Our 5th Annual Christmas Letter:
Direct from Minnesota, sent with the warmest of wishes! Yes, I know, a bit of an oxymoron coming from Minnesota. “Warm”…well, at least in thought and in heart! One needs a little added sunshine to get us through these winters. Consider our card a sprinkling of sunshine and warmth for the cold winter ahead. Unless of course, you are one of the lucky few we know that reside in California or Florida. Then by all means, send some sun our way!
Alas, the 2008 Kumar Christmas Letter. Only one of probably fifty you’ll receive. Since we are all busy these days and, let’s face it, there are cookies that need to be baked, I’ve offered a condensed version this year. The short version is that we are still in Otsego, everyone is happy and fine, we had a great summer and Autumn, nothing tragic occurred since last Christmas, we are not yet millionaires and will be less so after the 25th. For those of you with stamina, a more detailed account follows:
Nishad Isaiah and Arun Nicholas had big milestones this year! Nishad, now 3, started pre-school and Arun celebrated his first trip around the sun as he is now 1! Nishad easily transitioned into pre-school, which speaks volumes of his school/classroom environment and love of learning. After visiting 15 schools, touring, observing and seeking out advice of those I trust in the Montessori world, we selected a school and submitted an application. Then the nail biting began. I knew Nishad would be a shoo-in, it was me I was worried about! Ha!
Nishad attends a holistic, private Montessori school, Monday through Friday, for three hours a day. He adores his teachers, friends (now ‘famous’ household names) and all the work he does. At conferences, his teacher told us that he working at a 5-6 year old level. He started reading a few months back and loves to invent stories and put on puppet shows. His calm, peaceful manner is often interrupted these days with sudden bursts of spirited “boyness” that involve leaps, jumps, flips, and non-stop chatter about dump trucks, fire trucks and cars (followed by a statement of, “I would REALLY like…”). Last Spring he boarded undie junction and has since never looked back. (One out of diapers, one to go!) My favorite Nishad quote as of late is: “We don’t eat our friends.” (In regard to being vegetarian.)
Arun is enjoying all the benefits that come along with being “the baby.” It’s as though he knows he is our last and takes full advantage of it. It’s an amazing experience for us as parents- As 1st time parents with Nishad, we were all about milestones. With Arun, we truly are enjoying observing him explore and marvel at his discoveries. Nishad’s 1st year taught us to be humble, patient and that we had so much to learn. Arun has taught us to trust more in ourselves, our instincts, others, to believe in the process of life, like the moon and stars- and yes, that we still have so much to learn! Nishad made us a family; Arun completed it.
Arun enjoys one-on-one time learning and playing with me while his big brother is at school. During this time, he rules the house, imitates behaviors and is all about sorting, dumping and carrying things to new locations for his parents to later discover, about a day late. His new catch phase is “Tickle-Tickle.” He loves to spin around in a circle and toss up his hands in the air and proclaim a proud “GLEE” upon pausing, only to repeat. Thank goodness diapers are so padded. After a few spins around, a loud PLOP from being dizzy occurs.
We had the pleasure of tagging along with Ashish on a business trip to Chicago this May. Ashish was an invited speaker for the BEA Conference, on behalf of United Health Group. It was a short visit, but the boys and I did manage to be a “tourist” in the city I grew so attached to while living in the Chicagoland area for 28 years.
Ashish also went to an Oracle Convention in San Francisco and was able to re-connect with a few good friends that now live on the west coast. Ashish manages a segment of UHG and continues to be valued and busy. I hosted a party in honor of Ashish’s 10-year anniversary in the U.S.A.! Our close friends and neighbors came over for a festival of taste nations! We served up tandori chicken, samosa’s, palak paneer and Indian treats with a cake of course. Other guests were asked to bring a family favorite or dish that represents their ethnicity. It was wonderful- a special tribute to someone who works so hard, accomplished so much and came here with one suitcase, $500.00 and a job offer. Amazing. I am thankful that I live in a day and age that Ashish and I could grow-up on opposite sides of the world, yet find one another.
We also took our annual trek up to Bemidji for a week, as well as a weekend trip to Duluth. By the time Nishad and Arun are 5, I’m sure we’ll have seen every railroad depot in the state! It’s a must on our list to do in Nishad’s eyes. Bemidji’s depot wasn’t very exciting, but on the other hand, Duluth had so much to offer!
Being that late October spawns two birthday’s and another a week after in November, we decided to celebrate in Florida. We spent 2 days at DisneyWorld and 7 days in Melbourne/Cocoa Beach. We celebrated Halloween at Disney’s “Not-so-Scary” Halloween Party. It was a lot of fun and all of us slept well! It was on this trip that we drove three hours to see my Aunt Beverly (yes, my namesake!) in Tampa. It was very exciting as though she has spoken to Ashish many times, she had never met him or the boys. Of course, Election Baby that I am, in the small chance that Obama didn’t win, I had plans of changing our flight plans. I wasn’t coming back! Ha,ha.
December 18th marks our 5th year wedding anniversary (We were married twice! The 2nd time was on November 26th of 2004). I consider myself lucky to be married twice, to the same man I love. This is also 1st year that I’ve been really able to get my photography and design business up and going. I only allow my business to grow at a pace in which our children set. Photography was always something that I put on the back burner due to my involvement in dance and theatre. I’m proud to have it come front and center. I’m honored and humbled to be able to be a part of so many families’ lives, capturing the uniqueness of what makes them so beautiful and the essence of what being a family is all about. It really is a joy!
I’ve channeled my love for journaling to blogging. www.picgalgarden.blogspot.com It’s more than a family milestone site and daily happenings. For me it’s an outlet of endless topics from gardening, cooking, reviews, events, memories, Mommy moments and the ups and downs that make us all human. For so long I avoided blogging and sites such as facebook because Ashish was wary of the security factor. Which, he still is worried about as he has an inside view of internet security on a daily basis. I, on the other hand, toss caution to the wind and write blindly! That is, until something happens to one of our computers- then it’s all about seeking out Ashish!
On a much more serious note, in such uncertain times, we wish you and your family a bit of peace, security and faith – this too shall pass. It is our prayer to you and your family, that you walk softly upon the earth and only make an imprint when you make a statement in efforts to aid another or a cause, remember to keep the word “kind” in humankind, and reflect God’s beauty with a open mind and open heart.
Now more than ever, it isn’t so important as to who you believe in, but that you believe…
Love, Beverly & The Boys