The silence broken

The title of this post refers to an activity revival on the Darais Family Blog circuit and not, as my brother incorrectly inferred, to the after effects of an excessively bean-y meal.

With that all clear, we can discuss more exciting things–like 2011 in retrospect. We did not do any Christmas cards this year, and since Abe and I had fun reminiscing today about the highlights and blessings we’ve experienced in the past 12 months, here are a few of our favorite memories from 2011:

  • Lydia’s birth!!! Thanks to the expertly administered epidural, Lydia’s actual birth was not only joyful but discomfort-free, and I can’t remember ever being happier in my life than during the birth process. I will forever love Abe, our wonderful doctor and fabulous nurses for helping that experience be so spiritual and beautiful.
  • Moving to Utah. Abe got the promotion he only dreamed about as a distant and not-so-realistic possibility, and a week later we found ourselves in Utah. Thanks to his dad and Suzanne for taking us in for six lovely weeks, and thanks to his mom for allowing us to¬† live in her house until we found our own place. We loved living in both places. We are sad to leave our fabulous ward on Capitol Hill, but we hope to stay in touch with our friends there for a long time.
  • Visits from our friends! We had so much fun when Jean and Sherelle visited us prior to Lydia’s birth, and seeing them again in Boston was a highlight of our leaf-peeping trip this fall. We also loved having Dan and Preethi come visit; I loved getting some live time with Preethi (although not as much as I’d like!) and Lydia enjoyed falling in love with their adorable son, Nat. Thalia’s visit from South Africa was a highly anticipated thrill for us, and my only regret is that she couldn’t stay for years. Most recently, we had a blast when Candace and Ben came down from Idaho. We had a great weekend anticipating the arrival of their soon-to-be-born baby girl. Of course, Clark’s visits are always cause for great rejoicing, and now that both Jere and David are far away (Seattle and Boston respectively), we love it when they are in town, too. We hope 2012 be filled with more visits from our beloved friends–especially since we are now permanently settled. (Yes, this is your invitation to come visit us!)
  • We want to thank Tom and Suzanne for our fun vacation in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts to see the leaves in their autumn glory. We also loved the chance to see David (Abe’s brother) in his new home turf at Harvard.
  • And, of course, watching our gorgeous daughter grow and develop is a continual joy to us. We love her so much and are so thankful for her presence in our lives. We are already better people because of her, and the journey is just beginning. We love you, sweet baby Lydia!

Now for some pictures! Abe passed around the Christmas collection plate in my behalf and procured a family-funded camera that is truly spectacular. I love it so much! Thanks to everyone who so generously donated to the cause. Here are some pictures of Christmas 2011 (taken with my brand new camera!):

Lydia is mesmorized by her new storybook from Grams and Grandpa

The day after Christmas we tore down the decorations and moved almost all of our stuff to our new house:

We could not and would not have moved so fast without the help of my amaaaaaazing brother, Clark! Abe and I were both dragging, but Clark decided that we were going to move that day whether we wanted to or not. He kept telling me that organization didn’t matter and that the move was all about volume. So I took his advice and threw everything in boxes willy nilly. Here is the result:

And now we’re all settled in. Thanks to my mother’s incredible organizational skills, Abe’s tireless work, Clark’s determination, Tom’s kind help and Lydia’s sweet cooperation, we are moved! I did contribute a little more to moving than Clark expected; he remembered me pinning quotes from War and Peace on a cork board in the corner while he, my mom, and one of my dear friends did all the heavy lifting to move me into my college apartment. I hope I wasn’t a slacker to that degree this time around, but in any case, I am grateful to be settled in. Thanks to everyone who has helped us, I can now lie in bed an blog!