Saturday, December 24, 2011

More Words, Bob Dylan and the Armadillo

This year's Christmas letter:

The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

Times they definitely are a-changin.’
Recently, I’ve been looking back at past Christmas letters I’ve written. I feel the need to defend the Christmas letter.  It seems that this year, even more than ever the Christmas letter has come under attack.  I still believe in good old-fashioned letters and updates from people you care about.  Even though people tell a certain story on is usually a glossed up version of the truth. Believe me, I get it.  If you have seen my Facebook profile picture, you understand that I too fall victim to the “make it look better than it is” syndrome.  I looked pretty good ONE night last year and I am using the picture from that night in every profile I have online and otherwise.  Even the church directory.  
But hopefully my Christmas letter has been and is different.  Real.  Not depressing real (well maybe to some people.)  But a real update.  Real life--funny, complicated, annoying, ridiculous and good and bad.
In my look back I realized things are changing.  My babies that I wrote about are getting bigger, growing up.  And it is happening fast.  Soon they will be teenagers (and then the letters will get scary real).
Peyton turned 10 this year.  I can’t believe I have been a mother for a decade.  (Yes it is about me.) He is thriving in baseball and football.  It’s the first year he isn’t so crazy about school which is bumming us out.  He recently decided it was time to make the switch from calling me “mommy” to “mom.” Ugh.  He asked to go deodorant shopping with Tim. They bought AXE, the deodorant that attracts uber-attractive women.  Really Tim? “Mom” will be going deodorant shopping with Peyton next time. 
Times they definitely are a-changin.’
Lucy however is still as funny as ever.  As we were decorating the tree, we told stories about each ornament.  We told the story behind the fortune cookie ornament, the story of how Tim proposed to me with a fortune inside a cookie.  Lucy followed up with, “Why? Didn’t he have the guts to just ask you?”  Classic. She is having a great year at school, which if you could hear the surprise in my voice when I say that you might judge me.  But we are beyond thrilled that she is happy.  Believe me, the world is just a better place when Lucy is happy.
JT is 5 1/2 and had a rough fall adjusting to kindergarten.  Set back by speech issues and Celiac disease he is finally getting used to his new routines.  Just in time for the two-week holiday break.  But I am hopeful he will continue to adjust and learn to love kindergarten.  It is the season to believe in hope, right?  JT is still an amazing little athlete.  He loved baseball this past summer and is enjoying hockey now.  He might be into hockey a little too much.  I find myself saying “Quit checking your brother into the wall.”  A lot.
The baby Wade is 2.  He is obsessed with matchbox cars and all things Toy Story.   He is a yes man.  Actually a “Yup” man.  Ask him anything...”how are you?” he replies “yup.”  “do you want to go outside?” “yup.”  
I haven’t been in love with 2011.  There were some really good things about it, but a lot wasn’t that fabulous.  I mean even if I were one of those people that was all phony and fake in my Christmas letters, it would be hard to spin some of the stuff that happened.  Like hoping for a short sale on our under-water mortgaged house, frustrating health issues, longer hours for Tim’s job, and oh so much more.  Just one of those years.  But there were some really great moments, they were mostly great moments even in the midst of stress and exhaustion.  
I started two blogs and am writing more than ever before in my life.  And it feels good.  Check them out: and my blog dedicated to living gluten free with four kids,  You can also follow me on Twitter at @angelaYblood or @aglutenfreefam.  I share a lot.  So much in fact that some people that I used to talk to a lot, don’t call anymore.  They just read.
Social media has proven to be incredibly entertaining.  Peyton of course is concerned with what is going out on the world wide web.  “Are you sure you want to put that out there?” he recently asked after I showed him a video I posted of me dancing in the kitchen.  
Again please believe me when I say, I realize it won’t be long before I am asking him that very question.  (Well maybe not with a dancing video, but you get what I mean.)
2011 was a roller coaster and I won’t lie and say that I am not ready for a fresh start, a change.  But I also realize that time is going fast, things are changing, babies are growing up, memories are being made, stories are being told and there is magic in everyday.  Even in the worst days.
Wishing you strength for the roller coaster ride of life, the ability to laugh when it’s funny and let go when the change is out of your control.  
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
And by the way, how can you not believe in the Christmas letter when you can work in a Bob Dylan song quote?
Nothing says Christmas like a Bob Dylan cover...right?  Love Brandi Carlisle.  

And just because I love her, here is Brandi covering another classic favorite of mine.  

Here are some old and newer Christmas TV flashbacks:

I heart Phil.

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