Our 2006 Opt-in Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,

There's no beating around the bush this year, Ella is the biggest thing for us in 2006. We found out about her one year ago today and managed to smuggle it in as a sort of Christmas gift for the new grandparents. Starting with the news of the pregnancy and all the way up to the due date, Michelle and I wrestled with getting enough rest and living life normally. The time went quickly, and as it turns out, having a baby hasn't been the end of our fun.

Ella and Red Bow by Hilary Freed

Ella Anne Freed was born August 21st just outside of Portland in a swanky corner birthing suite at St. Vincent's hospital. Her momma was exhausted and handled a rapid labor beautifully. Ella was a beautiful baby and her arrival flipped some switch in my brain that I didn't know existed. We're both smitten with her and she seems to have a similar affect on most people she meets.

Now she's four months old, enjoying the lights of Christmas, and starting to grasp and manipulate things with her hands. She's even started giggling a little when she gets raspberries on her belly. Ella's spending her days with my parents, who are 95% complete on their remodel of the "outhouse". We're unbelievably blessed to have family who lover her as much as us.

Michelle is still with the same firm, and worked up until the week of her delivery. She's back at work again and still finding time to visit the baby during lunch most days. Michelle has again amazed me this last year, and amazes me daily with her love for Ella. She's a wonderful mother.

I'm doing the same thing, managing a student help desk and doing a myriad of the things I did before taking that on. I'm also nearing the end of my Geography masters program, so I'll be working on a thesis in these coming months. A baby, full time employment and school has been a challenge but so far hasn't overwhelmed me.

Barley and Tigger are about the same, only getting less attention than years past. Barley's taking it fairly well, though Tigger refuses to cut either of us any slack. He vomited on my office chair 2 days ago, which Michelle attributes to his old age (17), not his dislike of me.

This past year has brought so much change and great joy. We hope for the best in this coming year for you and your family.

With love,

the Freeds