Greetings from the Land of Corn and Soybeans --
With cheerful smiles and a twinkle in the eye, we hereby bring you our 2007 Annual Christmas Letter and Stanfill Family News Update.
My, my, how things have changed for the Stanfill family this past twelve months. The obvious and by far most momentous event of our year was, of course, the propagation of our own kind. Or in other words, we have been blessed with our firstborn baby boy, Perry Jed Stanfill. He arrived, most obligingly, at exactly midnight between February 1st and 2nd, the two disputed dates upon which he was "due." As planned, he was born in the living room of our cozy cottage Orem home where his Daddy Michael caught the baby and was the first to discover that he was a boy! Everything was perfect and Jed, as we call him, has remained perfect from that day forward. I call him my "Happy-Maker" because wherever he goes he is followed by a sea of adoring gazes and enchanted smiles.
Jed started out looking just like his dad, and I mean a freaky clone-like similarity with Michael's baby photos. As he gets older and his cheeks get fatter and fatter, however, people have started to comment that he looks just like his mommy. Gosh, thanks! Fat cheeks must be a Dowdle trait. Seriously, though, to be compared to anything so cute is incredibly flattering. In build, however, he still looks just like his father with a lean-mean-boy-machine body that's already wearing 18-month overalls at 10 months old. You could fit in three of him across, but they are just the right length. He pulled himself into a standing position for the very first time this last week while feeling ignored in the bathtub. Boy, did that wobbly and naked, but proudly standing little body get his parents' attention! He army-crawls with surprising quickness and agility. Also, the "go-go-gadget-arm" gets longer every day and has done everything from yanking the tablecloth and all the dishes on the floor to grabbing off dad's glasses while tossed in mid-flight and upside down. What a boy! Can't wait to see what he does NEXT year! He is the best toy I ever got for my birthday, and a continual source of hilarity and delight.
Michael decided that now he was a daddy it was high time to be done with his college years and move on to his "I actually make money now" years. After an internship with a fantastic photographer in Park City for the winter semester, he graduated in April, only 9 years after his entrance to BYU in 1998, with a B.F.A. in Photography and a minor in Business. Baby Jed wore a matching graduation cap and they made, hands down, the cutest pair in town.
Settling down as photographer, at-home-wife and gurgling baby in Happy Valley, Utah, however, proved not to be our lot in life. After lightning struck in the form of an unexpected "Business Analyst" job offer in Evansville, Indiana, we dug up our roots, threw our belongings into miscellaneous boxes, and ten days later we were off for a new life in Indiana. After a brief stint as Business Analyst, Michael was offered a different position more suited to his creative talents in the eBusiness department, where he is a front-end web developer (technically "Applications Analyst".) I've learned that this means he decides how the web site is supposed to look and work, and then he turns it over to a programmer in India who does all the hard programming. He likes this job, partly because he works with nerds and partly because they only require forty hours of work for forty hours of pay, unlike his last position.
Meanwhile, baby and I have set up house in a little two-bedroom townhome in an area of Newburgh, Indiana named, most aptly, "Paradise." Lovely fields and roads over-arched with thick, luxurious trees surrounded our quiet little neighborhood. Apparently, we live in the "Ohio River Valley," as we are a stone's throw away from the Ohio River. I laughed out loud the first time I heard this, since I had always assumed that a "valley" required the existence of mountains somewhere within a ten gazillion mile radius. Apparently not, and I offended the locals. We also live close to both the Kentucky border AND the state of Illinois, which means we officially live in the absolute middle of nowhere (more miffed locals at that, I thought very funny, observation.) I am throwing myself into the local culture and plan to cultivate a southern accent as soon as possible. After all, we live almost precisely on the Mason-Dixon line and our town was the very first to fall to the Confederacy back in the day (without a shot or a whimper, embarrassingly enough, but we were called "Sprinklesville" back then so there wasn't much honor to defend.)
As for Vanessa, I keep busy chasing my little diapered friend around. I also do laundry and feed my boys three solid meals and numberless baby nursings a day. I also serve in the Nursery on Sunday doing more chasing and feeding. I never knew that there would be so much chasing and feeding of men involved in my life, but I find it remarkably enjoyable and fulfilling. After all, they're so cute. What woman could resist the overwhelming primal urge to feed them? My understanding of womanhood is so much more full now that I have hungry mouths to fill!
Well, that's the news. Wishing you and your family the most delightful of years and the happiest of Christmas seasons. We pray that the light of Christ and the warmth of his love may fill your home and stay there forever. With hugs of love and friendship from our home to yours -
Vanessa and Michael and Perry Jed Stanfill
1 year ago