How the heck did another year go by? The whole time I was growing up I thought people were insane for prattling on and on about how the years go by so fast and “my, how you’ve grown!” Guess what I do now? I caught myself in mid sentence with a child I know and apologized for being grown up. Seriously, it’s kinda freaking me out. But then, all this stuff about becoming an adult is freaky, so I guess I’m right on track.
Anyone not know that we now have two kids? That’s right. This May we had a beautiful homebirth with our second daughter, welcoming Anya Isabella into our family. She is the most laid back, easy-going kid I have ever met and am thrilled to have the honor of waking up next to her sweet, smiling face every morning. Lily is taking to the big sister role beautifully and we’re enjoying watching them figure out how to play together. Lily frequently attempts to eat her sister up, complete with chomping noises and declarations of, “ummmm, nummy!” She is a (mostly) gentle, (often) sweet big sis and except for when Anya grabs her hair and starts pulling at her curls, seems to think her little sister is a great toy.
Some of you might remember that last year I went back to work while Mark made the switch to stay-at-home-dad. I loved working at the Globe and Mark and Lily were thick as thieves, spending days together and hitting up playgroups. This worked wonderfully for all of us right up until the point that we had another baby. Since Mark cannot lactate, we’re back to having me at home while Mark is doing gigs and some residential carpentry work. He even had time to put in the deck we had to rip out a year and a half ago! Can’t tell you how thrilled I am that we no longer have a big gaping hole and instead have something Lily can run around and around (and AROUND) on. We’re able to spend quite a bit of time together, which – since we happen to like each other – actually works for us.
There has also been a fair bit of traveling for us this year. In February, Mark and I made a get-a-way to Idyllwild to celebrate his birthday, snuggling around my very pregnant belly in a snowy cabin in the woods. In March, Mark’s grandfather turned 90 and we made our way up to the Bay Area to celebrate with family. His brother Mike even made it over from England for the big event and we were able to spend time with him while he visited us here in San Diego. April shuttled us off to Arizona for Ken & Mary’s wedding and September had all four of us taking a trip to Disneyland to celebrate my birthday, where we met up with friends Vikki and J. Apparently that wasn’t enough for us, so we bought a minivan and took a road trip in October after Anya and I got back from a side trip to Colorado. We made it to Northern California for Halloween with Mark’s mom and family and enjoyed taking the girls (both dressed as pumpkins) trick-or-treating in the historic town of Grass Valley. The week after Thanksgiving our home had to be tented for termites, so we took advantage of my uncle’s cabin in Palomar for a long weekend. I’m tired. We’re hoping to stay put through the rest of the holidays. With all the parties, we’re certain to be exhausted anyway!
We also suffered the loss of a deeply loved family member this year. My Grandma Margaret died in August and will be so deeply missed. We think about her often and try to see Grandpa John whenever we can (not nearly enough, of course). I feel so fortunate that Lily got to spend some time with her and she and Anya got to say hello before she passed. I’ll never forget my toddler taking her great-grandma by the hand and urging her over to the window to watch a summer thunderstorm; the wonder in both of their eyes as Lily discovered something new and Grandma saw the world through Lily’s eyes. I see flashes of Grandma in Lily every once in a while and it always makes me smile.
On August 31st my step-sister Rebekah and her husband Chris welcomed new baby Nichole into their family. She’s a beautiful, perfect little creature and I cannot wait for my daughters to play with their cousin. She and Anya are only three months apart, so we all hope they will be close friends as they grow. Over the last half of the year we’ve established a weekly breakfast with this crew and really enjoy this time with family, looking forward to watching the girls run around us in circles.
Life continues to be sweet and for that we feel very lucky and very grateful. Our family has grown, our home is slowly being put into sorts and we are happy. We sincerely hope your life is treating you as well and look forward to hearing about your adventures in the year to come.
Elaine, Mark, Lily and Anya