Merry Christmas 2007 from the Fords


Well, hello and happy holidays from the Fords. This is the first time we've ever written a holiday letter, and for some reason it seems like this year is the right time to do it. And since you've bothered to read our card, bring it to a computer and type the URL into a web browser, you must want to find out what's going on with us as well. So now that I know you're motivated, here it goes...

First, you might be wondering what this web site is. It's the blog that I've had ever since Sara was a few months old, and the place where I write about things related to children, parenting and fatherhood. Through it I've had a few quotes in newspapers and magazines, connected with fellow stay-at-home dads, and I've even gotten a new job. This month I've started writing for an online parenting magazine called, blogging about products for children and parents. With Jane at home with me all day I'm not writing as much as I'd like to, but I'm getting paid to write, which is pretty cool.

Besides writing, I've also been busy with another of my passions - drinking. In my ongoing quest for the world's most diverse resume, I spent the 2006-2007 school year studying with the International Sommelier Guild. And after months of reading, tasting, and service practice I'm happy to report I passed my exams and graduated this fall. Now that I've got the sommelier pin on my lapel I'm not sure I'm going to actually work in a restaurant, but seeing as we live in the booze capital of the world, a degree in wine can't hurt.

Oh. And as you can see I also grew a beard. I think it's awesome, but Judy is convinced it's a sign that I've finally cracked.

While I was off drinking studying, Judy has quietly been supporting a family of four and spending as much time with our girls as she possibly can. Her medical practice is doing well and lately she has been busier than ever. It's OK to be busy though, because we still live less than three miles from her office so she's home fairly early every night. And let me tell you, Judy coming home is an event around here. Nothing gets our girls more excited than Mommy coming home. In our family Judy is the rock star. When she walks through the door at night it's like she's Bruce Springsteen and little Janie is Courtney Cox getting pulled up on stage (except Jane has better hair and can dance way better).

And speaking of drinking (was I speaking of drinking?) Judy is also very excited about this holiday season in particular, because it's the first one since 2002 that she hasn't been pregnant or nursing. Bottoms up!

And the girls? They're great. Jane is the sweetest redhead Las Vegas has ever seen, having obviously gotten her happy disposition from her mother (which is lucky for me). She charms the pants off of everyone she meets, which is useful because it seems like everywhere I take her at least one person stops me. I swear, a few months ago this exact exchange happened to me at the grocery store:

"Look at the baby! She's so beautiful! Hi precious! What gorgeous red hair. Can you wait right here? I have to show my friend."

"Um, well actually I was headed over to the..."

"Martha! Come here! Look at this baby! Isn't she the prettiest baby you've ever seen?"

I never realized what a fuss people make over redheads. Or maybe (as the older brother of a sister with red hair) I just blocked it out. Anyway, Jane loves to dance and make animal noises (the "moo" of the cow is our particular favorite), and she loves everything to do with her big sister Sara.

Sara is also a very sweet girl who has become a really great big sister. She's patient, gentle (most of the time) and kind with her; and right now they're starting to play together which is really fun for Judy and I to watch. Sara is also thriving in pre-school (The Merryhill School) and amazes us every day with something new that she knows or says. The other night when we were eating dinner we started to "cheers." (As an aside,  "cheers" is a big thing at our table, and one of Jane's favorite things to initiate. She'll grab her sippy cup, stick it out and exclaim "Jeee!" to which we all clink cups and say cheers.) Anyway, a few months ago we were clinking cups when Sara raised her cup and said (very solemnly), "To Merryhill."

God, country, and Merryhill.

Sara is also very much a little girl who loves girly things. Maybe it's the influence of the Disney Princesses, or maybe it's being around her Dad so much that has turned her into the complete opposite of me (which, again, is lucky for me). Her favorite colors are (of course) pink and white; she always wants to wear dresses; she holds her hem up when she walks down stairs; and I swear tonight she didn't ask Judy for help washing her hands after dinner, she told her, "I need assistance." I'm not sure if Cinderella says that to her Fairy Godmother, but she might.

So 2007 has been a good year for us, and we hope that this "letter" finds you and your family healthy and happy too. If you're interested, there are some ways during the year that you can keep track of what we're up to.

And also, if you get a chance, leave a comment below and let us know how you've been doing, or what you thought of my first crack at a family Christmas letter (which I think at one point in my life I swore I'd never do). Or you can leave a comment simply because hey, you made it through this enormous letter and you might as well is brag about it.

December 6, 2007