To our Friends and Family,
2009 brought so many changes for our family; we are kicking ourselves for not taking notes so we could remember the finer details of the year. As most of you know we uprooted our little family from Idaho and moved back to Connecticut where, ironically, our adventure first began. We are immensely grateful for Alistair’s new job (the reason for the move) and that Tab was also able to find a good job so quickly. We have much to be thankful for this year. Here are updates from everyone…
Emily turned 8 this year and was baptized on June 13, the day before we packed up for New England. She finished 2nd grade in style (including many sparkling accessories) and began 3rd grade with a little apprehension which lasted only a day. She loves her new school, has made a few new friends and will start gymnastics in the New Year. She continues to play the piano although it takes a little more effort to get her to practice now with so many things to do. (Including an hour of homework each day) Emily is really getting into art and spends hours drawing and tracing anything that pops into her mind. We then spend hours picking up all the remnants of said projects much of the night. J Emily probably had the hardest time adjusting to the move. The fact that we lost her kitty Fiona only 3 hours into our 5 day drive did not help. She misses her friends in Kuna and all her aunts and cousins. It helps that we get to see Uncle Geoff often and both sets of grandparents have already visited. Another comfort came in the form of her new hamster “princess” who has partially filled the hole that Fiona left.
Matthew just turned 7, and has already amassed more Legos than many Toy stores. Legos have truly become his passion, his birthday and Christmas wish lists typically consist of Legos only. This year he went with Dad and his sister to two very cool events, a Model Railroad convention as well as a Lego convention in downtown Hartford. He has done well with the move, we think the fact that he ended up with his own room helped. He has adjusted well to 1st grade and made many friends. Matthew has defiantly become our early riser… he is always up 1 ½ to 2 hours before school begins, dresses himself complete with coat and backpack, then can be found either playing with Legos or on the computer. Matthew began taking piano lessons this year (which he loves) and is enjoying an after school program called “All Pro Sports” where once a week he is introduced to all kinds of sports and activities. He comes home sweaty, hungry, and tired…so we love it too.
Ainsley has been the epitome of a 2 year old this year… very fun but very willful. She is an active toddler, always keeping up with her older siblings. We think this is due to her consumption of Diet Mountain Dew, which is normally Tab’s drink of choice (due to working nights). Ainsley has been known to sneak off with an open can and then we find it empty later. She also likes to do everything on her own, especially the things she really can’t. She’ll try for a couple of minutes and then ask for help. The highlight of her independence culminated in church when she was trying to wiggle away to wander and Tab held her back by her arm. Ainsley then, in the midst of near silence in the congregation, yelled out “OW! You bwoke my arm!” Ainsley adjusted to the move quickly, and loves asking everyone who comes to visit “You want to see my room?” She is such a cutie.
TAB: Like Emily, my adjustment to the new move was also difficult. It was hard to pull myself away from 11 years of good friends, my family, and my home of 8 years. I was also very sad to leave my first job and the friends and coworkers I have there. I was not ready to move when Alistair first accepted his new job, but 8 weeks of being apart sped up the process. I found that although I am capable of doing things on my own, life is much sweeter when we are all together. We arrived in Connecticut and endured a month of constant rain, in an apartment, with little knowledge of the indoor places we could go to keep ourselves entertained. The kids and I searched and toured homes for 8 weeks until we finally found one we loved and bought in September. In mid-August, I started my new job at St. Francis Hospital on their surgical telemetry floor. I loved working with open heart surgery patients before, and I decided we had already made enough changes, so I stayed with the patient population I understand. My new unit is extremely busy but I am seeing quality patient care and teamwork. We are meeting some really neat people here at church, in the community, and our neighborhood is incredibly friendly. We are finally settling in and finding our routine. New England is once again growing on me.
ALISTAIR: Well as you can tell from the above, after being somewhat boring in the past few Christmas letters, I was the one who initiated the big changes in our lives this year. It all happened really fast. I was concerned about the economy and what was happening at Micron. Although I had survived (yet again) a few rounds of layoffs, I really wasn’t sure of the long term viability of the company and prospects of my career. If I had lost my job at Micron, I would have had to either leave Boise or change careers. So I started looking and applied for a job at Travelers Insurance (Red Umbrella commercials), and after applying I was in a phone interview two days later, then two weeks later I was flown out for an interview. The toughest part was moving out in April on my own leaving Tab and the kids in Boise to finish the school year. Switching from an electronics manufacturing company to the Insurance industry was certainly challenging, and after 8 months I’m still learning quite a bit, but it’s been good and Travelers is an extremely stable company. I also feel it has helped me be a stronger analyst. It’s been interesting moving back to Connecticut after 10 years, although to a different area. We like the house and town we are in but we do miss our home and lives from Idaho.
We pray this letter finds everyone well and happy. We wish a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone.