Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Letter 2012

Merry Christmas!  It hardly seems possible that it is the Christmas season again, but here we are!

Garison turned 3 in September and is constantly reminding us that we need to get rid of this or that because there are no more babies in the house :).  I’d like to take a moment to say, “Hallelujah”!  Little G is most definitely a momma’s boy and I just can’t help it.  He loves all things big trucks, cars and plays with toys beyond his years because of his older brother and sister.  The ipad would be another favorite which he has been proficient on since he was 2 – what are these kids going to be like as teenagers?!?!

Our middle princess, Kara, is a personality to behold.  She is all over the place and I love her to pieces for it.  She began her 3rd year of dance and I’m happy to report that progress is being made! :)  This fall, she played soccer for the first (and last) time.  While she was a great runner and support for who ever had the ball, the actual idea of “kicking” the ball was a little lost on her.  It was entertaining none the less.  Kara Bear has a very generous soul for a 5 year old and I can’t wait to see how that matures as she gets older.  She loves to dance, sing, draw and play with anything “girl”.

Levi is now seven!  I am not that old!!  He is in 1st grade and loving it.  We could not have asked for a better teacher for him and everyday he says his favorite subject is “recess”.  Levi played basketball in the winter, took swim lessons in the summer and played soccer in the fall.  This is a fun age to watch as they develop as players.  His all time favorite past time is video games – he consistently beats Garet – and I’m choosing to believe that there is a million dollar career in there somewhere :).

I am in my second year as the accountant at Troy7 and loving it.  The job is a perfect fit for me and I am so thankful for it.  I spent the summer doing a triathlon training program at our local running store and was able to complete my first Olympic Tri in August.  While I’m glad I did it, I enjoyed the sprints Garet and I did all along the summer more :).

Garet is still engineering it up at Troy7 and we are lucky enough to eat lunch together several days.  I think I can count on one hand the trips he took this year, which means I had a good year :).  He also did the Olympic Tri in August and just finished his first Half Marathon in November.  Triathlons have been a good sport for G since it marries his first love of biking with running and he isn’t a bad swimmer either with those dolphin fin feet of his!!  He also took on the 3rd and 4th grade class at church – I think he secretly enjoys getting to play the games each week.

Traveling is always a big part of our year because it is my love language :).  I think I have successfully passed along my love of hotels to Kara, so someone will keep the tradition going.  In February, we planned a spur of the moment trip to Disney and totally surprised the kids the day before we left.  It was so, so fun!  My mom joined us and we hit every park!

Every year I make it a goal to visit at least one new state or experience something we’ve never done before, so this year we hit the Midwest!  We headed up through Iowa and went to the Hoover Presidential Library (don’t knock it!), then up to Minneapolis, MN to the Mall of America.  Garet and Levi opened and closed the amusement park there and we had a blast!  From there we went over to the Wisconsin Dells to Kalahari Water Park – Loved it!!  Wisconsin was the only state I lacked east of the Mississippi, so it is now checked!  We finished up our trip by going through Milwaukee, WI and Chicago, IL and seeing the sights with friends and family.

Finally, we got some weekend trips in to the beach, the Kentucky Farm and I got to spend my birthday weekend with my life-long friends from Auburn.

Through all of the above, the past 12 months were some very hard months.  We saw all 4 of our parents in the hospital for serious health issues.  Last December, my dad was taken to the ER with a massive blood clot in his lungs.  Three doctors told us that night that he shouldn’t be alive, but his heart was so strong from running that it got through.  Six months later on June 2nd, my dad and I sat in a waiting room as a doctor told us that when they went in to remove my mom’s gall bladder, that they found a massive amount of cancer.  In the two days that followed waiting on the biopsy results, I can only say that your prayers carried me through.  Six rounds of chemo and a couple of surgeries later, I’m happy to report that mom is in remission!  Garet’s parents didn’t want to be outdone though!  Kathy took a fall out west on a hike and broke her ankle.  After surgery, a cast, a heart scare and now a boot, she is officially a trooper and getting quite skilled on the scooter!  Finally, the “c” word struck again - Garet’s dad is having surgery to remove cancer in the next week.  We are so thankful they found his early and the prognosis is very good that they will get it all removed.  Prayers are certainly coveted for him.  I was especially grateful to sit at the table with all four of them at Thanksgiving this year!!

Again, I can not thank all of you enough for helping us through a very tough year.  For all of the smiles and good times, there were an equal number of tears.  I constantly had to remind myself that God is in control and I am not – so thankful that his mercies are new every morning!  As we approach this Christmas season, let us not forget that God made the ultimate sacrifice by sending his son here to us so that we may live.  Thank you, Lord!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Letter 2011

Merry Christmas!! I can actually write that this year since this is not the Fields Family New Year’s Update :). 2011 was a roller-coaster of a year for us, but we have been able to finally slow down and enjoy this season as a family and for that I am grateful.

Our little “buddy buddy”, Garison, turned 2 in September. With that brought the end of all things baby in the Fields house. This was definitely a high point for Mommy & Daddy – all the kids can now talk and we feel like our family is finally moving in a forward direction. Little G is our charmer with his blond hair and blue eyes. He can cut his eyes just right and finagle way too much out of this mama. He is still enjoying preschool and pretty much wants to be on top of whatever anyone else is doing. Big Trucks, Lightening McQueen, Beyblades and whatever Kara & Levi are playing with are the toys of choice.

Princess Kara turned 4 in October and is all things girl. She has been in this dress/skirt phase for the better part of the year and is all about anything Disney Princess. We recently moved her to her own room and it has been fun to decorate it up all girly. Preschool is the highlight of her week and we are thankful for all the friends she has made there. After rockin’ her first dance recital in May, she was excited to get to do ballet and tap this fall.

In May, Levi graduated from preschool (complete with cap and gown) and headed off to Kindergarten in the fall. I was a lot less emotional than I thought I would be, but we still miss having him around the house. He turned 6 in October and is one of the most even-keeled children I know. We have been so pleased at how he has tackled school and have enjoyed watching him play soccer and basketball this year. Lego’s, Star Wars, Nintendo DS and Phineas and Ferb have been the favorites around here. And much to Garet’s delight, the training wheels came off the bike!

2011 was a huge year for me! After I had Levi in 2005, I decided that I wanted to do a triathlon. Life and babies happened and I never could quite make it work. So, this was the year I finally got to cross that one off my list! I was able to complete 2 sprints and look forward to training for an Olympic next year. I also just completed my first half marathon to keep myself conditioned, but I quickly decided that straight running is not for me :). Also, after a two year hiatus from the work-force, I started back to work in August and it has been wonderful! I work part time at the small engineering firm Garet works at (our offices are next door!) as their cost accountant. I am absolutely loving it and am thrilled to work for such an amazing company.

Garet is still doing all of his engineering “stuff”. His roles at work changed a bit this year and he has been on the road some, but it is not nearly as frequent as it was and for that I am grateful. I consider his greatest accomplishment this year to be a total gut and remodel of our kitchen. This is not a job for the faint at heart and he did an AMAZING job! He also found time to hit the trails on his mountain bike, celebrate our anniversary (11 years!) weekend by running the sprint tri with me and coaching Levi’s soccer and basketball teams.

This year will forever be marked in our lives with the passing of our nephew, Isaac, on July 12th. Obviously there have been a lot of tough days and moments, but we are confident that we will see him again someday. Thank you all for your prayers and support for my brother, sister-in-law and family as we walked down a very difficult road.

For the first time in our married life, travel has not been a big part of our year. Garison was the only person to get a new state when we traveled to Michigan to visit Garet’s sister and then to Cincinnati, OH for a few days in March. In OH, we mostly hung out at the Great Wolf Lodge and LOVED it! My mom turned 60 in April and my dad, brother & I pulled off the best surprise ever in the Smokey Mountains to celebrate her birthday. We had a nice relaxing few days hiking, shopping and exploring. My mom, the kids and I also stole away for a few days to one of our favorite amusement parks – Holiday World – in Santa Claus, IN. So much fun!

In July, Garet and I flew to MD for the funeral and then immediately drove down to Orange Beach with Garet’s parents for a much needed week to just decompress. I am always amazed at how God knows exactly what I need to calm my soul – we had beautiful weather and sweet family time together. We also spent the weekend at the annual Hurter Reunion on the farm in KY. It is a good place to be reminded that we can get away from technology for a couple of days and just enjoy being outside together! Garet’s work travel took him to NM, CA, HI and FL this year and I spent a few days in MD to help with my nephew, so I guess we still got to see some of the country. Never fear, I’m ready to hit the road in 2012 :)!

If nothing else, this year has taught me that life is too short. That means different things to different people, but to me it has meant hugging my kids a few more times and to be fully present in their lives, spending quality time with Garet and remembering that this life is not all there is…”For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord”.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Dear Kara,

For whatever reason, Daddy and I thought you were 3 for an extra long time. It might have had something to do with the fact that you constantly said, "When I am four, I will....". There are a lot of promises we are ready to hold you to :). Regardless, here you are now - a big four year old with bright blue eyes and the most beautiful face.

You have quite the personality. While we have lots of dramatic moments with you, we also have some of the most loving. You certainly wear your personality on your sleeve and though sometimes it faults you, I enjoy your hugs and kisses and snuggles immensely. You love to lay down on the couch and have one of us rub your back. I would not be surprised if your love language is Touch.

School is one of your favorite things and you are blessed with so many good friends there. While social for the most part, you do have a shy streak in you. You have also enjoyed dance again this year. They added tap to your class, so that has been fun addition to ballet. You get to dance with your good friend Emilie and you would also add that Rosa and Fern are your best friends too.

Food is not something you think is important - I honestly can not figure out how you are still alive somedays. Unless it is mac & cheese, noodles, pancakes, bananas or granola bars (or cookies :), you usually don't eat it. Somehow you weigh 37 lbs though and are a tall girl at 41.5". The only two drinks you consume are milk and your all-time favorite: water with ice (very important).

Ever since we went to Disney last year, you have been consumed with princesses. I *think* the favorite of the moment is Ariel, but you are likely to change that tomorrow. You also enjoy playing with your dollhouse and kitchen, watching Busytown or Caillou and coloring.

You have a very unique spot in our family as the middle child and it really suites you. As Levi has gone to school, you and Garison have started playing together a lot more and I think you enjoy being the "big sister" and showing him the ropes. However, when Levi is home, I see the "little sister" in you come out. One thing is for sure, you have two brothers that love you and I know you adore them.

I love you more than anything Kara-bear and look forward to watching you grow up to be a beautiful young lady.

"Mama" or "Alison" as you call me :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Dear Levi,

Six. Years. Old. I still don't believe it.

This past year was a big year for you and, as expected, you did awesome! The transition from preschool to "big" school was seamless and so far you have received nothing but praise (and all greens!) from your teacher. It is so exciting to watch your mind absorb so many new things - I can just see you processing it all. Reading is right around the corner and I am looking forward to not having to read all the instructions on your video games :). You still look so little to me as you get off that big bus everyday, but I know I will blink and you will be as tall as me.

Preschool was very good to you and you had some of the best friends a boy could have there, so we still find lots of time to spend with your old friends too. Aaron and Drew will probably be your best friends for the foreseeable future. You have enjoyed playing soccer with your buddies and your team amazes me at the abilities you are already starting to exhibit (Go Green Lightening Strikes!). Basketball starts up in a few weeks and I'm looking forward to watching you take on another sport.

I've missed having you at home this year to be the mediator between your brother and sister - you have such a patient spirit with them and can get them to compromise that really is a gift. I find that you are a lot like me in that you get caught up in details, but you have your daddy's creative thinking and artistic abilities. You amaze me at some of the ideas you come up with.

You may be small in stature (43.5", 43 lbs), but you can put away some food. You love to get a "double stack" cheeseburger (plain) everywhere we go and easily finish it off. Chicken nuggets, noodles, rice, Doritos, ice cream and cookies are other favorites. You would say McDonald's is your favorite restaurant, but I know it is only for the toys :).

Speaking of toys...anything Star Wars is still high on the list, along with Lego's, Lego games on the wii, and PS3 games among others. You got a Nintendo DS for your birthday, so now we have yet another gaming system :). Your favorite show is Phineas and Ferb, but you usually get caught up in whatever Kara & Garison are watching too. Tygee is your favorite stuffed animal. Although you do not prefer the outdoors, you always have fun when we are out. You finished 2 mile-long races this year and I was so proud at how well you did.

I am really enjoying this "I can do everything on my own" kid phase of parenting. You make me very proud, Levi, and I can't wait to see what the future has in store for you. I love you! Mommy

Friday, September 16, 2011


Dear Garison,

Today you turned two and if I am quite honest, I have waited for this day for a long time. These past two years with 3 little kids - four years apart - has been really rough, BUT we are slowly turning a new leaf and I am enjoying the new found freedoms all of us are experiencing as we are racing away from all things baby. In some ways the last two years have flown by and in some ways the days dragged on, but here we are and we all survived!!
You are a little man now - our blondie in a sea of a dark headed family. You are somewhat shy and always look down, but you cut your eyes up at me and it just melts my heart. I've got a soft spot for those big blue eyes - you are my baby after all :).
Age appropriate toys are nowhere to be found around you. With an older brother and sister, you tend to play with whatever they are playing with. However, all things trucks and cars are your favorite. The phrase we have heard more than any other the last few months is: "Whoa, Big Truck". You use this to describe any type of vehicle - they just fascinate you. Thankfully, you love CARS cars which is good because we have plenty from Levi's 3-year run.

Speaking of Levi & Kara, you fit right in like a champ. I am amazed at how well the three of you play together, although with Levi at school, I have seen you and Kara buddy up a lot more (and fight a lot more - you absolutely refuse to say Kara's name).

Your favorite foods are probably fruit snacks, granola bars, mac & cheese, buddy fruit & pancakes, but really, your eating habits are all over the place. I actually think you would be OK on a liquid diet. You drink anything put in front of you and have been known to seek out mommy's diet coke :).

I'm afraid I have no idea how tall you are or how much you weigh. Keeping up with 3 sets of measurements is a little tough for mommy right now, but I think you are somewhere in the 27# range and 30" range??? We go to the doctor next week :).

We got you set up in a big boy bed this week - first time we haven't had a crib in the house in six years. You kept saying "Mommy, look, funny bed". Thankfully you like to sleep and so far, so good. You are the only one of the three that has had any sort of attachment to something - "Bah, Bah" aka "Big Prince" is a must at bedtime.
"Buddy Buddy", you are the BEST surprise I have ever gotten and I am so thankful you are in our family. You give the most lovable hugs and I am thankful for you everyday!!


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Letter 2010

Happy Holidays from the Fields! Another year has come and gone and the only word I can think of to describe the year 2010 for us was CRAZY! If I had known in January what all this year would entail, I would probably have asked for a body double!

Our big news is that we moved in November! Ever since we got the surprising news that Garison was on the way in early 2009, we have looked on and off for a house with a little more room. In typical Fields fashion, we decided to stop looking but then found one more house…. We saw the house and made a low ball contingency offer. They rejected and we walked away. Five days later they decided to take our deal which meant we had a house to sell – immediately! We got the house on the market, it sold in 2 weeks and the new owners needed to move in 3 weeks. All that to say, the entire process from start to finish took only 6 weeks!! Saying good-bye to the old house was bittersweet – it was our first home and the one we brought all 3 babies home to – tears were shed! God was really looking out for us during that time though because I still don’t know how we did it all. We have lots of projects in the works, but we are thankful to have a little more space to spread out into.

Levi turned five in October and I still can’t believe I’ve been a parent that long. We are entering the next phase of parenting him as a “kid” and it is so nice to have a child that can do everything on his own :). Levi played soccer this fall and we had a great experience with our first organized sports – I know that there are lots to come in our future! His passions are lego’s, wii, anything star wars, drawing and playing with his buddies from school.

Kara is our middle child in every sense of the word. Turning three in October, she is our little entertainer and makes up the best stories when she isn’t singing every song she has ever heard. She started dance in the fall and I can’t wait to see her first recital in the spring. School is the highlight of her week and she is very much a people person. She adores princesses, books, dollhouses and anything pink or purple.

This has been a big year for Garison. Since he started the year as an infant who slept all the time and ended the year as a walking, babbling ball of energy, I think it is safe to say that he changed the most :). Little g turned one in September and decided at that point that he was ready to hold his own with his big brother and sister. He is the only blonde in the family and his smile can light up a room. He is an official momma’s boy and as my baby, I find it hard not to oblige him :).

For the first time in many years, I spent my entire year unemployed and I absolutely loved it! Of course, my life is anything but slow with three kids five and under! I keep telling myself to cherish these days, but if I’m honest, I am very ready to have the kids a little older :). “Hobby” isn’t really a word we use right now, but I do have the gym as an outlet as well as leading a woman’s life group with a friend.

Garet celebrated his first anniversary at Troy7 in September and we love the benefits of working for a small company. I’m thankful everyday that he only traveled twice – TWO times - this entire year. If you knew how often he was gone before, you would know how happy this made me. He also lead a life group for most of the year and tries to hit the trails on his mountain bike when he can. Of course, his new “hobby” is remodeling a house :).

Our lives would not be complete without travel and this year was no exception. We rang in the new year in Chattanooga for a small family get-away and then later that month we finally got a chance to take the kids to The Plains for the AU/KY basketball game. I’ll let Garet tell you who he cheered for :). In May, we had the BEST trip to DisneyWorld. People thought we were crazy for taking a 4, 2 and 8 month old, but the kids were fantastic and we enjoyed some sweet time with my brother’s family and my mom. We can’t wait to go back in the future!

My dad’s mom died in June and I flew out to California for the service. She was my last remaining grandparent and it was difficult to say good-bye to an entire generation in my life, but it was wonderful to spend time with my family out there that I don’t get to see as often. We also got a chance to go to Kentucky for the annual Hurter Reunion at the Farm. We stopped by Mammoth Cave on the way home so the kids could get another stamp in their National Parks Books.

On August 12th, Garet and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary which is a little hard to understand considering we are still 25 ;). We took a FABULOUS trip to an all-inclusive resort in Cancun and it was just what we needed. It was so fun to be free of responsibility and just have fun together. Garet really is my best friend and I am so thankful to have him as my man.

Less than a week later, the entire family boarded a plane to Maryland to spend a long weekend with my brother and family in Maryland. We try to do different things every time we go up and this time were fortunate to go to a Cubs/Nationals game, spend the day in DC and hang out with my cousins and their families.

All that to say, I guess our year was pretty typical for us – I love that we live life to the fullest and adventures abound. God is good – all the time. We continually thank Him for our health and provision and especially at this time of year for the gift of His Son, Jesus.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dear Garison,

My "little G". I don't even know where to begin - this last year has been a whirlwind with you right in the middle. You were such a surprise to us last year, but you are the best surprise I have ever received. Your big blue eyes just tug at my heart strings and I finally get to claim a child - you are a mama's boy for sure :). Your laid back personality and low maintenance lifestyle were just what our family needed - you have fit in perfectly. However, in a family of dark brown hair, you have made a statement with your blond curly locks - a heart breaker indeed.

You have just begun to play with your brother and sister and I love to see the three of you interact. The older kids love you so much and I know that they are just waiting for you to run through the house with them. You can keep up with them quite well though, and have found ways to make sure you don't get run over. You have 2 play mates for life and I am so thankful that you all have each other. I am already dreading the day we have to send your brother and then sister to school - you are going to miss them so much.

Although you have taken a step here and there, you haven't taken off across a room. I am certain you are days away though. Levi is trying to help you every way he knows how.

Bananas, Yogurt, Buddy Fruit, Applesauce, Teddy Grahams and Veggie Straws are your food of choice. After eating every known baby food under the sun, you have been less than stellar in the table food category. You would think with 8 teeth you would be more into it, but I think it is the texture. The reduced appetite has made you a light weight - at last check you were around 21 pounds.

In your first year, you traveled to Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland and Washington DC. Seven states and the US Capital isn't too shabby and we are looking forward to taking you to a lot more fun places!

Because you have two siblings that say more than enough, you prefer to just sit and stare at them. We've heard "Mama", "Dada", "Dora" (some days I think she is a member of the family) and your most famous word: "Uh-duh". So much so that we call you "Baby Uh-duh". Not sure what you are talking about, but you are passionate about talking about it. You do love to clap, give high fives, play "peek-a-boo" and dance around waving your hands in the air. So cute.

You have been going to "school" three days a week since you were a newborn. It is good for mommy and you and your sister and brother to be apart a few hours a week - you know that our lives can be pretty chaotic in the day to day :).

"Buddy, Buddy", you have been a perfect addition to our family. As my baby, I have a soft spot for everything you do as it will probably be the last time I see one of my kids go through a milestone. I'm going to go ahead and apologize now for calling you "my baby" when you are 18 - it won't ever change. The infant years are now behind us and I am looking forward to watching you as a toddler. I pray that despite our short comings as parents that you will grow to love the Lord as you grow older. You are loved so much and I am thankful for you everyday!


PS: I will add pictures later - we just reformatted our computer and they are hard to get to at the moment :).

Sunday, March 14, 2010