Here it is once again folks! And in case you don't want to read the whole thing, it tells where we're moving in Sam's paragraph at the bottom.
This year I almost made up a year-in-review to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas (“In the first month of this year, the Cosby family….”), but things got complicated around April and though December has been busy, I’m not sure your patience—or mine—would last through that entire verse. So I guess what I’m saying is, if this letter is boring, just be grateful for what you’re not enduring.
We started off the year in Cambridge, MA. My mom came to visit and we played in the only snow of the year while Sam trekked across the country for two weeks with his Leaders of Global Operations program. The highlight of his trip was touring the inside of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner while it was being built.
In February, we packed just over 1000 lbs. of our stuff (which meant our beds, some toys, and our kitchen goods) and headed to Thousand Oaks, CA for Sam’s internship with Amgen, a biotech company. We moved into an apartment across the street from Amgen and enjoyed lunch time with Sam nearly every day. We were also lucky to have some wonderful neighbors there.
California was every bit as lovely as we’d hoped it would be. We went hiking in the mountains and played in the surf at the beach. We spent three magical days at Disneyland with Sam’s family, and braved bloody knees and cacti for the beautiful views of a hike shared with my Mom and Dad. I exercised nearly every morning in perfect weather, and the kids begged every night to go swimming. Being outside together is one of our favorite ways to spend family time, so we soaked up every minute of it in sunny California (and ate LOTS of avocados, peaches, and strawberries!).
Sam finished his internship in August and arranged the whole move back to Cambridge while I went to a wonderful Stay family reunion in Utah. Getting back into a school mentality was an adjustment for all of us, but being back with our good friends made it easier. And you can’t beat a New England fall. We’ve squeezed in apple and cranberry picking, walks through fall leaves, trick or treating in Beacon Hill, and the Boston Pops Holiday Concert. We love this city and will be so sad to leave it in June.
And now for the individual updates:
Levi turned 2 in March. Though he has occasional outbursts, he is generally a very happy boy. He loves all things with wheels, especially Lightning McQueen and trains. While Anna is at preschool, he and I have our alone time and he talks up a storm about all the construction vehicles he sees, or sings along with all the songs at library story time. Levi loves to have friends and is just starting to realize the joy of being crazy with other toddler boys. It is adorable. And loud.
Anna turned 4 in May. She is a delightful, responsible, kind girl. She has done some kind of preschool this whole year and thrives there. She’s very excited about Kindergarten next year. She is so helpful around the house that I sometimes forget that she’s only 4 and needs a little help herself sometimes. Anna loves to draw—we get at least one full page drawing a day. She’s learning to read a little herself, but mostly loves to be read to. We read Charlotte’s Web together this year and I count that as one of the sweetest parenting experiences I’ve ever had.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time this year focusing on my physical health. I’m still in physical therapy for an injury I had a year ago, and I’ve been trying to keep up exercise and stretching to care for it. At church in CA, I taught Relief Society (the women’s organization) and was in the youth Young Women presidency. Here in MA I was called to be the education counselor in the Relief Society presidency. Though my main job is to organize the teaching of our Sunday classes, I’ve learned much more than how to do that in these few months. I work with wonderful, wise women who have taught me how to be both thoughtful and efficient, and who have accepted me despite my weaknesses and mistakes. It’s been a huge blessing to be a part of it. I’ve also been working on transcribing my great-grandmother’s journals which has been by turns sweet, funny, and poignant.
Sam’s had quite the year with a successful internship at Amgen, school, recruiting, and preparing to finish his thesis. At Amgen, Sam loved the work environment (we’ve never had a more supportive group of coworkers) and was excited to be involved in new technology. He’s done very well at school again, and spent lots of time with us as a family. Recruiting season was busy and exciting and from all the wonderful opportunities he was offered, he’s decided to work as a financial analyst in the treasury at ExxonMobil in Dallas, TX. We are thrilled to be moving close to Sam’s parents and brothers and are excited to see what challenges and opportunities this new job brings.
Through two cross country moves, school and work, snow and sun, we have been blessed beyond measure this year. We honor and thank our Savior, Jesus Christ, for his atoning sacrifice and the grace He bestows on us as we struggle to be good, kind, and generous, as He is to us. We love and think of each of you and pray that your holidays will be filled with joy.
Heather, Sam, Anna, and Levi Cosby