Well, its that time of year again. Another year has clicked by and we’re on the verge of 2010. Its about this time every year that I take a look back at what has happened over the past year and start getting ready for next year. It always amazes me when I think about how much has taken place in just 365 days. Makes me wonder what we’re capable of if we really live intentionally. My goals for 2010 will come early next year, but for now, here’s a high level look at some of the things that happened in 2009.
- Trey was born
- Haley turned two
- Haley wears big girl panties and was potty trained
- Haley moved upstairs to her big girl room
- We crossed the one year mark of living in Lakeland
- Laura started teaching Sunday School
- I’ve started teaching Sunday School again
- We “officially” joined Bellevue
- I’ve performed in the Passion Play and a couple of Soul Mate Live’s at church
- I’ve joined a discipleship group
- I’ve started a discipleship group
- Laura and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary
- I completed a triathlon
- We built a deck and shed in the back yard
- I’ve managed to keep my weight the same as it was a year ago (which still isn’t ideal)
- We joined a gym that we periodically visit
- We’ve watched MSU football get exciting again
- I’ve had the same job role for a year (which hasn’t happened in a while)
- We’ve made a lot of fantastic friends
- We’ve fell out of touch with a lot of dear friends
- I’ve gotten closer to being the father that I want to be
- I’ve gotten closer to being the husband that I want to be
See you all next year! Until then, have a cup of kindness for auld lang syne.
Laura and I made it to bed around midnight. It took us a while to get all of the gifts out. And, one thing I failed to mention in the previous entry was that we definitely took time before putting Haley to bed to read the Christmas story and put some reindeer food out.
So, I think I’m more excited about Santa than Haley. I’d set up a couple of flashes in the corners of the room so I can get some good pictures (after all, I’d have no natural light since Haley would be up before dawn in excitement). I had a camcorder set on a tripod so I could record everything. I set my alarm for 6 and hoped I wouldn’t be late.
So, 6:00 comes. I drag out of bed. I don’t hear anything so I quickly check my lights and double check the camcorder. Good. I make me some coffee. I wait. I wait. I wait. I wake Laura up about 7:30. We wait. We wait. We wait. 8:30 passes. Trey’s up and eating. No sign of Haley. 9:30, no Haley. We put Trey back down for his morning nap and decide it would be best to go check on Haley. We thought that maybe she was afraid to come down in fear that Santa might still be around and wouldn’t leave her gifts.
When we got to her room, she stirred a little. I laid down beside her and asked if she was ready to come downstairs. She burst into tears. Hysterical. I asked her what was wrong. No response. I asked if she was sad. She said no and kept wailing. I asked if she was scared. She said no and kept wailing. I asked what she wanted to do. She said, “I want to take a nap.” We said okay and she laid right back down and shut her eyes.
So FINALLY, about 10:30 she comes moseying downstairs. The wait was worth it, though. She had a ball opening gifts and playing with the things Santa brought her. For some reason, she kept asking for stockings. She didn’t get real stockings, but she wore the stockings hanging from the mantle around and appear to be in heaven. After we opened gifts, I made pancakes for a nice family brunch.
Haley spent the entire day with her new dollhouse. At dinner, Laura and I were talking about how nice it was to be “home for Christmas”. I missed being with my family and she missed being with hers. But, there was something special about starting our own family Christmas. For the first time since entering the working world, I went back to work rested and relaxed after Christmas.
Photos from Christmas day will be here soon, but until then, here’s the lead up to Christmas. To start with, we did something rather “un-Christmas-ey” on Christmas Eve. We went to Chuck E Cheeses. For some reason, we thought it would be a good idea. I’m sure you are thinking that it would be packed. After all, it’s done nothing but rain for days. So if you were thinking that, you’d be wrong.
It was DEAD. Which was awesome for us. There were literally 10 cars in the parking lot. We had a great time and managed to win enough tickets for cotton candy (a personal fave).
After visiting Chuck, we came home. Haley did a little research on the computer. She wore her Mr. Potato Head glasses. In fact, we had to pry them off of her before going into Chuck E Cheeses. She looks so funny wearing them around.
We went to some friends’ house (the Littles) and had a Cuban Christmas that night. We had pork, rice and beans, plantain, avocado with balsamic and some sort of Cuban egg-nog. It was fantastic. Even more so was spending time with them and doing something a little out of the ordinary for Christmas.
By the time we got home from the Littles, it was around 9:30. Time to tuck the little ones in. Laura and I spent some quality time together putting gifts under the tree. We really had a great time. Then it was off to bed. We were so excited when we thought about those little feet running down the stairs. A least we were hoping they would be running down the stairs. We weren’t sure though. As I tucked Haley in, I asked her if she was ready for Santa Claus to come and bring her presents. I got a solemn, “No, Daddy, I don’t want him to come.” I knew things would be different on Christmas morning.
The creatures are stirring around here, and we are getting ready for Santa to come. Last night we had a great time with the Plattens eating dinner and opening gifts. Haley’s already been up this morning playing with Mr. Potato Head.
Laura and I have started trying to get the house clean and a little more organized in preparation of the explosion of gifts that have already started appearing. Between what Santa brings and what our family gives to the kids, we may need to rent a storage unit. Wish us luck!
We’re excited about spending time at home with just our family and starting some new traditions. However, we’re presented with a slight challenge…we need to figure out what traditions we want to start. I guess we’ve still got a couple of hours to make that decision. One thing that I do know is that our new traditions will involve putting out reindeer food for Santa’s reindeer and reading the Christmas story.
Here’s a photo of Laura in her new Fancy Nancy hat that she got last night. Isn’t she cute? I’m a lucky guy.
Just two days until Christmas. I can hardly wait! And Haley can hardly wait. She’s ready. I mentioned something to Haley yesterday about us going to get a gift for Mommy. It was really a ploy to get her to follow me to the car. I didn’t think she really cared. Little did I know, she talked about going to get a present for Mommy for the next hour. Guess that means I’ll be taking her to get Mommy a present!
This past Saturday we took gifts to a family that our Sunday School class adopted. We made sure we brought our kids. On the way down, Haley was pretty excited. Laura was trying to figure out how to tell Haley exactly what we were doing. Before Laura started the conversation, she asked Haley what she thought we were doing. Haley said, “We’re bringing presents to the kids.” Laura asked if she knew why we were bringing presents to the kids. Haley quickly responded, “Because they are sad and we want to make them happy.” Sounds like Haley already knew exactly what was going on. No economics lesson needed. There’s a reason that God talks so much about faith like a child. Its refreshing to see how simple life is through a child’s eyes.
Below is what I found when I went up last night to make sure Haley was snug in her bed. She was asleep at the top of the stairs with a plastic ice cream sandwich. Not sure what she had in mind, but I got her back in bed.
I’m loving this time of year! Christmas is in the air. It is hard to believe how quickly the past 6 months or so have gone. Things are good around the Simons household. We’ve gotten the house decorated. Well, the inside at least. The outside looks the same as it did a month ago. I know it sounds bad, but I opted out of doing the outside. The lights on the outside of the house are always a lot of fun to put up, but taking them down is a nightmare. I’m thinking that we should do wreaths on the windows with lights pointing up at them. We’ll look into it. Next year.
Trey and Haley are doing great. Haley’s been getting ready for Christmas. Her main items on her wish list are pretty easy. Stockings and lights. I’m not sure why she always says those two things when we ask what she wants for Christmas. Trey has been as happy as a clam. He finished up his last dose of antibiotic for an ear infection today. I’m telling you, that kid doesn’t have a bad day. The only way we knew he had an ear infection is because he wasn’t sleeping much and had a fever. He wasn’t fussy a bit. He is starting to smile and laugh a lot. And, he’s reaching out for things. If you get anything near him, he’s going for it. That includes remote controls, cups and faces.
We took family portraits this week. We needed something for the Christmas card. I think they turned out great. I got a new tripod, which seemed to make it easier. Of course, I’m sure it was all in my mind. What really did seem to help was the remote I bought a few months ago. It allows me to have the camera snap a shot at a pre-defined interval. I set it for every 3 seconds. So, once the lights were set up, focus adjusted and exposure nailed, it was just a matter of sitting with the kiddos in front of the camera until a we got a good picture. Easy Peasy.
That’s all. Now, back to your regularly scheduled program.
Over the past couple of days we’ve been decorating the house. Haley has been having a ball. Every morning she gets up and starts grabbing the ornaments and bringing them around the house with her. She even did most of the decorating of her tree that we put up in her room. It was really cute watching her decorate the tree downstairs. Laura and I walked out of the room for 10 minutes or so and when we came back in, there was one gigantic clump of ornaments in one tiny section of the tree. Near to the ground of course.
We took Haley and Trey to see Santa. Haley was extremely excited about about seeing him before she got there. Unfortunately, once we got there it was a different story. She bawled. We finally got her on Santa’s lap and all was semi-okay. Trey wasn’t phased. I guess he was just happy that Santa’s sleeves were absorbent to help out with his drooling!
Trey’s got an ear infection right now. It doesn’t seem to phase him too terribly, much, but you can tell he’s under the weather. Laura took him to the doc and got some meds for him. So, he should be in tip top shape before we know it.