Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2009 Wrap-Up

We're back from vacation! It was great to see so many family and friends. The kids did remarkably well on our 2,500-mile round-trip car journey! One perk of driving in our Prius is that we spent about $50 in gas each way! Wow!! A tiny bit cramped - but well worth it!! We survived with no major blow outs (read: screaming matches). I plan a couple of year-end/new year posts and, hopefully, some pictures. For now, I'll share with you our 2009 family letter:


It’s been a busy past several months for our family. We moved from the European seaside of Portugal to Midwest suburbia. Natalie was quite a princess about the move, claiming that she was leaving her heart behind in Portugal. The girls were simply excited about a new home and a promise of a sandbox. Matt was eager for 80-hour work weeks to end.

In July, while the girls and Natalie visited with friends and family in the North East, Matt flew down to Kansas and picked out a lovely, newly built home and made the purchase. Natalie was more than pleased with his choice!

Thankfully, much of Natalie’s heart has returned. She has made friends, started up a book club and come to, surprisingly, enjoy life in Kansas. She has found nearby farmer’s markets and family run farms in which to buy fresh eggs, freshly-milled flour, milk, grass-fed meat and so on. Most days you will find her in the kitchen, surrounded by what appears to be a huge mess, but what are, actually, various food creations in progress: Homemade yogurt and kombucha fermenting, bread rising, nuts and grains soaking and cook books thrown about. She enjoys meeting with her book club, swapping recipes with neighbors and friends online and exploring the area with her family (Surprisingly, the Kansas City area offers up a lot for families. The family has a membership to the KC Zoo and enjoys exploring nature centers, farms and museums).

Matt has been working hard in the CGSC program and on a master’s degree. He is doing quite well, nevertheless, quite busy with schoolwork. He has turned part of the garage into a brewery. As he’s always looking for a brewing partner, we have an extra room in which brewing enthusiasts can come for an extended stay in order to tour the brewery and help him brew. He also offers free beer tastings.

Olivia – Fashionista Extraordinaire

Currently, Olivia enjoys being a feisty fashionista extraordinaire. She spends much of her day mothering her dolls (asking neighbors to babysit if she must be away from them) and changing into various, typically outrageous, outfits and practicing ballet. It is often quite painful for Matt and Natalie to get her out the door looking presentable. She is already done with winter and is looking forward to the summer when she can run through the sprinkler.

Lila Kate – Sweet as Can Be

Lila is still sweet as can be. She is mild-tempered, cuddly and sensitive. She enjoys ballet, riding ponies when the opportunity presents itself, following her sister around and, like Olivia, having play dates with the little girl next door. She recently started preschool, two days weekly, and is having a blast!

We are hoping for healthy year full of laughter and family fun. We wish you the same!

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