Friday, December 13, 2013

My Christmas Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

When we first moved out East, I used to write a family update letter every year to stuff in our Christmas cards along with a picture of our growing boys. I haven't done that in several years because a) I don't send Christmas cards anymore and b) I didn't really want to share what was going on.

Most of you know that two years ago, Wade and I decided to separate. It was a decision we wrestled with but we ultimately felt it was the best one. We stayed together in the same house during this time to make the transition easier on our boys, who of course, remain our top priority. This year during Labor Day weekend, Wade moved into a smaller house in Salisbury and I moved to Delaware with my boyfriend Mike who recently bought a house in the area.

The good news is that it's been three months now and everyone seems to be handling the change well. The boys stay in Salisbury during the week and are able to remain in the same schools. I visit them twice a week and they come to Delaware every other weekend to stay with me. They'll be coming for some extra time over the holidays and we are excited to be hosting my parents for a visit during their stay.

Tristan, our oldest, is a sophomore in high school now. He is a self-professed nerd and begged us to let him take Honors Chemistry over the summer. What kid begs their parents to take a summer class just because they want to learn so badly? Mine does! :) He is a straight A student and is taking 2 AP classes this year (Physics and Government) along with pre-calculus. He is also part of the Chess Club, Math Team, and a mock trial club where they all take roles in pretend court cases.

Jordan, our middle son, is an eighth grader and is part of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program at his school. He also takes advanced classes and is a mostly straight A student. He has become our resident computer geek, loves video games and is learning how to program. He can often be found poring over the laptop creating his own games. He has always been our creative one, so I think it's a great way for him to use that creativity and learn valuable skills he can possibly make a career out of someday!

Kadan, our youngest, is in third grade and even though he got a later start than his brothers in reading and writing (due to his extreme stubbornness!) he has more than caught up and is also a straight A student. He is part of an enrichment program and has a passion for maps and geography. He is also fascinated by science. He is still our resident actor, with so many expressions and moods that we can totally picture him accepting an Oscar someday down the line. When he gets a little older, we'll certainly want to get him involved in the theater.

Wade has taken a job as a probation/parole officer so he's no longer a correctional officer at the prison. It's been a positive change for him and has allowed him to work a normal M-F daytime shift after years of working nights and weekends. I left my job at SU recently and am taking this year to figure out what my next steps are. I would like to stay in this area and am looking for jobs locally but there's nothing quite in the same field. I am also focusing on my writing career and contemplating going back to school for something totally different. I guess I'm sort of having a mid-life crisis which I swear I am too young for but at almost 40 I suppose I'm not.

When I lived in Indiana, I taught a class through the Mental Health Association for children whose parents were divorcing. My teaching partner and I showed the kids a video about divorce made in the 80's that starred Alan Thicke from "Growing Pains." I taught the class for seven years and we showed that video once a month so you can imagine how many times I saw it! Something that Mr. Thicke said in the video has really resonated with me in the past year. Please forgive my paraphrasing but it was something like this: "Sure, things will be different; they'll have changed. But soon they'll feel normal. It will be a new kind of normal."

We have a new kind of normal here on Delmarva, which for those of you who don't know, is what they call the peninsula where we live since it's Delaware, part of Maryland and part of Virginia. We're learning to be happy with our new kind of normal. And even though we aren't positive what the future holds, we know that God will take care of us no matter what.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and many blessings in 2014.