Dear Arizona – Month Eight (Family)

Dear Arizona,

Well dear, you are now eight months old. I can’t believe how much has changed since last month. This was such an exciting time for your mother and me, as we were able to celebrate your first Christmas with you. Although you will never remember it, it was truly one of the best Christmases I have ever had. (Don’t worry, dear ole dad took plenty of pictures to remember this!)

Before I start right in with telling you about how important I believe family is, I wanted to let you know about some of the things you accomplished this month. You had been eating solid foods, but your mother really stepped it up and you ate yogurt, bananas, chocolate pie (I know right?) and you started drinking water. Then you started talking more than just loud sounds and we will argue forever about if they were real words or not, but you are saying DaDa! I also get the occasional Daaaaaaad, sometimes you blurt out baba and nana but they are not really words, just sounds mostly. Still, it melts my heart when you say dada! Last but not least by any means, you started to crawl! It was so amazing to watch you crawl and I was there with you, of course capturing it all on video! Now that you are right at the 8-month mark, you are all over the place!

I titled this month “Family” for a reason. You see darling, I grew up in what I think was a very loving household. Now my dad was not always a big hugger type, but mom (grandma) was. This has rubbed off on me and I hug you and your brother a lot. I want our family to always be close. I want to celebrate holidays, birthdays, and special events. Yes they will be big deals! Along with that, we will be doing family activities as long as I am breathing. This will include adventures, sport activities, and doing things as a family. I believe this is important because because we get to bond, be close and enjoy each other. I want to avoid you or your brother sitting in your room on a computer or video game just ignoring the world. So when you grow up, when you get a family of your own, I hope you will understand and do the same with your family. I still have fond memories of all of the cool things we did and places we went. I want you to have those same memories.

With that said, this was your first Christmas in what I hope to be many in your lifetime. We did so much this year, not just because you entered our lives, but because we wanted to create memories for your brother with you and because it was just fun, cool stuff! Christmas is the ultimate time for family. So always remember that no matter what, we should always spend the holidays together no matter where we are living or how mad at each other we are. We are all we have, you, your brother, your mother, and me.

Your grandma (my mom) and I have had a Christmas tradition we created when she finally moved to Texas and I try to keep it every year. She loves looking at Christmas lights, so every year, we go drive around on Christmas Eve and look at lights and then go and eat. This year we had you and although you slept through the most of it, it was fun. We all crammed into the truck and went driving around Arlington. Then we went to downtown Fort Worth and saw the giant Christmas tree in Sundance Square. This year was special because we had both of your grandmothers with us.

We actually did a couple of new adventures, which may or may not become some of our family traditions, but they were fun. The first adventure was actually to head out to The Ballpark in Arlington, (yes the baseball stadium where the Texas Rangers play) and we saw more christmas lights. Your brother and I also went ice skating! It was a lot of fun and they also had man made snow we tried to take cool pictures in.

The next adventure we took was going on the Polar Express. Yes it is modeled after the movie (which we watched right before hand) and it was a ton of fun. You actually drank chocolate milk that Mrs. Clause brought us and you received your first ever Christmas Bell. By the way, the milk was special snow chocolate milk from the north pole made by Santa and his elves. After the train ride, we watched a show put on by Santa, Mrs. Clause, and his elves. I held you all night and you never stopped smiling!

The last adventure we took was to head out to Durango, CO and go skiing at Purgatory Ski Resort. We took a road trip from Dallas to Roswell, NM to pick up your brother and then we went to Durango the following day. Being 8-months old, it was quite a long trip for you in the car seat, but you as always, were just the best baby. Although you didn’t get to actually ski yet, we all did and we had so much fun. We made some memories we will never forget. These are the type of things I am trying to tell you to cherish and keep close to you for the rest of your life. We all laughed at each other, had fun and created memories I won’t forget.

Coming home you slept a lot and were such an angel, even though we stopped and did some funny things. We are a wacky family full of fun and spontaneous happenings. We stopped and took selfies in front of state road signs and we now have Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas added to the list. We also stopped in Amarillo, TX and saw Cadillac Ranch. It was not as cool as I remember, but we did get in more selfies and your brother managed to get his brand new white shoes full of mud.

You definitely had a busy month eight. More than anything I want you to know how much you are loved by everyone in our family. You have a brother who adores you and loves spending time with you, three grandparents who can’t get enough of you, a mother who loves you more than life itself, and me. Arizona, you are my baby girl, there is nothing on the planet that I would not give to you and nowhere I would not go to make sure you safe. I want you to know that I love our family and I hope you do to as you get older. I hope you grow up to love the weird, quirkiness of our family and the adventures we take. Family is the most important thing to me, please stay close with your brother. I know there is a good age gap, but as you both get older, stay in each other lives. Don’t wake up one day and have it been 25 years and you have not seen your brother in several years or just once a year. Be a part of each others lives. Talk on the phone, video call each other, spend time with nieces and nephews, and spend Christmas or at least Christmas Eve together. Create your own traditions and make them your own, pass them down to your children.

Love Dad.

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