Christmas Letter 2016 – Parent Zombies
It’s funny to me that my first Christmas letter on this blog was in 2008. As cliche as it sounds, I just have no idea how that is even possible. In 2008 our oldest children were 15 while 50 years old seemed like a foot in the grave. Today, our oldest have graduated college, attended college, joined the Marine Corps and much more, and 50 years old is smacking us across the face like the freezing dry air of January in Alaska. Although the frequency of blogs has greatly diminished, it is fun to look back at our history, at least through my eyes.
I have determined that my blogging has deceased for several reasons: 1. Social Media. We are constantly updating every moment in our live’s on social media and so everyone knows what is going on. So reading a blog seems like way to much work, and writing one takes way more time. Not so much the actual writing, but the thinking and posting. I personally post on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. FB is for family events, Instagram is for tidbits of the day and cool pics, and Snapchat, my new favorite, is where I can try to be as funny as Kassie thinks I am! I think I must be a teenager at heart, disturbing but fun.
2. Time. The last three years I have been working to finish my degree that I started in 1986. No it’s not a doctorate degree, nor the supreme being on the earth as it should be for a 30 year degree, but simply my bachelor’s degree. It’s always been a goal of mine to finish, and my current employer is paying for the classes and the blog is paying for my time.
3. Redundancy. When I first started writing, it was exciting. There was so much information and things to put out there. Now, it seems that we have done it all and said it all before. After returning from Costa Rica, things seem to be in a bit of a redundant mode. I could make things up, which I enjoy doing, and write about them, but that’s not what this blog is about. It’s about our family, and what it is like to have a giant family and live in Alaska, a giant state. So here it is.
Life seems to get a little harder as our kids grow. The consequences from their actions are much greater as they age. And when I try to swath them, cuddle them and rock them, they kick and scream and call me a creeper and run away. They have cars, jobs and do adult things. My jokes are slowly becoming corny, which I promise you was NEVER the case in 2008! They don’t always do what we want them to do when we want them to do it, and when we confront them they sometimes answer with logic, this disturbs me greatly. We find our greatest joy in looking at old videos and pictures, remembering the days past, when they couldn’t tie shoes, wipe their butts, or even blow their own noses. Their voices were squeaky, their attention span short, and their needs great, but those days are so nostalgic, and they were the awesomenest of times.
Recently a friend of mine was frustratedly dealing with her 2 year old. He wasn’t obeying, he was acting up, laughing and playing and being a 2-year-old. I could see her frustration in her face, holding her newborn and trying to reign the toddler in at the same time. I remember feeling that age would solve all those problems. If only they would grow up. I regret those thoughts. I approached her and I told her, Please, please enjoy this time. I know it’s hard, I know it’s frustrating and exhausting, but the innocence of their youth is so amazing. I believe it keeps us young. We are zombie parents, we suck the youth from our kids, and they slowly begin to grow up. They strive to be “adult” as fast as possible, assuming it is a better fate than attending school eight months a year. As they age, there is less youth for us to steal, thus we age with them. Our zombie desires left unquenched, until grandchildren, then we can feast again.
As for the kids, well here it goes: Dorian, the boomerang has left home twice and returned twice. The kid has spirit and he keeps trying new adventures, and one day he will succeed. If only we could convince him that marriage and kids is the real adventure. Alli, armed with her college degree, has landed a job in her field in Sitka Alaska. She has a cat. I think that means no marriage no kids, just more cats. Maybe she’ll get married once she pays off her student loans in 2055.
Jeremy has started traveling the world with the Marines. He has passed out once from heat stroke and watched all his worldly possessions fly out of the door of an open helicopter, the copter he was being rescued in. If this is not adventure I don’t know what is. Also, did you know the Marines are the strongest, fastest and bestest branch of the military? If not, Jeremy will tell you.
Olivia is working hard towards her Associate’s degree. She works and goes to school, managing to maintain a near 4.0 gpa, just like her dad. The best part is she is paying for most of her school while she is going to school. She is smart beyond her years and her love of the dogs and thick sarcasm always add action to the house.
Benjamin is a senior with a job. He bough his own car this year. It is a sweet ride, for a 85 year old man. But it has heated seats, and my car does not. Point for Ben! We do not know what is next for him, but the Marines are sure interested, and if you haven’t heard, they are strongest, fastest and bestest branch of the military.
Kassandra still has a year of school left. She is tall, plays soccer, dances and plays piano. She said like 8 words to me this year, but her smile, her smile is worth about 20,000 words. Plus she still laughs at most of my awesome jokes, so I love her conditionally, as long as she keeps laughing.
J&J, Jake and Jo are still homeschooling, and they are the most popular kids in their school. Jake is dipping his toe into teenage-hood, and I don’t like it, but I can’t stop it. Jo is no longer the baby of the family. She is uber creative and does creative things all the time. They fight, they argue, and they tease, but when nobody is looking, they are the best of friends.
Tracy has a full time job keeping me on schedule and in check. She feeds me, but not with baby food and a bib, not yet at least. She keeps me on track, listens to my woes and is the best part of this family. I get up early, go to work, go to Crossfit Kainos, pay to be extremely uncomfortable, come home, eat, rinse, repeat. In between we try to fish, take road-trips, explore, pick berries, remodel the house (thanks Chip & Joanna!!) and do what Alaskans are called to do.
As I write this, I always enjoy looking back and seeing all that we did over the past year. I know I long for the young years, but the recent years have their highlights for sure, many of them more exciting and better than the younger years, and if I have learned anything, it is to not take this time for granted.
This year we watched Alli graduate college, traveled to see family in Missouri and most importantly we added new members to our family. I am not talking about Trinity, Ben’s best “friend” and welcomed near full time Godfrey member, but even more importantly and impactful, our Avatars. If you have not had the privilege of meeting them, just text us or check out or FB, Instagram (costaglenn) or my Snapchat (Costaglenn) and we will make sure it happens!! Here is a little preview for those of you knew to the game.
I want to finish with the most important thing. We are very thankful to our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ for all that he has blessed us with. He continues to bless this family and we give Him the glory, and trust that although, much like my parents, our kids are not always taking the path we think they should, as long as they keep Jesus the Lord of their life, it will be the right path. May God Bless you and may you thrive in 2017.