My attempt at a holiday letter.

Dear reader,

This year I wrote a Christmas letter to update everyone on our current state of affairs. I was crazy excited. I was going to have pictures of Eli printed to send out with them, so you could stare at his face on your fridge all year long. I was going to put them in the mail before Christmas day. I was going to print them on pretty paper, dammit! Then I printed them…

Apparently I should not be allowed to choose printer paper when I’m sleep deprived, and frazzled. It’s bad, y’all. I’d have to send out two ibuprofen for you all to take after reading the blasted thing. I included a picture of my failed attempt at holiday cuteness, but seriously. You have been warned.

Since I know you are all dying to read my musings, I will post my letter here. Enjoy, and wish me better luck (and decision making skills) for next year!

Merry Chrismachanukwaanzivus, and a Happy New Year!

Well, it’s been one heck of a year. Around this time last year, we went from being an obnoxiously cute, matching haired couple, to being an sickeningly adorable family of three. The hair no longer all matches, as Eli is only just starting to grow out his curly locks in earnest, but it’s ok. He’ll get there. Until then, we’ll buy him hats, and muddle through somehow.

Eli is a bundle of stubborn, freakishly strong, insomniac energy. Luckily for us (and him, I suppose) he is also freakishly happy. EVERYTHING makes this kiddo smile. And we live for that smile. It’s pretty much the best smile either of his parents have ever seen. Currently his favorite things consist of: eating anything he can get his hands on (preferably whatever is on my own plate), my phone (he loves to help me text), the cat (she is less than amused, but tolerant), and clapping. If he hears someone say “Yay!” he will usually begin applauding whatever benign, or major thing it is that said person is celebrating. It’s quite the ego boost if you are lucky enough to be the one he randomly starts applauding. He is the light in our life, and the reason we don’t sleep, and babble to ourselves like crazy people. We can’t imagine a life without him, and quite frankly, don’t want to. He turns one in less than a month. Don’t worry. I don’t hold one of his tiny newborn onesies in my hands while crying in my closet into a glass of wine. Nope. That doesn’t happen.

After doing the impossible, and working two demanding jobs in addition to being an awesome first time daddy, Stephen is only working at our other home, The Village. He runs the Leaky Torch (that’s our cool name for the Village prep kitchen. Because we fly, yo), and makes sure that everything is in ship shape, and delicious. While we do occasionally miss the family meals that his second job would send home, we love having him home at night so much more. We REALLY love that he is getting more sleep. Hopefully soon he will lose the twitching, and the crazed look in his eye. I have high hopes that he will make a full recovery from the over-worked, over-exhausted state that he was in for over a year, and resume speaking in full sentences. I will never be able to adequately thank him for making the sacrifices he did to make sure that our kiddo got off on the right foot, but hopefully he knows somewhere in his over exerted brain that I will never stop admiring the incredible, strong man that he chose to become to get us through Eli’s first year.

As for me, after being a stay at cafe mom for the first eight months of Eli’s life, I have picked up several artsy freelance gigs. I love everything that I do, and I have the bonus of being able to take Eli with me to work, with the exception of teaching, or rehearsal. Booyah. Here’s the rundown: I teach private voice lessons (hear that, Ma?! I’m using my college degree after all!), I begin teaching dance classes again in January, I run the social media for a sweet woman who owns a shop a few doors down from our cafe, AND I do the catering communications for The Village. And what am I missing…? OH! Yes, I am once again involved with Bryan/College Station’s only professional theatre company, This Is Water Theatre. I love it. It gives me a place to pursue my passion along with other actors/passionate people. It has stretched me, made me laugh, made me ugly cry, and ultimately helped me grow.

Our cat Hal has taken to demanding that someone pet her while she eats, and trying to sneak into Eli’s room to knock things around after he’s asleep for the night. We only tolerate one of these quirks. Guess which one?

Well! That’s what’s up with us! We hope you have a very merry whatever you celebrate, and a happy New Year!

Sincerely,
The Hodgemons (Hodgson-Lemmons) house.

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Haul out the holly!

Dear Reader,

Aaaaaand it’s December.

How did that happen?

Well, a lot has changed since I last filled you all in on our life.

Eli has 2 teeth. He is truly a man now. Or so he thinks, anyway.

He sleeps through the night more often than he doesn’t.

I don’t sleep through the night more often than I do, but that’s par for the course in my life. I’d just rather read than sleep. It’s more fun.

I’ve picked up a few more artsy part time gigs, including a dance class that starts in January.

Thanksgiving was a thing. A gluttonous, beautiful thing. And that reminds me…

Eli eats adult sized meal portions at every meal. Every. Meal. Seriously, this kiddo eats more than I do. It’s cray cray.

He climbs things now. It’s scary, but he’s super proud of himself.

He plays little games with us. Who knew that peekaboo could go on for hours at a time? I am a peekaboo champ. I hide behind doors. Under towels. Beneath windows. Behind my hands. And you know what? I have yet to get lost once. Like I said. Champ.

And what else? What am I forgetting…

Oh yes. The biggie. Christmas came early this year.

THE HIPPIE ONLY HAS ONE JOB NOW!!!!!!!!!!

There has been MUCH rejoicing. He is home in the evenings. Eli has more time with his daddy. I have more time with my partner. Even with my nutso rehearsal/lesson schedule, everyone is more well rested, more mentally present, and just… happier.

Our first "real" date, two years ago.
Our first “real” date, two years ago.

Our little family is preparing for our first Christmas as a unit of 3. There will be cookies. So. Many. Cookies. I love Christmas. I love everything about it. I love decorating, the music, the shopping (as if I needed an excuse to buy things), and the knowledge that for a solid month nobody is allowed to make fun of me for singing randomly, because EVERYONE is singing. Booyah.

Hey, remember to give back this season. Toys for Tots is an EXCELLENT organization to donate to.
Hey, remember to give back this season. Toys for Tots is an EXCELLENT organization to donate to.

Enjoy the season, dear readers. If you are alone, come find me, and we’ll bake cookies. It’ll be great fun!

Sincerely,
A “Really, though. Life is beautiful” me