As I started thinking about my Christmas letter this year I initially had a hard time remembering just what happened! After 2012, the year of change, I feel like 2013 was been relatively quite. Though, I think that is just want our little family and specifically “this girl” needed. In the sleep deprived days of 2012 just after Abby was born, moving to our new house in Hampshire, and returning to work after maternity leave I felt like life would never normalize. But now, a year later, I’m happy to say that things have slowed down a little and we’re enjoying just “being”. All that being said, 2013 isn’t without its merits.
One of my favorite memories of the year was the 10 day camping trip that we took as a family in August. We’d just traded up in the camper division and we loaded up the car, the dogs, and all the baby crap that goes along with a one-year old and embarked on an over 1,500 mile journey as a family. We camped our way through Michigan, the UP, stopped off at the cabin in northern Wisconsin for a few days and then back home again making a big loop through the 3 states. Let me just go on record as saying camping with a one-year old is hard work! Abby had just learned to walk and she wanted nothing to do with being contained. She wanted to explore and explore she did. The first day or two I worried about her eating dirt or bugs and getting hurt but by the end we figured “she’s gotta learn somehow” and just embraced the fact that yes, she was going to be dirty. I started calling her Mogli, from the Jungle Book, because by the end of the trip, she looked like a wild baby! I’ve never been so grateful for running water and rooms with doors as I was when we got back from that trip. Though, I’d do it again in a heartbeat and we’ve already started planning a similar trip for next year.
How’s the progress with the house going? Well, we finally finished the remodel of the master bath and I’m here to say that everyone should install heated floors in their bathroom!! We did a ton of yard work including spreading 10 yards of mulch and getting the pool up and running (with was a feat considering it was literally black from the previous owners). We gave the gazebo a huge face lift and started finishing the basement in the last few weeks. We expect we’ll have it done around spring, complete with a guest bedroom, play area, bar, and at least roughed-in bathroom. Goals for 2014 include new kitchen counters (good bye grouted tile counters!), a paver patio off the existing deck and more yard/garden work.
And finally, a Christmas letter just wouldn’t be complete without an update on our little Peanut. Abby’s growing up so quickly. She started walking around her first birthday and though she’s slow to get her teeth, she’s got 2.5 teeth now; I expect she’ll have 5 by Christmas. She has a few words now like Doggie, Momma, Dadda (everything is Dadda…including Dadda himself), Pree (which means pretty. Or, in other words, don’t touch that! You’ll break it). She says Cool in the funniest way and Woa when she falls down. She loves to be chased and tickled and is especially funny when Grandpa is chasing her around the house. She understands when I ask her simple questions like “where are your socks” and will bring them to me (this, my friends, is awesome and totally worth having children). She loves her books and knows that if she wants me to stop and play with her all she needs to do is bring me a book.
All in all, the McGrath family is doing great and we hope you are too. Merry Christmas! We love you!!
Sadie, Ryan and Abby