Settle in. As is tradition, I am sitting down to write my 4th annual "Year in Review" post. See here for 2005, 2006, and 2007.

2008. Wow.

I celebrated my 2nd anniversary with Saatchi and attended my first George Strait concert. I somehow convinced Jeff that the apartment he had called home for almost 6 years would not be big enough for three – and we moved into a house. I was the 100th customer at Chick-fil-A for the very first time. We attended infant CPR and childbirth classes where we learned about fun things like breathing and forceps and circumcision, and I joined Mom, Dad, and Becky in Cabot to present the 1st annual 1LT Tom Martin Memorial Scholarship. 

Our lives changed forever on 18 June 2008 with the arrival of Colt Edmund Hood at 3:06 p.m. Weighing 6 pounds 6 ounces and measuring 19 3/4 inches – the little guy is beautiful and perfect and ours. 

Jeff climbed a mountain. We helped Grandpa celebrate his 60th birthday, I started back to work in September, we celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary 16 September, and October brought one of the hardest times I can remember – as, on the 10th, Tom's birthday passed without him for the first time and the 14th marked a year since he was killed.

I entered the second half of my twenties, helped elect this country's first African American president, and Arkansas beat LSU again at Thanksgiving. December brought Colt's first Christmas and a trip to South Dakota to celebrate Grandma's promotion to CW5.

Whew.

We were busy. Not to mention I launched the new blog in September. Still under construction – but who isn't?

Also per tradition, I've settled on my list of New Year's Resolutions:

  • Read one book per month
  • Reduce the amount of filler words in my speech (i.e. like, umm, you know)
  • Laugh more
  • Declutter my house
  • Lose weight/Save money/Other obligatory and cliche New Year's Resolutions 

That should do it.

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So! Christmas!

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We had the most amazing holiday this year. We left Sunday the 21st for Arkadelphia – and Hood Family Christmas.  Colt enjoyed meeting the rest of his cousins and spending some time with Uncle Frank and Aunt Sarah, Uncle Paige and Aunt Lynn, and Granny and Pop. Sarah and Lynn vied for the title of Coolest Aunt and everyone contributed to the spoiling of our child. By about Tuesday, he was so used to being constantly held I didn't know if he'd ever recover! We all got some really great gifts and ate a lot of wonderful food — and played a few unruly rounds of Catchphrase! A few pics.

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Christmas Eve (Wednesday) we headed back to Fayetteville to meet my parents at our house. Grandpa and Jeff Santa assembled Colt's gift in our living room floor Santa's Workshop and we continued our quest to eat as much delicious food as possible in one week. Christmas morning at our own house was just what we needed — Colt was more entertained by the paper and bows (and the general hubbub) than anything else! We had a great morning with Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Becky. Merry Christmas munchkin!

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After Christmas brunch on Thursday, we packed up not one, not two, but THREE cars and headed north! Earlier in the week, as we watched the Weather Channel for news of snow and ice in the midwest, the Hoods and Teeds teased us about heading into the tundra — but we actually had relatively pleasant weather. We traveled to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to attend my Mom's promotion ceremony. She was recently promoted to Chief Warrant Officer Five and will be relocating to Ft. Lee, Virginia. Yah Mom! We got to see friends and family and hang out with Grandma before she heads east. We took a trip down to the (Sioux) falls, visited the Legion where Tom's picture hangs, and ate at Hu Hot!

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I had a really nice Christmas. Santa brought me a new camera, and Dad brought me a new version of Photoshop. As soon as I learn how to use one or both of them – look out!

We didn't realize how much of a routine we had – until we utterly abandoned it for a week. Poor Colt. Poor us. By the end of the week, the little guy had his days and nights almost completely reversed as far as eating, wouldn't sleep more than 2 hours in a row at night and was generally uncooperative between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. During the day, though, he was downright friendly to everyone he met and has somehow managed to escape the holidays without sickness.  Jeff and I were grateful to have the week off to readjust the schedule before we head back to work. It's just about back to normal now – and should be right as rain by Monday.

There's no place like home. We have been home since Monday night – home to our own beds and our own shower and our own mess of a house overrun by Christmas! Jeff and I are spending the rest of our week off trying to catch up on our sleep and our blog reading (and writing!), and restore some sort of order to our house. I (finally) mailed our Christmas cards yesterday, I'm working through thank you notes, and I'm hoping to squeeze in a pedicure before Monday.

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Way too many photos to post here and slow everything down. Check out the new album over there called "Holidays 2008".

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