Monday, December 24

Merry Christmas 2007

Merry Christmas 2007 with Best Wishes for a Bountiful New Year!

This was a year of new beginnings and big changes. It seems to be our way – just as things begin to get easy and comfortable, we mix it up and start new adventures.

So, after living a few years in maintenance (read: survival) mode (those of you with small children understand), 2007 was a year of great milestones and changes. And, with all that’s happened in the past 12 months or so, we decided it was time to update our faraway family and friends.

The biggie this year was Casey's decision to return to the world of suits, commutes, deadlines and take-out lunches. Yes—after five years filled with giggles, sniffles and playdates—she is now back in the adult world of paychecks and office politics.

And so, after 5 years off, Casey (in surprisingly short order) landed a plum position as communications manager with a great team at Kaiser Permanente. BIG hugs to Dave, Deanna G., Julia, Nadine and everyone who supported and cheered Casey on through this process. It was a bit stressful at times, and you were all so great in helping her reach this goal.

Casey's new adventure also meant BIG changes for the girls. After life at home with Mommy, they’ve ventured out into the great big world too. Rachel and Alex are now in a wonderful new school that they absolutely love. Miss Melissa, Miss Heather and Miss Donna mean more to us than you can imagine. The girls love the school and their teachers, and without such amazing caregivers, Casey wouldn’t have lasted a week away from her babies. (Some days it’s still a bit touch and go.)

Throughout the year, and as the family readied for the big change, we packed in tons of fun including a visit with Grandpa and Grandma Casey in Tucson, our yearly adventures in Georgia with Dave’s family, a quick trip to Portland to see Papa and Sherrie, the magic of Disneyland, our first family camping trip that lasted all of 18 hours, and the cutest little toddler dance recital ever!

And Daddy? He accomplished what can only be called a marathon—the Rock'n'Roll Marathon. He ran 26.2 miles in just 4 hours and 13 minutes! We are VERY proud of him. With just six months of training—less 6 weeks due to injury, little sleep the previous week due to nerves and a virus that he caught from Rachel earlier in the week—he did it!

Oh yes, and did I mention that after running the marathon Sunday morning, he took the girls out for pizza (I needed a nap!), and he took the red-eye flight that same night for a week long biz trip to Wisconsin?? Did I also mention he is a little crazy? Why did no one tell him before now that 26 miles is an INSANE distance to run?

Gotta love that man!!

Oh and let’s not forget Rachel’s BIG milestone of the year. NO MORE DIAPERS!! Oh yes, our little rock star is now potty trained. (Again, those of you with small kids get the hugeness of NO MORE DIAPERS – EVER. Or at least not until Dave and I need them…HA! Payback, girls! Remember, we changed yours and ‘never’ complained!)

As summer turned to fall and Rachel turned to three, Casey started her second job. We knew that returning to work after 5+ years would be an enormous adjustment. But, seriously, that first week was NUTS!! Aside from the expected, we were hit with several unanticipated anomalies that sent us into a bit of tailspin.

The Summary:

* A fender bender and insurance fraud,
* a once-in-a-decade crisis at the office,
* two very sick kids,
* and a trip to the emergency room.

It was CRAZY, but somehow we survived. (Click here for details)

And just as things began to settle down again, the wildfires hit San Diego and created chaos for the entire community. Thanks to my sister and B-in-L, Jane & Dave, we had a wonderful place to stay and our girls and our dog Ollie had a great time and no stress. ("Sleep-overs at Auntie Jane's are fun!")

And thanks to Daddy Dave, our girls & Ollie were happy and well cared for and Casey was able to go to work (LOOOONNNGG shifts in the emergency ops center) without worrying about my family.


And thanks for all the calls we received from people who were worried about us.

Things are now settling back into a new normal, and we’re still finding the time, amazingly, to cram all the love we can into the fraction of time that we, now both working parents, have to spend with our kids. We’re thriving and hope you are too.

Hugs to all of you this holiday season! We love you and wish you well.


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