I know this past year has been pretty rough on us. The moving expenses really hit us hard, and the stress from your job has been truly overwhelming for you – and by extension, Catie and me too. We’ve also had to deal with some pretty significant illnesses: Catie’s asthma diagnosis, the two different hospital stays that it’s entailed, plus all of the medications and doctor visits in between. Then there was also my mom’s chemotherapy and surgeries, your root canal, plus all of the other minor little things. And even though the move was something that we both wanted, it’s been hard on both of us, leaving our friends and all of the comforts that we had grown accustomed to in Washington.
But this has also been a really good year for us too. For one, we sold our house in the middle of a recession, which you have to admit was pretty damn fortunate. And even with as much as I miss Seattle and our friends there, I know without a doubt that we are exactly where we’re supposed to be. Every time Catie and I go outside and the neighborhood kids spot her and come running toward her screaming her name because they’re so happy to see her, I know that we are so lucky to have found this house in this neighborhood. (You know the livestock in Duvall was never that excited to see us. The horses would sometimes come to the fence to say hi, but it’s no comparison to the adulation that she gets now.) It’s been so easy for us to make friends here too, which has made the transition to a new state (heck, a new time zone) significantly nicer.
Another upside of 2008: I have loved watching Catie grow from a crawling, barely-speaking one year-old baby to a running, talking little girl with a full-on, headstrong personality of her own. I love seeing all of the various traits she picks up, some from me and some from you. I try to imagine what she’ll be like this time next year when she’s an almost-3 year-old. She’ll likely be a fluent English speaker, she probably won’t want us to carry her everywhere anymore, she’ll be sleeping in a big-girl bed, and who knows, she might even be potty-trained. It’s almost impossible to imagine, but I know that at this time last year, I couldn’t have guessed what she’d be like now. That little girl of ours amazes me every day, and I especially love watching the way she interacts with you. The way you two have your own little games, your little Daddy & Catie snuggle time in the morning, and how whenever she and I go out to run errands, the second we pull back into the driveway, the first thing she says is always, “Go see Daddy?” I couldn’t have asked for a better Daddy for her.
I really have been so proud of you this year: the way that you handled the move so easily; the way you supported me during my post-move freakout; the job stress you’ve dealt with that would’ve given lots of people a heart attack by now; the weight you’ve lost and how hard you’ve been working to get healthy; and the fantastic father and husband you’ve been. I know there’s a lot of stuff that we need to improve in the coming year, but I also know that we’ll deal with it and we’ll be fine. I read once that moving is the #2 most stressful thing a couple can go through. A death in the family is number one. Considering how well we dealt with our cross-country move (with a toddler and two cats, no less!), I think at this point we can handle just about anything.
I love you and Catie both so much, and I can’t wait to spend 2009 – and all my future years – with this little family that we’ve created.
[Editor’s Note: I started composing this in my head around 2 a.m. last night, and I was going to handwrite it, but then I thought: hey, blog fodder. Not like anything in here is all that private or secret. And this way it never gets lost.]