(Decorations outside of our house.)
(My parent's house)
December, 2023Merry Christmas!Not a whole lot has changed since last year, and to me, that's a good thing. Things have been good, for the most part.Steve is well. He's still the chief of medicine at Wallace Memorial Hospital, still a workaholic, and still a devoted husband and father. I love him more everyday.
Our son, Declan, is doing extremely well in school. It's still so hard to believe he graduated high school at the age of fifteen! He's in his second year of college at the age of seventeen now, and well on his way to med school, although he can't decide what he's going to specialize in. He may pursue two specialties, like his father. During the summer, he works as a deejay and he's in demand.
Speaking of Declan, he came home this morning. Steve and I were having coffee before he left for work, and Declan walked into the living room. It was such a nice surprise. He said he wasn't coming home until tomorrow. He spent the morning helping me around the house. We laid around and watched television. We decided to surprise Steve, so we went to Wallace Memorial to have lunch with him. Ashtyn will be over the moon when she comes home and sees her big brother. It's always good to have him home.Our daughter, Ashtyn, is also striving high academically. Her teacher and principal had discussed allowing her to move ahead a grade last year. We decided to allow her to do so with concerns, but she amazed us all. She is the youngest student in the eighth grade, and her classmates look up to her! Ashtyn announced that she has decided to be a doctor. Looks like both of my children are following in their father's footsteps!Ashtyn is actively involved in helping those in need. Her class at school is having a food drive, and next Sunday, the class is going to the mall to purchase things from the angel tree. Ashtyn's Sunday school class is taking toy donations to send to children overseas. She has really jumped in and helped them. I remember two years ago, when she approached me with so many questions about how to help them. I answered her questions and she just burst into tears. She really has a heart of gold. She said the best thing I did for her was when I took her to volunteer at a homeless shelter. We're doing that again this year. As usual, she's been using all of her Christmas money to buy gifts for those in need. She's such a good kid. I am truly blessed to have such good children. I couldn't be prouder of both of them.I still work in publishing. I finished my book, but I'm not giving out the title just yet. I'm meeting with my boss after the New Year so he can look it over and tell me if I need to make any adjustments or corrections. I've decided to use my name, rather than a pen name. I also need to mention that I have been declared cancer free!
So that brings us to Events and Happenings!
- In January, the hospital won several awards for best overall care, best oncology department, and #1 in cardiac care and rehab services. Later on, Wallace Memorial won another award for neurology. We attended all of the awards ceremonies and celebrations.
- In February, Ashtyn had to undergo a tonsilectomy. She recovered quickly and was back to her old self in a few days. Steve was too busy to do much for Valentine's Day, so I surprised him at work. We spent a couple of hours hanging out in his office. He ordered take out and I brought some pink iced heart shaped sugar cookies that Ashtyn and I made earlier. He went a step further with roses and jewelry.
- I celebrated my birthday on February 25th. Declan came home to spend my birthday weekend with me. He and his girlfriend, Anya, took me to lunch at my favorite restaurant in Manhattan. When Steve and Ashtyn got home, the five of us went to dinner. Gabrielle, Leah, Tallullah, and I went for the annual birthday tea at the tea room on Saturday. It's a birthday tradition to get together for tea and petit fours for our birthdays.
- In March, Ashtyn celebrated her birthday. I hosted a slumber party for her, which went very well. Her birthday was also the second anniversary of the day I was declared cancer free last year!
- In April, Declan and Ashtyn had spring break at the same time for once, so we took a trip to France to visit Steve's parents. We had an amazing time.
- In May, Ashtyn completed the seventh grade and Declan completed his first year of college.
- In June, Steve and I celebrated our thirteenth year of marriage. We spent eight days in Cozumel, Mexico, just the two of us, while Ashtyn went to Disney World with our best friends, Leah and Ryker, and their children, Hannah, Kate, Maddy, and Gregory. Declan went to Colorado with my cousin Tallullah, her husband, Paul, and their children, Zephra, Zane, and Zayden.
- July, we spent two weeks in Japan. Steve's parents, as well as mine, met us there. Trevor, his wife, Amber, and Benjiro, and his wife Elizabeth, joined us the following week. Declan got to bring Anya to Japan for the first time. She had such a great time. It was essentially Ashtyn's first time to Japan, that she remembers. She was a baby the first time we took her. Declan and Anya were kind enough to dote on her. They took her on a day trip to Tokyo. Steve, Trevor, and Benjiro visited former colleagues at the newly built hospital. My father and Steve's father went to see a sumo wrestling match. Amber, Elizabeth, my mother, and Steve's mother, Katerina, went shopping in the village. Anya and Ashtyn came with us a few times.
- In August, we took a trip to Rio, and spent a week enjoying the sand and sun. We took the cable car to Sugar Loaf Mountain, hiked up to the Christ statue on Corcovado Hill, and took many other tours that consisted of boat rides, swimming, walking tours, etc. We had so much fun.
- Steve's birthday was a few days after Ashtyn returned to school, on August 29th.
- In September, Declan returned to college. I was sad to see him go. The good news was that Steve and I had some downtime to get back into the swing of things at school/work. This was my third year going back to work full time. Ashtyn is in the National Honor Society again this year. Her teacher told us that she's already doing English and Math at high school level.
- My mother had a cancer scare, but it turned out to be nothing. (THANK GOD!)
- In October, I was so sick, I battled one illness after another. On Halloween, I was too sick to take Ashtyn trick-or-treating, and Steve had to work late the last week of October. Leah and Ryker were kind enough to take Ashtyn, along with their four children. Ashtyn had a great time with Hannah, Katie, Maddy, and Gregory.
- Steve's mother had a breast cancer scare, but thankfully her biopsy proved benign.
- In November, Declan celebrated his seventeenth birthday. Unfortunately, he got the sick the day after he came home for Thanksgiving Break. He spent the entire time he was home, sick in bed. Thankfully, he managed to join us for Thanksgiving dinner.
- Our friends, Peter and Gabrielle are having a rough time of it. Peter and his fifteen year old son, Logan, were seriously injured the day after Thanksgiving, when Peter's car exploded. Logan sustained the worst of the injuries and had to have a lengthy surgery. They held an emergency blood drive for him, which saved his life. Peter spent two days in the hospital, and Logan may get out on Christmas Day, we hope. He's doing some better. Peter had to undergo rhinoplasty, and he's feeling miserable.
- My Grandma Rio and Grandpa Tory also passed away the week of Thanksgiving, when their pilot lost control of their private jet.
- Thanksgiving Day was bittersweet with Declan being sick and the death of both of my grandparents. The good news was that all of my family, including my Uncle Griffin, Aunt Brooklyn, and their children, who are usually away for the holidays, spent Thanksgiving at our house. We caught up on how everyone's lives were going, reminisced about Grandma and Grandpa, and ate WAY TOO MUCH! Declan's girlfriend, Anya Rossi, and her mother, Gia, came over for Thanksgiving Dinner. That has become a tradition the last two years.
- My grandparents visitation took place on Sunday night and the funeral/graveside service on Monday afternoon. The services were beautiful.
- Steve decided that we needed a short vacation, so we went to the mountains to regroup. Declan and Steve went snowboarding while Ashtyn and I shopped and took some skiing lessons. I am embarrassed to report that my thirteen year old is a much better skier than I am!
That brings us to December, and we are all getting ready for the holidays. Ashtyn, Declan, and I baked and decorated cookies earlier today. Anya and her mother, Gia, came and brought Italian Wedding Cookies, then the five of us hit the mall so Ashtyn could see Santa. It was so funny to watch as Ashtyn explained to Santa that she wants to be a doctor for Christmas. The look on his face was priceless!Merry Christmas, Everyone!Daisy Jade, Steven, Declan, and Ashtyn Fiona Michelle!
And for our next letter...well I'll compose it in another blog post.
Hope you enjoyed!