Hello all! My foray into the personal blogging world comes on the heels of the receipt of holiday newsletter from one of my favorite people(yes, Nadine, I am talking about you). I have always thought that it would be really neat to do a holiday newsletter but at a time when I can’t even get Christmas cards out to anyone before Christmas, I have never quite mastered the newsletter thing. I also keep thinking that there is nothing that I have to talk about that would merit a newsletter. But after reflecting over my latest Christmas card, I realized that this year has been quite a year for the Hoffman family. So, whether you think that our 2011 warrants a newsletter or not, I hope that you read on to see what I hope will become a regular blog. I will never promise that my wit is extraordinary, though I think I am quite funny at times, or that what I have to say is earth shattering, but I have learned quite a few lessons this year, and one of the most important ones, is to not be afraid to take a risk. The results can be pretty amazing.
This year started out as any other, wishing that we had more, did more, knew more, etc more. But quite a few changes have taken place that I am pretty proud of, and I have to say, that I have never been able to sit down and realize that I don’t want or need more of anything. Over the summer, Jamie decided to attend a school in Orlando. He lost his job a couple of years ago and has never quite recovered(financially or emotionally), so we thought that this might be a good avenue for him. He stayed with his sister while in Orlando for what was to be a one year long program. By the four month mark, he was home for good. And I have to tell you, I am so glad. It is easy to take someone for granted when you have been together as long as Jamie and I have(20 years – and no, I am not that old!) But since he has been home, I realized just how much I missed having him around. We fight like crazy, but that is one of the things that we do well! He was having a hard time adjusting to not having a job, of which we are so thankful for my Uncle Terry for getting him one two weeks ago, so we had a hard time re-adjusting to one another. But, I have to say, I have never loved him more(don’t tell him I said that!). One thing that Jamie and I never argue about is how wonderful our kids are. This year they have grown like weeds – and if you have seen Nathan lately you realize that I mean the weed that Jack planted for a beanstalk!. He turned 12 three weeks ago and is hovering around 5’9″. He is so skinny, but just the cutest thing you have ever seen. His passion in life is video gaming. I have been on him forever to not play them so much, but get the kid talking about tech stuff and the gaming world and it’s like your talking to an advanced degree engineering student, so I have started to lay off a little(just a smidge). He got the opportunity to go to the Cooperstown, NY area this summer with his boy scout troop for a week long camping trip. He contracted a viral infection the first day and spent 48 hours in the nurse’s building before having to come home(this was the doctor’s trip where the stretch marks on his back were first noticed – yes, stretch marks!) He is still a straight A student in his first year of middle school(well, there was that one B, but I am mentally blocking that!) He was accepted into an academic summer camp last summer at Ferrum College in Virginia, but didn’t attend due to the New York camping trip(which didn’t quite pan out either). He has just ranked up for the second time in his boy scout troop and is really just an all around great kid. Allie, is the light of her daddy’s eye. According to Jamie, she can do no wrong. Ask me, and I have a completely different story for you! She is someone who’s every emotion is laid out bare for you and she gives herself fully to everything. It leaves me pretty exhausted, but I am so excited to see what she becomes. She will turn 6 in January and started Kindergarten this year. She is someone who has a best friend wherever we go, even if she can’t remember their name. Her passion in life is Taylor Swift and anything music. She is asking Santa Claus for a guitar this year(I think he was listening) so maybe next year she will have a record contract to report about.
This year, I took a risk by applying for a job that I wasn’t nearly qualified enough for, but wanted like crazy. And guess what, well most of you already know, I got it. I have been the tasting room manager for Layton’s Chance winery since July and am just starting to feel like I have a clue what I am doing. I have met the greatest people through this job. Some co-workers, some volunteers, and some customers. The Layton family is doing amazing things and I am very proud to be a part of it. I am going to give a great big shout out to Pam here. Pam joined us in August and it has been so amazing to get to know her. She decided to start doing a blog, and I have to tell you that I was very jealous because I thought it was such a great idea. So, yes Pam, I am stealing your idea but will never be as good as you!
We have been blessed to have our family more than ever this year. Jamie’s parents and sister helped support him while in Florida(and still), my parents opened their home to us during this transition amd have been there for me far more than the parenting duty requires. I am happy to say that right now, at this very moment, I have never been happier.
I hope that you continue to follow the lives of the Hoffman’s through my regular blog(if I can keep it up) and see what we are up to at all times. My next project – knitting! I have about 1/16th of a scarf done so far and have only noticed one gaping mistake, but will wear it proudly – if it ever gets done!
Happy holidays and we hope your 2012 is as amazing as you!