Every year, my family anxiously awaits what is now an infamous annual letter from a distant cousin: touting that year’s accomplishments and (probably unknowingly) the weird inner workings of their family unit. We love to read it out loud, inevitably crying from laughing so hard at the self-congratulations that arrives in our mailbox in the form of a Christmas Letter.
Unbeknownst to most of my friends and family, I, too, write Christmas letters every year. It’s unbeknownst because I never actually get around to printing them out, let alone putting them in an envelope and mailing them (Players, please. This is 2016, we have the internet for that.) I love writing these, though. It gives me time to reflect on the year, and to cope with the dramatic- if not tragic- things that happened by (trying too hard) to be funny…
Dear Friends and Family-
Do you love this Santa picture? I do. I love it because Santa took one look at us, and affirmed for me the importance of a good mall Santa- one who can sense when a kid (or three) is about to lose it, and takes the high road by standing behind the chair, and making me sit in it. We actually ended up spending, like, $45 on copies of that picture because we are all looking at the camera- even though Ivy is giving it the middle finger. Nonetheless, this was a stark improvement from our fall photos, when the only one not crying (Clay and I included) was Emery (Remy, for short, Easy-E for cute).
This year was a doozy, wasn’t it? If you’re reading this, it means you haven’t defriended me. Which is great because, well…this year really sucked, and social media bore the brunt of my sentiments.
All that aside, it was also actually a pretty good year for us. I finished my first year as a Ph.D. student, published a paper and some HuffPo articles…all the while keeping my kids happy, clean, busy alive so…props to me.
Clay had a good year, too. Clay went back to work for his dad at Pizza Hut. Remember last year when I said that if Remy had turned out to be twins, we’d just have to buy a farm and live off the land? Well, Remy didn’t turn out to be twins, but we’re still poor, and we are still living in the suburbs. So our version of “living off the land” has become “eating the pizza Clay brings home.” Which great because pizza is one of the three foods Charlie will actually eat without spitting out on the floor. So it’s all working out.
Ivy is the cutest, quirkiest little creature I have ever met. Excuse me if I get a little emotional here. . She lives in her own little world, speaks her own little language, and every once in a while we are lucky enough to be invited in. She loves to be helpful: she brings me diapers when I’m changing Remy, and whenever the baby cries she’ll find a bottle and give it to her. Well, if I’m honest, sometimes that’s great, and sometimes it’s not that great—all depending on where she finds the bottle.
Remy has made me realize that it doesn’t matter when you do stuff, mostly because she’s done it all early. I know she’s smart, not because she goes to the fridge to forage for food or walked at 9 months, but because she knew that’s what she had to do if she wanted to survive. She didn’t ask to be born the youngest of 3 under 3, but she’s killing it with some mad Naked-and-Afraid- level survival skills.
Charlie started preschool this year, and we love it because they let him wear his Spiderman costume/pajamas to school. This works out for us because he’s been wearing it since the beginning of October. He finally figured out what his birthday means, what trick-or-treating is, and that Santa brings presents. So life for him is probably pretty awesome.
All in all, it’s been another year of change, but we didn’t get pregnant again, so we got that going for us. Last year I (humbly) asked God not to send me another baby, but to instead send us a Mercedes. Joke’s on us, though, because we can’t afford our house. So if you’re in the market, you should totally buy ours. It’s in Carmel- which is great- it has a cheap HOA that nobody really pays attention to, but includes the pool- which is great- and we’ve only mildly destroyed it with fingerprints, markers, and attempts at DIY backsplashes. Here’s the link, we’re a little desperate, so….low-ball us, see what happens.
Best to you all, with much love and merriment and well-wishes for the future,
Nickie and Friends
(But seriously, buy our house)