Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas!

A Christmas letter of sorts....
I had decided last year that I would write an annual Christmas letter like so many of my family and friends choose to do. I was newly engaged and planning the wedding and had nonstop ideas and energy. This year I have been back and forth about whether I would actually sit down and write it. Not for lack of things to say but…I am just so worn out from writing things and planning things and doing things…. I am just zapped!
But, as I continue to go home each day and open my new stack of Christmas cards (most with photos this year!) and I read the upbeat informative letters- I keep thinking that I need to write mine. But the Christmas cards were sent out without a letter and I had just about decided to be a Grinch about the it when suddenly on Friday the 21st of December I am somehow inspired.

2007. What a year! We brought in 2006 in Oklahoma with my family, Kyle and I were newly engaged and beginning to toss around possible wedding dates. By the end of February we had a plan and the planning really got going. In April I flew back to Oklahoma to pick out the dress, once more in August and then suddenly it was Halloween and family was arriving in Florida for the wedding weekend. Wow. That sums up the wedding part of it but a lot of other things happened this year too.

Kyle began working on bigger projects and getting more responsibility at his job designing sprinkler systems. We parked cars for the annual Strawberry Festival in our town for the second year in a row – thanks to Kyle’s office’s great location near the fair grounds.

My company had an amazing year this year. In fact it was the best and most successful year in the company’s 32 year history. So it was great to be a part of such a successful year. One of the principal partners retired this year as well. And as always we continue to enjoy ourselves here in Lakeland, especially now as the baskets of goodies keep arriving daily. We are all happy and overloaded with sugar by 5 o’clock. I don’t know if I have been hungry for dinner once this month!

Also this year I studied for and took my NCIDQ licensing exams which once passed will make me a licensed Interior Designer. This will be a huge step for my career. It is a 3 part test taken over 2 days. Once a part is passed you do not have to take it again it is almost identical to the Architecture licensing test just with fewer sections. I should find out my results in January but am being neutral as I know many people take it several times and most of my training has been on an Architectural emphasis and I found myself while studying somewhat less prepared when it came to strictly Interior Design information. Maybe I should just go get my Architecture degree…seriously…
Actually, I am not at all interested in Architecture as a career and I am excited to get my focus more directed towards interiors, and my license will really help me accomplish that.

The rest of the year was mainly spent in preparation for the BIG DAY and when it finally came it was just wonderful.

Lots of things have happened since then. Kyle and I went to Maui and Oahu, Hawaii for our honeymoon. Once we got back we prepared for our trip home for Thanksgiving. And we have been back for a few weeks to wrap up some deadlines, gain a few holiday pounds and now we are off again for a week in South Dakota.

This will be my first Christmas to ever be away from my family. It was hard to think about at first but now I am excited and ready to get to know my new family! They seem like a lively and fun bunch of people, and I am so excited to spend time and just fall in love with the whole big gang. I have told Kyle that when it comes to family Christmases his is definitely a different experience than mine. Where mine is a checklist of whose house we go to on which night until the whole thing is over. He has Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the same group! And as his parents are still together, there is only one set of parents to go and visit. Wow! What a novel idea! Hee hee… I love my big crazy dysfunctional family but I am excited to see how these normal people do it. I can’t wait to pack my bag and travel up to the Black Hills for a very very Merry Christmas!
Talk to you all when I get back!!
Lots of hugs and a Happiest of Holidays to each of you!

Leslie Hall