Tuesday, December 9, 2008

2008 Christmas Letter

Note: In an effort to be pseudo-green this year, we moved our Christmas letter online. As a lover of both giving and receiving of Christmas cards, I can’t quite bring myself to bring the entire card online. But the letter is a start. Some of you may be asking, “What Christmas letter?” If you are an in-town friend that we see frequently, we have historically spared you from our annual synopsis of the mundane details of our daily life, mostly because you were there for most of them. But you’re in for a treat this year – you, too, Atlanta friends, can have a rare glimpse into life with the Foxes…

Dear Friends and Family,

Hard to believe it’s that time of year again already. Lots of big news to report this year!

For those of you that we don’t get to talk to that often, we really fooled you by having another baby in between last year’s letter and this year’s. Joshua Quinn Fox joined us on July 24, 2008 and weighed in at 7 lbs, 15 oz and 20.5 inches long. A big boy, Josh boasted these stats despite the fact that he was 2 weeks and 1 day early. Our babies keep getting bigger and arriving earlier, so for those of you who are wondering when we are ever going to stop reproducing, we’re pretty sure this is the final chapter – lest we give birth to a 32-week first grader next time. Poor Joshie struggles with reflux (something neither of our two other kids had – what a pain it is!), so he evenly and skillfully divides his time between barfing up the entire contents of his stomach and cowering in fear from the unique brand of “loving” offered by his older brothers. Frequently, Josh can be found gazing at his brothers in disbelief, likely wondering how he had the rotten luck to end up in a family of such monkeys. At 5 months old, Josh has already mastered critical infant skills such as holding his head up, thumb sucking, rolling from front to back, and griping his brothers out when they try to take his toys.

On to Drew, who graduated to Middle Child status this year. We’ve blogged in the past about the perks of this position, but Drew seems to be taking it all in stride. Drew is our easygoing boy – he has simple needs and few wants. Drew’s primary interest is his cars, preferably of the Disney Pixar variety, which he calls “smiley cars” or “cars with eyes”. His second love is monster trucks, but in a pinch he will settle for an ordinary Hotwheel. Drew’s favorite activities include Playing Cars with Cade at Home, Playing Cars with Garrett at School, and Playing Cars with Whomever Happens to be on the Playground Next Door. Notice a theme? When he is not Playing Cars, he is working puzzles. He’s apparently some kind of freak puzzle genius (he’s pretty much up to 100 piece jigsaw puzzles), which is a bizarre talent that will certainly come in handy someday if his career in Working with Cars doesn’t pan out. Other big news in Drew's life includes the fact that it looks like he is a Lefty like his dad.

Believe it or not, our big boy will turn FIVE in February. It doesn't even seem possible, but he has grown up so much in the past year that it's definitely clear he's not a baby anymore. Cade has a long and deep-rooted love of electronics, and this interest continues to develop. He has graduated from Dustbusters, vacuums and CD players and moved on to oscillating fans and alarm clocks (he has 4, including the pink Hello Kitty one he asked Santa for last year) and computers. Cade never tires of disassembling electronics (hasn't quite gotten the reassembling part yet) or tackling "home improvement" projects with his dad, such as changing lightbulbs (the extent of Aaron's home improvement abilities). He also enjoys cooking with mom. Cade starts kindergarten in the fall and we are currently in the process of applying to private schools since our local public school "Leaves Every Child Behind", as Aaron says. We're hopeful that Cade will be accepted into a school that appreciates his pre-electrical engineering skills.

Aaron graduated from his MBA program in May (cue choir of angels). He accepted a job with Bain & Co. and is happily ensconced in the consulting world. His job didn't start until October, so we had LOTS of time over the summer to enjoy each other's company and bond with the new baby. For his part, this made Aaron doubly grateful to have an office to escape to come fall.

Cara left her job in March and now fills her "extra" hours by taking care of the baby, volunteering at the boys' school, and continuing her volunteer work with the Junior League of Atlanta. She also blogs for Baby Bunching, Atlanta Parent, and Deep South Moms. Lately, she has had to spend more time being a mom than writing about being one, so traffic is a little slow, but she hopes to get back into more frequent writing mode after the first of the year.

Noticeably absent in this update are the Fox cats. We lost our beloved Cuckoo a few years ago and last December, Jocko returned to Indiana to live with his original owner, Cara's cousin. We miss him, but know that he is much happier in her home than he was hiding out from our children in our attic.

All in all, 2008 was much kinder to the Fox Family than it is shaping up to be to the rest of the world. This year we are particularly grateful for the many blessings in our life, and we pray that God continues to bless us and you with health and happiness in 2009.

Love, The Foxes

Aaron, Cara, Cade, Drew, and Josh

PS Now that we're online, we can truly bore you to tears. Click here for a photo slideshow of the year's highlights. Warning - these are raw, uncut images of our life because, really, who has time to edit photos with three children under the age of five?.

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