This year marks the 5th Annual Humphries Family Christmas Letter. Since we began this little tradition (Yes, I know, I didn’t actually create the concept of an Annual Christmas Letter. As with the Internet, Global Warming and Extreme Ultimate Fighting Competitions, it’s all Al Gore’s fault.) – anyway, in the five years that we have been dropping in uninvited, my life has seen the arrival of two new cars, two hearth-warming homes, two beautiful children, two playful pups and two wonderful wives. (Oops… did I just write that last part out loud?)
All kidding aside, the last five years have been one helluva’ ride. As with years’ past, I’ll fill you all in with a few sentences on each member of my loving family before closing it all out with a heart-tugging display of holiday cheer.
First up, our Little Princess – Aria Leigh. I say Little Princess because that’s what she’s had her name legally changed to. (C’mon, cut us some slack. It was late, she presented us with some forms in triplicate – we didn’t know if we were approving a new loan or signing away our souls. But when that little peach looks at you with those bright blue eyes and demands you change her name to Little Princess, you hop to it.) Of course, I exaggerate, but in the past year Aria has become quite the little song-bird (following her Mom’s lead) and has gifted our home (and mini-van) to a daily concert of all of her favorite tunes. While she kicked off the year with all the early childhood essentials (Old McDonald, The Alphabet Song, Crazy Train), she has since added more contemporary acts like The Backyardigans, who are currently in heavy rotation. That’s where “I Love Being a Princess” comes from. She’ll walk around singing that song morning, noon and night. Meaning I walk around singing that song morning, noon and night. Meaning, this morning I have a meeting with my HR representative who would like to discuss the appropriateness of a male princess in the workplace. Her musical ability aside, Aria has blown Andi and I away with her blossoming intelligence and personality. She amazes us and makes us laugh daily with the things she comes up. She’s a beautiful little girl who loves her Mom and Dad, gives her dogs Abby and Chatham a good night hug every evening and follows every order her beloved big brother Colin issues (which explains how our garage ended up being sold on eBay.)
Next we come to Colin, who in 2007 continued to plow through his Preschool career on the fast track to a fellowship at Harvard Law. Seriously, Colin has equal parts thrilled and scared us with the vast knowledge his little brain contains. In the past year, he has quintupled his counting skills – reaching beyond the magic number 100 and wondering aloud what mythical figures exist beyond one billion leading us to reach deep down into the far recesses of our minds to try and locate dusty deposits of grade school knowledge. (nathanfillion’s a number, right?) Forget the Fifth Grader, we’re barely smarter than a four year-old. Colin made a big splash in his swim lessons, advancing from Pike class to the elite Eel group, which requires that the kids swim on their own with less assistance from the instructors. Next stop, Rays, and after that… Navy SEAL. Colin also made the big leap from tricycle to big boy bike. His Grandpa Pete has watched this milestone with great interest – waiting for the perfect moment to swoop in with a Boy’s First Harley. In Colin’s leisure time he enjoys play-dates with his friends (especially Teddy), arts and crafts with his Mom and Aria, and of course, learning a trade as apprentice to his Dad. By this time next year, he should be able to get to World 8-4 and finally save Mario’s princess with no assistance whatsoever.
Out of all of us, Andi’s life is probably the busiest. In addition to juggling the challenges of caring for the children during the day, keeping up with home affairs and jockeying a never-ending series of errands – Andi augmented her singing career with numerous bookings at weddings and funerals. In addition, she made a big leap closer to home by transitioning from her Soprano Section Leader role at St. Ignatius Church in Chestnut Hill to St. Joseph’s Church in Charlton, MA – eliminating those costly tolls, fuel costs, long commuting times and the need to purchase a wind-powered car. Andi also became very active in the local Mom’s Club and has really become a member of the community here. She has also embarked on a fantastic scrapbooking project aimed at documenting our family’s development and has really produced some wonderful pages. I haven’t enough words to express my appreciation for everything she does for us. Oh, in her spare time, she also splits the atom.
As for me, while work remains the same (and yes – I still can’t make my professional description sound sexy enough no matter how many wardrobe malfunctions I suffer in the office) – on the personal front, I have had great satisfaction working on my web site (www.edhumphries.com) where in 2007, in less than 2 years, I posted over 200 full-length entries. I may not have written that Great American Novel yet – but there on my site are enough kernels to some day cobble something together. This past year also saw one major life change with my decision to shave my head. I know, what’s that say about someone when their greatest accomplishment in a full year was that they got a haircut? Oh well, it was big decision and one I’m happy with. Hey, someone had to Bring Sexy back!!!
Besides, it’s the family accomplishments that Andi and I are most proud of. We’re in this together and while the challenges can sometimes seem daunting, the rewards are beyond compare. For us, seeing Colin and Aria really begin to interact – to exist as more than housemates but as brother and sister, as Best Friends, has been the greatest accomplishment of all. Those are the moments that really key into a parent’s heart.
We’ve got it pretty good and we’re happy to share these glad tidings with our friends and family. From ours to yours – we wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!!