In case you didn’t receive our holiday letter (or chose not to read it) here is your chance. Jim writes our letter and does a great job of adding humor to them. Enjoy
There was no shortage of world events that could have served as Holiday letter inspiration this year. But the indelible memory for me is a song that transcended culture, language, age, class and style. Gangnam Style — a song performed in Korean, by a Korean named Psy — is the most requested song by my two boys, their friends, their friends’ parents and the rest of the world. Jack and Will love to sing along even though they don’t speak Korean. So sing along with us as we recap this year’s hits — it doesn’t matter if you don’t know the words. And be thankful you are getting the radio edit and not the extended remix.
Skyfall, Adele (encore: Sandstorm, Darude)
This year’s weather came in the form of snow and then a crippling ice storm that toppled trees and power lines – the perfect time for a visit from Charkiewiczs. While this storm was an inconvenience, it was also another reminder that we are lucky to have such benign weather relative to most of the country.
Drive By, Train
We said goodbye to Poppy, our tent trailer, earlier this year after two fun-filled camping seasons. The adieu was bittersweet as we traded up to a hard-sided travel trailer that will allow us to extend our camping season and take longer trips. We picked up Boomer, an Outback 250rs, in March and headed to the Washington and Oregon coasts over spring break to stress test it. Six trips later, Boomer passed the test. Next stop — a 15 day trek in 2013 to Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and one toe in New Mexico.
Broken-Left-Arm Style (Ow. Ow Ow Ow.), Jack
Over the summer, Jack earned the dubious honor of being the first in our family to break a bone. It’s not entirely clear exactly how he broke his left arm. I think he did it diving to rescue a bald eagle chick falling from its nest. However, Sarah and a few other “witnesses” claim he fell off a stair railing while sliding down. Agree to disagree. Two casts and a lost soccer season later, all is well (the first cast had to be removed and burned after Dennis signed it with the Univ. of Oregon logo).
Glad You Came, The Wanted
In June, Steve Gillis and I held our second annual fundraising event in memory of our beloved friend, David Fanning. Thanks to the generous support from this year’s 96 participants, 17 hole sponsors, countless donors and volunteers, The David J. Fanning Memorial Golf Tournament (fanningmemorial.com) donated over $28,000 to Seattle-based Benaroya Research Institute for diabetes and other autoimmune disease research.
Some Nights, Fun (honorable mentions: I Cry, Flo Rida; and Try, Pink)
The sum of the songs from Pink and Fun — Try + Some Nights — captures the entire season. Our beloved Dawgs came into this season with a proven QB, promising skill players and a new defensive coach who actually knows how to coach. After a schizophrenic 7-5 season, I have no idea what to expect. I hope they figure it out in time for the Las Vegas Bowl. Woof.
We Are (Not So) Young, Fun (Fun appears twice in our letter this year…well, because they are Fun)
Will started preschool this year and loves his teachers and classmates. His class hosted a pre-Thanksgiving dinner that we attended with Sarah’s parents and sister’s family while they were visiting recently. He is also enjoying his sports sampler class this fall, and he appears to be very capable on the soccer field. Jack is in the 2nd grade and has another wonderful teacher. Early signs point to strengths in math and science, just like his mom.
Don’t You Worry Child, Swedish House Mafia
“As nighttime creeps closer to suppertime and red and gold seep into green leaves” we know that it’s once again time to host the Haunted Maze at Jack’s Halloween school fundraiser. This year we moved it outside and add scarier elements and more walls. Our third and final year was a huge success and we are excited to participate next year as mere mortal volunteers and parents.
Stronger, Kelly Clarkson
In support of her business objective to expand her audience and build a reputation as a subject matter expert on GI and vision issues, Sarah is now writing as a contributor for three additional parenting Web sites. She attended the Bloggy Boot Camp conference in Chicago and came home with creative ideas on how to grow revenue and her sphere of influence.
Here’s to another 52 weeks of chart-topping memories. Happy Holidays, Gangnam Style – Ho. Ho Ho Ho.
Jim, Sarah, Jack, Will, Mulligan (WGD)