Putting the star on the tree 2015

Christmas Letter v2015

December 25, 2015 by Michelle

I can still call it a Christmas letter even through it literally is in the process of spitting out my computer as I type this, right? After all, it’s Christmas night, so it technically isn’t over yet. This has been a crazy fall, and oddly my priorities haven’t been to get these out on time (again) this year. I had them in time to send them, but well, they’ll be in tomorrow’s mail.

Meh. I’m not the only one late in sending a Christmas letter and Christmas card. It’s the thought that counts, right? Ergo, a quick rundown of our last year in traditional Christmas letter fashion.

If you celebrate, a VERY Merry Christmas to you. If not, my best wishes to you for a lovely and relaxing season and to even better things to come in 2016 for us all.

Our Christmas Letter 2015

It’s December, and I walked outside without a coat today. Needless to say, I’m manufacturing the Christmas cheer this year, as Mother Nature is not providing it!

We are happily settled into our new house, and this year we tore down the old and very small garage and rebuilt it as a three car garage (hello, storage!) with stairs to an unfinished level with…more storage. Next up is redoing the basement to make it a true destination spot for the wee ones. None of us can wait! No matter what house headaches we may find (did I mention hail totaled our roof this summer?), we are happy to be where we can walk everywhere.

In fact, Mister Man is now at the middle school where goes with my husband every day (or every day they don’t drive together), and Little Miss is excited to join them in this trek next year. Mister Man’s transition to middle school has been fairly smooth, and he’s thrilled with his teachers and classes. It’s a change, but a good one.

Mister Man first day of 6th grade

He isn’t playing basketball this winter, as it got to be too much, but he is still enjoying tae kwon do and Boy Scouts, and he’s now a key member of my husband’s academic team. They are both getting a kick out of doing this together, and this winter will involve them spending most Saturdays at tournaments in addition to after school practices and regular matches. Next year will see Little Miss joining the team, too, and everyone is excited about that!

Little Miss, on the other hand, is enjoying being queen of the school as a fifth grader and all that accompanies that. Her fifth grade three day overnight was a highlight for her, as was the trip to Springfield. She’s blossoming in school and finally starting to share her thoughts with her teachers. She is still competing in gymnastics and had a great season last year where she improved a ton. This is probably her last year, as she has decided to run cross country and track at the middle school, which will take up much of the time she has dedicated to gymnastics the past few years.

Little Miss First Day of 5th Grade

Both kids went to Spanish immersion camp this summer for a week and cannot wait to return. This is the same camp family Michelle went to as a child, so the appeal is multi-generational. They are begging to go for a two week session this year, and given that it is in Minnesota – Bemidji this year no less – two weeks is a likely option. Somehow, they will fit that in, along with summer school, Boy Scout camp, and a requested trip to Costa Rica to celebrate Little Miss’s 6 years of Spanish school.

They are starting to get a bit spoiled with travel, but the memories it creates are priceless. The family enjoyed a cruise over spring break that allowed everyone to get away from the Chicago weather before heading to Spanish camp in the summer and Florida for a Universal Studios conference over Labor Day weekend.

Wee ones at Hogwarts at Universal Studios

Michelle survived turning 40 in November with no apparent adverse effects and used that as an excuse to add an “extra” trip for herself to Turks & Caicos for a week for an extended stay after a conference. Yes, Michelle’s blog and  social media outlets mean she “gets” to attend fun conferences in interesting locales on occasion. She has her fingers crossed for another conference with Beaches again next year, in addition to her conferences already booked in Laguna Niguel and Disney. Her freelance work has taken off in the last year and definitely keeps her busy. She looks forward to turning over the PTO president reins at the elementary school, though it looks like she may be picking them up at the middle school.

Michelle Trip to Beaches

Fortunately, her husband remains as ensconced in his job and coaching as always and rolls with the twists and turns life throws at us all. His academic team continues to perform well, and they officially have the coolest uniforms of any middle school team in Illinois. Between his coaching and announcing for four high school sports on top of teaching and tutoring, he somehow manages to get a full night’s sleep in – or his version of one anyway!

Putting the star on the tree 2015

Wishing you health and happiness in 2016 – and that our paths cross sooner rather than later,

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