Against my better judgement, I recently removed the password protect feature from my blog. Soon the whole world will know my secrets, or at least that I fetishize beards and breakfast cereals. If that costs me my job and my dignity, so be it.
At any rate, here’s the Christmas letter my wife and I are sending out to friends and family and Mexican soap opera stars. Enjoy the update, and if you’re good enough, I may return with more JLP content and a bloody nose!
Christmas time is here, so along with the blizzards and various songs about bells, we have all been inundated with Christmas cards featuring pictures of everybody smiling. ‘Tis the season for writing pithy summations of our lives and then using the copying machine at work to print them!
2012 was a great year for our two kids Oliver (3) and Alice (14 months). Alice went from being a pleasant but somewhat strange-looking infant to becoming a cute little toddler with pigtails and a drunken sailor walk. Presently, her likes include drinking anything, touching computers, and being thrown onto couches by her father. Her dislikes include being tackled by her brother and naps lasting longer than 90 minutes. Meanwhile, Oliver is growing into a sensitive, happy boy. His favorite times of day are probably when he’s building with his blocks or chasing his sister back-and-forth across the house. He really loves Alice and enjoys playing with her, but he’s usually pretty happy just entertaining himself. Unlike Alice, who is our screamer, Oliver usually signals his satisfaction through quiet stillness. These days his hobbies include stacking anything, misidentifying colors, and eating sandwiches.
For Bridgette (413 months) this year has been a blessing, by and large. 2011 was marked mostly by pregnancy-related nausea, childbirth, and sleepless nights, so the improvement in 2012 was mostly a function of our kids getting a little bit older. She continues to enjoy staying home full-time with Oliver and Alice, though she still works some weekend hours at the group home for disabled adults that she’s been at for years. Her days are filled with raising and training our kids, with the occasional visit to see our church friends and neighbors. It’s no easy thing to devote the vast majority of your day to the well-being of little kids, but Bridgette has always done so with grace. Oliver and Alice are blessed by her patience and emotional generosity. Lastly, Bridgette beat me in bowling several times again this year, extending her lifelong streak.
As for me, I really don’t think I could have been more blessed in 2012. In August, I accepted a significant promotion at the International School of Minnesota. I’m now something called an Academic Quality Controller – what the rest of planet earth refers to as an assistant principal. I still teach one class, so fortunately I still get to experience what I enjoy about teaching. To this point, I’ve really enjoyed the new challenges of being in administration. My favorite part of every day, however, continues to be the moment I get home and hug the kids and kiss my wife. Aside from the satisfactions of work and home life, I continue to burn off resentment at the fact that my wife won’t laugh at my jokes by co-leading the Rock TV ministry at my church that produces short comedy videos. One of those videos was even accepted into the Twin Cities Film Fest this year, which was deeply surreal.
In sum, 2012 was a year of domestic comforts for the Welles, punctuated with some professional successes and the continual blessings and proddings of our church community. We wish each of you the same in the year to come, and may this Christmas season be a quiet reminder to all of us that we live in a world with radically self-sacrificing love at its center.
P.S. Our cats are still alive, presumably.