I recently received a family letter from a friend in I.T. Although I've seen the episode on Everybody Loves Raymond where Marie writes her family letter summarizing, and sometimes exaggerating, the events of the family for the year, I've never received one before. It got me thinking...what would I write in my 2013 Family Letter.
So, just to keep my kids names out of the limelight (I've already started exaggerating - this is perfect for me!) I'm going to name my 12-year-old daughter Hit Girl and my 6-year-old son Nemo. My wonderful husband will be referred to as Mr. Incredible. He's happier with that name than my original choice: Homer Simpson. I will refer to myself as Mrs. Incredible (or Elastigirl), which I'll admit is better than Marge Simpson.
Here goes. Enjoy!
2013 was a tremendous year for our family filled with changes and milestones for everyone. I will start off with the kids and work my way up the family from there.
Nemo: Guess who started first grade this fall? My little Nemo is getting so big that he already wants to swim to his school on his own. (swim, school...I'm literally giggling!) If only his school were closer, and not crossing two major commercial streets, maybe we could have worked something out. He's reading my ear off and enjoying school, however his favorite activity is still playing Wii bowling. He's made a ton of new fishy friends in the reef where he plays after school. Even with the snowy weather, winter boots suffice and his small band of misfits cause havoc in the cold. He continues with Jiu-Jitsu, an orange belt now, and has recently started playing basketball with other first and second graders. The ball looks proportionately huge next to his tiny frame, and watching him zoom across the court for a shot is nothing short of freaking adorable. There is a ton of laughter from the kids learning the game, shooting at the wrong hoop, and blocking or stealing from their own teammates. In the end, everyone has a blast especially the parents. Of all the sports, at his age, this is the most entertaining for all of us.
Hit Girl: Guess who kicked ass in softball this year? (I love this!) Hit Girl's arm fired cannons in the spring, catching the eye of the travel team coach who recruited her for spring, summer, and fall softball travel leagues. Along with this came a lot of sweaty afternoons in July, freezing nights in November, and a ton of bonding with a cool group of tween girls. She enrolled in a robotics program after school and is still playing piano with her teacher who insists Hit Girl must be practicing day and night. With all the after school extra curricular activities, Hit Girl has earned the right to carry a real smart phone with the added bonus of a mom's sanity. She has grown a lot taller this year and has started measuring herself against me, waiting for the day she reaches my height. That day is coming fast, and with the recent revelations of our matching shoe sizes, her eye-turning maturity, and sudden interest in makeup and hair styling, my husband and I have decided to buy a shot gun. Just kidding, but we are thinking about getting a pit bull.
Mr. Incredible: This past spring, Mr. Incredible's company moved to a further location and has allowed him to work from home 2 days a week. Yippeeee! Seriously, this has saved us a mountain in gas costs and time lost during the 70-minute commute each way. Working from home meant redesigning our basement and making it more office friendly. I get to have lunch dates with my love and he spends more time with the kids. Who could ask for more? Mr. Incredible took of his red costume and threw on a Gi to participate in his first Jiu-Jitsu competition outside of his academy, which resulted in a 2nd place medal in his division. He finally showed the world that those muscles aren't just for show! He joined me in two Spartan races, a Sprint in April and a Super Spartan in September. He lead me up and down the ski slopes of Mount Vernon to the finish line; I couldn't have done it without him. We were planing a Spartan Beast in October for the Trifecta medal but we both injured ourselves in the last race. He still lights up the room when he smiles and slaps my butt when I walk past him. Corny, I know, but what the hey...I hope to claim the same for years to come!
Mrs. Incredible / Elastigirl (ME) : This year I learned how to really write a novel. With all the lessons I learned on my first novel in 2012, my second novel was technically better and got an ocean of positive feedback. I've also learned that writing is only half the work. The business part of being an author is still a sharp learning curve whose plateau I have yet to reach. I participated in NANOWRIMO but didn't finish, however I wasn't too disappointed since I used the month of November to edit my current work in progress. I've finally created my own blog and started posting my short stories, real tales of mischief and woe, and some creepy fiction for the Halloween season. I've crawled out of my shell and reached out to social media writing community and out to the world with my humble stories. Hallelujah! Aside from writing, I've become an avid runner, covering 15-20 miles a week, with a short hiatus in September while my sprained ankle healed from the Super Spartan race. The freezing weather is also slowing me down, but that doesn't count. Lastly, I hosted Thanksgiving this year for 24 family members in my tiny house and made a slamming Apply-Cranberry-Walnut stuffing/casserole that is still talked about to this day. My turkey was awesome and it was accompanied by a ton of other meat dishes as half my family is Argentinean. It was a huge success thanks to my parents' help and contribution, and to 15 bottles of wine and more than half a giant jug of Patron.
Christmas was a shopping blur and before I knew it the four of us were watching the ball drop in our pajamas while sipping hot cocoa and holding a dish of grapes.