Just as I sit down to begin my 2009 holiday letter (in January 2010) my new baby girl begins to cry. I guess you can say we ended our 2009 year with a big bang – the birth of our daughter, Rachel Suzanne on Saturday, December 19, 2009. I hadn’t planned on sending out Christmas cards this year, I planned on sending a New Year’s card and double it as a birth announcement. I didn’t think our baby would be born in 2009 or 9 days early, so Rachel happened to really put the kabash on the New Year’s Card and as for this letter, viewing it online, you can say we’re “going green” this year. I’m sure by next year, the paper version will be back in action.
Around this time last year, Dan and I were spending time in Puerto Vallarta Mexico, celebrating my friend’s 20-20 birthday. And shortly after our return from the warm weather, I threw my own 29.5 birthday party at the roller skating rink. That same month, Dan’s job was put on hold as he spent 3 weeks unemployed, a far cry from the original length of 3 months. Dan said goodbye to his truck he called “The Pig” – his 1995 Dodge Ram 3500 (Dually) 4x4 Cummins.
February we celebrated the super bowl at a friend’s party. We took care of our dentist appointments, got the dogs to the vet for their check-ups, and tried to stay warm. March came and went and before we knew it, it was opening day at Comerica Park in April. Dan spent the day in Detroit celebrating and watching the game with the ticket I bought for him and the following day we moved a shed that we purchased at an auction the week before.
Dan’s second annual bachelor party was spent at a Tigers game in Detroit in May, I attended a bachelorette party for my friend Heather in Windsor, and we organized and hosted a benefit golf outing for Jax Johnson (and we raised over $4,000!) We celebrated our first wedding anniversary and found out I was pregnant.
Halfway thru the year and we said goodbye to Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and our beloved K9 Cletus. My surprise 30th birthday party was in June, and after finding out about the event, I surprised my guests by telling them I was expecting. We went strawberry picking at a local farm and for the first time I made strawberry jam!
We had two camping trips planned this year – one was in July and it rained the entire weekend. We did see sunshine during a four hour stretch that allowed us to float down a river in a tube. I felt our baby move for the first time this month and I got poison ivy while trimming trees in our yard.
In August for our second camping weekend we broke out our brand new tent we received as a wedding gift. And it leaked. All weekend it rained and all weekend our tent was leaking water. We found out this month we were having a baby girl on or around December 28th. My VW Bug debuted in it’s first bug show not far from our home.
We began to put our nursery together – slowly but surely in September. We bought some hangers, emptied out our office, had our carpets cleaned, I refinished a dresser and began to sort thru the baby clothes my sister gave to me. We took a class on how to prepare our pooch, Rockwell, for a baby. Most of our thoughts revolve around having a child at this point in our life – we have to hurry up and do things before this baby arrives.
In October I flew to Georgia to visit my sister and niece and we had our first baby shower in the thumb. And how can I forget Halloween? Dan and I took advantage of my “baby bump” and went as a shotgun wedding. Sadly we didn’t win any prizes. Braxton Hicks contractions began this month and continued through my pregnancy.
We continued to take more classes to prepare for our baby in November, as well as celebrate two Thanksgivings, and have our Nut Cracking baby shower. I had most of my Christmas shopping done hoping and anticipating we would have a baby before Christmas and the New Year.
December started out as a normal December…Christmas Parties, Tree Trimming, Hair Cuts, Gift Shopping, Pot Luck Recipes but a few new items were added: Car Seat Inspection, Doctor Appointments, Meet the Pediatrician, Belly Photos and Santa Photos with Rockwell. Then, on Friday, December 18th we made a trip to the hospital and the next day had our baby girl!
Whew, what a busy 2009, and thankfully we received our tax deduction - Baby Rachel! I’m wishing all of you a fun, happy and healthy 2010!
In my annual fashion…
In the spirit of supporting our friends, family and community, we are very proud to announce we have made contributions totaling over $1,200 to the organizations listed below. We invite you to share in this sense of accomplishment, for it is your continued patronage that is the cornerstone of this financial assistance.
Alzheimer’s Association – Greater Michigan Chapter
The Salvation Army
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure – Greater Lansing
Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation – In Memory of Ehren Peyerk
The American Cancer Society
The Travis Chellis Foundation
Habitat for Humanity – Canada
Thumb Industries Walk-a-Thon
Last Chance Rescue
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Honduras Mission Project
Special Olympics of Michigan
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Livingston County
American Diabetes Association
Eric Carpenter Family Assistance Fund
Brides Against Breast Cancer