Monday, December 21, 2009

the Christmas letter I never mailed

Greetings from Bemidji!

Welcome to our first, and quite possibly, last Christmas letter! (Seriously, these are not what I would call overly enjoyable to write. I feel I should be rah-rah-rahing our lives, but things aren't always roses and candles. Sometimes it's just snowballs and icicles.)

I am probably in the minority here, but I am not much looking forward to 2010. This year has easily been the happiest of my life as we have really come together as a family. We've been so blessed and honored to be able to watch our little Lola find and embrace her personality.

And let me tell you, it's a very strong personality! Lola, who is now 17 months old, is an introverted, intense, persistent, spirited child. At least that is what the books tell me. Basically, it means that she is a loud screamer and is not easily distractible. So that afternoon when she saw the ring full of measuring cups and decided that that just had to be her newest toy, it was a futile effort to try to get her, instead, interested in stuffed animals or balls. In the end, she got those measuring cups. And a hoarse voice.

Me? Well, I'm still with the Bemidji Pioneer, where I write a few stories each week on the city council and other happenings in and around the city. I'm also still enjoying my books and my writing.

Ray is still working with Karvakko Engineering, where he serves as an environmental technician. Basically, he's a jack of all trades, but mostly enjoys his "tree-hugger" duties (his words, not mine) such as wetland delineation and tree preservation. He also stays busy with his geckos and fish.

Our favorite moments in 2009 were from our trip to South Dakota in September, when we visited the Black Hills and got together with some friends from college. Fun times. (Not so much the drive time, but the sights and sunshine were much enjoyed.)

But, of course, not everything has been wonderful all of the time. We're still learning to be parents. Each day offers new challenges and frustrations. And while I would love to be the type of person who can proudly proclaim that she loves challenges because they offer the opportunity to grow as a person, that just simply isn't true. I like easy things. I like sleep!

I'm still learning to juggle work and home life. I still like my work a lot, but the hours of a reporter can be demanding.

Ray's still learning to deal with us girls. While my ability to bat my eyes adoringly and whimper just a little bit to get exactly what I wanted faded years ago, Lola has picked up where her mom left off. She has that man wrapped around her chubby little fingers! And, when we both really want something, we can throw temper tantrums like you wouldn't believe! Needless to say, if Ray had hair, it surely would be completely gray by now.

So, to sum up, we're all healthy and happy, which makes us incredibly blessed and extremely thankful.

Merry Christmas!

Bethany (and Ray & Lola)

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