Merry Christmas From the Vogels

Due to the wild success of last year’s Christmas letter we are giving it another go for 2013. (Wild success is largely defined as getting it done and my mom saying, “Well, wasn’t that fun.”)

So, 2013 in the Vogel home – the year of doing things I told myself I’d never do.

The Happiest Place on Earth?

I told myself,  “I will never take very small children to Disney World”. The parks are full of overstimulation meltdowns and they won’t remember it anyway. (Had I thought about it, I would have added “especially not within three months of having knee surgery,” but it never crossed my mind as a possibility.)

So, on January 3rd I found myself hobbling down a jet way for a flight to Orlando with a 10-month-old and a little guy just shy of three. The trip was not anticipated, but was part ofan award David (DA) was granted for being so awesome at work. (He is awesome elsewhere as well, but you usually don’t get a plaque or free trip for that).

After much deliberation, we decided to take the whole crew and Grandma (Bonnie) as well – a decision that was worth every penny. In fact, it may be some years before we dare vacation without a grandma. The boys did great, Grandma did great, and a ton of fun (and blessedly few tears) was had by all. Oh, and if you ever have the chance, a wheelchair is absolutely the way to travel in the Magic Kingdom!

Sliding Doors and Slipping Standards

I told myself, “I will never drive a minivan”. My family owned a periwinkle blue Dodge Caravan when I was in my teens. I traveled cross-country in it, took my driving test in it and loathed it with a loathing only possible by a teenage girl.

So, on March 16th I found myself signing ownership papers for a Honda Odyssey. It seems my husband has not the same vanity experience with minivans and responsibility trumps class in our household. She’s very large, very blue and we named her Beluga. What she lacks in aesthetic, power and respectability she makes up in cargo capacity. And that’s the best I can do.

Screaming Down The Highway

Silas celebrated his 1st Birthday on the way home from our Texas trip. What a trooper!

I told myself, “I will never again do a ‘drive-straight-through’ road trip with a toddler.” The ability to be diverted by videos is a requirement!

So, on March 24th I found myself packed into Beluga with Silas one week shy of his first birthday and Micah now 3 bound for Rockport, Texas 14 hours away. Again, we had the foresight to bring a Grammy (Debbie). And again, the trip was somewhat impromptu. David changed jobs and the week between the two was the most vacation time we would have for some months. We took the opportunity to see his Grandmother, Aunt and Uncle and the beach. Travel was as you might expect so the crisp, Gulf air and warm hospitality were welcome relief. The boys exhausted themselves on the beach, were awed equally with the aquarium and the ferryboats and had a blast with their newly-acquainted family.


Which Of You Made This Puddle?

I told myself, “I will never adopt another puppy.” At least, not before all other occupants of my home are housebroken. It went without stating that I especially would not own some little ankle-biter-dog.

So, on September 17th I received a photo of a 14-week-old Aussie/dachshund that according to my mother “was a very sweet little thing” and “would just match Charlie”(our 8 year old Aussie mix). A week later, a very long and very, very, short, black-speckled fur ball ran into my house and was immediately inseparable from Micah. Her looks are as peculiar as her breeding would indicate. Additionally, with the dachshund prevailing on her stature and the atavistic traits of the Australian shepherd motivating her play she seems to be specifically designed to be a little ankle biter. Regardless, she has squeezed her way through our fence and into our hearts and Lowly is now the newest member and highest energy fixture in our home.

Never Say Never

I hesitate to recount any additional disavowals I may yet harbor as there are a few weeks remaining in the year, but I will say it’s been a very blessed year. I wouldn’t revise any of our decisions. Well, except maybe Beluga… but the old girl can haul.

We hope your year was wonderfully blessed whether in accordance with your plans or directly opposed to them.

God Bless and Merry Christmas,
David, Aubrey, Micah and Silas Vogel

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bonnie E Case December 22, 2013 at 3:48 am

Aubrey, Very delightful account of your year of things that you were never going to do. Never say never is the saying. Just like the “I’m never going to marry that Jim Case in Missouri because his folks have a farm and I’m not going to live on a farm” famous last words said by me when I was in the 10th grade to my friend at that time. We of course were talking about boys which all young gals that age do. I have been eternally thankful that I didn’t do what I told my friend way back then, with 4 children and 12 grandchildren I’m a very happy person. Thoroughly enjoyed your letter.


Susan Rieder December 22, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Thanks to Stephanie for sharing your Christmas letter with us (I hope you don”t mind). What a beautiful family. We thoroughly enjoyed reading what’s been happening in your life. There’s certainly never a dull moment when you’ve got little boys and dogs. We wish you all a very merry Christmas and another great year.


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