The Birthday of the Life

Our Saviour was born today: let us be glad. For there is no proper place for sadness when we keep the birthday of the Life, which destroys the fear of mortality & brings to us the joy of promised eternity.
–St. Leo I

Greetings in this most blessed holiday season! We say a prayer for each of you that Gladness fill your heart and Hope warm your soul, keeping away the chill of the darkness. The Light of the World has come to shine in our hearts. 

Where to begin? The start of the year was the snowiest we’ve experienced in Seattle so far, and we thoroughly enjoyed sledding and fort-building and snowball fights and cozy fires and warm drinks and book reading. There are those who disparage the gray Seattle weather, but I say: there’s no better reason for being peaceful and cozy inside with those you love. 

Rain followed snow and somehow, we finished out a homeschool year with two kids and ended at a reasonable time. Spring changed to summer, and what a summer it was! We road-tripped down to southern CA to visit Annie’s family, hosted great families in Lake Chelan, and did a robust amount of camping, hitting Ft. Flagler State Park, Crater Lake National Park, and Lake Diablo (in North Cascades National Park). Being outside in the PNW during the summer is the absolute best. It’s the reason many people stay around, even if they complain about the winters. We swam and played and got dirty and soaked up every bit of the season. 

In September, we said farewell to Little M, our foster child of 18 months. She went to stay with her adoptive family and we wish her all the best as she settles into her new life. It was a wonder-filled journey with her, and we (all) learned a lot about ourselves and each other and family and Love and sacrifice and grief. We look forward in the coming year to accepting other foster placements, but hoping this time we can grow our family by adoption. We know God has a plan for our family, and we are excited (but also anxious and impatient!) to meet our future children. 

family of three

To that end, we have begun a three-stage remodel of our home. We are fixing up the study to become the master bedroom so that we have two suitable bedrooms for kiddies–one for boys and one for girls, which will make it possible for us to accept placement of sibling groups of mixed gender. Macie says she doesn’t want a brother (they’re stinky) but if the brother comes with sisters, we think she’ll be ok. 

The next stage is enlarging the kitchen area at the front of the house. They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, and it must be true because everyone inevitably hangs out in the kitchen. We are excited–we love to have friends and family in our home, and having more room for them makes it better for everyone. We hope to have these first two stages finished by summer 2020. Do you want to come over for our “everything finally has a place and is clean again” BBQ? We’ll let you know the details.. 

Stage three, which is still a couple years out, is a second floor with three more bedrooms. We.. haven’t really gotten further than that yet. But it should be pretty cool when all is said and done. 

The highlight of our autumn was a family trip to Maui in October! What a treasure those islands are. We had a marvelous time swimming, snorkeling, building sand castles, eating delicious food, playing games, going horseback riding, ziplining, and generally reconnecting as a family. We saw sea turtles and dolphins and eels and many cool fish–even some tiny jumpy ones that wouldn’t leave us alone. We returned refreshed and content and tan. As beautiful as it is to travel and see new things, we are so grateful to come back to our home and our people (and our kitties). We have so many blessings for which to be thankful. So many. 

Taylor is still thoroughly enjoying his work at the Invention Science Fund of Intellectual Ventures. They’re starting a new round of invention sessions in wildy exciting spaces (eldercare, microbiome, and architected materials) that will serve as the genesis of the next cohort of companies they’ll seed and incubate. He’s shifted his side gig Fizzy from a small agency to primarily a high-end WordPress hosting SAAS product to great passive income effect. He’s also become a startup mentor and angel investor with Venture Out, a startup that supports pre-seed, aspiring entrepreneurs with strong domain expertise from large tech companies to launch startups. This year also marks the first foray into ultra marathons with two 50Ks, one in Chelan in June and another in September in the North Cascades. He’s looking forward to getting back into playing the cello which, along with Macie’s violin and Annie’s piano, will have us doing what we love best, creating together.   

Annie has mostly been managing the remodel and construction. She is the painter for the job, and she makes most of the design decisions. We’re still homeschooling through all the upheaval, though we might have to re-label this semester “unschooling.” The time Annie’s not keeping the house liveable, feeding people, or painting is spent reading Judge Dee murder mysteries and shuttling Macie to her various out-of-home classes. Once the first stage of the remodel is done (so soon, we hope!!) we’ll get the piano tuned again and Annie wants to play more often. 

Macie is taking several classes this semester, doing her regular tap (twice a week!) and adding violin, singing, Spanish, chemistry, art, and creative writing. At home we’re hanging on to math and snail mail (sort of). I know Mace is excited to have her school desk back to normal after the study and family room are finished (ha). She has grown exponentially this year and is proud to inform anyone who will listen that she now fits in (some of) Mommy’s shoes. 

And, we are entertaining the idea of getting a dog. We have a long list of both pros and cons, and we are kinda split on which way to go. A dog would play fetch, but our yard would become her bathroom. We could take the dog on walks but we’d *have* to take the dog on walks. A dog is trainable (unlike cats), but she’d require much more taking care of when we travel. What do you think–should we get a dog? If so, what kind? Are we in fact crazy, or could this maybe be an ok idea?

Merry Christmas and Happiest New Year!