For us, 2010 was busier than 2009, and we expect that trend will continue. We've started traveling more with Moira, which included family trips to Arizona for our Walker's aunt Sharon's 60th birthday celebration, a trip to New York to see Emily's graduation showcase, road trips to Portland and Vancouver, attending Walker's brother AJ's wedding to Tricia in Michigan, and Thanksgiving in LA with Sharon, her daughter Emily, Walker's brother Aaron and his wife Aubrey, as well as Moira's first trip to Disneyland with Walker's father Steve.
Road trips? With a toddler? What could they possibly be thinking? Walker got a new Porsche 911 Turbo, and needed to get through the break-in period before the autocross schedule for the year started. It's yellow, and has room for a toddler saying "Whee!" and "Faster, Daddy!" in the back seat. Two thousand miles in two and a half weeks when you're also working and raising a child is a bit of a challenge, especially when there's traffic during much of your free time. When traffic cleared, though, the car was happy to give hints of how ridiculously fast it was going to be. It was the perfect vehicle for helping Walker through his 40th birthday this year.
In addition to back seat driving, Moira has taken to writing and drawing, picking out her clothes for the day, swimming, going to the potty (and especially flushing), telling stories to herself (that we are not supposed to interrupt or listen to), practicing her gymnastics (which she often calls "ballet"), and most recently, skiing. Meanwhile, her parents have taken to getting what rest they can when they can, and figuring out ways of tiring her out. She currently loves to scrub dishes, which will be helpful with the upcoming holidays.
Last year, as usual, we traveled to Vancouver for Halloween. We were minutes from going out for trick-or-treating when Moira was upset by one of her fellow trick-or-treater's mask. This year, we had a dry run at Google. After a slow start, she really got into it, running from desk to desk, saying "Trick or Treat" and "Happy Halloween". She repeated this performance in Vancouver, filling her pumpkin to the brim. Next year, she's either carrying her own bag, or learning about service fees and the value of chocolate.
This year also saw the passing of Shannon's Nana. We all miss her, but were happy she got to know her great granddaughter and her newly born great grandson before her passing.
When she wasn't running after Moira, Shannon did lots of sewing, including a quilt she has been working on for over 15 years. She also started volunteering with a new parenting organization, continued to volunteer with Norwescon, hosted a number of popular "messy art" playdates for Moira's friends, and expanded her canning repertoire to include tomato sauce, ketchup and salsa. We now know what to do if we find ourselves with dozens of green tomatoes.
We'll again be hosting back-to-back family Christmas gatherings, although this year we'll have help from Steve and Liz (assuming they don't change their plans after reading this). After that, we're hoping for a couple months calm before the insanity starts up again.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2011,
Walker, Shannon & Moira
Coming next episode: Tacos and Moira's Adventures in London!