Where has the past year gone?!?!?! I can't believe that 2016 is almost upon us!
As has become the Booker tradition, this is our Official Annual Virtual Update. I have come to accept that I will never plan far enough in advance to get a holiday-themed photo shoot done, cards ordered and mailed before Christmas. It has a lot to do with the fact that I refuse to start anything Christmas-related until after Thanksgiving. I know, I have issues.
I took the kids out for a holiday-themed photo shoot yesterday. It was complicated by the fact that...
1. The beautiful, perfectly lighted, overcast day turned into blinding sunshine just as I got the kids dressed in their festive regalia.
2. It was 83 degrees. In December.
3. Will refuses to look at the camera these days. I have to shout things like, "Look! A bear!" and then snap a shot while he swivels around in confused horror.
Luckily, my dear friend Narelle let me volunteer her to be official kid distractor/wrangler, so I could focus on the camera for the entire twelve and half minutes the kids tolerated being photographed. It was a Christmas miracle! (Thank you Narelle! You are the BEST!)
Anywho, life was good to the Bookers this year. We're finally in the swing of this two-kid thing (and by that I mean we've come to welcome perpetual chaos.) We recently lost our sweet Maisy Joonbug but have been blessed with not one but two new pack members this year: kitten GiGi and, more recently, our new pup Mayflower. I keep telling Harper and Will they are the luckiest kids on the planet. I mean, how many children get both a kitten and a puppy in the same year?!?! Score!
Brad and I have been plugging along. We got outside the house more this year, and are looking forward to TWO REAL family vacations in 2016, including a trip to New York City! (!!!) I am beside myself with anticipation!
Harper has been "homeschooling" this year (if you can call pre-K homeschooling) with the help of a private tutor a couple of times a week. It has really benefited her and we're very happy with her progress. In addition to school work, our little dynamo is still swimming as well as attending a weekly science class at the Florida Aquarium (AKA, our second home) and she switched out ballet for gymnastics ("Mom, I LOVE gymnastics. I want to do gymnastics until I die."). While paleontology and marine wildlife biology remain her passions, she has added art to her list of interests (at this time, crayon and chalk are her preferred mediums). She also enjoys interrupting anyone who is on the phone and playing/squabbling/plotting with her younger brother. They have become quite the duo. I look forward to witnessing their exploits in the coming year. I think.
Wilson has developed quite a strong sense of personal taste this year. While he prefers his truck videos he does enjoy the occasional full-length washing machine wash-cycle video on youtube (you can find anything on that site). His t-shirts absolutely must have some sort of heavy machinery graphic on them, and he had better be wearing his red fire engine pajamas come bedtime or everyone within earshot will pay the price (truly, you will come to regret the day you were born if those PJ's are in the wash). Also, the pre-bedtime ritual may or may not require his sparkly snowflake-fairy tutu, depending on his mood. And he has developed a full-blown phobia of the vacuum cleaner, so that has complicated life. As much as he has blossomed into a BOY with a capital B this year (where has my baby gone?), he is still such a sweet, silly, happy kid who idolizes his big sister. He is an absolute delight.
To all our friends and family, we thank you for all your love and generosity to our family over the years. We cherish you all, and look forward to sharing the upcoming year with you!
May peace and love find you this holiday season!
the Booker Pack
Bradley, Leah, Harper, Wilson
Willa, Mayflower, Hemlock and GiGi