Sunday, January 12, 2014

Annual P Family Christmas Card and Letter

We have officially dubbed 2013 “The Year of Change.”  We started 2013 as a family of 5, welcoming in the year by riding bikes, barbequing, and lighting fireworks on a warm winter New Year’s Eve in Arizona. We’re now ending it as a family of 6, huddled in front of our fireplace in Utah, buried in blankets, downing the hot chocolate, and fighting over who gets to put the heating pad on their bed.

J also spent New Year’s Eve 2012 in true accountant-style, praying for me to go into labor so we could reap the tax rewards and dodge the insurance hit of paying for a January baby. But, true to her calm, easy-going demeanor, Zelly decided to hold off until January 10 to make her debut. Zelly loves to dance, eat paper, and be held by her mom, a habit that was initially necessary for her survival, given the exuberant and constant embraces of her older brother.

H (4) lives to kiss, smother, and bug his little sister.  Thankfully, she gets a little break from him 3 mornings a week when he goes to preschool, where he tries his best not to get a red card so he can pick out of the treasure chest at the end of the day.  We love H’s excitement for the small things in life and his big dreams—he is sure that the gravel/sand pit will one day be a big volleyball court and that the store being built will one day be a dungeon.

Sweetie (8) has navigated the year’s changes by immersing herself in soccer, tumbling, piano, basketball, and the 3rd grade Advanced Learning Program. She loves living closer to her cousins so they have plenty of time to invent new foods (the latest: “caed,” a cross between cake and bread), adopt pet water balloons, try out various oatmeal/honey facial combinations, and rock out at the Selena Gomez concert.

Mister (10) is glad that he found plenty of boys in our new neighborhood who have been willing to join him in basketball, flag football, video gaming, and roaming the mountainside.  When the high temperature this week didn’t make it out of the 20s, we finally insisted he trade his Arizona basketball shorts for the pile of pants sitting untouched in his dresser drawer.

With the move to Utah, J kept his job as a senior vice president of finance for Bank of America but transitioned to working from home full-time. He has thoroughly enjoyed our proximity to BYU sports, but has lately fallen into a deep despair as he’s watched his beloved golf courses disappear beneath the snow.

As the person responsible for initiating our change in location, I have spent most of the year helping everyone else navigate the ensuing changes in their lives, while also trying to find a new “normal” in my own life, as a mother of 4 and a resident of Utah. I’m hoping this move will give me the opportunity to teach at BYU in a tenure track position one day, and I’m glad that it’s already giving me the opportunity to see my family more and to live by the mountains that I love.

Even though the changes of the year have been good, they haven’t been easy.  We miss our friends and family in Arizona. (H still insists that we move back “when this house gets dirty.”) Making new, meaningful connections is a long and sometimes scary process, but we’re plugging along, grateful to be together.  We’re also grateful, especially at this time of year, for the one thing that remains unchanging in our lives—our Savior, Jesus Christ, and the peace and love that He gives us. 

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