Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Reese family!
We spent New Year’s Day 2014 with 60% of the family barfing. This was an omen for the rest of 2014. Had I known it at the time, we would have spent the New Year having barf bags surgically sewn onto our chests. (Our middle child indulged in the raw vegetable tray at the New Year’s party before one such…..how should I say this…..outburst.)
Here is a brief summary of everyone in the Reese gang:
Jackson got hissing cockroaches this past year for Christmas. I don’t know what to say about that. Except that they are gross. And it wasn’t my idea. We fulfilled his lifelong dream and went to a Billy Joel concert. Speaking of that, Jackson has become quite the piano prodigy. This year he was a finalist in Hurricane’s Got Talent playing Billy Joel’s New York State Of Mind on the piano. It was beautiful enough to make a grown man cry. He has taken up CrossFit with Mel and now they speak CrossFit language together while the rest of us have no idea what they’re talking about. (Push jerks? Thrusters? Kipping? Are you making these words up as you go along?)
This is Dani’s first year at the intermediate school and she is one of the piano players for the school choir. (They are the only school in the area that uses student pianists.) She earned the Great American Award. (Which isn’t a huge surprise because we’ve bred the kids to be great Americans their whole lives by feeding them a steady diet of apple pie and bald eagles.) She almost died on April 1st when I skillfully installed an air horn onto our refrigerator for April Fools Day. We’re thankful she’s still with us.
Kylee is the top dog at school this year being in 5th grade. She did Science Olympiad at school with Dani and they both won awards. She continues to take piano lessons along with the rest of the offspring and did an absolutely stellar job of helping keep our garden alive this year. She is the peacemaker of the house and is so compassionate and giving. It’s up for debate which she loves more: her family or her sock monkey collection. She is a connesour of Old Maid and Mancala.
Aunt Jackie the Poodle
Our dog Aunt Jackie is cute and loving………and mischievous and disobedient and has a raging addiction to sugar. If you take your eyes off your food for more than two seconds it will be in Aunt Jackie’s mouth. He is an avid kitchen counter surfer and he had a light bulb moment one night when he realized that he could pee upstairs and then not have to go outside in the cold wind. From then on the stairs are barricaded at night.
Mel and I received the Congressional Medal of Honor for surviving our sixth year of teaching the 8 year olds in primary at church. She has been working as a nurse forever but recently went back to school to get her Bachelor’s Degree and finished a 2-year program in three months! After years of working in the Intensive Care Unit she became a nurse navigator for the Surgical Assessment Unit at Intermountain Healthcare. (Try saying that ten times fast. Or even one time slow.) She will now be starting nurse practitioner schooling. I have been so impressed with Mel and Jackson’s dedication to staying healthy. These guys wake up at 4:45am to go to CrossFit before going to work and school. She agreed to stay married to me when I overcooked our Thanksgiving turkey to the point that it looked like it survived a nuclear attack.
I’ve worked for the University of Utah Dialysis Program as a social worker for 10 years now. One benefit to covering four dialysis centers is that I get to go to Mesquite, Nevada which has a Popeye’s Chicken restaurant. And I believe their fried chicken is made by angels. During the year I’ve been happy to work with Altra, maker of some mighty fine running shoes. In February I set a goal to run a 100 miler each month for a year so I’m now at 10 for the year. I’ve done some scenic races like Grand Canyon 100 and Zion 100. But also some I organized myself like a run from Salt Lake to Provo and back, and a 100 miler at the high school track in July when temps reached 107 degrees. After 100 milers runners earn a belt buckle. (Spoiler alert: you can buy a belt buckle at Walmart for $11.99 and NOT have to run 100 miles.)
This year we were fortunate to take a few family vacations. Last Christmas our family present was a trip to Universal Studios and Knott’s Berry Farm which we went to in January. We went on rides, tried to not become certifiably crazy driving in California traffic, and spent $32 (no, not a typo) for a crappy pizza at Knott’s Berry Farm because there was nothing cheaper. Ahhh, the sweet smell of tourist robbery.
A few months ago we went on a short cruise to Ensenada, Mexico. It’s hard to be humble about the following fact: during the three days we were on the ship I consumed 19 (no, not a typo either) ice cream cones. I consider it one of my finest achievements. We really enjoyed getting to see some of the culture of Ensenada, spending time together, and eating enough churros to make our stomachs beg for mercy.