Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Sort of Christmas Letter - From The Husband/Dad

Our little family here in South Jersey sends Christmas cards. We don't write Christmas letters. Not that there's anything wrong with that. We just don't. I'm not sure why, but it's likely because I couldn't fit an entire year of craziness into a 1 page letter. Besides, if you want to know what we've been doing the past year just friend me or my wife on Facebook. Or read our blog.

The reality is my wife deserves a Christmas letter to be written about her and her only. Sure, I know that reading about family vacations, milestones, promotions, and little Johnny skipping college and going right into med school only to become addicted to meth is far more fun to read about than my wife changing thousands of poopy diapers, but my letter would have a different tone.

If there's an award for Mom of the Year and you voted like you do for the American Idol winner, I would text her number until my thumbs bled. See, during the past year while I worked, Megan did the REAL work. She spends her days raising our little 2 year old miracle. (See our IVF history to understand what a miracle really is. I mean, allegedly being born to a virgin would certainly qualify as a miracle, but we have actual proof of what our miracle is.)

Megan kicks ass as a mom. She cares so deeply for her little peanut, and like any parent she only wants the best. But Megan actually provides the best. Talk is cheap. Megan actually walks the walk, too. She has our little girl in gymnastics and music class. They go to museums, the aquarium, story time, the mall to see the fountains, and Starbuck to bond. They paint, color, read, cuddle, watch movies, play with our dog, bake treats for the family, and they include others to join them whenever possible. She teaches Finnley to share, love, trust, and to be brave. She teaches Finnley to make good choices. She teaches her independence. And she is patiently teaching her how to use the potty. Megan works her butt off as a mommy. Many mommy's do. Some mommy's don't.

So if I were to write a Christmas letter to our friends and family, it would be short, sweet, and read something like this:

Merry Christmas friends and family! Megan continues to be the best wife in that she is the best mommy to our little girl. I love her immensely. I am proud of her. I am amazed by how our daughter is growing. I am grateful for all my family provides for each other and for me. My girls make me want to be a better person every day, but many days I fall short.
For 2012 I wish my wife and daughter another great year as you both learn to navigate new territory in these toddler years. And for 2012 our family also wishes your family good health, happiness, love, and joy. May your wishes come true in 2012 and may you thoroughly enjoy all of the blessings of life and the miracles around us every day.

Merry Christmas - The Matt Ritter Family

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Almost December...

I can hardly believe it. Where did November go? Where did this year go? It all seems to whiz by when you have a little one you are trying to grow and mold. I'm not complaining, though. I love this time of year, so I am glad we are right in the thick of it. I also love the age that Finnley currently is, and the older she gets...the more fun I have with her. She is a bright, wild and shy, silly, and funky little sprite. She even provides entertainment when she isn't trying (seriously, if you are against swearing, please do not ask my child to say "truck" or "chocolate". just take my word for that. now, if you like unintentional and well-meant toddler swearing, then ask away.) My kid is simply an awesome kid, mild speech idiosyncrasies or not. I'll take that all day long.

Thanksgiving was a grand family time. Every holiday seems to provide moments that keep on giving for years to come, and in that department this holiday did not disappoint. The big winner? The turkey wasn't cooked this year. Seriously. It still bled when you cut into it. And, "someone" forgot to remove the giblet bag (although that someone claims that they looked for it "everywhere" but just couldn't find it. believe whatever you want.) So, there you have it. Blame the roaster oven for the undercooking part (not my sister, please). The roaster oven didn't do its job according to said directions and plans. Regardless, though, since you can't or shouldn't eat raw turkey...we (with gusto) moved on to plan B. The turkey was carved per the usual, and then, plate by plate, the entire turkey was microwaved. Ta-da! For some reason, that whole scenario just screams "holidays" to me. Where would we be without a comedy of errors and then the following levity to make it all better? Everything else went off without a hitch (well, except for the burnt biscuits...and we CAN blame my sister for that. they taste the same with the bottoms cut off anyway, right? so, no harm / no foul). In the end, the young cousins got to play and bond. We all got time together. All was happy, and all was good. Even the plane rides by myself to and fro with a 2 year old went exceedingly well. We are turning into travel pros, Finnley and I. So, there ya have it...Thanksgiving in a nut shell!

Now we are back home and preparing for the next season. Bit by bit we are turning our charming little home into an even more charming holiday display of peace, love, and joy. With each decoration that gets put upon a shelf or with every light that gets plugged in, my inner Christmas spirit grows. I need to enjoy this time in our cozy element, because soon enough we will be back on a plane and headed to Florida for a new holiday experience: Christmas, Tampa Ritter Style. I cannot wait to see what it entails, but I already know that more fun, naughtiness (shhh...don't tell Santa), bonding, laughter, and swanky-hoopla is to be unraveled. I certainly am all for traditions, but breaking them and embracing new ones can sometimes be just as fulfilling and just as much fun. Life would be pretty stale and dull if we didn't break from monotony and openly take on new experiences, right? I, for one, will excitedly take it all on. So bring it, Florida...bring it!

In between the all the merriment and family time, we have been our usual adventuresome selves. We have played with friends, gone new places, enjoyed an Indian summer (twice over), and just continued to take advantage of our surroundings. There has been walking, and tossing, and running, and painting, and giggling, and eating, and just an overall abundance of all around good times. Life as it should be...according to me, anyway.

So, before I go off to stuff Christmas cards into envelopes and then address them to be cheerily mailed away, I will leave you with a photo montage of our past few weeks. Take it all in, and breathe in a bit of our candy-sweet world. Try hard enough, and you might even believe that you were here in the moment with us. Or something like that...