A Christmas Letter from the Vogels

The first snow has fallen, the tree is finally up, and it just dawned on us that Christmas is almost here. Like, next Tuesday. So instead of a sweetly sentimental envelope in your mailbox, we’d like to share an online version of our Christmas communique.  Sorry, peanut brittle not included.

We started the year fat and sassy. Or at least I did, as I cannot think of a better description for 6-months pregnant with a nearly 2 year old running amok. Three months and a near eternity later, the “are you sure it isn’t twins?” and “you have how many months to go?” were dispelled with the birth of a very long and fairly large redheaded boy.

From day one (or maybe about day four) Silas has been a cheery, pleasant little guy big on ability and contentment. Which means he has been known to crawl out of the bouncer, off the couch, up the steps, etc. without a peep of notification. He has a Wallace and Gromit-esque grin and a shock of orange hair a la the Muppets Beaker. But I assure you, he’s adorable. His brother, Micah, is pleasantly enthralled with the little guy.  He is remarkably sweet to him at least once a day, without parental coercion.  Micah, has grown remarkably quickly from a little guy who would scarce utter “Mama” to a bouncing kid that yells “Hey Aubrey, I need chocolate milk” from the bottom of the stairs.

In July, we indulged Micah’s love for trains with an Amtrak ride to St. Louis. We also learned that “historic, downtown hotel” is code for “terrible for kids” and “no pool.” The trip was historic however. The USA Today crammed under our door included a front-page article on the triple digit wave crippling the Midwest, specifically St. Louis. Sweat-soaked and on foot, we took in the sites best we could and with remarkable success considering.

We risked a second big-city trip in September to attend a wedding of a good friend in Chicago. We took reinforcements, grandparents. We cannot recommend highly enough getting grandparents involved in travel plans. Like, leaving the kids home with them. In reality, we ALL had a great time. We enjoyed Millennium Park, Shedd Aquarium, and added a few more hotdogs to the ridiculous number we had already consumed this year.

D-A took more vacation time in October and I spent two of the most blissful days in a medicated stupor after having knee surgery.  Recovery is coming along quite well, but I still guilt D-A into a few extra diaper changes and trips up and down the stairs.

Just last week, we used the remainder of our vacation time for a trip to Branson. We’ve honed our skills and were able to spend time in an indoor pool and a number of other kid-friendly, enjoyable activities. We were joined for a few days by each of our families and had some great time yucking it up.  For me, that meant a day and half of stomach flu, for the rest, the traditional use of the term.

We are all now predominantly well and in good spirits. We are looking forward to next year. We hope to spend many more great moments with family and friends and maybe a few vacations without medical maladies. We feel abundantly blessed and hope the same for your families.

Merry Christmas,
D-A, Aubrey, Micah and Silas Vogel

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