30 December 2006

rich... and I mean filthy

If only I had a dollar for the number of times this year that I said,
"No thank you, Cole. That's off limits..."

... A year-end thought by Abi T.

29 December 2006

23 December 2006


"Let it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow," we beseeched...

...did it ever!

warm december

From 12/15: an unseasonably toasty winter day...

15 December 2006

the letter '06

Maya, Abi, Paul, Cole - December '06

It seems like it was some time last week that I sat down at this desk and struggled to write about 2005, an exceptionally difficult year in our family story. I know I say it every year, but I can’t believe it is already time to sit, reflect and write once again. Looking back, I would say that finally – thankfully – we came up for air in 2006; we have been treading water ever since. Truthfully, it has been challenging at times, but we have been blessed with the big picture. We leave this year encouraged and stronger – with rock hard arms and abs (figurative, not literal… sigh).

This was definitely the year that Maya became a little girl. In a few short months, she parted with her pampers, crib and Passy, uncovering a real person – with likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses and a will (oh my). Our daughter, who is just short of three, possesses a remarkable knowledge of U.S. geography, and along with a stuffed bear, she cuddles with her bible as she drifts off to sleep each night (I’m serious). Princess Maya is funny, sassy, resilient, creative, articulate, methodical and loving. She can whine and throw tantrums with the best of them, she adores her grandparents and baby brother, she greets strangers with a wave and a smile, and she can out-talk ANYONE.

Sweet, bedimpled Cole is a boy’s boy. He is a fearless, rough-and-tumble owner of 7½ teeth and a BIG fan of water, animals, the outdoors, milk, puddles and dirt. At 18 months, he rarely reaches noon with a clean shirt, and he loves to wrestle and play “Huh-bam” with his sister and dadda (a charming game in which Paul tosses the kids from unbelievable heights to the bed or the couch). This year, Cole learned to walk, began to talk, and he wakeboarded for the first time! Everyday we learn something new about this passionate little man of few words. He is thoughtful, kind, and his smile, hugs and kisses are plentiful and priceless.

Paul and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary in April, and in May, we took the plunge and decided to leave the kiddos for the first time. We were rewarded with six rejuvenating days in the British Virgin Islands, where two dear friends exchanged their wedding vows. We basked in the beauty and silence of paradise and enjoyed lots of frosty, fruity beverages too… yum!

As far as our children are concerned, Paul takes the prize for “Best Dadda on the Planet,” with his extraordinary, kid-launching skills and his mad mixes at Tschetter family dance parties. He continues to learn the elusive balance of life and work as he now runs and owns two businesses, ServiceFirst and 303 Sedan. He has sacrificed a lot and worked hard to care and provide for our family. Amazingly, he found a little time to golf this year, but not nearly enough to play basketball or to ski (there is always 2007, right?). I am blown away by his dedication, determination and devotion to our family, to his friends and to his work, and I can honestly say that I love and respect him more and more each year (especially since he decided to keep the beard he donned while we were in the islands!!).

Earlier this year, I began a cathartic journey in self-discovery and found a fantastic outlet for my thoughts and photos in my personal blog, “Just Start” and our family blog, “CAMP Tschetter.” Over the summer, I painted just because, began volunteering for a grief and loss support group for children, grew to love four captivating sisters, and this fall, I completed my second marathon. Since then, I turned 30, started a business, Eden’s Birth , began teaching childbirth classes and for the first time, witnessed a mother give birth, which has forever changed the course of my life. I am finding my footing once again, beyond my primary roles of wife and mommy, embracing my imperfections and slowly but surely, learning to love my “new and improved” (post-babies, post-twenties) figure.

Our family has endured uncertainty, transformation, struggles and triumphs this year. Friends and family have come and gone, and many relationships have changed and transitioned around and about us. Very little is the same today as it was yesterday. We have witnessed births and deaths, beginnings and ends. Almost daily, we are humbled; all the while, we are blessed. Our Father is good. He continues to be loving, merciful and faithful.

We pray that you will know and experience His goodness, His love, His mercy and His faithfulness this Christmas and New Year. We thank God for you and hope you will stay in touch.

~Paul, Abi, Maya and Cole