant to do. Oh, and I got straight A’s which has never, ever happened to me before.
  • Troy ran two marathons this year­—the Snichers Marathon in Albany, GA and “Ridge to Bridge” in Morganton, NC.
  • The twins can actually be in the same room as the dogs without freaking out. We did not think that day would ever come. They still don’t want to pet them, but we are OK with that. Sam on the other hand has become great friends with Baxter and Sylvia. He feeds them, takes them outside to play, and lets them sit on him (keep in mind they have about 12 pounds on him).
Another huge highlight has been preparing for the Advent season this year. The boys are more familiar with what happens at this time of year, and have asked some really awesome questions about why we celebrate Christmas. We have been reading a VeggieTales book called The Stable That Bob Built and have also been reading the story of Jesus’ birth from their children’s Bible. It has been encouraging to see them start to grasp the meaning of it all.

As we approach 2010, we realize that we have much to be thankful for. It has been an incredible (almost) 18 months since we met the boys—full of ups and downs as all five of us have adjusted to being a “forever family”. There are definitely days when we feel like we are barely treading water, but those days are quickly overshadowed by the joy that these little men have brought to our lives. We are amazed at how often we are caught off guard by the fact that these sweet, bright, amazing little boys live in our house and we get to be their “Mamá and Papá”.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us through our transition to parenthood. Also thank you to everyone who has loved on our boys and made them feel like the rock stars they are—you have no idea how this has helped our transition into a family.

We hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Troy, Andrea, Samuel, Daniel & Luis