Vikeslands, 2010

So I’m definitely a bit late on a Christmas letter, or even a New Year’s letter, but better late than never.  And though a real picture and a real live Christmas card is certainly better than a blog post, better a blog post than nothing.  So without further ado, here is your very own copy of the Vikesland 2010 report.


At the beginning of the year, we were living in a fantastic little apartment on Greenlake.  Of all the idyllic places to live, it’s pretty high on the list.  The month had some big steps for Alaythia: she went from two naps to one, was weaned from nursing, started sleeping in a big girl bed, and learned to walk (still amazed we caught the actual moment on video!!).  Whew!



Kabyn got laid off at the end of January, and by early in February we had decided to finally pack up and move from Seattle to St. Louis in the summer.  This began a big season of goodbyes and transition that characterized most of our year.  A big highlight for Alyssa was her “last” birthday party with her wonderful Seattle friends of many years:


Kabyn also took over cooking completely by February, which included this delicious Valentine’s Day dinner he made me:

Kabyn’s cooking was definitely a huge part of 2010 happiness.  And perhaps a large part of why he and I both lost a few pounds, and Alaythia went from the 3rd% in weight to the 50th%!



I really don’t even remember March.  I think I worked every millisecond I could.  Kabyn and Alaythia enjoyed a number of trips to the Woodland Park Zoo.


By April, everything was starting to see like a “last”.  Last trip to different Seattle coffee shops, consignment stores, grocery stores, old running routes, friends’ houses, favorite streets to drive on.  With any time we had, we tried to spend some time with our dear toddler-mommy friends from Toddler Time, like this trip to the zoo.  We still miss all of you!


May was pretty much a blur.  Kabyn worked hard getting us all packed up, and in the middle of the month Alaythia and I moved to Olympia and he started driving through the  most boring parts of the United States, and arrived in St Louis around the 20th.  He started working hard to get us all settled in (thanks to help from the Robbins family in finding us a place!).
Here’s our last family picture while being residents of Seattle.  If we look cold, it’s because it was a freezing cold, wet, Seattle May.
We were St Louis tourists for the month of June.  We were sort of somewhere between being overwhelmed with culture shock, loving it here, hating it here, and just kind of being unused to St Louis life and culture.  MaeMae came to visit, which was fun.  I think the highlight for all was the big Shakespeare in the Park performance we went to.  Alaythia started spending a good amount of time with Charlie and Keren Marzinke while I worked, and Kabyn and Alaythia spent much time playing in the water fountains at local parks when I was working.  Kabyn was busying passing through Greek 1 and acing Greek 2, so he had some time for fountains.  It was HOT, and the summer had barely begun!
Alaythia mastered all her letters and letter sounds in July, which is a good indoor activity when it is SO HOT.  Alaythia and I escaped back to the Northwest for the second half of the month, which was well-documented herehere and here.  Kabyn stayed busy back at the ranch, trying to survive Greek 3 (Exegesis, for those who know the fancy names).
Also so hot.  Even hotter.  Alaythia and I flew back into St. Louis on Aug. 4th, and it was ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHT degrees F when we landed.  PLUS HUMIDITY!!!  I decided it was perfect weather to sit inside for a few weeks and do potty training, which was what we did.  It took a while, and we probably weren’t the best ever potty training parents, but we eventually got there.  Kabyn enjoyed some time off from school, and I began to get busier with work, getting ready for a Chemistry course to begin the production year.
September in St. Louis was finally starting too cool down, though not without 95 degree days!  Infinitely better than August, however.  We had a great time celebrating Kabyn’s 35th and Alaythia’s 2nd birthdays.  A big first occurred towards the end of the month–I left for two nights, actually back to Seattle area again for work.  Kabyn and Alaythia did marvelously, and she seemed no worse for the wear upon my return.
October in St. Louis was dreamy.  It made you think St. Louis is the best place in the United States to live.  I started jogging again, Alaythia took lots of trip to the park–either with me, Kabyn, Keren and Charlie, her babysitter Liz, or my mom, who came to town for a visit.  Alaythia began to really look forward to any time with Keren and Charlie, and also finished out her daytime potty training.  Alaythia got so grownup!  She solidified her understanding of sentence structure, pronouns, and verb tenses, and we started doing more grownup family things—Friday night movie nights w/ popcorn and movies we all enjoyed and could talk about, reading more complex books, singing songs, having conversations in the car.  Our big little girl!
We started getting pretty busy in November.  I became full-time/salaried at my work, which was a definite blessing.  It also forced us to get pretty organized with our time, which has resulted in more balance and less stress, at least most days.  We settled into a pretty good routine of her with Keren and Charlie, Kabyn, or Liz 4 out of 5 mornings, nap, then time with me or Kabyn after nap till her bedtime (9 or 10pm!).  By Thanksgiving we were so tired we didn’t really do a thing, which was a wonderfully restful, much needed few days of doing almost nothing.
It’s cold here in December.  Real cold.  So Alaythia and I started swimming/playing at a local indoor pool almost every day, which we have continued into  January.  It was great to go warm up in the balmy, beautiful Pacific Northwest, and celebrate Christmas with friends and family.  Though this visit to the Northwest really did feel like a visit–and flying back to St. Louis felt like coming home.
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