Every year we receive several Christmas letters from distant family members and friends. About 95% of these letters are well written and personal and I enjoy reading them. There is one in particular that I don't even want to open any longer. My husband has a cousin who writes a letter beaming of all her daughters accomplishments. She never mentions the son except to say "Dewey is well". The only mention of her husband is "Chris and I are very proud of Emma (daughter). She speaks mainly of herself and her daughter. Maybe Chris and Dewey opted out?
Receiving the letters makes me wonder of what I would compose in a Christmas letter. I could come up with one mentioning the baby, our camping trips, feeling thankful for our good health and jobs..Then last night I started thinking of writing a very realistic letter reflecting on the past year:
Dear Friends and Family
Packers won the Super Bowl. Ken and Janet threw a great party. Ken got drunk and ripped his jean shirt. Arnie in Ninja form tried to tell Ken some story but Ken was intent on how to explain to his wife that he blew candle wax all over her wall.
Daughter announced her pregnancy. Baby due in September. Says all is going well in her relationship. Girls don't seem happy. I sense something is amiss. Around May
Mother in law diagnosed with ovarian and uterine cancer. Has surgery and does well. Starts Chemo and ends up in the hospital several times with blood pressure issues due to the chemo. Chemo stops-mother in law comes home after rehab for a stroke and does good for a few weeks. Family members decide she is good at home and daughter downstairs can provide care she needs. From the amount of phone calls we are receiving I say she will either be in Assisted Living soon or have in home care.
Get the call in May about daughter moving. We insist she come to our home-figured it was easier than paying her rent when deadbeat dad wouldn't come through. Once the move was made the deadbeat father refused any help until DNA testing.
Made a few camping trips this year. Missed a few due to mother in law in hospital. Watched Dylan play baseball and end up with an excellent season. Football was not so great but still fun to watch.
One of our camping trips was cut short as baby Jake decided to arrive a bit early. Birth went well. He's been a joy but can't seem to get on a schedule yet. He's got a little Thompson in him with his smile after a big poop or crying jag. Just eats at your heart.
Son has been steadily working and has been with his current girlfriend for over a year now. He seems very happy-as I write this I am looking for a piece of wood to knock on.
Arnie is still employed and has been very busy at work kissing some butt. No, seriously-he has been a huge part of the change in ownership and has been busy with moving stores, changing packaging and whatever else makes him so crabby at work.
We bought a shed to store all my daughters belongings-cheaper than paying for storage. I think there is another intent for the shed once she is out. I though about setting up house in there. Nice size-looks homey from the outside.
I am still getting up at the crack of pre-dawn for work. Sometimes my alarm wakes me up-other times I hear the beginning "I'm hungry" cries from Jake.
Deadbeat dad has still not seen his child. It appears his want for drugs has outweighed the gift of a child. Attorney working on revoking any custody rights and I'm convinced he'll sign anything not to pay child support. Guess Jake is better off with that scene for now.
Our house is crowded-trips have been made to the dump and Goodwill to purge out items no longer necessary or that there is no room for.
Mom and Dad are still doing well in Arizona. They came for a visit this summer and were able to spend time with the family. We're still trying to figure out how to convince her to move back. My father wants to be with his kids and grandchildren. Just can't quite figure her out.
Along with the daughter and two girls came Bella the dog and Lilo the cat. The two cats and two dogs seem to get along well. I sometimes feel like Dr. Doolittle in my home-especially at feeding time. I've become used to stepping over two dogs that seem to think that it is a game to seem just how much they can get in the way. Bella keeps our dog Sadie young.
We finally bought an over the range microwave and got rid of the 27 year old one. I miss it! Got a new fridge when ours blew out while camping. Got another new fridge because the first new one we got was to small.
And hell froze over! Our garage is clean! Clean enough for Arnie to park his truck in the garage. The garage door which hasn't worked in years is fixed. I have fear though-I don't know where all the junk that was in the garage went. I'm afraid to open the storage room in the basement.
As I look back I realize that even with all this chaos I feel blessed. At times it seems like everything is getting out of control but we manage to work through it.
The Noisey, Bursting at the seams, Crowded but mostly fun Home.