For my tech-savvy friends (especially the ones for whom I have no valid street address), here is our 2011 holiday letter, complete with charming pictures. :)
There’s a first time for everything…
Swenson Family 2011
In February, I was inexplicably inspired to start running and started the Coach to 5K training program. Subsequently, I ran my first 5K (April 23), my first 12K (Thanksgiving), my first half marathon (July 4th), and my first Ragnar relay (October). I offer cheerful apologies to all the runners I have taunted in the past, as well as all the non-runners whom I now badger to run with me because “it’s just 3 miles, come on!” (Since we’re on the subject, you know you really want to run the Salt Lake Marathon with me next spring…!)
Anna has transformed into a dangerously charming young lady this year, earning nicknames like “bombshell” and “Miss America”, in part because of her cascading blonde hair. She will stormily protest if you accidentally call her a “little” anything (“I am NOT a little lady. I’m a BIG lady!”) She has yet to experience her first haircut, as Liz is still remembers Charlotte’s own haircut from last year all too clearly.
Charlotte started Kindergarten and Jack started first grade, and with those first days came hectic schedules and a flurry of other firsts. For example, my first carpool, the first time I made a loaf’s worth peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and froze them, and the first time I fell asleep on top of my kids’ homework.
Jack signed up for his first organized sport --coach-pitch baseball. Although it took some time to learn the rules (once, he got to second base then kept running straight into the outfield) he enjoyed it. He also loved having Matt there to cheer him on, even when that meant Dad sacrificed sleep to be there.
Do you remember the first time you read James and the Giant Peach or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe? Matt cuddles up with Jack and Charlotte each night and reads out loud from our old childhood favorites. It’s been wonderful seeing our kids experience these classics for the first time!
Matt has always loved fish, but recently took his first steps into the complicated world of salt water reef aquariums. He takes great joy in watching his new coral thrive and agonizes over unexplained fish deaths (Matt’s mom: “Honestly, Matt, you should know better than to name a fish!”).
Ben’s first words so far have been “Yeah!” “Uh-oh!” and a fuzzy version of “Look at THAT!” He hasn’t yet taken his first steps, but since he can make it from my lap to the open toilet bowl in 2.3 seconds, there’s no rush. He is as charming, happy, and googly-eyed as ever.
While we’ve had plenty of new experiences this year, lots of things have stayed the same. Matt enjoys his work and I thrive as a stay-at-home mom. Jack continues to constantly hum his own theme music, Charlotte still gets lost in art projects, and Anna can still get out of trouble with a charming smile. We still miss our scattered friends, and we still invite all of you to stop by our house if you ever come our way.
Love, Liz, Matt, Jack (6), Charlotte (5), Anna (3) and Ben (1) Swenson