Monday, December 28, 2009

The Pretentious Christmas Letter of '09

So, it's no big mystery, that I love to write. As I try so hard to condense an entire year into one letter, I tend to go long. Doubtfully the rest of the world cares that much about what we did this year, but they get the letter whether they want it or not. So, for your reading pleasure as well, I present the Hansen Family Christmas Letter of 2009. Merry Christmas Everyone!

Every year we get to this point and decide whether to scrap the Christmas card and letter or not. It always feels like there's just not enough time. So far, we've decided to push through and make it happen one way or another. (Hopefully for your reading pleasure)
If that grammatically incorrect statement above is any indicator of this season, it would be safe to say that it accurately describes our whole year. Hectic, busy, and going on ahead with it despite the chaos! It's been a crazy year. A year of many firsts, many triumphs, a few defeats, and more blessings than we could ever deserve.
Age before beauty, right? Well, if that's so then you can hear about my year in a nutshell first. I, Lacy, have had a great year. I've continued my journey as a "stay-at-home-mom," or "SAHM," as the "cool kids" say. This has included a winter and spring semester of half day pre-k and a full summer off with Judah. Together we savored our last sweet days alone, before the big first day of school arrived in August. We continued to fill our days with the art museum, the library, the water center, the YMCA, the zoo, and any other community event I could get my hands on. I will say that as a SAHM, I've never been good at staying in, but I think Judah and I are better off due to that fact. While Judah and the home have technically been my "job" for the last 6 years, my "hobby" of running hasn't ceased. In fact it's grown to new heights. So much so that one could argue it's my other job now. 2009 brought many wonderful accomplishments in my running life. After years of dreaming to qualify for the Boston Marathon, I'm happy to report that I not only qualified once, but twice in 2009. An unimaginable goal of running a sub- 3:40 marathon in order to meet the Boston Athletic Association's requirements was something I had been chasing for quite some time. 2008 got me close, but left me with a stress fracture just days before the race. After a season of healing and proper training. I crossed the finish line at the 2009 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on April 26 in a time of 3:37. I was able to celebrate that long desired dream with my entire family. My Dad even was able to run in the last few emotional miles with me. It was a spectacular day. That race left me with a year of running success. Breaking 20 minutes in a 5k, setting multiple Personal Records (PR's), being the first place overall female finisher in the Jingle Bell 4 Miler, and even winning my first cash prize. See, now you really can call it my "other job." The fall brought me yet another joy in my career. I trained and ran the 2009 Heart Of Wichita Marathon. I was able to better my BQ time by several minutes. I finished the 26.2 mile course in 3:19. I'm happy to report that I'm registered for the historic Boston Marathon in 2010. Lord willing, On April 19, I will celebrate Patriot's Day by running the most famous marathon in the whole world. Kenton and Judah will be waiting for me on Boylston Street in front of the Boston Public Library. Kenton will be there to cheer for me, Judah's going to be there because he heard they have ice cream in Boston.
To say I feel blessed is a watered down, lazy, and overused expression. I'm overwhelmed, speechless infact. I have been given a tremendous gift. A supportive husband who encourages me to go after my dreams. A beautiful son who has blown me a kiss at every finish line I've ever crossed. A family who shows up in the freezing cold, the pouring rain, and the howling wind to cheer me on. And mostly a God who is faithful to give his child the desire of her heart. I have had an indescribable year.
Kenton should really be the author of his story, but he's busy at work right now and would probably never get around to it. So, you get me telling you his story of 2009. The short version, he works a lot in the computer/interweb geek biz, supports his wife during her weekend running career, and plays with Judah until mommy says, "Stop!! You guys are going to break something!"
Kenton has had a lot of change with his career this year. Taking on new areas of the web development world has presented it's many challenges. I know that some days he tells about these challenges specifically, but I don't understand then, so there's no way I could regurgitate them now. I do know that he moved on from his previous company, Thrive, and has just begun his new adventure with "Go Banana." (All you Simpson's fans out there should get a kick out of that name!) Currently Kenton is out on his own, offcing in the historic Delano District of Wichita. He's interwebing and coding with all his heart and comes home very excited about the future of his company.
Other than the consuming work he does to provide for us, he does have some other areas of interest. 2009 brought a surge among the dodgeball community in Wichita. I'm sure Kenton is 99% responsible for that. He has spent most of his Saturday mornings dodging, ducking, diving, dipping, and dodging those red rubber balls. He's entered several tournaments this year. He and the team, Moving Targets, have walked away as top finishers more than once. One event required two female players. Everyone he could think of was busy, so that left me to join the team. After getting socked in the gut, I had a new appreciation for the game he loves so much.
Kenton's love of film and television has grown this year too. Thanks to Hulu, little sleep is ever obtained. Together we enjoy enough shows, but on his own Kenton has managed to keep up with nearly every show that has broadcast this year. Movies are harder to get to with a busy family life, but I know Kenton was stoked to receive an all access pass the this year's Tallgrass Film Festival. I think He managed over five movies in one day during the festival.
If he's not plugged in to his laptop catching up on Hulu, I know he's catching up on the his list of blogs and podcasts. We both enjoy NPR's "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me." However, I think it might be time to get some more respectable news sources as we are nearing the big 3-0 with each passing day.
I think all in all Kenton would call this a trying year. "A long hard road, with a good good end." He's optimistic about the future, this side of a recession and with a fresh new start under him.
Judah and I are very lucky to have him. He really loves to provide for us and does a tremendous job of it. Kenton has placed value on things that others may not. Gently encouraging both Judah and I to go ahead with our goals while he makes the means necessary. Ah, sheesh! Guess I better lay off nerd jokes, he really is a catch!
Then comes baby. Judah Owen. Our bouncing baby boy. He's bigger, he's cuter, and smarter. We actually fear when he'll realize he's superior to us and take us over. So far we've got him fooled that we're in charge and he still needs us.
2009 was a huge year for our little man. He finished his Pre-K class with a delightful ceremony where he received a "Perfect Attendance" award. No, not an outstanding behavior award, an attendance award. If you've spent 5 seconds with him, you'd know the boy is too, how you say ... spirited, to sit quietly in a classroom or any room for too long. Don't get me wrong, he has had an incredible school year. Excelling above and beyond all that was required of him, yet, talking the whole time! He was quickly known in his school by all the teachers because he's just so outgoing. He was excited to finish off his school year with a limo ride to McDonalds. He won a ride with the principal and hasn't stopped talking about it since.
We spent the summer together having all the fun we could. Judah met his goal of 222 books read over the summer. He also learned to swim thanks to his weekly lessons at the Wichita Swim Club. Judah signed up for many races with me this summer and fall. I'd run the long race and together we'd run the "kid race." We spent many mornings going on our "training runs." It's so fun to share running with him. He teaches me a lot about the love of the sport. His racing season included one major accomplishment. He raced the "Rosstoberfest" 1 Miler in October. At age 5 he requested to run alone. As nervous parents and grandparents we all screamed our hearts out while the little guy trucked up the snow hill in College Hill to a 10 minute finish and a 1st place age group award!
Judah's biggest event this year has been becoming a full time Kindergartener at College Hill Elementary. On a rainy day in August we left our baby in the loving care of Mrs. Johnson. While Kenton and I bawled our eyes out and circled the school more than one time that day, "just to check on him," Judah began having the time of his life. He loves school. He has made more friends and has learned so much. He is a top reader and can successfully read books to us every night. He is a very bright boy and is constantly impressing his teachers with all his has learned. And yes, he still talks ALL THE TIME!
In October Judah celebrated his 6th birthday. SIX!! How can that be!? Never the less, he celebrated in style by having a Mad Science Party. Mad Scientist, Kelly Kilo-watt, put on quite a show for his friends. Fire, melting heads, and slime were all a part of his big day. He's kind of on a kick these days. He celebrated Halloween the following weekend by dressing as a mad scientist and getting his maniacal laugh down to a, well, a science!
Judah is the electricity that runs our lives. Some days we're all over the place with him and his high energy. Other days, we're nestled snug in our bed reading him Harry Potter as he calmly listens.
So whether it's an up day or a down day we manage to roll with the punches. Hopefully, this greeting is finding you well as you tackle your daily routines too. We also hope that this season allows you to take a few more calm days to stop and enjoy all you have to be thankful for. We desire to heed our own words and do the same. May the only reason for Christmas and the only reason for anything good and perfect, Jesus, touch you in a real and powerful way this season and everyday.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. great post, and look back over the last year for your family...

    next time you see me (or my kids) in a crowd, flag me down...i'd love to meet you in person some day...of course, if it's at a race, you'll be way in front and i'll be at the rear...

    i thought the arena was okay, not amazing, but okay...seemed kind of plain, especially the stars dressing rooms (which we waited in line for like an hour to see, and then went 'that was it?') my wife got us tickets to Jeff Dunham in March, so we were able to scope our where our seats are going to be....

    Happy New Year!