Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Our Christmas Letter

If you are like my husband, you think Christmas letters are the ultimate in narcissism. If you are like me, you truly enjoy hearing a little harmless bragging of friends. So for the first group, do what you normally do, ignore the post, just skim down to see the pictures, and have yourself a merry little Christmas!!! The second group, read on....

We have had a wonderful, stable year. No houses being built, sold, bought, or given up. Only one auto purchase. No businesses being begun or left or teetering on the brink. We have learned many a lesson from recent years and are extremely grateful for what we have. Here is where we've been the past year:
Hinckley was baptized in April. His milestones are always a little difficult for his old mom, but full of joy still. He is a normal 8 year old boy, who tries as best as he can. I love that about him. He struggles and he learns and grows in capacity. Of all my children, he challenges me most in my parenting skills and I appreciate that. Hinckley loves to make good choices, be an example, and have responsibility, which makes him so perfectly placed as our oldest child. He loves to laugh more than anything and we love to hear him. He is currently involved in wrestling, where he works hard and is learning confidence as he increases in skill. He likes school--mostly the fun stuff, you know, lunch and recess and friends, which makes us happy that he is so well-adjusted.

Halle is going for the Miss Perfect crown. I had to give it up, see, when I married and became Mrs. Perfect. She is happy, polite, and a good student. First grade has been great because she gets to be at school all day long with friends and adoring teachers who hand out candy. Candy and snuggles are her fuel, her air, her reason for being. If you see Halle, give her a hug, you will make her day and be her new favorite. Candy works too, but mom prefers the hug route. Halle is also a regular girl, prone to fits of whining and overwhelming emotion, but I don't know what that's about, never having gone through it myself. She recently began gymnastics, and if there were a stronger word than adores, I would use it here: She ADORES it.

Ava. Oh my. This little girl of mine. Where did she come from? She's vivacious, spunky, a bit deficient in the attention department, squirmy, and completely loveable. I guess certain genes skip generations. She is a mystery to me and definitely adds a special dynamic to our family. Everyone is her friend which has put me in some uncomfortable situations, but I need to be uncomfortable sometimes, right? Ava is in preschool, and although she loves it, likes just as well to stay at home and play with Tommy, her little compadre. She doesn't like the hugs so much although her little body was just made to hug, but she will let you scratch her arms as long as you don't try to snuggle too much while doing it. Not that I do that.

My baby Tommy keeps growing and I am just not cool with that. Seriously, what do I do? He thinks he's a big boy and resists my efforts to keep him curled up in my lap while singing lullabies in the rocking chair all day long. I'm at a loss. Two years old is not old enough to abandon infancy in my opinion. Tommy is best buddies with Ava and sounds like her little clone. He walks around singing "Jacob! Jacob and sons! Aa-aa-aa-aaaah!" from "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat", which is their song du jour (du month). He imitates her tantrums, her drama, her love of showtunes, her everything. When Ava is at school, and the second fiddle gets some attention, he likes going to Target and Costco (who doesn't?) where I bribe him with hot dogs to love me. I mean, what I meant to say is, I get us hot dogs because we are hungry and it is lunch time. He absolutely loves going to nursery at church, loves to take naps, and loves to get his hair cut.

Darron has has a good year. His business has settled down and he has recently begun to have some more flexibility again in spending family time with us. He has a stellar staff that he can trust to manage things well if he is away, for which I am most grateful. He has had two callings in church that have helped him grow and expand as a person, widened his perspective, and deepened his love for and testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He has become more conscientious as a father and husband and we all love him so much for it. One of his best qualities is his desire to be better. He is an inspiration to me. His current hobbies include wrestling (now that Hinckley is involved), the smoking of meats, eating sushi with me, and flag football.

I, too, have had a wonderful year. I never thought I could be so busy, and I may not be handling it perfectly, but I am handling it. Just don't expect me to remember anything you tell me. Or to be somewhere. Or do something. I feel like I have grown as a parent and a wife and a person. My church calling, too, has forced me to grow and be way out of my comfort zone, but I am grateful for the push. My blessings are great, are real, and are humbling. I have felt the love and presence of my Heavenly Father this year and feel like we have become closer. I am grateful for the stability our family has experienced and the wisdom we have gained. I don't know what the Lord has in store for our family next year, but I feel better equipped to deal with it, blessing or trial, than I was last year.

Our love and best wishes to all of you, our loved ones, this Christmas Season. I hope you feel the love of our Savior in your lives, that you allow Him to enter your heart and fill you with joy. We love and appreciate all of you in our lives, past or present, for what you have added to them. May you have a wonderful new year filled with blessings and peace. We love you!

Darron (not pictured), Heather (camera shy), Hinckley, Halle, Ava, and Thomas

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

In Which I Did Not Learn My Lesson

Alright alright, I fixed it! It still needs a little tweaking (around the ears and up top) and I am just resigned to the fact that it ages me a few years. So now I'm 36. Could be worse. Of course I haven't had to face it first thing in the morning yet either....hmm...

Here is where I got my inspiration:
The lovely Kris Kardashian-Jenner. This could be me in a few months. I love that it is a versatile look. I get bored wearing my hair the same way for a long time. If you didn't know that already. Plus her eye makeup is so nice.
Mrs. Beckham's is shorter and absolutely adorable, but for some reason I am never comfortable with short short bangs. I have issues with my forehead. Some have problems with their mothers, mine are with my forehead. It's complicated. But isn't she darling?

See the thing is, I just didn't go all the way. I couldn't commit to shaving my temples. And I think therein lay the problem.

Monday, December 14, 2009

What Would Anne Do? or in other words, I Have An Announcement to Make

I'll give you a hint. This is what it looks like in the morning.

And frankly, there's not much improvement during the day.

(Clearly taken before I had a chance to conceal and pluck.)

I did it finally. I gave myself a really really bad haircut 4 weeks ago. I'm not saying the others were perfect, or even great, but they were liveable. This one is just dreadful. All out dreadful. It looks like a wig, a bad sixties wig. Remember Hayley Mills in "The Parent Trap"?

The Susan look. Picture it in brown and you have me. I'm not posting a photo of it done and styled because I don't want to hear any false compliments. You all are too nice. My friends would tell me I looked great if I went back to my Mowgli bowl cut 2nd grade roots. Which is not completely unlike my current look, come to think of it.

And also I am doing penance. Because one of the first thoughts that came through my head after the foul deed was done was "What would Anne Shirley do?" And that is to look myself in the mirror everytime I come into the bathroom to remind myself how ugly I am. Of course, I am talking about the Anne Shirley of the book, who gets a scarecrow cut after she dyes her hair green, not the Anne Shirley of the movie, who gets a cute little bob. I am six months and a good licensed cosmetologist away from a cute little bob.

But such is life. At age 20, this would have devastated me. So I have to keep my perspective. I have a lot less pride at 33. I mean, I have my pride, but it doesn't keep me in the house under my covers like maybe it should. So in another month or so, I will allow myself to be seen and photographed, and who knows... maybe even cut and styled by a professional.

Other happenings, because life has unnaccountably gone on since the Great Hair Debaucle of 2009:

We had a fun trip to the mall to see Santa. Trademarked Santa. You know, the one who doesn't allow you to take pictures of him with your own camera because He wants you to buy a package for $29.95 that includes 2 8x10s, 4 5x7s, 16 3x5s, and 132 wallets? Yeah, that one. So here are the kids BEFORE we got to the jolly old licensed elf...

Tommy asked for a blue truck. Ava, for makeup people (go ahead and ask. The answer won't make any sense either). Halle, for a Bratz doll. (me, after: I thought you wanted one of those Liv dolls, not a Bratz. her: I do, but I didn't think he would know what it was. Ahh, the faith of children). Hinckley (and I quote), a Thames and Kosmos Dangerous Book for Boys Classic Chemistry set. With carbine-action two-hundred shot range.

Will Santa deliver? That remains to be seen. They certainly look like they would be on the nice list. A lesser mother might be tempted to point out that looks can be oh so deceiving. But I am not a lesser mother. I rock, folks. You would too if you looked like me.

Can ya dig it, babay?