Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! What a busy, crazy year it’s been. We’ll do our best to catch you up on anything you may have missed about us over the past year.
Chase turned 1 on Jan. 26 and I find it hard to believe that we are quickly approaching birthday number 2 for our little guy. Chase really got into NASCAR with his daddy this year. If he sees the number 24 in fluorescent yellow he immediately starts saying “go! go!”! He is starting to talk up a storm and constantly amazes Howard and me with the new words he comes out with. Chase loves Matchbox cars and spends hours playing with them. He also spends a lot of time going through his books and reading to himself or asking us to read to him (yay!). Chase is also becoming quite the little helper around the house and loves to vacuum with me when I am cleaning, help his daddy with anything pertaining to cars or the outdoors and feed our cat. Chase was diagnosed with a severe egg allergy in February so we’ve had to make some changes to our diet and closely monitor what he eats. We carry an epi-pen with us everywhere and so far we thankfully have had no emergencies!
As most people probably know by now, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the start of my second pregnancy. I started with insulin shots and quickly have progressed to the insulin pump. It allows me much more flexibility and control over my routine. With the pregnancy and the diabetes together it has proven to be a very trying and stressful year for me. Howard has been a wonderful support and encouragement and helped me keep things in perspective. I’ve run the full range of emotions and have come to terms with the fact that I just have to adjust some areas of my life to accommodate this disease. Otherwise, my year has been full of motherhood. I love staying home with Chase and have enjoyed watching him blossom. We spent hours outside playing, taking walks and meeting neighbors this summer. We also spent one day a week at my parents keeping my grandmother company, as she is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. I made a point, whenever possible, to get to the library and keep up on my reading this year, since I am such a voracious reader. I always come home excited when I find new books!
Howard got a slow start to his work year due to the economy affecting funding for roadwork. He still was able to make it a decent year at Guidemark and has high hopes for next year. He was able to get out golfing a few times throughout the year and has found some guys at work to golf with when their schedules allow. Howard fully enjoyed the 2008 NASCAR season, although Jeff Gordon didn’t do anywhere near as well as he had hoped. In addition to the sports stuff Howard has also been reading and studying up on the stock market and is quite excited to have some time during this layoff to try a few different options the stock market offers. He has the mind for it so we’ll see what happens.
Our second child, Alexa Kathryn, made her debut on December 2, 2008, via c-section. She has been such a great baby so far. She is very content and easy going. We’re hoping that continues in the weeks ahead!
With Howard working and me being pregnant, we didn’t take any vacations this year. We planned weekends together and got outside whenever we were able. We enjoyed taking Chase to various playgrounds in our area and watching the Phillies win their second World Series Title! Chase is a great fan! Now we are all enjoying our little girl. Chase is making such an excellent big brother.
We helped my parents move in April and then helped my grandmother move in with them in July. My brother Peter and his wife Kendal just purchased their first home in November so Howard and I helped them move as well. Lots of transition for my family this year!
Howard’s sister Steph and her kids, Austin and Gwen, flew in from Washington state for a visit in August and we got to spend a day with them. It was really nice but much too quick! The kids are doing well and appear to be thriving
We are looking forward to spending time with family this Christmas season. It’s going to be a lot of fun watching Chase during this time of year! We’re also looking forward to growing closer together as a family. We hope each of you has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Howard, Sarah, Chase & Alexa Hackelton