" /> Toads-in-the-Hole: December 2013 Archives

« November 2013 | Main | January 2014 »

December 31, 2013

Good-Bye, 2013

IMG_1987.jpg

2013 was a sweet vintage for our family. We completed a big life's task, and transferred all our bodies and worldly possessions to a new home place. We are rich in joy and happiness, saying good-bye to dear friends and places and hello to new ones. We are deeply thankful for our health and for the health of our loved ones.

IMG_1955.jpg

We are thankful that Adelaide's reading has really taken off this year ... At present, she's plowing through her very own hardback copy of Dahl's The BFG. Her handwriting still needs a bit of work, but we recognize that it's tricky to be a lefty in a right-handed world. We are thankful that Henry has learned many new works this year, including sounds (and prayers) from his Catholic preschool teacher, Miss Cheri. We were charmed by his proud performance of "Chatter with the Angels" in his school's Christmas program.

IMG_1913.jpg

As always, we are thankful for good food. When Joel and I embarked on our big medical school adventure back in Portland, Oregon in 2004, we made a pact that we'd never sacrifice having good food during the process, and so we became foodies, savoring our butter, salmon, and spirits as a favorite hobby. We're passing this along to Adelaide and Henry, who enjoy cleaning vegetables, sautéing the mirepoix, scrambling eggs, and baking cookies. And we are delighted to have a new pet in the backyard to care for; our very own compost was installed this autumn which we'll turn over into a new hobby this spring with a terraced vegetable garden!

IMG_1934.jpg

As we eagerly pulled up our shallow, but gnarled Iowa City roots, we are thankful that Henry gently reminded us of our connections there and helped us to take a care for the welcome that we've received here in Minnesota. Henry, our compass, has been marking his loss with "I miss Malcolm," and marking his forgetfulness with "I can't remember the color of Adelaide's room at our old house." His sincere comments are bittersweet, reminding us of our quick adaptability and the reality of separation that Henry confronts as one season passes to the next. We won't be returning to his little yellow room that overlooked the backyard creek; and, for now, he hasn't completely embraced his new blue room, choosing to sleep with us most nights. It's okay, we trust that he'll forget and someday sleep in his own bed again, but for now, we'll let him slowly adjust and reassure him with our consistency. We remember the preciousness of our former lives that we've shared with our family of friends in Oregon, South Dakota, Iowa, and now Minnesota. We are deeply grateful for the reminder, Henry, of the richness of our life as we stand at the start of another new beginning.

IMG_1994.jpg

We are very thankful for Muskie Hill for sledding excursions (when the tube isn't popped). Minnesota has received an above average snowfall this year and we've celebrated such a welcome with lots of sparkling smiles, rosy cheeks, and mugs of tea and cocoa.

IMG_2095.jpg

We are so thankful for our holidays with family and friends. This year, we traded our usual 6-7 hour schlep for a local holiday: traveling to Glencoe to celebrate my grandma's 80th; traveling 20 minutes to St. John's Abbey on a snowy Christmas Eve for Midnight Mass; traveling 5 minutes to my mom and dad's for Christmas Day; and traveling 45 minutes to Phoebe and Dave's for a Mironish weekend. Our dance card is full of social obligations and opportunities at every turn, and we are so grateful to be able to participate in the celebrations.

So, thank you, 2013 ... We will always think so very fondly of you.