Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The never sent Christmas cards.

This year's Christmas avarice.

Well, I had some great intentions about sending out Christmas cards this year. I had the cards, had the family letter written, had the stamps.... and I still didn't do it. Boo. So in an effort to not let those efforts go completely to waste here's my letter and some pics from the big day.


December 2008

Dear Friends and Family,

Every year, time seems to move faster and faster, and suddenly the holiday season is upon us. Our family has been incredibly blessed and busy this year.

In January, Amy, Morgan, Paige and Darien went with Amy's Dad and sisters to Elko, Nevada to attend a town hall meeting with Barack Obama. It was a very exciting event and we all got to shake hands with both then Sen. Obama and his wife Michelle. We even got some pictures. It really was a thrill to be a part of history like that.

In March another very exciting event, we welcomed our 5th child and 3rd son, William Thatcher Ogilvie (aka Liam) to our family. Some how, things worked out and he was born on the same day as his brother Britton, his grandpa Thatcher and his grandpa Ogilvie. Needless to say, March 14 is a very special day in our family.

Then this summer Russ, Amy and Liam were able to go (along with Amy's dad, uncle and 2 of her sisters) to the 4th International Bollschweiler Family Reunion, this year held in Wilmington, Delaware. While on the East Coast we were able to visit New York City, Washington D.C., Jamestowne, Colonial Williamsburg, Valley Forge, Monticello, Mt. Vernon, Philadelphia, Antietam, Gettysburg and many other historic sites (not necessarily in that order) . Our reunion organizers Brian and Rocky Bushweller also arranged a special tour of the capital through Sen. Tom Carper's office. It was exciting to ride on the underground tram system and eat at the cafeteria the senators and other government officials use every day. Needless to say, it was quite a trip. Russ says that traveling with Amy's family is never a vacation, but a field trip. :-) We had a lot of fun though, even if it took a month for our feet to recover.

Our family has also enjoyed our daily activities. Russ is working at RR Donnelley as a Software Engineer. He enjoys working there and has met many great people. He appreciates being able to use his Linux skills on such a regular basis. Russ adores his family. He is a wonderful husband and daddy, regularly picks up more than his fair share in chores and kid duty. I'm so grateful to be married to such a wonderful man and my best friend.

I have ventured into the world of working outside the home for the first time since Morgan was born. It all happened very unexpectedly when I took Darien to have his speech tested at Riverside Pre-school (the special education preschool run by Logan City School District). I walked in to have him tested and walked out with a job. It was amazing! Plus, Darien gets to go to the best preschool in town for free. I love the people I work with so much and feel very blessed to have such a perfect job for our situation.

Morgan is 11 and in the 5th grade. She is turning into a young woman before our very eyes. We are so proud of her and the progress she has made. She is a voracious reader and has an amazing imagination. Both of these gifts also help her be a pretty good little writer. She is also very good at organizing the other kids into some kind of production while she directs. This year at school has been a lot of fun because she has participated in the Ellis school choir and has enjoyed that immensely. You won't see her missing a practice or forgetting a concert. She loves it.

Britton is 9 and in the 4th grade. He is a wonderful helper with the baby. He is completely smitten by his baby birthday brother and takes very good care of him. Britton also is an avid gamer. It wasn't so very long ago that he was asking me for help with them, but I'm afraid those days are long gone. I'm the one asking now. ;-) He also has an active imagination and uses it in creating some very complex and magical games outside with his friends, complete with maps and riddles. He also loves to play soccer and ride his bike.

Paige is 6 and started Kindergarten this year. Paige is very much a “sugar and spice and everything nice” kind of girl. She loves to sing, dance and perform. We are hoping to get her into some kind of dance or music training this year. She also loves all the girly things she can get her pink painted nails on. Oddly enough she still hasn't quite gotten over the crush she developed on Darth Vader (not Anakin, DARTH VADER, black mask and all) when she was 2. :-/ I hope this doesn't mean she likes bad boys. :-/

Darien is 4 and loves preschool. He is my jokester and crack up. He's always making us laugh with his amazingly articulate observations on the world. I regularly get reports from his teachers on some funny thing he's said or done that day. He is also a boy's boy. He love Cars, especially Lightening McQueen. It isn't likely that you'll see Darien without a couple die cast toy cars with him. He's also a huge Thomas the tank engine fan. Though even with his many manly pursuits, I have occasionally caught him enjoying a viewing of “Strawberry Shortcake” with his sister Paige.

Liam (or Lemur, as he is known to us) is 9 months old. I can not believe how quickly this first year has flown by. He is a champion crawler and loves to climb stairs. He's made our heart pound on more than one occasion with his feats of daring do. He also loves to eat REAL food and splash in any kind of water he can get his hands on. It is amazing the distinct personalities these little people come to earth with from day one. Liam knows what he wants for dang sure, and you'd better not try to get in his way. Honestly, we wouldn't have him any other way, though talk to me again at 3 AM when he decides it's play time and see what I say. ;-)

It has been a wonderful year for our family and we are so grateful for our associations with all of you. May you all have a wonderful holiday and a blessed and peaceful year to come.

Love to you all,

The Ogilvie Fam

My beautiful Morgan.

Cars PJ's, Cars game... any guesses on his favorite things?

Britton doesn't wear his emotions on his sleeve... oh no. ;-)

The Thatcher hounds enjoying the human free chair.

Liam helping to open the kid's gift from Grandpa T.

Morgan seems to like her Nintendo DS. Maybe Brit is giving her some tips.

Britton realizing what is actually in the box (it's a Wii).

I wonder if he likes it? Only took 3 years for "Santa" to get his hands on one.

Yeah, I dun good on my honey's gift this year. :-D

Morgan is so engrossed with her DS that even baby brother will not thwart her concentration.

Paigey and her favorite gift this year. The singing Diamond Castle barbie... the brown haired one... I don't know their names. She already had the blonde one.

My adorable Darien in the Christmas wreckage.

The perils of cat ownership during Christmas.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008, a year in review

I do this every year on my LiveJournal, and though I'd post it here and on facebook as well. It's a nice way to remember the year that has just passed.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
I've been to our nations capital, finally! I had a lot of firsts this year with our trip back east. I got to ride in the underground tram the senators use and even meet a few of said senators. I've been to NYC now. I've now visited so many sites I've only read about in history. But one of the highlights was our trip to Elko to meet Senator Obama. Yeah, I've never met a future president before.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I'd say I did pretty well and I think having my little job really made a difference in that.

My resolutions for this year are:
  • I am LOSING WEIGHT this year. I'm not going to beat around the bush anymore. This year it has got to happen. I'm not pregnant, I have some motivation. It's going to happen (...please oh please let it happen?).

  • More time with the family, less times on the computer.

  • Learn to express my views better, and not get in a contentious debates with others about opposing views and then LET IT GO. I don't need to dwell on it for years and years.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I had a lot of friends and family members have babies this year. My sister in law, several cousins, several friends, but I ALSO had a baby this year! What a blessing he's been since arriving here on earth. I can't imagine my life without him. My children are truly wonderful, kind, beautiful, incredible people!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
This one makes me cry just thinking about it. My dear Uncle Gordon. I miss him so much already.

5. What countries did you visit?
America the beautiful! Added quite a few states to my “been to” list this year.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
A better, less reviled, more unified country. I don't know how President-Elect Obama is going to do, but I hope a brighter day is on the horizon.

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory?
There were a lot of significant days this year, but March 14th is sure to be the most significant. Not only was my 5th child and 3rd son born on that day, but it's also my oldest son, my dad and Russell's dad's birthday.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
The birth of my son and helping in the Obama campaign.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Letting what others think get to me.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing serious.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I think I hit a home run with Russ' iPod for Christmas. It is really nice to see him enjoy something like that because he's usually so spartan in his wants/needs.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My Morgan. She has come so far, made such great progress and overcome so many obstacles. I'm so proud of her and grateful to so many people who help and continue to help her grow and progress.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
People who might think that because I'm a democrat that my eternal soul is somehow in peril.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Formula and diapers.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Meeting Barack and Michelle Obama and him being elected.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Flogging Molly, “Float.” The Shins, “Australia.” Erasure, “Storm in a Teacup.”

17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
I'd say I'm happier. I'm habitually optimistic, but I think I may have reason to be this year.

ii. thinner or fatter?
I think I may have gained a bit, but my children annihilated my scale so I can't be sure.

iii. richer or poorer?
A bit richer, oddly enough.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Getting outside and spending time with the people who really matter in my life.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
I probably could spend A LOT less time on the computer. I need to cut down on those kind of distractions.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
This year was a little weird because we didn't have our traditional get together in Laketown with Russ' family. I missed that and the family members who weren't able to come, but us locals got together on Christmas Eve and had fun with our white elephant gift exchange. Then we did the traditional Thatcher family Christmas with the exception that me, Russ and Liam slept at home and then went up to my parent's when the kids woke up.

22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
I am convinced that I am married to one of the best men on the earth. I'm not saying he's perfect, but I'm frankly really glad he isn't because I'm so far from perfect it's not funny. But there are so many things that convince me we are perfect for each other. I wish we didn't have the religious differences, but I really think that has made us a better couple and has forced us to grow in ways we wouldn't have otherwise. So, to make a short story long, yes. I'm STILL incredibly in love with my wonderful Russy.

23. The most unexpected realization you made this year?
My family will still like me even if I'm a “damn liberal.” Well, most of them do. ;-)

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Avatar, Dexter, and Cities of the Underworld

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Ummmm.....Sarah Palin? Just kidding! I don't really hate people. People irk me, but hate just isn't my kind of word.

26. What was the best book you read?
Well it sure as heck wasn't “Breaking Dawn.” BLEH!!!!! Wait, what was the question? Favorite? Oh yeah. Probably “Dreams from my Father.” I grew as a person from reading that book.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The Birthday Massacre. They are such an Amy band. Thanks for sharing them with me Ryan (Schwab). I don't know how you do it, but you've introduced me to several of my favorite bands. I also became slightly obsessed with the song “J'en ai marre,” by French singer AlizĂ©e.

28. What did you want and get?
A healthy baby. Oh, and Barack Obama elected president! ;-)

29. What did you want and not get?
More affordable health care.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I don't see very many movies because getting out with small children is very difficult, but the ones I did see that I liked a lot were: Twilight, The Dark Knight, Forbidden Kingdom, Death Note, Iron Man, Mama Mia and Wall-E.

31. What did you do on your birthday?
My birthday is in January so by the time I get to December 31st I've forgotten. Lol! Uhh.... I think we made Japanese food, but I honestly can't remember for sure. Or maybe I'm projecting because that's what I want to do this year. Lol!

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I really got what I wanted this year on the whole. Uh, how about an all expense paid trip to Europe. That always makes my life immeasurably more satisfying. ;-) Oh and "Breaking Dawn" not sucking.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Jeans and work casual tops.

34. What kept you sane?
My husband, family and friends, with a little WoW on the side.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Well, for 2 years running now, it's Barack Obama. I've never been so involved or followed a political campaign as I did this one. It was a great experience in most ways.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The presidential election. I'm slowly weening myself away, but I was an absolute CNN junkie for a while there.

37. Who do you miss?
Uncle Gordon. My buddies, the Schwab's. I haven't seen them in far too long. Though I'd love to see any of my friends and family I don't see regularly.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
I don't think I met many new people. Did I? The thing I loved about this year was facebook and blogs, which allow me to reconnect and get to know family and friends. I've love that so much. Oh wait! I met the Obama's! :-D
EDIT: DUH! I met the people at work this year!!!! Duh, DUH! I love those guys! They have truly enriched my life by knowing them.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008. “This above all: To thine own self be true.” Still trying to apply it, but I believe it's the truth.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Besides the drinking part, this song fits me pretty well.

Flogging Molly - Float

“drank away the rest of the day
wonder what my liver'd say
drink, thats all you can
blackened days with their bigger gales
blow in your parlor to discuss the day
listen, that's all you can

ah but don't, no don't sink the boat
that you built, you built to keep afloat

sick and tired of what to say
no one listens anyway
sing, that's all you can
ramblin' years of lousy luck
you miss the smell of burnin' turf
dream, that's all you can

ah but don't, no don't sink the boat
that you built, you built to keep afloat

singled out for who you are
it takes all types to judge a man
feel, that's all you can
filthy suits with bigot ears
hide behind their own worst fears
live, that's all you can
it's all you can
it's all you

no matter where i put my head
i'll wake up feeling sound again
breathe, it's all you can
tomorrow smells of less decay
the flowers greet this bloomin' fray
be thankful, that's all you can

ah but don't, no don't sink the boat
that you built, you built to keep afloat

a ripe old age
that's what i am
a ripe old age
just doin' the best i can”