Ah, tis’ the season to log onto my poor neglected blog to write our Christmas letter. Perhaps a summary of our year will explain the utter lack of posts for the past two years? It seems I’ve created a tradition of putting the blog onto the back burner, but I feel justified this year, as it was one of our busiest yet.

The Brocks Easter 2019

Let’s start with the biggest news; we welcomed another daughter, Cosima Philomena Eponine on September 5th. She had a turbulent birth and first few days, spending time in the NICU due to lack of oxygen, fluid in her lungs, and an infection. We are blessed with lots of love and support from family and we were able to bring her home where she is thriving. There is much debate whether she takes after her brother or sister, but she seems to have more of her own look, with aspects of them both. I will say, so far she is a very amiable baby, or am I such a seasoned parent that lack of sleep is part of my personality now and hence, I have a warped perspective? Maybe so, but being a seasoned parent also brings the knowledge that this age of babyhood, is so very short and we are enjoying the highs of this stage as well as the understanding that the lows are short lived. Cosima is much loved by her siblings, and she in turn lights up with all sorts of grins for them more than anyone else. Chris has scored her first laugh, as he did with the other kids, but I’m still holding onto “mama” being her first word. Cosima is a joy and we love our little “Pickle”.

Caidoc, Cosima, and Azelie September 2019
Cosima September 2019

Our second largest piece of news is that Chris has finished his MBA with a specialization in finance this winter, coming out with a 4.0 GPA no less! He continues to disregard my suggestion that “C’s get degrees, and B’s mean more time at home” but before I even married him, I knew academia is not something Chris does half way. On that point, getting the degree was also my idea, so I lumped it, and swallowed *most* of my complaints to Chris. Don’t worry, I made up for it by complaining to anyone else who would listen. We are so glad to have Chris at home more, particularly now that we are no longer playing man-to-man defense in the child arena. Securing a 4.0 was not all Chris excelled at this year, he was awarded more responsibility in the job of Quality Control Manager in addition to his job of Research and Development Manager at Belshaw Adamatic. I guess I decided he wasn’t busy enough, so I might have suggested he coach Caidoc’s baseball team through the Auburn Parks and Recreation Department. Naturally, he rocked it, and it wasn’t just the kids singing his praises, since some of the moms asked if he could be hired for events (thank you I think?). I think it’s safe to say Chris is ready for more time doing things that don’t have to do with school or obligations in general. He has also informed me I’m fired as his activities manager. He is looking forward to having weekends again (since they were usually filled with school or work) and has already lined up several hobbies, informing me that this is all part of his over due mid-life crisis. I responded that since his 31st birthday is on the horizon, he has just a few weeks to get in any crisis activities.

Chris and Abby Easter 2019
Chris and Cosima December 2019

Azelie 5 years 7 months

Our sweet princess is a big sister, much to her delight. She is such a generous and kind girl, with very little dethronement issues when it comes to the baby, frequently insisting that Cosima would like another “fashion show” aka being dressed up in numerous outfits. Zelie started Kindergarten this year and is doing so well! Although she will tell you she isn’t a fan of phonics, she can already read short words and her handwriting is superb. She took a short ballet class over the summer and loved her teacher, which led to no issues being away from me at all (I still have issues). Besides schooling at home, Zelie is enjoying two co-op classes, one she takes with her brother and one without, marking another big step in independence for our not-so-little girl. Watching Azelie’s personality morph into less of a toddler and more of a “big kid” is a joy (even if her elaborate dishwasher unloading dance can take up to thirty minutes).

Ballet 2019

Azelie is looking forward to her birthday in the spring (“because I’ll be SIX mom!), camping in the summer, and starting piano in the fall.

Daddy Daughter Dance February 2019- Sock Hop themed
Fall 2019

Caidoc 7 years 7 months

You wouldn’t believe how fast this kids has grown! Well, maybe you would but, as parents, we had this vague notion that he would stay little forever (or maybe we only wished that?) Caidoc has been playing piano for two years now, performing at several recitals, and showcasing his own composition this winter with an adjudication in the spring. With dad as his coach, Caidoc played his first season of baseball this past spring and love it. He says his favorite positions were hitting and catcher- although this is not surprising as Caidoc always wants to be where the action is. After a year of preparation, Caidoc also completed his First Confession at St. Anthony’s. In addition to schooling at home, he takes two co-op classes, his favorite being Lego Robotics, since he gets to use computers and legos, two of his favorite things. If he is not in his room making Lego creations, Caidoc is usually reading a Magic Tree House book, taking apart anything electronic he can find, or playing all his piano pieces fortissimo, in the bass cleft. He is so helpful to me each day, his independence and desire for responsibility growing at a rapid rate. If anyone has any ideas on how to slow down time and keep him my little boy forever, I’d appreciate it.

Baseball 2019

Caidoc is most looking forward to another season of baseball, camping, and is begging to be signed up for tackle football.

Halloween 2019
Easter 2019
Bainbridge Island August 2019

While I was reading this letter aloud to Chris, he said, “Okay, but what about you?” I answered with, ” ‘I have no interest in myself. When I think about myself I get bored out of my mind’ ” to which he replied, “You cannot just quote Joe Verses The Volcano, Abby”. *sigh* Okay. Well, I guess I just feel that my life is so embedded and woven into the lives of my wonderful little family that I don’t feel like I need to say anything extra about myself. Summing up their activities and achievements is summing up mine to. They are my life’s work, and by far, these are the best days of my life. Exhausted or no, it is my greatest privilege to be where I am, in the trenches of mother and wifey-hood; homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, baking, driving, blowing noses, reading books, biking, hiking, hosing out muddy boots (muddy on the inside, yes), wiping bums, giving kisses- this is the life that has pushed me to be stronger and tougher than I ever thought possible.

Just a day in the life 2019
Chelan August 2019

So, what I look forward to this year is more. More of my wonderful life.

Ellensburg July 2019
Franklin Falls, August 2019
Easter 2019

May you all have long, healthy, happy, holy lives. Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year.

The Brocks

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