All in Our Family

Top Five Blog Posts for 2016

December has been a whirlwind of fun for our family.  Rich spent hours in the garage making three maple saddle stands as a Christmas present for Andrew; Nathaniel and I spent those same hours in the kitchen making yummy food for everyone. We were able to see all our children over the Christmas holiday and made some great memories. I love this photo of Nathaniel's first experience ice skating! Unfortunately Nathaniel is currently in the hospital with a virus. Rich is with him this morning to give me time to rest. I have enjoyed the quiet moments to reflect on my writing and reread some of this year's blog posts. Here are the top five most frequently read 2016 blog posts:

Merry Christmas 2016

Our Christmas cards are in the mail. It is the first year in decades that I did not write, print, fold, and send along an annual Christmas letter. I have had an affection for Christmas letters since I was in Jr. High School. I think I wrote my parents' at least once. I would have bundled up against the Ohio cold and walked to my grandfather's real estate office where I typed the letter from my mother's handwritten notes. I likely used all of Mrs. Sawvey's, my grandfather's secretary, correction squares fixing my mistakes. I diligently read every letter our family received back then, keeping many of them long after Christmas. I still do. Annual Christmas letters have waned in popularity since I was in Jr. High. We get fewer and fewer every year as our culture moves online. Similarly, we are taking baby steps away from those square correction tape days. Last year I sent a paper version of our letter with our cards, but posted it online for those who know us only through following Nathaniel's journey here. I dropped the printed letter completely this year. But the goal is the same regardless of the delivery - to reconnect, to share our highlights and joys, to wish you a Merry Christmas.

Happy Fourth Birthday Nathaniel

Nathaniel turns four tomorrow. Since it falls on Thanksgiving Day this year, we gathered family and friends a couple weekends ago to celebrate. This birthday carries some significance - the first that Nathaniel can eat cake. I decided on a Very Hungry Caterpillar theme to commemorate and had a lot of fun making with the preparations, especially making the cake decorations out of fondant. Nathaniel blew out his candles and then signed "awesome." Yes, Nathaniel everything about this milestone is awesome. Happy Birthday!

Camping with a Tracheostomy

When I googled "camping with a tracheostomy" last week, I mostly found short lists of summer camps that accept medically complex children. A few forums suggested using an RV for traveling and camping experiences with a trach kiddo. We rented a large RV in 2008 and took five children to the Devil's Tower, Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, and the Grand Tetons. I can easily imagine how convenient it would be to "RV camp" with Nathaniel. Except we do not own an RV; we own a tent.