Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Slightly-Too-Revealing Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from the Reese family! We have had an incredible year full of crazy things we couldn’t have predicted in a million years. No, really. The only thing that would have been less predictable would be Celine Dion showing up at our front door asking to sing us Christmas songs. (I would have told her thanks, but no thanks.)

Kylee: She has really loved being in second grade. She has taken off in piano and had fun doing dance this year with Danica. If Kylee could only do one thing for the rest of her life, it would be riding her bike. Recently she asked if I would split a peanut butter bar with her. When she broke it in half, she asked if I wanted the bigger piece or the smaller piece. I told her she could decide. She said “I’ll take the bigger piece so that you can stay healthy.” She is missing her two front teeth which is basically the cutest thing you will ever see.

Danica: She has had a blast in third grade with her teacher Mr. Clay (aka the Brad Pitt of Hurricane Elementary School. Okay. I’ve never heard anyone refer to him as that, I’m just saying. The kids adore him.) In February she got very sick and was diagnosed with rheumatic fever which her doctor said he hasn’t seen in 35 years. She will need a fatty penicillin shot regularly for many more years. This can damage heart valves but thankfully her heart tests have been coming out good. She was in the community musical Seusical this summer and her performance as a Who Girl was worthy of a Tony Award.

Jackson: He has become a piano guru and is now playing in church. He excels in school and recently won the Hoop Shoot Contest for the school and now moves on to regionals. He knows every obscure stat imaginable about every sport. I’m hoping he’ll hook me up with basketball tickets when he works for ESPN. He was ecstatic in September when we added a new member to the family: a boxer dog named Ace who takes up more of Jackson’s bed than Jackson.

Melanie: And the award for Craziest Year Imaginable goes to……Melanie Reese! In March she fell in our house and broke both (yes amigo, BOTH) of her elbows. FYI: you can do pretty much nothing with two broken elbows. I joked with her that if she ever got sassy I would put her dinner in a blender and she could drink it with a straw. (She never got sassy.) For about a week she was completely dependent on people for everything from eating to scratching her nose, but started improving after having surgery. She went on a family church trip back east over the summer and we ran the St. George Marathon together in October.

Me: My tooth extraction a few weeks ago suddenly seems like a ride on the back of a unicorn through a field of tulips when thinking about what Mel went through. I am enjoying life as a dialysis social worker. I had fun getting more involved with running, and ran 16 half marathons, full marathons, or ultramarathons this year. I got daring and went for the whole enchilada in November: I ran a 100 mile race called the Javelina Jundred. It took 29 hours to finish this little excursion and I promptly threw up on my shoes afterward. (Sorry, too much information for a Christmas card?)

In typical Reese Christmas card style, I thought I’d share a few journal entries with you:

Monday, March 28th 2011
After Mel broke her elbows I took the whole week off work to help take care of Mel and the kids and the house. Mel had a doctor’s appointment that morning. When we walked in a few people said to her “Oh boy, I’ve heard about you!” when they saw her arms wrapped up. When we stopped at the store afterward a few random strangers said “Oh boy, I’ve heard about you!” Apparently she was the talk of the town. After school Dani had her appointment to get her penicillin shot. She was not thrilled. She said “I hate that shot! It feels like getting a rattle snake bite!”

Saturday, April 2nd 2011
Jackson participated in the SHAC Triathlon. He was really excited, and wanted to do the Beginner instead of the Kids triathlon. He was in line at the pool before the start of the race and said “Dad, where are all the kids?” And….there weren’t any. He was surrounded by adults. I’m sure that made him feel a little nervous.

At the awards ceremony afterward the announcer said “We only had one male in the 10 and under age bracket. I give this kid mad props for doing the race!” And then she announced Jackson’s name! He got to go on the stage and get a medal and $15 gift card. We were so proud of him. It was a really fun experience.

Sunday, April 3rd 2011
Lazy day watching conference. Mel had a big accomplishment – she got herself dressed – all by herself! Considering how things had been going, this was really cool. I was very happy for her. It has been hard to see her struggling with even the simplest of daily tasks.

Tuesday, April 5th 2011
Kylee is the Spotlight of the Week in school so we made a poster board for her and she filled out some questions about herself. On Favorite Thing To Do With Dad she wrote “Go on bike rides with him.” On Favorite Thing To Do With Mom she wrote “Help her eat.” We thought that was funny. (The kids really have been good about helping out since she isn’t able to do anything.)

May 12, 2011
Mel left work a little early so she woke me up early in the morning and said “You have a problem upstairs.” I went up and Jackson was sitting there watching TV and there were two piles of barf on the floor. It was yucky and smelly. We’re not sure why he threw up, but he felt fine the whole day Monday. We kept him home from school because we didn’t know if he had the flu, but he didn’t have any problems after that. Jackson – if you’re reading this when you’re older, remember to be nice to your dad because I scrubbed your chunky throw up out of the carpet.

September 8, 2011
Mel gave me a haircut that night and ran the clippers up my entire head before realizing that she didn’t have the attachment on so she went right down to the scalp. I would have been really angry if it wasn’t so funny. We went over to Renee’s house and she did the best she could to repair the damage but I still look ridiculous. I forgive her though. I guess you get what you pay for.

October 25, 2011
Mel said that a lady was coming over to pick up some Scentsy. So when I heard someone knock on the door I went to answer it. It was this lady maybe in her 50s and she said “Is Melanie here? Is she….your mom?” I’m sure she felt a little sheepish when I told her I’d go get my wife.

December 2, 2011
Danica admitted that she snuck out of her room a few nights ago to sleep on the couch because she didn’t want to sleep in her room. She said she fell asleep on the recliner but it was too uncomfortable so she moved to the couch. She fell asleep on the couch but woke up after slipping onto the floor. So she moved to the love seat. Yep. She fell on the floor again. So she decided to just go back to her bed.

We are so thankful for all of our blessings as a family and we’re grateful for such wonderful extended family and friends. We hope you have an amazing New Year! (And we hope Celine Dion won’t show up at your door offering to sing.) Love, The Reese Gang


  1. Great family photo! Merry Christmas to each of you!

  2. um your family photo is AMAZING :D I love this years recap and the kids sound like they're all little awesome beings :)

  3. So fun to read Cory! You truly have an amazing family and despite all the trials you faced in 2011 you managed to stick together and come out of it stronger.

    Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  4. Great photo and loved reading the entire years story. What a great family and what great children....but I would expect nothing left.

    Love to each of you ~ The Neals

  5. This was great!! What a blessed year! Bumps along the way but sounded good overall :)

    Merry Christmas!!

  6. this was so adorable and meaningful - what a great post to look back on in a year or 5 down the road!

  7. Both elbows? Ouch! That sounds painful. Your kids sounds like they're pretty much awesome and doing great. 2012 will only be better still!

  8. That's an incredible family photo! But it sounds like someone else adores Mr. Clay too. But seriously, I'm sure he's awesome. Have a great 2012! Michael and I love your blog! You do a great job with it.

  9. Well, you HAVE had quite a year. 16 BIG races, and all the family stuff too! You have proven to be a dedicated runner and family man, Cory.

    Have a great Christmas!

  10. This is awesome (the sharing of your family that is, not that Mel broke both her elbows - owie!). Been so great following you this year and getting to know more about you, you are truly inspiring!! Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful, jumping, family :).

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