Greetings all! Every December, I am assigned to organize the slew of events, happenings, and skull-duggery that has occurred around our household throughout the year, and to whip up a holiday letter to share with family and friends. This year was obviously quite important, and because of that, I thought I'd post the letter in its entirety here on the site. Thanks to all for an amazing year!
So here we are. Holiday season 2009. As I write this, that pesky fiend Jack Frost has recently nipped at our noses and whipped up the first frenzied snowfall of the season, thus ensuring that we will indeed have a white Christmas. Is it really already time to trim the tree with pop culture ornaments and to watch as Ebeneezer Scrooge (or Bill Murray) goes from ‘Bah Humbug!’ to ‘Merry Christmas!’? 2009 was an amazing year, so before you plug in the plastic Santa perched atop your roof and hang those stockings by the chimney with care, let me fill you in on what’s been happening in the 100 year old house on Thomas Avenue.
Jen is still a woman with unlimited energy, and has effortlessly transitioned into her new role as a mother. For a gal who enjoys her sleep, she had no difficulty (well, on most nights) adapting to a newborn’s schedule. She enjoyed a wonderful ten week leave from her work, spending time snuggling with Alex while yours truly took over in her stead. Finding the delicate balance between work and motherhood was not without its hiccups, but Jen has managed to do it smoothly. As for work, Jen continues to traverse the highways and side streets of the Twin Cities as Minnesota’s Lead Photographer for Chicago-based VHT. She spends her days photographing a wide variety of homes, and her work has been featured numerous times on the cover of Edina Realty’s Exceptional Properties magazine. Always with a camera holstered at her side, she has certainly taken every opportunity to snap shots of the adorable new face in our house, filling many photo albums already. Who knew?!
This past year saw a slight shift in my artistic focus. As the film frontier in Minnesota quieted, I cracked open my security blanket (or laptop, as most people call it) and dug into a variety of writing projects. First came the release of my Jackie Robinson book, Dodger Dreams: The Courage of Jackie Robinson, followed closely by a chapter book for early readers titled Drake Bacula: MonSTAR! Drake was an exciting project as it was a collaboration with my good friend (and talented illustrator) Elizabeth Hurley. Both books are currently available nationwide. As of now, I am putting the finishing touches on another project for local publisher Stone Arch Books, a graphic novel focused on the sport of football. 2009 also saw the release of a number of film projects I worked on. Into Temptation, Dawning, and Midnight Chronicles are all available on DVD, garnering critical praise and festival wins around the country.
So there’s this cute new face in our household, and he very much deserves his own paragraph. Alex is now seven months old. Seven months! I always believed that it was a cheesy cliché to say: ‘They grow up so fast.’ But really, truly, absolutely, they do! It’s hard to fathom that just this past spring, our shiny, brand new baby boy was a tiny, 7 pound 11 ounce bundle. We’ve experienced so many wonderful ‘firsts’ since then, and we have cherished (and laughed…boy have we laughed) every moment. I have been fortunate enough to be able to stay at home with Alex, being a full-time Mr. Mom (and no, Michael Keaton fans, I have yet to fight a washing machine or staple together a blankie). So what tricks does Alex have up his sleeve? Here’s a short list of some of the amazing things he’s been up to:
- He is now the proud owner of not one, but two teeth
- He gets major air in his Johnny-Jump-Up
- He skillfully sits up
- He is becoming quite mobile, rolling and starting to scoot (watch out!)
- He multi-tasks with his toys, often opting to cram one into his mouth while keeping his hands free to play with another
- He loves vegetables, but doesn’t quite feel the same way about fruit. Good thing he doesn’t know that green beans aren’t really breakfast food
- He loves his Exersaucer (or Command Center, as we call it)
- By the time he was three months old, he’d been to three Minnesota Twins games
- He is a frequent customer at The Source (where he picks up comics on a weekly basis)
- He loves the library
- He is not fazed by the large flashing object his mother carries around (as seen in numerous photos)
The term ‘gift’ is thrown around quite a bit this time of year, conjuring images of a brightly wrapped package with a shiny bow on top. But we often forget that the word can mean a great deal of things: happiness, health, family, and friends. We have been given the greatest gift this past year, a smiling, happy baby, and for that, we feel very blessed. So amidst the onslaught of holiday shopping, television stations dedicated to A Christmas Story, and that nostalgic feeling you get when you gaze at the sky on Christmas Eve night, swearing you saw the streak of a sleigh pass overhead, remember that the real gift isn’t the gaudily-wrapped fruitcake, it’s the fruitcake who gave it to you.
We love you all dearly, and wish nothing but happiness to you and your family this holiday season.
All our love,
Brandon, Jen, and Alexander Terrell