Tuesday, December 23, 2008

For Erika—but you can read it too

Erika—I forgot to call your mom to get your address and there's no way our Christmas letter will get to you in time. I was in complete despair until I remembered that you read my blog. So here's our annual Christmas letter for you (and anyone else who wants to read it).

Merry Christmas 2008!

(Auntie Meg with Baby Burrito)

During the first half of 2008, Megan finished high school. She played lacrosse at PGHS—a new team that she helped start and captained. After graduation, she took a road trip with Mom. They flew back to KY, picked up a Jeep Cherokee and drove it back to UT. Along the way, they stopped everywhere that looked interesting.

Megan started college at UVU. You may also have heard that she was preparing to go to China in 2009. Unfortunately, both college and China had to be postponed due to illness, but she’s on the mend and should be back to 100% soon.

While she’s healing, Megan is working part-time with Karlene at a book and toy store. In February, she’ll be helping coach lacrosse back at PGHS.

Melanie, Kris & Baby Burrito

Melanie, Kris and Baby Burrito moved out of their one bedroom basement apartment to a beautiful two bedroom vaulted ceiling apartment. They are excited about the change and are grateful for the extra space and sunlight every day.

Melanie got a promotion in the fall and is now working as an IT Business Analyst for XanGo. She is also a blog-a-holic and is attending meetings regularly. However until she is fully recovered feel free to visit her at melaniedavis.blogspot.com.

Kris has gotten most of his pre-requisites done for the Culinary Arts program at Utah Valley University. He plays rugby for UVU and works at a Japanese restaurant during the winter.

Baby Burrito turned one this November and is walking (almost running). He’s learning how to give kisses and loves to roar like a Dinosaur!

This fall Kris and Melanie got engaged!!! They plan to marry in spring 2010. Melanie thinks this is a perfect year because it matches the ten diamonds that are on her ring.

Christopher, Ashley & Little Princess

The big news for Christopher is that he and Ashley got married this past August! It was a beautiful wedding in her parents’ backyard. They took a short honeymoon down to Las Vegas. Chris, Ashley and Little Princess make a lovely family and rent a house in American Fork.

Christopher is working concrete for Ashley’s father. He still enjoys it. They do commercial concrete and are staying pretty busy, despite the economy. Right now Christopher is working a job that requires him to drive to Idaho and back every day. He carpools with his brother-in-law and they pay him for some of the travel time but he still misses having those extra hours at home with his family. When he is home, he likes to watch movies and hang out with his family.

Ashley has turned their house into a home. She’s a great decorator. She also enjoys scrapbooking and spending time with Little Princess, who turned three in November. Little Princess likes Dora the Explorer, princesses and fairies, and playing dress-up and pretend.

McKenna, Stephen & Baby Shrek

McKenna, Stephen and Baby Shrek live in Lehi, just a few miles away from us. (Too far for Grandma & Grandpa’s preferences, who wish they lived next door.)

McKenna runs her company, Urban Botanic. It’s getting some notice on a national level. UB was mentioned in an issue of Family Circle magazine as one of the hot new home party companies. McKenna was also recently on Good Things Utah, a local news and info show for women. When she’s not working, she’s playing with Baby Shrek and designing websites.

Stephen still works for Advanced MD, a medical software company. During his downtime, he enjoys going to BYU football games and playing with Baby Shrek. He’s teaching Baby Shrek to cheer for BYU. Baby Shrek's first sentence was, “Go, Cougs!”

Baby Shrek will be two this spring. He’s adding new words to his vocabulary at such a rapid pace, we can’t keep up with him anymore! He loves cars, trucks and trains. He also likes to color, to build things with blocks, and to hide things in little nooks and corners.

Karlene & Jim

Karlene & Jim have had a very full year. It seems we get busier as the time goes by—or maybe we just get slower and have a harder time keeping up.

We added to our family this year when Chris married Ashley. That gives us three grandchildren who are the most adorable children on the planet!

We just celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary. We’ve had to face some life challenges over those years, but they’ve been “outside” challenges. Twelve years and we still really like each other—as you can see by the photo above, taken at Christopher’s wedding.

Jim is now working three jobs—which is why he is currently bald. He says he doesn’t have enough time to style his hair! He’ll grow it back out when he’s down to one job—a promise Karlene will make him keep!

Jim still works his regular day job at NIS, doing customer support for dental offices. When he finishes there, he moves downstairs to the QA department where he tests new versions of the software. He only works at Home Depot on Saturdays and Sundays now. We’re hoping this will be the year that he can drop that job.

In his spare time , Jim loves to play with the grandkids. They get a real kick out of him. Jim wishes he had more time to take them camping and fishing. He’s determined to do that in the near future.

Karlene took several trips this year. She and Megan did the now infamous Summer Road Trip. Karlene also went back to KY in August for an early celebration of her parents’ 50th anniversary. It was the first time in years that she, her brother and both sisters were together.

Karlene has several jobs that keep her busy, too. She sells Twilight-inspired perfumes on the Internet, she is the assistant manager of a book and toy store in Pleasant Grove (which she loves!), and Rosehaven is coming out of extinction on a limited basis, representing a few authors .

But her favorite job is being a grandmother. She has Grandma Day every Tuesday when she tends Baby Shrek and Baby Burrito, and she hopes that Little Princess will soon feel comfortable enough with her to come play too.

Erika (and all others reading), we very much hope that you have had a wonderful and fulfilling year, and that the year to come will bring you peace, hope and blessings unnumbered.

All our love,
from the Browning-Gordon-Davis-Ricks families.


Annette Lyon said...

Great recap. It was fun reading about a few things you covered on your blog. Beautiful family too. Have a merry Christmas!

Erika said...

You are so sweet! I feel so special to have a post just for me...really...you made my night. I've been busy running around and finishing up the final touches and decided to check Google Reader before heading to bed. What a nice surprise! I loved reading how all of you are doing and all the pictures were so cute. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. Man how I miss all of you.

Sandra said...

Merry Christmas All!

Rebecca Talley said...

What a fun family letter-sounds like you all had a very full year.

Love the photo of you kissing your honey!

Tristi Pinkston said...

What an awesome Christmas letter! I'm glad you posted it so we can all read it. Hope your holidays were merry.

Kim Thompson said...

Cute family!