It’s time for my yearly blog post and a look back at the life of the McPhersons in 2012, month-by-month.
On January 27th, we welcomed our son Samuel to the world. To say that this event was miraculous miracle from the Lord is an understatement; due to complications you probably don’t want to hear described in great detail, Kelly’s pregnancy was put into a high-risk category and towards the end the doctors started giving Kelly shots to prepare the baby for an early emergency delivery if it came to that. But Samuel arrived and turned out to be healthy, strong, and (let’s face it) extremely good-looking. It’s been less than a year but it’s already a little hard to imagine what life was like without him. He’s generally been a good-natured little boy from his first day and he brings a lot of smiles and laughter into our home.
Because of the complications surrounding Samuel’s birth, I took a couple weeks off right afterwards to be home, so February was a time of family togetherness as we all adjusted to becoming a family of four. Family and friends alike generously brought us dinners so we could spend a little more time being together.
It’s kind of hard to believe, but our other baby turned two in March! For her birthday, Kelly had the grand idea to get Bea a “big girl bed”. She’d been sleeping in the crib (Sam slept in a bassinet in our room), so we decided to make her transition gentle by using the big girl bed for an occasional nap. Beatrice had other ideas, however; she hopped delightedly into the bed as soon as she saw it and declared that she wanted to sleep there that night–and so she did. (Sometimes she doesn’t like us to know when it’s the last time she does something, such as sleep in her crib. I think she knows we might get all emotional and stuff.)
We celebrated Easter as a family in April! In Seattle, April is the first month in which it’s really reasonable to go outside. Both of our kids love being outside, so outside we went; Kelly line-dried laundry and Beatrice tromped around in the yard in her boots, poking things with sticks. Daddy and Momma also had their first extended time away since Samuel’s birth, too; we went on a wine-tasting tour in nearby Woodinville.
In May, we flew to visit my parents in South Carolina, to introduce the family to Samuel and spend time together. Our kids both love my parents; Samuel (only 4 months old at the time) pretty much beamed at my dad every time he saw him. It was wonderful to reconnect with family and have some extra hands to play with the kids. Sam gave everyone his blue-eyed smiles and Beatrice twirled herself silly and wore other peoples’ sunglasses.
We took our first family road trip in June to visit Kelly’s aunt and uncle in Idaho. The kids did surprisingly well and there are doubtless many family road trips in our future! On the way back home, things were getting a little out of control in the back seat, so we swung by a little park, where this photo was taken. I know that both children look almost exactly like their father here, but I will point out that, had Kelly been the one holding them here, they would have looked exactly like her.
In July, we went to Ramblewood for a family reunion. Ramblewood has a beach, and that beach has the kind of tiny coin-sized crabs that scuttle out from beneath child-sized rocks, so we spent some happy family time turning over rocks together and watching them run away. Bea got to try some of the other childrens’ riding toys and we all stuffed ourselves silly with home-made camp food. Yummers!
In August, we realized that one thing we hadn’t done since Samuel was born was go on a family hike, so we took care of that problem right away. Predictably, Samuel loved it, and Beatrice found a couple of walking sticks and exercised her independence. We only made it to the first fall of the twin falls, but that’s OK.
Our good friends the Potters moved a few hours away, so we stayed at their house for a few days in September. They live near the ocean, so we collected some sea shells together. Beatrice was enormously proud of “her collection”, and also extremely enamored of a plastic white penguin she found at their house, who was christened “Snow”. Another highlight of the trip was a Pigeon Hot Dog Party, in which Dan (pictured) drew a picture of one of her favorite book characters and cooked hot dogs for everyone. Beatrice loves hot dogs, in part because of their intrinsic value as tasty cylinders of meat and in part because they are also the favorite food of some her favorite literary characters, The Pigeon (of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus fame) and Mickey Mouse.
We flew to South Carolina again in October, this time to celebrate my brother Eli’s wedding! The travel experience was a little harrowing (we spent my birthday stranded in a hotel room in Chicago) but the wedding was lovely and we enjoyed a family gathering of the kind only a wedding can produce: we got to spend some time with nearly the entire family on my mom’s side, including some folks I haven’t seen in decades. As for the kids: Samuel slept on almost member of the wedding party and Beatrice was the flower girl. One of the more memorable moments of the wedding was her journey down the aisle; she stopped about halfway and began throwing petals, yelling “THROW!” loudly with each handful dispensed.
Does cold November weather keep the McPhersons inside? Well, sometimes, but not always! (Pictured.) We mostly stayed inside, reading books (yes, our kids are now both bibliophiles: Samuel lunges at them, yelling buuuh! buuuuuh!) and building enormous Duplo towers (major parenting bonus: excuse for building with Legos!). We’d also like to point out that Beatrice and Nate Silver have something in common: both correctly called the outcome of the 2012 Presidential Election.
Yes, December brought a good old-fashioned family Christmas. We bundled the kids up and drove out to the woods to find a Christmas tree. And by “woods”, we mean a Christmas tree farm two miles from our home. Still, Bea “helped” me cut down the Douglas Fir, and Sam drooled on it, so it was a family effort. The kids were a pretty wonderful age for Christmas this year; Beatrice sang carols with us (and also sings them to herself instead of taking naps sometimes) and Sam can remain utterly absorbed in the process of ripping wrapping paper for a long time.
We’re grateful for what has been one of our most tremendously eventful and blessed years yet. We can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for us in 2013!