In all seriousness, hashtags make me want to stab something. This no makeup photo was simply because:
a. we were on vacation
b. we were on vacation
c. I'm not sure I care anymore.
Because I can't possibly send each one of you* hand signed and addressed Christmas cards, this wonderful photo that I'm certain you all want for your refrigerator and my annual Christmas letter, I've decided to post it here.
*Some people did make the cut; such as close friends and family members, anyone who attended my birth and anyone who sends me a Christmas card... or a wallet full of cash.
Hey, don't be sad. Maybe next year you can try a little harder.
Dearest friends and family,
As the end of the year draws near, I always find myself simultaneously scurrying around like an insane person- creating “Christmas Magic” for my precious children- and trying to steal some blessed quiet moments for reflection and gratitude. In all honestly, most days I find myself scurrying more than reflecting. Yet, as I sit here well before 5 pm, sipping a beer on a Saturday, I feel gratitude in my heart. Probably because Brock took the boys to run errands and I have an unusually quiet house. But I also have a beautiful, healthy family, the most amazing friends on the planet, and lots of critters to entertain and distract me. All in all, life is grand.
We have a first grader in da house! It’s Thing 1, fyi. He’s a busy, energetic seven year old with a passion for life. Brock and I are envious of the tirelessness of this guy. He loves new experiences, meeting new people, and always is looking for adventure. He also loves touching our stuff. I have never yelled “STOP TOUCHING MY STUFF” more than I do now. Seriously, this guy gets into EVERYTHING. He uses this stuff that does not belong to him to make incredibly elaborate booby traps and other contraptions that I, as a female, do not understand. He also loves school, plays baseball, reads brilliantly, rides horses courageously, and is (mostly) sweet to his little brother. He received a new, ornery pony named Clyde from Papa S and Grandma C for his birthday and the two have bonded. Clyde is a fancy, cresty-necked, palomino Welsh with four gaits: walk, trot, canter and buck forward. That fourth gait is a real doozie.
Thing 2 is now four and enjoys the laid-back lifestyle. He’s totally chill and likes his down-time at home- which I completely understand. He also loves preschool and his “preschool buddies”. A playdate with one of these buddies is the highlight of his week; right behind that is getting a balloon from the local grocery store or eating Popsicles. He is currently obsessed with making art, watching episodes of Paw Patrol, and taking long, luxurious baths- complete with lavender bath salts. He, like his brother, also greatly improved his horseback riding skills over the summer. He rides a black and white pony named Duke, who is about 28 years young. Thing 2 and Duke are about the cutest duo you’ve ever seen. So much precious happiness in one team. If they don’t make you smile, you should check to see if you have a soul.
Brock has been busy working his remodeling business. Among his many projects, he put in a lot of hours this year up the little town of Glen Haven, helping restore the Glen Haven General Store after the massively destructive September flood. It was an honor for him to be able to assist in the restoration of a town that we have both grown to love, as we spend many weekends in the summer there at our dear friends’ cabins. He also (almost) finished a project for his beloved wife- a quaint, screened reading room that I named “The Zen Den” after I rejected his proposed name of “The Rage Cage”. It’s very charming and a most relaxing place. The wine I drink out there has a particularly lovely flavor. He continues to be the good cop/fun parent, which obviously make him the favorite with the wee ones. He is trying to become “a reader” and has almost finished the book he started last year. He enjoyed the return of his handsome bay steed, Prince Charming, and actually got to ride him on occasion. Brock’s a good, kind man and I am lucky to have him by my side.
I have been busy playing the roles of camp counselor, riding instructor, homework facilitator, cook, maid, and drill sergeant with my boys. In my epic amounts of leisure time, I write stuff for money… or for free. I currently freelance for two publications of APHA’s (American Paint Horse Association): Chrome and Paint Horse Journal. I also continue to share my irreverent observations (occasionally) on my blog and on a few other various places on the web. I was published last year in the humor anthology, I Just Want to Pee Alone and was a speaker in the 2014 Denver Listen to Your Mother- you can find both of those online. After considering a pseudonym for writing and/or everyday purposes, I have decided upon “Huh?”, as that is what my family members say to me most when I speak to them. While I feel most accomplished in the art of online distractions and procrastination, I have also been working on honing my photography skills, writing/illustrating a children’s book and positive self-talk (think Stuart Smalley). Yet the biggest impact on my life was when I celebrated the return of my beautiful buckskin Gus… then I proceeded to spend every dime I made writing on attempting to heal his laminitis. I mostly failed, but he’s worth it, even though he squelched my DSW habit.
After many prayers for peace and calm, we decided to get the boys a baby kitten. Because that makes sense. His name is Captain Fluffernutter and his hobbies are sleeping provocatively like a Playboy Bunny, mewing loudly at 2 am, annoying our other pets and climbing the Christmas tree. He’s also ridiculously adorable and we all love him irrationally.
We would like dedicate this line of our letter to you all; to thank all of you for being a part of our lives and for making this world a better place. We all wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and joyous New Year.
Much love from our home to yours,
The Cornfed Girl and clan