Merry Christmas from the Lester-Boal Family

Once upon a time, long long ago, in the land of Lester-Boal a year passed by with no formal notice. Still, the people went about their everyday lives. And thus a theory was disproven: skipping the 2010 Christmas letter did not cause our lives to stand still!

2010 was a fun year for the Lester-Boal family. Paul spent the winter running in preparation for his first half marathon in April. Feeling the peer pressure, I began doing a little jogging, myself, and we ran a couple of family races together with the girls.

In July, Paul’s sister, Ann, her husband, Rob, and their (then) 3-year-old, Abby, moved to St. Louis! We are so honored that they chose to move here to be closer to us. A *lot* closer to us, in fact! They stayed with us for a few months before moving into their own place just two miles away. It’s lovely having family nearby.

We also did a bit of traveling: my folks’ in Valparaiso, Indiana; a women’s spirituality retreat in Missouri for me; South Haven, Michigan with my family; Iowa with Paul’s family; Louisville, Kentucky to visit my sister, her husband, and their newborn twins; and Casper, Wyoming with Paul’s parents. This last was a fabulous trip. Paul and I left the girls with their grandparents for a couple of days in late July to go hiking up in the Snowy Range in Southern Wyoming. Much fun was had by all!

Toward the end of that summer trip, I came down sick. I remained pretty uncomfortable until late March 2011, when I delivered the newest and last member of our family, Theodore James Lester-Boal (our Teddy bear)!

So 2011 has been even better than 2010. Paul ran his first marathon, albeit an untraditional one. Sarahlynn traded sleep for television and running for doughnuts. (Being up in the middle of the night with the baby is a precious, wonderful gift. Life will resume its normalcy all too soon! In the meantime, I eat.)

Ellie (8) wrapped up 1st grade and started 2nd. Already! She has become so independent – and tall! She has become a person with her own strong preferences and I love (almost) all of them. Her favorite colors are orange and anything with sparkles, and she adores singing in the church youth choir. She takes ballet classes, plays special needs soccer, and swims. I love this kid.

Ada (4½) is in pre-Kindergarten this year. I can’t believe that I won’t have her with me during the days anymore next fall! She’s still a little nonfiction girl, though she’s transitioned her interest in outer space to focus more on earth-based sciences. She’s into all things horse-related. And penguins, beluga whales, dinosaurs, saber-toothed tigers… She loves the Magic Treehouse books. She’s a sponge for all knowledge and she seems to retain everything she hears. I love this kid.

Teddy is 8 months old already! His favorite activity is eating. And none of that baby food stuff for him, thankyouverymuch. He’d prefer a large hunk of meat; any kind will do. He’ll break it down and make it disappear right quickly for someone with one tooth. Best of all, though, are his smiles. This baby can light up a room in the middle of the night with one of his grins, and he’s not stingy with them, either. I love this kid.

In July, my father baptized Teddy. It was a wonderful, meaningful, emotional experience for all of us. It means so much to me that we have a fabulous church home at First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood, and that my father was able to baptize all three of my children.

Our pug, Lizzi, is about 13 years old. She doesn’t see or hear well anymore, and she’s a bit cranky. We expect some drama in the coming weeks after newly crawling Teddy becomes quicker than she. She’s no longer able to jump up on furniture to escape.

We’ve done a bit of traveling this year, too: Valparaiso, Kentucky, Wyoming with Paul’s family, Southern Indiana with my family, a staycation to enjoy all the touristy fun St. Louis has to offer, and, finally, Disneyland.

As you can see, we are living happily ever after. The End (for 2011)!

Wishing you and your family a peace, love, and joy-filled 2012.

Paul, Sarahlynn, Ellie, Ada, and Teddy