Wednesday, January 18, 2012

You've Been Lettered

Dear Mackenzie,
Please come back to North Carolina and play with Kaden.  I know he pushed you quite often, and that he was terrible at sharing, but the truth is he adores you.  He kept trying to throw his soccer ball to your picture today (and was quite frustrated that you weren't catching it).  During bath time, I could tell his splashing just wasn't the same.  I hate that you and your cute baby brother have to live so far away.  Colorado's too cold.  Convince your parents to move here instead.

Your Aunt Katie 

Dear School Secretary,

Let's just say that our 30 second telephone conversation, combined with your snide tone, didn't make me mourn the fact that Friday is my last day at work.  Did no one teach you the golden rule as a child?

The teacher who thinks she's already stepped up to the plate by not getting a pay increase during the last four years

P.S.  A lot of people, myself included, think you are a meanie.

P.P.S  Since we're being honest, let me get a couple more things off my chest.  Every time you get on the intercom and ask a student to come "have your picture made," a small part of my soul dies.  It's "have your picture TAKEN."  Southern idiosyncrasies are only charming when nice people have them.  Oh, and also, sometimes when you get on the intercom and say, "Teachers, please excuse the interruption," I yell at you, even though you can't hear me.  I do this with students present.  "NO!"  I scream, as I shake my fist furiously.  Because really, let's face it, nine times out of ten is the interruption REALLY excusable?  I didn't think so, either. 
Dear Grant and Jessie Jones,

I think I have single-handedly devoured an entire tier of your wedding cake.  Thank you for getting married, so I can gorge myself with lard-topped divinity.  I know it was Loni who gave the cake to my mother-in-law, but without your joyous union, my current calorie fest would not be possible.  I owe it all to you!
Someone who is very sorry we're leaving Kinston just as you're moving here

Dear Chad,

I hope you're not expecting to see any wedding cake in the freezer when you get home.  No, seriously, I hope you're not . . . Also, I haven't been on a scale, but I think there's a high probability that I'll be ten pounds heavier by the time you return on Friday evening.  You may have a hard time recognizing me, so I thought I should give you fair warning. 

The woman who eats another piece of cake every time she starts to feel lonely

Dear Students Who Wrote Nice Things on My Evaluation Forms,

I love you, too.  I am glad that I made a difference for some of you.  On the way to school each day, I prayed that the time I had to spend away from Kaden would be spent blessing the lives of someone in some way.  I know that you are capable of great things.  Believe in yourselves!  I will miss you (even though I won't miss some of your classmates).

Mrs. R.

Dear Baby Fat Roll That Used to Be on My Toddler's Wrist,

Where did you go?  When did you leave?  The other day as I cuddled with Kaden and read him a story, I saw that you were missing, and I started to cry.  I know my little one has to grow up; I just wish it didn't have to happen so fast (and while I wasn't looking).

A Nuzzler of Baby Fat Rolls

Dear Single Parents,
Since the beginning of December, I have joined your ranks  four nights a week.  I don't know how you do this all the time, but mad props to you.

One Tired Mommy 

Dear Publishers of F is for Farm,

My eighteen-month-old received your book as a Christmas gift, and he adores it.  I adore it, too.  There's just one thing:  Why did you choose a pedophile to pose as the farmer inside the barn?  All of the pages have such darling photos, pop-ups, and moving parts.  Imagine my surprise when my little boy opened the interactive barn page, only to see this harrowing sight staring back at us:

That's just plain creepy.  Perhaps you had a hard time finding a suitable farmer to pose for a photograph.  Allow me to make a suggestion:  Drive to central Washington.  Locate a little town called Moses Lake.  I can think of at least a half a dozen older gentlemen who can do the trick.  One of them is my own grandfather.

A slightly disturbed bedtime story reader
Dear Research Papers,

I know you need to be graded.  I promise you will be finished by Friday afternoon, when grades are due.  Right now I have more important matters to attend to, like writing this blog, perusing Pinterest, and signing random petitions to stop Internet censorship.  

A Procrastination Pro      

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Merry Christmas, 2011

For those of you we have no address for (but whom we still love dearly), and for those of you whose Christmas cards came back to me return to sender this year, I wanted to post our Christmas letter and Christmas card photos.  I hope your holiday season was a beautiful one!

tor·tu·ous adjective
full of twists, turns, or bends; twisting, winding, or crooked: a tortuous path.

A Tortuous Timeline—The Reese Family’s Experiences in 2011
January Katie finishes up teaching at North Lenoir High School and begins life as a full-time mom.  Kaden eats his first rice cereal and enters the world of real food!

FebruaryKaden gets his first tooth, just before his six month birthday.  

March Kaden tries his first park swing.  Chad and Katie continue to change lots of diapers.  

April Kaden and Katie fly to Utah and take a road trip with her parents to Washington.  In Moses Lake, Kaden sees cows for the first time, meets his Grandpa Great, and plays with some of the same toys his mother did as a child.  The tour of Washington then continues to Seattle, where they visit the Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley, explore Pike Place Market, and eat a plethora of delicious foods (all prepared by amazing family members).  

May Chad and Katie close on their first rental property, meaning they will don painting garb for the next month and a half while completing their renovation project.  

June The unexpected happens when Chad is told he will not be employed after August, due to company downsizing.  His search for a new job begins.  Katie, Chad, and Kaden introduce Katie’s aunt MalaRee and cousins Chloe, Hayden, and Sterling to the beauty of North Carolina beaches (and ocean water warm enough for swimming) when they come for a short visit. Chad and Katie become landlords when their first tenant moves into their rental property.

July Chad kindly lets Katie and Kaden fly to Utah for another two week visit with her family.  Kaden takes his first steps a few days following their return.  Chad catches his first sail fish while deep sea fishing with his dad, brother, and sister-in-law.  

AugustKaden celebrates his first birthday at his circus-themed shindig, eagerly devouring his funfetti cupcake.  Katie signs a contract with Lenoir County Schools and returns to the work force as a high school English teacher.  Chad stays home with Kaden as a full-time dad.  Hurricane Irene leaves the family with no electricity (and thus with no air conditioning) for five days.
September Chad’s parents generously take the family to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for a weekend getaway.  Katie’s brother, Bryan, comes at the end of the month for a weekend visit during military leave.  

October Kaden, with a perfected roar, makes an adorable lion cub on Halloween.  

NovemberChad is offered a job with Capital Bank in Raleigh, giving everyone something extra to be thankful for (just in time for Thanksgiving).  A “For Sale” sign appears in the Reese’s front yard.  Katie informs her principal she will be moving at the start of the new semester (end of January).

December Chad starts his job in Raleigh, leaving Katie as a single mom four nights a week.  Chad’s dodge ball team wins the championship tournament for the third year in a row.  Suitcases are packed for Utah, where Christmas festivities will be enjoyed with Katie’s family.  
Our Dear Family and Friends,
     What a year it has been!  While the tortuous path we’ve been on this year may not be what we had in mind, it has certainly been full of blessings in disguise.  We are excited for the many changes the New Year promises for our family.  As we celebrate Christmas and contemplate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, our hearts are filled with gratitude for him.  We are thankful also for a loving Heavenly Father, who has been aware of our needs through the many twists and turns we have experienced this year.  We hope you have a wonderful holiday season.  We love you!           --Chad, Katie, and Kaden Reese

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