Monday, December 23, 2013

2013 Christmas Letter

This year's Christmas letter was inspired by Zuzu starting to sing the ABC's.

A is for Address Change.  We moved to a new home this year. We love our new neighborhood and we are within walking distance of a beautiful park, great restaurants, and our favorite frozen custard place.  And we have a guest bedroom & bathroom, so come visit!
B is for Brooke’s busy schedule.  After a semester of maternity leave and a semester of part-time, she’s back to full-time this year.  When she’s not teaching English literature to college students, she’s chasing Zuzu, working on various writing projects, and brainstorming projects for the new house.
C is for Caroline & Cooper.  These two are good buddies these days.  We’re glad Cooper is so tolerant of Zuzu’s love.  Caroline calls him “Bubba.”
D is for David’s new job.  He’s now the head principal at Crossroads Elementary in the Wentzville School District.  This has been a good move for David and he is really enjoying being the boss at his new school.  The kids like him too—one of his students dressed up as Mr. Duckworth for Halloween this year!
E is for Eliza.  This December marks three years without our sweet first baby girl, and we miss her as much as ever. 
F is for First Birthday.  Caroline turned one on June 29th and we celebrated with friends in St. Louis and again with family in Nevada.  She’s a lucky girl.
G is for Grandparents.  Speaking of family, Zuzu is fortunate to have many grandparents who shower her with love and attention.  Although we wish they lived closer to St. Louis, Zuzu had nice visits with all of her grandparents this year.
H is for Happy Halloween!  The littlest Duckworth dressed up as a little duck this year (naturally).
I is for Ice cream. Zuzu had her first taste of ice cream this summer.  Of course she loved it—it’s in her genes!
J is for Jeggings.  Thanks to hand-me-downs from friends and cousins and a Grammy who likes to shop, Zuzu is a well-dressed little girl.
K is for Kisses.  Zuzu prefers to give them open-mouth—the wetter the better.
L is for Little Mac.  It turns out that Little Mac and Zuzu share a common bad habit:  biting.  As a result, Little Mac has gone to live with Brooke’s parents and is enjoying the slower pace of life in Nevada, MO.  We’re glad Mac has a nice home. Now Zuzu must stop biting so she doesn’t have to go live with Grammy!
M is for Memorial Weekend.  We went to a Williams/Taylor family reunion at a campground in Warsaw, Missouri over Memorial Weekend.  Zuzu met many aunts, uncles, and cousins, and enjoyed swimming with Grammy in a freezing cold pool. 
N is for Nana.  Brooke’s Nana passed away this summer and she is greatly missed.  We are lucky to have so many great memories of her.  Nana was able to attend the family reunion in May and Zuzu got to see her multiple times over the summer.
O is for Opinions.  Zuzu has lots of them, and believe it or not, she doesn’t always agree with Mommy & Daddy.  She is such a joy, but also a force to be reckoned with (see: Little Mac and biting).
P is for Projects.  The new house has meant lots of new projects, and we have lots more in the works.
Q is for Quilts.  Nana was a wonderful quilter and we are so glad to have beautiful quilts that she pieced together with love for her great-grandbabies. 
R is for Rainbows.  Babies born after a loss are called “rainbow babies” because they bring light to our lives even though we never forget the storm of grief.  Brooke and Zuzu met up with fourteen other moms and their rainbow babies for an amazing weekend of love, tears, and laughter in Chicago this summer.
S is for Splish-splash.  Zuzu took swimming lessons this summer and absolutely loved it.  She is a water baby for sure!
T is for Tree.  The tree in our family photo is the one we had planted in Forest Park in memory of Eliza.
U is for “Uh-oh!”  A favorite word of Zuzu’s but one that often gets used in the incorrect context—throwing your milk across the room on purpose is not an “uh-oh.”  At least she keeps us laughing!
V is for Vacation.  We spent spring break in Arizona visiting Brooke’s aunt and uncle.  It was Zuzu’s first airplane ride and we caught a spring training game and opening day Cardinals vs. Diamondbacks (Can you tell David planned our vacation timing?).
W is for Walk for Remembrance.  We attended the annual walk again this year in memory of Eliza and raised money for the Share organization, which supports bereaved families after baby loss. 
X is for X-ray.  David’s shoulder gave him trouble this spring and he retired from his baseball league.  He misses it, but had more free-time this summer to work around the house and hang out with Zuzu.
Y is for Your Turn to change diapers!  We are still cloth diapering and it’s going well, but we do look forward to life post-potty-training.
Z is for Zuzu!  Caroline’s nickname comes from the movie It’s a Wonderful Life and it just sort of stuck.  She’s our Zuzu and we couldn’t love her more.

And that wraps up our 2013 update… Wishing you all the best in 2014!

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