around here: week 4

Jan 20-27

Debating…the pros and cons of taking a job. I got an offer! It is a big decision and a big change. It wasn’t easy and we didn’t make it lightly, but…

Happy…to have reached a decision and to have a new direction. Taking this job is right. And exciting. And big things to come. I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching over the past few months trying to figure out what it is I want to do with my life and my degree.

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Surprised…At how well Simon is reading.

Enjoying…a night out with good friends.

Playing…with the slo-mo setting on our new phones
Still laughing…at these.

around here: week 3

Jan 14-19

Writing…my dissertation. This one will be ongoing for awhile still but I found a renewed motivation to dive deep.

Resting…and remembering to practice self care. It’s so easy to go go go. We took a family nap on Sunday.

Finishing…my new year’s purge and organize. For the first time in a long time there is (almost) a place for everything. I have a bit more to go. But it feels nice.

Excited…that Simon started after school. Someone else to help him with homework. And some good running around time in the winter when that can be hard to find.

Laughing…at Kindergarten Arts for Recess. To keep the kids active the PTA has dancers come in 3 days a week to get the Kinder kids moving. A parent volunteer helps with the chaos and there may be some parent dancing. I’m still not used to being known as “Simon’s mom”. I wish I could show that video, but…other people’s kids.Downloading…Stylebook. It was a good distraction for a couple of commutes. We’ll see if I keep it up. But I like the concept.Playing…with the filters on MSQRD. Think Snapchat but it stays on your phone. I think – I don’t Snapchat, so I could be making that up.

Reading…Smart But Scattered. I’ve had this one for awhile, but my library renewal was up, so motivation to finish. Really interesting book on executive function skills. It goes through the different skills and what kinds of tasks children can be expected to complete at different ages. But the most interesting part was about how we all have strengths and weaknesses and how when parents have different strengths and weaknesses from their children, there can be conflict. So a good book to take different view on some of our most common conflicts.

Waiting…to hear something more about the job.

around here: week 2

IMG_7487Relishing… the first big snowfall of the year. We love our local sledding hill and bonus, our besties just moved into the building at the bottom of the hill making bathroom breaks a reality. This is the first year Caleb can fully enjoy the snow. He had a blast going down in the tube with Dad and Mom. Simon is big enough this year to really sled on his own, meaning he can go down and up the hill with his blue saucer. Simon and his buddies went off on a side hill on their own, which was cute. But also, did they have to pick the path through the trees? Then I saw the teenage boys snowboarding…and at least one on a skateboard. If this is my life in 10 years, I’ll take the tree laden hill with a parent supervising.

Celebrating… our last Christmas with Grandma Val and Uncle Josh. Legos were the theme of the day.

Shopping… for a suit to wear to my interview.

Nailing… the Interview. I won’t hear back for a bit, but I felt like it went well and if I get this job I think it will be a really good one.IMG_7503Looking forward… each week to Hump Day Hot Drinks, when Pastor John sets up a free coffee and hot chocolate stand in front of our church office each Wednesday. It’s right on our walk to school and day care, and the little guys love their hot chocolate. Caleb asks most mornings, “Is it hot chocolate day?” So I drew a mug on the Wednesday’s on their calendar so he can check for himself.

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IMG_7496Enjoying… gymnastics class. I signed Simon up after being on the wait list for a space forever, then realized that Caleb is old enough too. Almost, it’s a 3-5 year class and he will be 3 in a month, so they said ok. Caleb is a little nuts, but both coaches say it’s fine. Simon loves it, so much that getting him off the floor to go home is a struggle.

Watching… Switched at Birth. Vanessa Marano was a guest on a podcast I listen too. And I realized I never watched past the fist season. It’s a good background show, except that there are scenes entirely in ASL, so I do have to be able to see the screen. There has been some rewinding since I rarely watch anything as a single activity.

 

 

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around here: week 1

Resting… after a long road trip.

Missing… all the Indiana and Ohio family

Cleaning… everything. I’ve grown to love the big clean-up that comes at the end of Christmas. A new year, a new clean start. Didn’t quite finish.

Enjoying… consciously engaging with the boys after school. And I say enjoying because when we are all on the same page it is great. But I also had one of my worst days ever as a parent this week. It wasn’t pretty, either the kids behavior or my reaction to it. But we say I’m sorry, and the next day really was a better day.

IMG_7429 Worrying… about how long Simon’s transition back from the school break will take. It’s been a rough week.

Eating… real dinners every night this week. Thanks to Fresh Direct, meal planning (I really really want to keep this one up), and Instant Pot I made a dinner that included vegetables every night this week. Also eating breakfasts by Rob.

Working…on setting up my new To Do Journal. It worked out well that I started a new journal the same time as the 2017 planner. I love my paper planning even if I do use my phone’s calendar too.

Excited… that I got an interview for a job.

Hoping… that this year isn’t so busy and I can find time for hobbies, like blogging again.

Laughing… at the size of our new wagon. But really it’s awesome and will be great for groceries and park stuff and kids as we start aging out of the stroller.IMG_7425

Christmas Letter 2106

Merry Christmas from the Powers family! We can hardly believe another year has passed already. This may have been our busiest year yet. The year was full of milestones and professional success. We had a lot of fun at home and while traveling. We explored some new parts and sights of New York City this year and have an ongoing bucket list. We might never see it all, but we can try.

^^That paragraph started the 2015 letter, but it still applies. Life is busy, and I’m starting to think it’s not going to slow down.

We took two big trips this year as a family, spring break in Los Angeles tacked on to Rob’s third trip to the Emmy Awards and a big trip to Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta and more importantly to celebrate Ahad and Mary Rose’s wedding.

Rob has just finished season 2 of Peg + Cat. Back in April the show was nominated for a third round of Emmy Awards, including for Best Direction in a pre-school animated series (go Rob!). Unfortunately Rob did not win this year, but the show came home with a couple of wins. We took the kids to Universal Studios again – this might be our favorite theme park. But we also spent a day at Disneyland as well as the California Science Center and Griffith Park.

Kasey here. I spent the year traveling and learned that work travel isn’t exactly fun. January was spent in Indiana collecting dissertation data, with a second quick trip in May to finish up. I presented preliminary findings at a conference in Orange County in October. Other travel included, the above family trips, two additional conferences, and the AP reading. I’m spending my time now writing my results and looking for a job. I plan to defend in the spring. I also said that last year, but this time I really mean it.

Simon had a milestone year and turned 5 in July. He had another park party, but this year we grilled. Simon got to try out day camp this summer for the first time. Our church does a really amazing City Camp (known as VBS back home) from 9-3 each day for two week. Simon was old enough this year and every week since he asks when it’s time to go back to City Camp.

Simon’s biggest change this year was starting Kindergarten in September. He tested into NYC’s Gifted & Talented program and we are lucky enough to have a G&T class at our local school. Not all schools house the program. We decided to try it and so far he’s doing great. Mom and Dad are having to relearn elementary school math strategies… Simon is also motivated to learn to read having realized that he is only at Level A and some classmates are at C or D. So we’ve been using the library more than ever before. Right now we are enjoying The Magic Treehouse and The Boxcar Children books.

Caleb turned 2 in February and we celebrated with our best NYC friends at an indoor play space. Boston Market and red velvet cake for all! Compared to last year, Caleb is a different kid. He talks all. the. time. And can carry on a decent conversation. I almost forget how delayed his speech was. All he wants to do is keep up with Simon and he does a pretty good job of it. In some ways it’s easier to just do two of the same, but I miss my cuddly baby sometimes.

We left our longtime daycare in July. Since Simon was moving on, we went ahead and moved Caleb too. His new daycare/pre-school is much closer to our apartment and only one block from Simon’s school so pick-up and drop off are a 10 minute (kids are slow) walk from home instead of 30.

Another big change in school for all of us is instead of staying until 6pm three days a week, I pick the kids up at 2:25 (Simon) and 3:00 (Caleb) for park and play time before coming home to homework and dinner. It’s a different flow for our family, but one that is working out nicely.

A sad event came in September, and Rob’s loved pet rabbit Mr. Theodore Monkey died. He was old and unable to walk and it was time.

If you’ve made it to the end, happiest of holidays. It’s been a packed year for us. We have enjoyed the time for those of you we’ve been able to catch up with in person, and for the others hope we see you again soon.

Love,

Kasey, Rob, Simon, & Caleb.

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For previous Christmas cards and letters: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010,