We mailed our holiday cards last week, and I included the URL for this blog, hoping that folks that we may have lost touch with can see what's going on in our lives. I've heard from a couple folks that they've got our cards, so I figured I'd do a brief update on all of us, and what's happened in our lives over the past year.
It's been a full year, with lots of changes, though some of them seem like so long ago. In late January we moved into a new house and put our town home on the market. Our new house is in the same sub-division as our town home, so we ended up moving just a couple of blocks away. We like the neighborhood, and we like our location. Our new house has a bigger yard (though it's still not huge), and a full basement. The basement is unfinished, which has been great for lots of rough housing and running around and bike riding, especially during the cold months.
Yuta also changed jobs in the fall, and he now works for the Apple Store. He seems to really love it - I've heard him say that it's not like work at all since he loves the company and products, and most of the people that come into the store are already excited about Mac products. The minimum number of hours per week required for a part-time employee means that he works one more shift per week than he used to, but they've been accommodating to our preferences, and it seems to be working out well.
We traveled a bit this year too - went to Florida in May to see my family, then to Chicago in July to celebrate my Nonna's 90th birthday, and finally to NY in September for Yuli's wedding. In addition to welcoming Keith to the extended family, we added two members to our household: Cooper the cat and Hyper the hamster. Cooper is the perfect cat for our family - he fits in perfectly, and I think we really lucked out with him. Hyper is great too. Unfortunately Cooper likes him a bit too much, so we have to be careful to keep Cooper away from Hyper's cage.
I don't know how to summarize the past year of the kids' lives - the best I can do is maybe tell a bit about their interests right now. Yuta is home with them during the day, and my schedule is flexible enough that I get to visit on and off throughout the day.
Taipan turned five in November, and he's very much into first-person games on the xbox, and we often pretend to be various characters from the games, and at bedtime he asks me to tell stories based on those characters. He's also very physical - loves jumping, loves wrestling, loves getting tackled & thrown onto the bed or foof chair. Loves giving and getting hugs too :-) He has been enjoying the snow and cold weather - he can outlast almost all of us with snow play. He tends to flit from one thing to another more than he used to. If I bring out games or puzzles or blocks or the marble run he will be very intense about it for a short period of time, and then move on to the next thing.
Taisim has changed a lot over the past year - she is very tall, and it's easy to forget that she's only two. She loves princesses and dress up and making cookies out of play-doh. She has also recently started caring for her "babies", and the babies could be balloons or legos or a heating pad. Folks tend to classify her as a girly-girl, which I agree with - she loves pink and purple things, and prefers dresses. However, she's not prissy - she will rough house and get into the thick of things right along with Taipan
We all love doing puzzles together, and they really like Peep. Another favorite thing we do is play a chasing game - they love it best when it's the whole family running and chasing. It always ends in a big pile up, and then starts over again. The kids really enjoy each other - I heard Taipan tell Taisim recently that she is his "best sister", and Taisim returned the compliment and said that he was her "best brother".
As for me, well, I work from a home office still, and am thankful for that flexibility. I continue to think, re-think and sometimes overthink lots of things - I've learned a lot this year about how I want to approach life, and my priorities, and it has brought clarity around a lot of things. Much too much to write about here. And just because my thoughts are clearer, it doesn't mean my words would be.
That's it in a (big) nutshell. We are loving life in Ohio, though miss our family and friends in Florida. I can only hope that 2009 is as great for us as 2008 has been.