Thursday, December 22, 2011

Our Christmas Letter

I wanted to share our Christmas letter with all of you, since I didn't have everyone's physical mailing address.   I hope you are all enjoying the holiday season-we certainly are!  Jason's mom and brother are with us now, and his stepfather will arrive tomorrow.  We have a full slate of activities planned for the next few days :)

Happy Holidays!

I feel as if I begin all of our Christmas letters with something about how wonderful the previous year has been.  In many ways, this is especially true of 2011.  More than any other year in our lives, 2011 has shown us how very loved and supported we are.  It has also been the year that has most challenged us- individually, as a couple, and as a family.  

For those of you who don’t yet know, Jason was in a bicycling accident in Lake Tahoe on July 9.  In addition to breaking six ribs, he fractured three vertebrae in his neck and back, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.  After one week in the ICU in Reno, NV, and four weeks at a rehabilitation center in San Jose, CA, Jason returned to our home to begin the next phase of his recovery process.  As terrible as his accident was, everything since the moment he went over his handlebars has really gone our way.  He’s made remarkable progress and has handled this whole situation with grace and courage.  While he’s not yet walking, we are anticipating that he will begin therapy with leg braces in the new year.  If you’d like to keep track of his progress, please visit the blog I began while he was in the hospital:

We travelled a lot prior to Jason’s accident.  We rung in the New Year in London, spent a weekend in Paris, visited family on the East coast for two weeks in May, and visited Sonoma, Mendocino, and, finally, Lake Tahoe, for various bike events in the early summer.  Since the accident, we’ve stuck close to home, though Jason is beginning to prepare for a trip to London next April for a work conference.  Thankfully, all of our family has come to us.  We had family with us for the first three months after Jason’s accident, which gave us a lot of time to adjust to our new lives.

Our little girl has grown by leaps and bounds this year.  Savannah began walking in March, not long after her first birthday.  She’s now running and climbing!  She cut her first tooth in February, and now seems to have a mouth full of teeth (I think last count put her at 14).  She has a huge vocabulary, and is particularly fond of making animal noises.  Savannah loves tea parties, her enormous book collection, music (especially drums), and art.  She began going to Google’s preschool in January (two days a week), and will continue that schedule through the fall, at which point she’ll move up to full-time, and I’ll return to teaching.  

Our puppy, Sonja, has had a great year, and has shown a tremendous amount of patience with Savannah.  Savannah thinks she and Sonja are best friends, but I’m not sure that Sonja always agrees.  Savannah spends large portions of her day trailing after Sonja, trying to hug her, kiss her, dress her up, or just imitate her.  It’s really sweet.

My dissertation prospectus, on theatricality and Calvinism in the 18th century, was accepted in May, and I’ve been lucky to be free of teaching responsibilities this academic year, so that I can get some research done.  This flexibility and freedom in my schedule also allowed me to be with Jason in the hospital and at almost all of his therapy appointments.  I’m headed to the archives and libraries in Edinburgh for a few weeks in January, and while I’m definitely not looking forward to leaving Jason and Savannah behind in California, it will be good to get more work done on my dissertation.

We hope that this card finds all of you happy, healthy, and enjoying the holidays with those you love.

All of our love,

Ashley, Jason, Savannah, and Sonja

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