Welcome again to our annual Christmas "letter." 2008 marks my second effort, and judging by how late it is already, I'm fearing I may have already fallen into a sophomore slump. Then again, judging by how many holiday cards I've received already this year (four as of December 15th), it would seem I'm not the only one who is a little late. Anyway, thanks for opting-in to read the letter this year.
2008 has been a pretty good year for the Fords, which is to say I suppose that it hasn't been a particularly difficult one like it has for so many people. Judy's job is still well and secure, our house hasn't lost as much value as a lot of other homes in Las Vegas, and we've got two healthy and happy kids both is preschool.
Wait. Did you catch that last part? Right now Jane and Sara are both in preschool and while they absolutely love it, I'm not sure who loves it more, them or me. Having my mornings and early afternoons off has been really great - allowing me to expand my writing for Babble.com and pursue another interest in photography. I also managed to get another sommelier certification this year (this one from the Court of Master Sommeliers), and while I began a job search with the intentions of maybe going back to work, the company I was interviewing at had layoffs. So, instead of going back to work in the near future, I'll continue to do what I've been doing for the past four years, namely greasing the wheels of our life so that the time we can all spend together is the best it can be.
As I mentioned, Sara and Jane are both loving preschool. Sara is in Pre-K this year, and in addition to growing like a weed in the past six months, she's also blossoming into quite the young girl. At school she enjoys her dance and computer classes, but particularly she loves being with all the friends she has made. Academically she's also doing incredibly well and (not to brag or anything) a few months ago she started reading small, beginner reading books (the Scholastic "Bob" books series). So every couple of days before bed instead of reading to her, she reads the book to us. Which is pretty awesome.
[Sorry. That was a lie. I was totally bragging.]
Jane in her first year of preschool is a force of nature. Having had the example of her older sister has done wonders for her socially, and she loves school so much she'll barely give me a kiss goodbye when I drop her off. In fact, this morning when we were walking into her classroom she ran in ahead of me, stopped dead in her tracks and announced "I'm here!", to which one of her teachers and at least two kids replied "Jane!" I swear, if she had a barstool and a beer she'd be Norm from Cheers.
Jane's big accomplishment this year (also due in part the the influence of her big sister) is that as of October she's completely potty-trained, And after spending the last two months not having changed even one dirty diaper, I can report that potty-trained at two years and three months is also pretty awesome.
[Again, bragging, but isn't that what these letters are for?]
Judy is the best, and if I'm the grease then she is most definitely the engine of the family. Her biggest challenge this year has been getting used to not having her own car. The lease on her car was up in January of 2008, and instead of getting another vehicle we just decided to see how long we could get along with only one. We live less than a mile from her work, so driving her and picking her up every day isn't really much of a hassle. I'd like to put a big lie in here and say that we did it to reduce our carbon footprint blah blah blah, but really we did it to save money. And once we got used to it we haven't missed having a second car all that much. Of course it also helps to have parents (mine and Judy's mom) who live in the same city, are retired, travel a lot and let their kids borrow their car when they're gone.
So there it is. 2008 in Las Vegas, where the kids are brilliant, the weather is great and I'm still borrowing my mom's car.
PS. 2008 was, in case you weren't aware, also the year of Facebook, Flickr and all kinds of other internet social networking web sites. So if you're on Facebook and aren't already my "friend" then please "friend me." Judy is not on Facebook, but seeing has she has only this year discovered the convenience of text-messaging, I expect her Facebook page will be up and running sometime in 2012. The links for all the stuff to follow us are below.
PPS. Also, if you managed to read all of this PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT! Even if it's just to say Merry Christmas, we'd love to hear from you.
Facebook: Chris Ford's Facebook Profile
Family Photos: Chris Ford on Flickr.com
Random Thoughts in 140 characters or less: chrisford on Twitter.com
Read my Blog Posts about kids, parenting or other stuff at: Babble.com or Modern Day Dad
XBOX Live (random, but I thought I'd throw it in here): vegasford