We don't do a family newsletter thing with our holiday cards...do you? But the end of 2012 has me thinking about everything that's gone on here in the last twelve months, so I thought I could do one here.
So this is a purely personal post. If you're a friend of family member, enjoy. If you'd like to know more about my family, enjoy. If you have no interest in us, well, come back next week for more book reviews, author interviews, and more on this writing life.
As the year ends, Zoe is sitting beside me on the couch, watching The Aristocats on Netflix. It's amazing to me, how quickly she is growing up.
She's four-and-a-half now, and if you try to tell her she's four, she will glare at you and pointedly remind you of the "and-a-half" part.
Zoe started last year in the three-year-old room at her preschool; now she's finishing up the four-year-old room. She has three regular boyfriends, a range of best-girlfriends, and comes home every day telling us stories of games played, books read, and projects worked on.
Speaking of projects, our "art cabinet" is, by now, rather full. She LOVES drawing and creating "art" and "origami," so much that my brother sent her his old origami book for Christmas. The book is old, and falling apart, but it's the book Daniel learned from, and I hope Zoe will love it as much as he did.
She's reading on a very basic level (sounding out words, and starting to recognize some by sight), which is exciting for her reading/writing parents. We have flashcards and things, but we're trying not to push her too much. I would rather it feel very natural to her.
She still loves to be read to, loves hearing stories, and loves telling them now, too.
She also loves Legos. For Christmas I gave Charles and Zoe a Lego Millenium Falcon kit - it was super-complex and crazy, and they put it together (together) in three days.
Zoe has also discovered math. It's her current passion. She's doing basic addition worksheets for fun right now, which is crazy to me (I hate math), but I'm so happy she loves it.
And finally....she has her first loose tooth!! That is freaking me out, as I learned loose teeth gross me out, but I guess the Tooth Fairy will come for a visit pretty soon.
Charles is having fun doing Charles-things these days. Legos, puttering about with our cars and our yard, learning new things on his computer. He's reading a lot of great books (I'm guessing Cloud Atlas was his favorite of 2012, but I can't say for sure), and we've been trying to get out to more movies and such lately.
He's doing great at work, managing a team of Quality Assurance Analysts who test more products on any given day than I care to count. (Me? I test one product...all the time. It's a lot less to juggle.) His employees are all fabulous, and they do things like post silly pictures of him around his office - that's the best form of flattery, right?
He's taken Zoe and me on a number of awesome hikes, both locally and when we went to Asheville this past summer, and he's taken a ton of beautiful photos of our family.
Me? I'm just writing, and editing, and doing all sorts of writer-y things.
This year I released a book - talk about crazy. I still don't believe it's out there, for strangers to read! I love hearing that people are enjoying this crazy tale I wove, you know?
We filmed the super-cool book trailer this fall, and my dad and I got to fulfill a lifelong dream of acting in a mini-zombie movie together.
I've made some amazing new friends this year, friends I can't imagine life without. Some are here, in Charleston...others are online, which surely makes the world feel a LOT smaller these days.
I had a great experience participating in a writing event this summer at LitReactor.com, which culminated in me receiving some incredibly kind story feedback from Chuck Palahniuk (author of Fight Club). I still can't believe THAT happened.
And then in December, after months of training and a week of really terrible bronchitis immediately preceding it, I ran a half-marathon on Kiawah Island, and beat my prior personal record by eight minutes.
Not too shabby, right?
Our dogs and cats are all still hanging in, though they're getting older. Molly (a Dalmatian) still acts like a puppy sometimes, and Quentin (my hound mutt) loves playing fetch despite his arthritis. The cats are evil, like all cats are, but we love them anyway.
So there you have it. Our family newsletter for the year. I think this has been a great year for us, and I can't wait to see what 2013 holds!