{peace & hope} from the Carlson Family

Hope everyone is enjoying the cookie making, tree trimming, choral singing, party gathering, performance attending, family photo-ing, and...phew, anyone else tired yet?

Our family took a moment (a quick one, as we had a party to get to) to reflect on our past year together and the summary is below:

Kevin and Tracy are still employed! Kevin's company appreciated him so much, they wanted to see him spread his wings and fly....over to a new company: Alter Domus (Senior Finance Manager). He's enjoying his new job, especially since the team was taken to Italy & France for a weekend. Tracy celebrated 10 years at BMO, Event-Based Marketing (Senior Manager & Team Lead) and sneaked in some international travel as well: Toronto, Nassau, and Toronto. There were more Toronto visits than listed, but you get the idea.

Outside of work, Kevin has been flexing his volunteer muscles with coaching the boys in baseball, (flag) football, soccer, and basketball. Tracy's volunteer time has been with the boys' school as a Room Parent, Chair of Family Involvement Group, and Co-Chair of our Fall Fundraiser. We have loved sharing some of our time in the community and have been truly blessed with great friendships along the way.

Over the summer, we started a renovation of our kitchen, stairway, fireplace, and floors. Through the three months we learned two important things: our kids are incredibly resilient; Kevin and Tracy are not. 

Thankfully several friends opened their homes to us, which the boys happily entered to play with their "new" toys. Everyone's kindness meant we avoided living in a death trap, as living without railings on your stairs and landings made us live in constant fear of a child slipping and falling from the 2nd or 3rd floor. Not to mention the house was without beds, furniture, and covered in dust.

Luckily, we love the change and are excited to now fit more than one person at a time in our kitchen area!

The boys are now both enjoying South Loop Elementary School in Kindergarten and Grade 2. Kiefer likes to take books to school to share with his friends (which we love). Though he tends to pick the books largest in scale and weight (which we love less). We may need to get him a larger backpack to accommodate. While Chase is doing well in school, he only wants to discuss sports and the iPhone he is excited to receive...when he turns twelve.

The highlight of the year was our family trip to Disney (with Tracy's mom and brother's family). The boys fought Darth Vader, hung with Storm Troopers, raced cars, and rode an Avatar Banshee (but please don't mention the Banshee to Kiefer, he was a heartbreaking .01 inches short). And there were a lot of matching shirts - Kevin was thrilled.

Thanks for taking a trip down memory lane with us!

While we need to scoot off to another Christmas festivity, we wish everyone a wonderful holiday and hope to hear from you soon!

Happy Holidays,
Kevin, Tracy, Chase (8), and Kiefer (6)


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