Monday, December 24, 2012

2012 Christmas Letter- Final Draft




Dear Friends and Family,
           
We've never been very competitive people.  When it comes to races, although Kaerlig likes to run, if there's someone coming up on her Heels, she'll step aside and let them run on by.  When it comes to soccer, Little D and Lou would rather hang from the goal posts like monkeys and raycito would prefer that he didn’t get signed up in the first place.  The boys, both of whom are bright, waste their respective powers of logic and rage to argue on why cursive is outdated, doing homework is a waste of time, how two commands such as put on your socks and go get your coat should never be given at once, and how they should be driven anywhere further away than our yard.  As for me, at 13 I left my gear on the ground and walked off the field in the middle of football practice, and I've never looked back.
However, 2012 has been a year full of quiet achievements and personal milestones for us.  Lou turned eight over the summer and was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  It was a great day for all of us.  She enjoys dance class, piano lessons, and is a wonderful artist.  She won the Reflections art contest again this year.  If you're keeping track, that's a three-peat.  Lou is also very generous.  It's not uncommon for her to save her pennies in order to buy a toy for a friend or cousin.  She loves to share.
Little D (10) also entered a really nice piece in Reflections and received an honorable mention.  Little D continues with piano lessons and has also begun to learn the trumpet.  He's a good friend and a very sweet boy and he gets along well with almost everyone.  Because of his kind heart, even when he’s been difficult it's impossible to stay mad at him for very long.    
Raycito will be twelve years old by the time you read this.  We've been amazed at the ways he has become more responsible and committed.  Though he didn't initially want to take piano lessons, he has made good progress; this in spite of his earlier assertion that music was a fad destined to go out of style.  He's also learning a little computer programming.  He’s been Patrol Leader of his scout group for a couple of months and has done a fine job.  He looks forward to being ordained a deacon and doing baptisms for the dead with us.  One thing about Rainer is that even though he appears to have thick skin, he has a very tender heart.  This is a boy who weeps when the Christmas tree is taken to the curb at the end of the season.  He has a strong sense of justice and loves to do what’s right.  Raycito even enjoyed a few hikes this year.  On one particular hike he did exceptionally well and led the way happily until he accidentally sat in a large pile of guano.  
One big surprise this year is that all three of our kids tried out for and got roles in their school's Christmas production of "Yes, Virginia."  Raycito has one of the leads.  And did I mention it's a musical?  Minds=blown.
Kaerlig has now been working as a pediatric nurse for 10 years.  Even though she spends most of her days working at The Scooter Lounge with me, the hospital is glad to have as much of her help as they can get because she's an excellent nurse.  Kaerlig was released from the Young Women's Presidency recently and made our ward's Primary President.  Her administrative skills are an asset to our home, business and church.
We celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary this year.  For some that would seem unlucky but for us, the 13th year was one of our best.  I know most of you reading this are still reeling with the shock that our marriage has lasted this long.  You better sit down.  Our business celebrated its 10th anniversary in October.  Who knew that one man's strange obsession with quirky two-wheeled vehicles would grow into something useful?  I'm as shocked as you are.  One of the highlights of the year for me was leading a group of scooterists, Kaerlig included, on a tour through Bryce, Escalante, Boulder and Torrey.  It was an epic adventure with amazing scenery and good company. 
One more thing:  Early this year we signed the boys up for ski school.  For six consecutive Thursdays they spent afternoons up at Sundance.  They both learned a lot and had fun.  Kaerlig went along each time as a parent supervisor and she convinced me to go a couple of times.  Having only skied once in my life, I was nervous.  By the time I made it halfway down my first run, I was ready to quit.  It was brutal.  The harder I tried to slow down, the less control I had.  I fell down many times.  But I could see other people enjoying themselves and knew there was a way for me to do the same, so I kept going.  Then something amazing happened.  Something just clicked and I stopped fighting the mountain.  I leaned forward in my boots, faced my fears and let go.  Suddenly I could cut and carve and relax a little bit. 
I didn't expect to get a life lesson while skiing.  And I don't want to be too heavy-handed with the symbolism here, but I will say this:  God is the mountain and he directs our paths.  I pray that we can continue to have faith as a family- to lean forward in our boots, face our fears, and let go. 
We love each of you and thank you for your friendship and support.  Merry Christmas.

The Hurtado Family 2012

Friday, December 07, 2012

2012 Christmas Letter-- first draft


Hey Fellas,

I've been trying like crazy to think of a really great Christmas letter idea, but with one noted exception I've come up empty handed.  The only really good idea I had was baseball themed and made little sense due to the fact that nobody in our family has ever (or likely will ever) play baseball.

So here we are.  Like two awkward teens on a first date.  Nothing to talk about.  

The last thing I want to do is resort to a formulaic, paragraph-by-paragraph breakdown of each family member.  You don't want to read that.  You want the juicy details of our exciting lives.  You've been waiting on pins and needles all year to see what amazing things we've been doing, while your own monotonous lives have droned on.  You've dreamed of the accomplishments of our fascinating children, yet your own kids have been mind-numbingly mediocre.

Well I got bad news for you.  We are just as lame as you are.

Here's what we did this year:  The same stuff we did last year, but with more gray hair.  

Truthfully though, there were a few standout moments:

Exxxx is our little angel.  She won the Reflections art contest.  This years theme was, "The Magic of a Moment."  She drew a bunch of fairies.  Somehow we missed the awards ceremony.  So much for that magical moment.  

Dxxxxx picked up the trumpet.  He put it down shortly thereafter.  Also he got a retainer to straighten his teeth and now his mouth smells like a cat farm.

Rxxxxx began demanding we drive him everywhere, even to his friends house three doors down the street.  So that's new.  Of course we refuse to do so because we don't want Maury Povich to have to rescue him with a bulldozer and a personal trainer someday.  

Kaerlig was released from the Young Women's Presidency and called to be the Primary President.  She promptly made me a primary teacher.  So now she's my boss at home, at work AND at church.

Merry Christmas
The Hurtados