Opt-in Christmas Card 2010
6:54 am December 13, 2010

The season is upon us again and the Freeds hope it finds you all well. We’ve catapulted through another year but made an excellent go of it. We started the year by replacing the basement stairwell and finishing off the basement. Drywall, carpet, and epoxy on the ‘working’ half of the floor; it’s very comfortable and radon-free. We’ve yet to finish the ceiling, which is held up by a rewiring job which is scheduled for who knows when. Over the summer we did some camping with family and with friends, and we took a trip east to the Wallowas with the Ledgerwood family. We made our way back to Maui in November and now await the holidays.

Madeline turned one in January and is more than ready to turn two. Keeping up with Ella feels like it has made her grow and develop faster. She’s become quite the chatterbox, and not just a noisemaker, but a talker. She repeats whole phrases and complex words that she hears and is able to pronounce quite well. She loves to play with her sister Ella, and is willing to follow her about anywhere. She’s also quite caring – rocking her dolls and animals, petting Millie the cat, handing out quick kisses to people or things in need. She’s such a joy.

Ella completed her first year of preschool in May and has made a couple very close friends. She switched from 2-day to 3-day this year, and while she doesn’t see as much of her friend Fiona, she’s also grown close to a new friend Oliver. The two play quite well, and quite often. Bug, as we call her, turned four in August and celebrated with lots of family and friends. Ella has become a little more timid about things since her toddler years in many ways – probably tempered by the harsh reality of preschool. She got a bike for last Christmas, but instead of riding it, she’s more interested in walking it lately. We’ll try again next year.

Michelle has kept busy as well – in April she was admitted to the Idaho State Bar, completing some sort of legal tri-fecta. She enjoyed working in the yard this summer, including recuperating the back yard, which had been decimated by the chickens. In October, Michelle and her dad installed a fence in the front yard to help keep the kids and pets safe. She’s also signed up for a half-marathon and has been working towards that goal.

I’m hoping to complete my thesis work in the coming months. I did my fieldwork back in May and June and after a summer hiatus, have been working on the data analysis. Work has been great and challenging and admittedly more interesting than my thesis most of the time. For my 32nd birthday, Michelle surprised me with a trip to Chicago, complete with a Cubs game on my birthday evening. She set up the ruse with help from my boss and coworkers. It was a wonderful trip, and we enjoyed the traveling as a couple again.

Barley and Millie are both doing well and seem to have buddied up to reduce the boredom during the day. The chickens and the coop have gone to another caring family – largely due to the mess, noise, and possums – though we do miss the birds and their eggs. Michelle does not miss my cursing when I would bolt out of bed to quiet them at sunrise.

We hope that these holidays find you and yours well and hope that the new year brings you peace and prosperity.

Freed family in Maui, November 2010

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