If you want a typical Christmas letter, open up your cousin Betty's card and read about her daughter, the violin prodigy, and her five year-old son who's golf game rivals that of his father's. It's a shame about the Tiger Woods comparison now, isn't it?
Here at the Hale household we like to give it to you straight. There's no need for fanfare when your life is as good as ours. We're happily married after 12 years, have three healthy kids who keep us simultaneously entertained and on the verge of a nervous breakdown. There's Dudley the wonder mutt, without whom we might actually have two matching pairs of shoes for Harper, and a healthy supply of family and friends to enrich our lives with love and laughter. It doesn't get much better, does it? Money is a little tighter than usual and we still haven't upgraded to that four-bedroom house yet but the seams of our meager 1600 square footer have yet to burst and there's always Ugly Dawg, the pop-up camper, to escape to if we need some distance from each other. Here's what the Hales have been up to in 2009:
Harper Emerson was born on March 5, weighing in at 6 pounds, 10 ounces. At the ripe old age of 9 months, we're certain she's a prodigy. While she hasn't quite mastered the whole standing on two feet thing, she's become quite adept at waving and smiling. We're sure reading and writing are not far behind. Harper is the icing on the Hale family cake. We don't know what we'd do without her.
Tatum is enjoying preschool five days a week and, unlike last year, she's not the only girl, an environment in which she thrives. She's got mad dancing skills and will be taking ballet in 2010. She can often be seen dancing around the kitchen with her Mom to "Party in the USA" or "Single Ladies," our theme songs for 2009. There is nothing her mom loves more than rockin' out in the kitchen with Tatum.
Truman is into two things: Star Wars and Legos. Thankfully, Nintendo had the foresight to combine these two passions into a Wii game, Lego Star Wars, custom made for Truman and his father. They have solved it from beginning to end at least three times. We're all about productivity in the Hale house. Truman loves to draw and seems to really excel at it. He's scheduled for art lessons in 2010 to encourage him to choose a profession that all but guarantees he will live in poverty for the rest of his life.
Sean is a rock star father and husband and fixer of all things. We haven't called a professional for one ailment in our 70-year-old house since we moved in 7 years ago. Sean's work at Wells Fargo is pretty intense these days as they try to find their way through the murky waters of this new economy. We are thankful, though, for his continued employment. Many folks in Sean's line of work were not so lucky this year.
Julianne is doing her best to balance three kids, a house, and a writing career that continues to grow despite her intentions to slow down after Harper's birth. She has discovered that doing it all is, in fact, impossible and her home is proof of this discovery. She is very grateful for Dudley, her live in vacuum cleaner, without whom she might end up on an episode of Clean House.
Merry Christmas to you and yours and blessings abound in the New Year!
Sean, Julianne, Truman, Tatum, and Harper