New Year’s Letter (or a really late Christmas letter, you pick)

December 31, 2013

Dear Friends & Loved Ones,

We are patiently (?) waiting for the Chief to get home for Christmas. It could be any day. He’s had an interesting year with some international travel and major work done on his ship. He also has a new rotation partner and a new schedule.

T1 has just had quite a year. So hard to believe she’s 13—yes, 13! She finished 7th grade with all As and an induction into NJHS. She has maintained first chair viola (a spot which she earned in the spring even while in a cast for a broken wrist!) and earned another All County Orchestra spot. She worked with the Chief and two mentors to complete her Silver Award project. It was a lot of back-and-forth travel to camp all summer long but so worth it. We are so proud. 8th grade has started with a bang—making the school soccer team and playing on the champion parks & rec team. She’s taking three advanced studies classes (two for high school credit) and given an invitation to apply to Governor’s School (a special advanced high school program). Oh, and she got braces!

T2 finished 5th grade and “graduated” from elementary school with all As and ready to start middle school. As predicted, she has most of T1’s former teachers and she is taking 8th grade math. She persisted and convinced the band teacher to let her play the tenor saxophone (after 9 months of private lessons on the alto sax). We were fortunate that a neighbor sold T2 one of his practice tenors before moving. With her playing experience she was invited to play a solo at a school fund-raiser night at a local books store on the 9th (T1 is part of a quartet that same night). She is now a Cadette Girl Scout (I’m their new leader) and already planning for her Silver Award project. She’s still playing soccer and reading anything she can get her hands on. In honor of starting middle school and turning 11, she got to finish her room make over begun when T1 had her room done. Purple, owls, book cases and reading chair and she’s in heaven.

I took T2’s Junior troop to Chincoteague Island for a 3 night- 2 day trip. Learning the history of the island and the famous ponies was a childhood dream come true. In August, both girls and I took a long over-due trip to Texas to visit with the Chief’s sister and her family with his parents. It was a fabulous week. Caldwell Zoo, College Station, Six Flags over Texas, and eating at Whataburger—busy but relaxing.

Not too much is new with me except I decided to start running 5K races. The first was actually for Making Strides against Breast Cancer—where I was the only runner!—and my team included my mom, mother-in-law, and the girls with six other friends. So proud of mom—she’s doing great and completed treatment in October. I ran my second 5K on Thanksgiving morning. Have I mentioned I hate running? LOL But I am grateful to be able to run and weight-lift even if some days I’m pretty sore. I taught another soul-deep week at camp and spent many hours there each week with T1 for her project. While she was a camper we surprised her with the Chief’s surprise return and two of her friends were baptized—I might as well have just stayed there having gone up there three times that week (not including drop off and pick up)!

2014 promises to be a big year—I’m turning 40, the Chief will be 45. T1 will finish middle school and start high school. We have an once-in-a-lifetime trip planned for Hawaii by cruise ship in celebration of the Chief’s parents’ 50th anniversary and our niece’s high school graduation. I hope to run an intense 5k at the Historic Half Marine Corps Marathon (and I will question my sanity in the process).

The things we learned this year: God works in such mysterious ways to bring about healing and closure; four-square can be a dangerous game; you’re never too old to dream about ponies; and putting one foot in front of the other will eventually equal 3.1 miles.


SnipeWife, the Chief, T1 & T2

Crookshanks and Hedwig


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