Let me introduce myself. In the summer of 2008, Justine was a counselor at Lake Ann Camp. During the last week of the summer, one of her sweet young campers gave Justine a stuffed moose from the camp store. That’s me. Not much happened in my lonely life until two years ago when Justine went crazy decorating for Christmas. Between the tree, the green blanket on the couch, and the plaid stockings on the wall, she decided the home looked a little like a lodge, and she threw me into the mix. That happy year I was renamed “The Christmas Moose”. (Although I’m pushing hard to become an all-year moose, as the 11 months in a box aren’t too exciting).
Well this year, I’m proud to say, the Taylors have given me the honor of writing their Christmas letter. So, here I go!
It’s been a year full of changes for the Taylor family. Can you believe it was only a year ago that they were living in their little apartment on campus at Eastern Michigan University? Dan was working many hours as he held an internship while taking classes toward a Master’s degree. The little munchkin (she’s since been upgraded to “the Big Girl”) was much more of a baby as she had little hair, very few words, and she still army crawled everywhere.
Early in the year Lydia pleased everyone by walking for the first time, just the night before she was scheduled to start physical therapy because she wasn’t walking! Because she was wearing a purple layered tutu from her Aunt Steph at the time, the tutu has been dubbed “the power tutu”. You can watch her first steps here.
Lydia has come a long way since those first steps. She has learned many new words, begun memorizing her first Bible verses, and developed her signature Munchkin Laugh. Lydia is a sweet helper, and awesome big sister, and cute beyond words. See?
I just love that little Munchkin.
Well, anyway, Dan was gone a lot at the beginning of the year and we all missed him. Yes, even me. Even with that little Munchkin army crawling around, then walking on her knees, then on her little legs at last. In the spring we were all thrilled when he graduated with a Masters degree in Math. That’s right, he is now a master of mathematics. Feel free to call him for help with your math problems or your kiddo’s homework.
With the end of Dan’s college career, the family packed everything else up (I was already in my box) and we moved to a big condo in Ann Arbor, right next door to Dan’s new job. The company he has been interning for hired him full time and he has been working there ever since. We loved living so close to work! Dan could come home for lunch, and was still home for an early dinner.
It was a good thing too, because Justine wasn’t feeling too well at the time with another munchkin on the way!
Lydia spent a few days in the hospital after coming down with some sort of stomach bug, but the whole family got sick after her hospital stay and didn’t seem to get better. Finally it was determined that the place was moldy and was making everyone, but especially Dan, sick. The family quickly packed up again (who am I kidding? The family didn’t pack up at all, but the ladies from Bible study came over and packed everything up. Sweet ladies they are too.)
It was off to Plymouth for a lovely, flowery summer home. The place was already fully furnished and the yard was landscaped with constantly changing flowers and plants. There was a park nearby and the Munchkin and her Mommy enjoyed the playground almost every day.
Everyone had warned Baby Number Two not to come until after the summer ended, because the home was only a short-term solution and there was another move planned in September. But that little Munchkin didn’t listen and she surprised everyone by coming even earlier than her sister. But you can read all about that here if you haven’t already.
Well, you all know what the next three months held, so I won’t repeat it here. The family was apart and gone a lot while our new baby, Abigail spent 82 days in the NICU of two different hospitals.
And you know what happened because of all that? I didn’t get taken out of my box until nine long days after Thanksgiving. I guess I won’t hold it against them, because it sounds like they didn’t want to stay at the hospital that long.
Well, now we’re together again, me included. And we love it. There is a lot of smiling and laughter. There is a lot of Christmas music and dancing and spinning around the living room (“swimming”, as the older Munchkin likes to say). And we all are going to be together on Christmas and for a whole week afterwards too (Dan gets the time off work).
We do love to be together.
So that was our year, in a long nutshell. As I wrap this letter up I just want to tell you all to take the time to enjoy your togetherness this holiday season. It’s a gift not everyone gets to enjoy. Don’t forget that we’re celebrating the birth of another baby, Baby Jesus, who came to be the savior of the world. And, if you talk to Dan or Justine anytime soon, put in a good word for me so that maybe I’ll get upgraded to the all-year Moose.
Merry Christmas to you all, on behalf of the Taylors.