Saturday, December 19, 2015

2015 Christmas Letter

I feel as though we are still finding our groove as a family of five. In many ways we are in survival mode, learning how to juggle the needs of a loud, feisty, six year old; an appearance preoccupied four year old and a curious but destructive sixteen month old. Our house is perpetually a disaster and generally quite loud. From time to time Nathaniel gently shoves me out the door so I don't completely  loose my mind. That being said, we are thankful, satisfied and rich in the things that really matter.
 One of the highlights of our year, was going to Esperanza's spring family camp. Amelia learned how to kayak and we saw a pod of orcas swim through the channel.  I loved watching the girls help out in the kitchen the way Nate and I did more than a decade ago as camp counselors.  This summer we  took a few epic camping trips with friends to Tofino, Malcolm island and Hornby island. We also thoroughly enjoyed  spending many sundrenched hours on our finished deck.  The pergola, combined with second hand furniture, a tepee, and a hammock, made it feel like an extension of our home.
The owner of the property where Nathaniel keeps his hives, gave a us a small plot of land to plant a garden and the girls and I have enjoyed harvesting green beans, heirloom tomatoes, carrots, potatoes and piles of kale. Nathaniel has seven bee hives now  and managed to harvest and sell over 100 pounds of honey this spring. He just created a business called Honey Badger Bee-keeping and is importing a semi commercial  honey spinner from China. When it arrives, he will spin out the 300lbs he harvested in August. That is a whole lotta honey!!!  In September he went on another caribou hunt with a friend. They both got a caribou! Nathaniel applied to the mountain bike unit this fall and found out that he will be starting in January.  The change in schedule and pace will be good for our family.
I am finally a DONA certified doula and looking forward to supporting women in labor in the new year. I also got a chance to take a course at my church called "from creation to the cross" and finally turned the blog that we kept when we traveled around the world into a photo book. I went to Whistler with some girlfriends and competed in a fun event called Mudderella. It was the first time I had left Levi for more than an hour and it was WONDERFUL! Nate did a good job of keeping all three children alive.
While Nate was on paternity leave, we huffed and puffed through Gillian Michaels DVD workouts after we put the children to bed. Once and awhile we attempted to run with two jogging strollers, but it almost always resulted in a great deal of crying.  Needless to say, neither of us saw any significant weight loss until Nathaniel  returned to work in April. Go figure. I recently started weight lifting and I am enjoying it immensely. I love feeling strong and being able to do push-ups and hopefully soon -chin ups.
Amelia's highlights this year include catching a wild bunny and becoming a spark. She still spends every available minute outdoors and continues to amaze us with her creativity. Claire took her first ballet class this year and performed at the port theatre this spring. It was pretty darn cute. She continues to have strong opinions about her apparel and loves all things sparkly and beautiful.  Levi is running, climbing and currently, wiping his nose on the couch. We adore him and the completeness he has brought our family. We pray that this letter finds you happy and healthy! Have a great Christmas!
Love, (Nathaniel, Jocelyn, Amelia, Claire & Levi)

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