Friday, December 23, 2011

You've Got Mail: 2011 Herrington Christmas Card and Letter

 

Happy Holidays from the Herringtons!!!
As our card this year says, “Oh, what a year it’s been!”.  2011 has found us busy and blessed.  We have so much to be thankful for as we look back over the past year and we have such joyful anticipation for the upcoming one.

By far the biggest event of 2011 was the addition of our second child, Graves.  Graves Jackson Herrington was born on April 12 and we have fallen in love with him more and more each day since then.  We had a bit of a rocky start with him, but after I cut dairy out of my diet (per my wonderful sister in law’s suggestion), he was like a new child.  His personality is so bright and sweet.  Whereas Annie was more laid back at his age, she was not nearly as expressive.  Although she was our “easy” baby she wasn’t appreciative of affection as an infant.  Smooches and tickles put Graves over the moon!  At this point, he is sitting up well and rolls to where he wants to go.  I don’t think crawling is too far off.  Graves has so many admirers, but the on the top of the list would have to be his “Mickey” (my dad).  He never had a little boy of his own, since it was just me and my sister growing up, and I think he’s redeeming the time with Graves, who he refers to as “Bud”.  He loves to take him outside to go “exploring” and he likes playing little games with him.  It’s so precious to see those two interact! Graves really melts his heart and for a self proclaimed graduate of the “John Wayne School of Manhood” adding a little more testosterone to the family had an entirely unexpected effect, I think!

Ann Peyton is still such a sweet, sensitive child, but I will say any fears we had that she would be overly compliant and passive have certainly been assuaged.  She can be as stubborn as I was at that age and I am learning quickly to choose my battles (taking a bath a minimum of three times a week: yes; wearing socks that don’t match her outfit: no; eating a corn dog for both lunch and dinner: varies).  She is a hoot and I love that she’s now verbal enough to carry on a true dialogue with us.  Just tonight she was telling me about a cow in one of her books and what he eats (“He eat cheese.  He eat string cheese.  He eat spicy cheese.  And sometimes, he eat GOAT cheese.”).

One of my absolute favorite things about both Annie and Graves right now watching the interaction between them.  Ann Peyton had about a month of hard transitions right after he came, but she slowly warmed up to him and now she’s absolutely smitten.  She wants to hold him often, even though he’s nearly as big as her (despite a full twenty four months age gap, they weigh less than nine pounds different).  When he takes a nap, she constantly wants to know if it’s time for him to wake up and she’s so excited when we go get him together.  And she loves to snatch his paci, grab his cheeks in her hands and smooch him on the lips.  Graves is equally infatuated with his sister.  He never minds getting his paci stolen if it results in affection from her and he falls into fits of laughter when she unzips his pajamas to tickle his tummy, as she frequently does.  Watching them grow up together is one of the greatest joys of my life.

Peyton has been busy with work.  He is still at Walgreens, still working in Byram, and still managing the pharmacy. With his new position, I have seen him really grow in the last year.  He’s learned so much about the business side of pharmacy and he’s gained many new skills. In addition, he’s taken on several new roles at church.  He leads our Wednesday night small group in a study about Christian doctrine and belief and it’s right up his alley and the perfect fit for him.  He’s also working, as part of a committee, on restructuring the other committees in the church to make things more efficient and effective.  In addition to all that, he’s involved in some professional organizations.  Thankfully, he still finds time for great conversations with his wife and trips to the park and the museum with his kids!

I cut back a lot on substitute teaching this year, since Graves was so young, but fortunately I’ve been able to keep working at the Mother’s Day Out program at our church.  It’s a blessing because I take the children and they both love it!  I enjoy it because it gets me out of the house and lets me be around other women who love children and ministry.  I am the youngest of the staff and I benefit from their wisdom more than they know!  I tell everyone I know that it’s not really “work” and I had to correct myself when I said I had the best boss I’ve ever had because I remembered back to my old lifeguard days when Peyton was my boss!

In the midst of our day to day activities, we’ve taken a couple of trips, done a few house renovations, and worked on acquiring some new skills.  I’ve taken a few sewing classes and I’m trying to improve my abilities with our camera and my abilities in the kitchen.  I’m seeing (slow) progress in all these areas.  We decided to focus on our kitchen this year and are in the process of having new flooring put in.  Before we did that, Peyton sanded and painted all of our cabinets himself (with a little help), against the recommendation of most everyone we discussed it with.  We are not typically DIY people so it felt really nice to accomplish this together! Since becoming a family of four, we’ve taken two “big” trips.  We went to Destin this past Summer and then recently we took a family trip with some dear friends to Saint Louis to welcome home another friend and her newly adopted son. The kids did phenomenally well on both trips and I am thankful for their sweet dispositions on long car rides.

As 2011 neared it‘s end, I spent the month of November being very intentional about focusing on little things I was thankful for during the day and it was both a wonderful and a revealing exercise. Wonderful because it forced me to have a better, more positive attitude and revealing because I realized how many things I had been taking for granted.  I am praying that in 2012 I will spend the whole year cultivating a spirit of thankfulness.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Peyton, Sarah Denley, Ann Peyton, and Graves Herrington

1 comment:

Courtney said...

Beautiful card and letter. Merry Christmas to your family!