I actually sent out a Christmas letter this year! I love getting letters from friends, and hearing how their year has gone! It’s so much fun!
So, since I consider all of you my friends, I thought I’d share our letter here too. Merry Christmas, friends!! (And if you’ve got a link to your Christmas letter, I’d love to read it! Share it in the comments below!!)
Make sure you read to the end! I MIGHT be giving away a $200 gift card!! 😉
Merry Christmas to our favorite family and friends! (That’s YOU!)
I feel a little bit like I’m finally coming out of the fog of babies. Nathan just turned two, moved out of his crib, and is generally sleeping through the night, so I have a little more energy to do things like write Christmas letters. I like this new phase of parenthood!
I honestly can’t remember the last time we did this, so hey, in case you didn’t know, we live just outside of Sacramento now. We’ve been here just over two years, and we really like it. There are trees here! And Fall! Where the leaves turn red and yellow and fall to the ground and everything! It’s magical. And a little different than what we were used to in Southern California. Northern California has been good to us, and we are really enjoying raising our family here, though it’s hard to be so far from family & friends. (But we have a guest room with a very comfortable air mattress. Only the best for our guests. Come visit us!)
Jon has been working as the Music Director at a local school since we moved here. In fact, it was the reason we moved! He loves his job – he works with a fantastic staff, is serving on the school board, and is a much-loved teacher at the school. Just today we were shopping at Target when we heard a couple kids screaming “MR. PRATT!!! MR. PRATT IS HERE!!!” So basically, it’s like I live with a celebrity. When Jon’s not teaching music during the day, he’s teaching piano after school, heading up our essential oil business, and hanging out with our family. We are pretty happy at home, watching movies, playing games, and singing every hymn you’ve ever heard. It’s not a bad life.
Emily is four years old now (though she will tell you “ALMOST FIVE”, which is actually true because she turns five the week after Christmas), and just as energetic as ever. The other day we had some friends over and they watched our daughter twirl and sing and run around the house and asked if we had given her sugar right before they got there. To which I laughed and replied, “Nope, this is just how she is! Every. Day.” Emily basically talks non-stop from the second she gets up until the time she goes to bed…and sometimes she talks in her sleep, too. She loves to read books, play with dolls, and color. And talk. Did I mention the talking? Truthfully, Emmy is a bundle of joy, and she is so fun to be around. She’s also strong-willed and thinks she knows everything (we have NO IDEA where she gets this from…), so she gives us a run for our money. But we are so grateful for the enthusiastic, genuinely joyful way she approaches life. She teaches me a lot about how special the little things are.
Nathan just turned two, and he is in full-blown two-year-old mode! All of a sudden, he learned the words “No” and “Why”, and those are his two most-often-used words. Go figure. He is actually a fairly compliant and obedient child, which is a whole new experience for us as parents this time around. As is the climbing. Nathan thinks everything is a jungle gym, or a MOUNTAIN, and so he tries his best to conquer it all. Or stick his fingers in the electric sockets. Or lick the cords behind the TV. The boy is so fast and I literally cannot anticipate what craziness he is going to try next. When Emily was 2, I remember being able to sit her down with a few books while I changed out the laundry real quick, or put something away in another room. Not Nathan! If I leave the room, he sees it as an opportunity to risk his life doing something insane. Boys are fun. He loves trucks and cars and Mickey Mouse and his “Sissy”. He adores Emily, and she adores him right back, which is so much fun. Until somebody pulls the other’s hair.
I am so grateful to be able to stay home with my wild and crazy children. This year we kinda sorta started homeschooling. Which basically means that we read a lot of books, do a few crafts, and go to the zoo a lot. We’re using this year to figure out what works for us (and what doesn’t!) before we dive headfirst into Kindergarten next year. In my “free time”, I write blog posts and eBooks in hopes of encouraging other moms in the trenches. I’m working on a real book too, but it might be a while before you see it on the shelves anywhere, since that “free time” we talked about earlier is pretty non-existent. (See the above paragraphs regarding the talkative preschooler and the daredevil toddler.) I also do those fun mom things like laundry and dishes and making dinner. It gets crazy over here, you guys.
Chances are, if you’re getting this letter, we haven’t seen you in a while. So you should know that we miss you! And I was serious about the air mattress. It’s very comfortable, and we even have a fancy sheet set to go with it. Two little kids make travel a little difficult for us right now, but we are always happy to have visitors! So feel free to come hang out for a weekend and we’ll take you to exotic places like the zoo and the Capitol and our backyard. We are super fun people.
We are celebrating this Christmas season by hanging out around the house, reading lots of Christmas books, watching way too many Hallmark Christmas movies, and just spending time together talking about what Christmas really means. We are the most grateful for our Savior, who came to Earth for our benefit, to save us from our many, MANY sins and restore our relationship with the Father. He is the giver of good gifts, and we are very aware that our blessings come from His hand. In this season, especially, we are reminded of all He’s given to us, and how He walks with us through the good times AND the hard times. We’ve had plenty of both, and still, God has shown Himself faithful.
We love and miss you ALL!! Praying you have the merriest of Christmases, and enjoy the time with the people you love the most.
Jon, Kayse, Emily, & Nathan
P.S. One more picture because LOOK HOW CUTE.
P.P.S. Will you take five minutes and fill out our 2015 Reader Survey? This is my favorite thing of the year, because it gives me a little insight into how to BEST ENCOURAGE YOU this year! I have some big plans for the year and I want to make sure they line up with your needs! (Plus, anyone who fills out the survey is entered to win a $200 gift card to Erin Condren!!)
Kayse Pratt serves Christian women as a writer + designer, creating home + life management resources that help those women plan their days around what matters most. She’s created the most unique planner on the market, helped over 400 women create custom home management plans, and works with hundreds of women each month inside her membership, teaching them how to plan their days around what matters most. When she’s not designing printables or writing essays, you’ll find Kayse homeschooling her kids, reading a cheesy novel with a giant cup of tea in hand, or watching an old show from the 90’s with her husband, who is her very best friend.