But even though my last name is Earley, I am usually late. So to save time and a tree, I'm posting our Christmas "letter" online! It won't cover everything that has gone on, but it will bring you up to speed to where we're at now.
The last letter to go out in 2010 mentioned we were still in Colorado after trying unsuccessfully to move a couple times and we had 3 kids.
Well, we moved on from Pagosa in August of 2011 and are now in my birthplace of Austin, Texas! Not that you'd know it was Texas. Jason says he hardly ever meets people here who speak with a twang. Which means the other big change to our family, Finnegan, probably won't grow up with an accent. I'm pretty sure there is a blog post someplace on here with fabulous pictures of Finn's arrival on April 19, 2011...
I think that covers the "major" changes in our lives. Oh wait. Buying a house is probably something major. We were blessed to get into our first home this fall and are soooo happy to finally be in our own place. We are not as far out in the sticks as Jason would like, but being in suburbia has it's perks. Though at times even I wish for the total peace and quiet we had in the mountains.
There are no mountains, just hills here. The biggest "inclines" around are probably the freeway ramps.... Jason spends a lot of time traversing those! Austin is in the top 10 cities in America with the worst traffic, so Jason leaves around 6:30am every morning to get downtown for work. What is normally a 30 minute drive turns into an hour+ if he leaves much later than that, but we are so grateful for Jason's job with the plumbing company he works for that both of us try not to complain too much about the time spent getting to and from said job. Jason is enjoying the fact he no longer has to be up all night shoveling snow for work, but tells me all the time it's hot here. Just a few days ago it was 85 and he came home, took a look at the Christmas tree in the living room and declared it was all too weird. He doesn't complain about the extra time he gets to play outside with the kids and go for bike rides however. And he is planning and looking forward to putting in a small raised-bed garden in the new backyard soon.
On to the
Katie is 10 and in 5th grade at Blockhouse Creek Elementary. Adjusting to a new place is not always easy, but in the last 16 months we have seen Katie grow tall, beautiful, smart, funny, outgoing and sweet. Everyone is her friend!!! Like her dad, she misses going to Wolf Creek and playing in the snow, but has found she loves the swimming pool! Katie also loves to sing and is talking about being in choir in middle school next year. She has hinted already at attending a volleyball camp this summer and was asking if she can learn to play the flute. I'm still stuck on the fact that she'll be in middle school! Katie is growing up way too fast!
Evie is 8 and in 2nd grade, also at Blockhouse Creek. 2 new schools, a new church and a very different place to live- it's been a harder adjustment for our sensitive "1st middle" child. Evie is more inclined to the warm weather and would wear shorts or dresses every day of the year if I let her. She is our girly-girl, has a lot of sass and loves her purses and lipgloss! And we are overjoyed just this last week, as my dad said, "To tell her welcome to the new family of God, we are so glad she came."
Liam is 5 and attends a mothers-day-out program twice a week at a small private Christian school. He is learning "lots" and is quite proud to be able to write his name and point out letters and numbers to me as we get groceries or read a book. Liam is all boy! He enjoys playing video games, working with his dad (and dad's tools) and is learning to ride a bike. His current passion right now is Power Rangers. I thought those guys disappeared back in the 90's, but was I ever wrong! The list of Bandai Power Ranger Samurai BullZooka toys he requested for Christmas gave me a headache. Liam is our monkey and the neighbors can probably hear me regularly asking him to stop climbing up the basketball hoop pole.
Finn is the baby. I didn't think he would ever learn to crawl or even roll over as he had 3 devoted older siblings to bring him everything he could desire! But at 20 months he now runs everywhere and we have recently discovered that he can talk too! Only saying only 4 or 5 words up until the last few weeks, we've come to the conclusion that he was just biding his time. Recently after Jason repeatedly tried to get Finn to sign and/or say "more, please" before the bites of pumpkin pie he was sharing with him, Finn decided he didn't want to wait, looked at Jason and yelled "NOW!" Right now, seems to be how Finn rolls (I blame the 3 devoted older siblings who brought him everything he could desire, as fast as they could...) so we are working on understanding the words, be patient. Finn is our smiley guy, dancing to every bit of music he hears.
As for me, well... except for the bugs, I'm pretty happy here. I love the warm weather. I don't think I'll ever be able to visit Pagosa when there is snow as I'd probably freeze to death. I enjoy being closer than 2 hours away to places like Target, Sams and Hobby Lobby. :) There are lots of museums and places I'm looking forward to exploring. And I hope to one day get in on the movie extras casting that goes on here for productions shot in the Austin area. I greatly miss our church family and all our friends, but I love our new church here, the couples small group Jason and I are apart of and the weekly women's bible study I attend. I still love to cook, watch movies and one of my (many) new year resolutions is to keep this blog up and running more than 5 times in a whole year.
So y'all check back in here and we'll be in touch!
Merry Christmas To All!
highlights from the last couple of years in photos:
We had Finn!
We moved to Austin!
The kids grew up.
We celebrated lots of holidays, birthdays and special occasions!
Jason + Brynn = 10 years of marriage!
We went to awesome pools!
(the complete opposite of Pagosa Springs)
Quarry Splash Pad
Veteran's Memorial Pool
The water does strange things to kids here....
We killed bugs.
We bought a house!
We happily went to look at the bluebonnets and happily ripped them from their tranquil spot.
We went to Six Flags!
We visited Grandma and Grandpa Mackensen in Dallas!
We went to the Dallas Aboretum and saw cool stuff!
We went to cool outdoor concerts where it was super windy!
We went to see 4th of July fireworks over the river downtown!
We had FUN!
Come see us and join in the good times!
Come see us and join in the good times!
Jason, Brynn, Katherine, Evora, Liam & Finnegan