Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Letter 2010

Dear Friends and Family,

Thanks for taking the time to read the 2010 Lapointe family year in review. It has been an eventful year and as we pause to reflect during this holiday season, we cannot help but be grateful for all of the blessings we have received. I must begin by giving credit to Jaime whose blog Christmas letter format I outright stole.

Eric entered into his second year working for the U.S. Dream Academy. Although his job continues to be ensuring that the mentor program is thriving, this year he tried his hand at grant writing and grant management. It turns out he's pretty good at it having won three foundation grants for $100,000 each and a federal grant for $2.5 million over three years! In his words, its pretty good job security.

Ashley continues to love being a stay-at-home mom. The transition from being the mom of one to a mom of two was easier than expected in some ways, and harder than expected in others. The daily routine really hasn't changed much having two kids and Elliott is a very easy but Audrey did experience an adjustment period. Ashley is also volunteering for a non-profit organization called Beads of Courage. Ashley ran the program, which is designed to support and strengthen children with serious illness, at City of Hope and continues to be recognized as a vital asset to the organization.

Audrey really began to display her development and individuality this year. We heard "I'll do it myself" quite a bit. She's now going potty by herself, able to turn on and off lights, putting herself in rest, dressing herself, helping Mommy with dishes & laundry, and being an outstanding big sister to her new little brother. It has been so fascinating, and to be totally honest a little challenging at times, to see areas where she does things differently than we would like. Its not likely to change any time soon so we're adjusting too.

Elliott was born! We can't believe our little guy is already 7 months old. He's just at the age where we are starting to learn about his personality. He's a pretty mellow little guy who takes everything in. He's very tactile (he is a boy after all) whose favorite place to hang out is his exercauser. For as independent as his big sister is, Elliott needs his Mommy cuddle time. Eric usually comes home to Elliott strapped onto Mommy's back in the Ergo. He's creeping across the floor but not sitting up or crawling yet.

As a family, the biggest change this year (other than Elliott obviously) has been our attendance at The Village church in Baltimore. Its a great little church plant about 2 years old. There are a ton of young families who are all looking to grow spiritually as well as relationally (one Sunday we counted 26 adults and 22 children under the age of 4.) Audrey is attending Sunday School instead of hanging out in the nursery (reluctantly sometimes) and Eric and Ashley are in a couples small group where the men meet Wednesday evenings and the women meet Thursday mornings. It has been really great to have your social network also be your spiritual network. Several of the mom's also stay at home so the kids have really been enjoying play dates as well.

Other notable events from 2010 include:

Snowmageddon in February (which actually lead us to The Village)
Attended three amazing weddings: Joni and Matthew, Suzie and Larry & Anna Luisa and Arthur.
Vacations in the Outer Banks, with Uncle Scott and Aunt Laura in Hampton VA, and California (for Ashley and the kids at least)!

Like we said, it has been a blessed year. We are so thankful to you, our family and friends for the outpouring of support, best wishes, and love this year. We wish you and your families a holiday season full of meaningful relationship, celebration, and love.

Merry Christmas

Love Eric, Ashley, Audrey and Elliott

P.S. If you are still reading, here's a few of the Christmas pic outtakes.

Audrey's Picks

Dollar Days '10

Our dear friends the Felicianos joined us this year for Dollar Days at the National Aquarium.

We stood in line for only 20 minutes

Our family pics

My boys
Jelly Fish- still my favorite

Elliott slept on and off in the Ergo

Audrey clung to her daddy and freaked
out when she couldn't see him

Great picture of Eric

Some of the aquatic life:

During Dollar Days the aquarium does not do dolphin shows, but they do open up the
amphitheater so people can see the dolphins play and train. Eric LOVES dolphins, so we watched them while eating lunch and waited for the promised training session.

We finally got our dolphin fix and went back home to hang out in our pjs.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Best Buds

An extension of the last post... just some cute pictures of Audrey and Elliott together.