Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Letter

Christmas Letter 2006 “Lights and Perfections”

Dear Family,

I love the process of fitting an entire year within a page or so worth of words. It leaves tidy what appears a mess and breaths meaning into the mundane.

Dotting the daily grind of 2006 were many bright moments: our “lights and perfections”. Craig is my brightest light. He puts in long hours keeping people healthy and happy, receiving what averages out to be $5.00 an hour and not too many “thank yous”. There is a light for him at the end of the trying tunnel of Residency as we have reached our halfway mark this month. Despite the additional demands of study and research at home, he manages to be one of the top ten dads and the man of my dreams, although his light is often the bathroom light that wakes me when he comes home from a late night shift at the “Copa” ER.

The perfections in my life are easy to spot. Craig affectionately calls Seth “Buddy”. He is our first perfection, the “greatest”, Sethie, our first born son. Also, “serious Seth” who shouts from the backseat of the Camry, “DRIVE!!”, if he doesn’t see both your hands on the wheel. He turned 3 four days before our marriage turned 5—both are thriving. He’s all boy with reports of “aggressive” behavior at preschool—that has subsided somewhat, but he is no less a stellar student. He fulfilled a life-long dream to squirt the hose of all hoses on a field trip to the fire station (anyone familiar with Seth’s love affair with water understands the significance of this opportunity). Seth Noble carries the weight of being the oldest, well. He has always been sensitive and perceptive to his world and the beings in it. We have watched those senses sharpen this year. As a parent, I can only try not to crush the perfection that he is.

Lucy is “Baby” to Craig and our second perfection. She got her wide “Tweety Bird” eyes from her mother and her wide mouth from her father—destined to be a high volume phone-talker. We love to hear what’s on her mind because it’s delivered in honey-sweet tones. She’s anxious to begin her day and see what “Sethie’s doin’. She has genuine concern for her family members and is the first to bless our sneezes and tell whoever is leaving to “Have a good time!” It has been fascinating to observe the relationship between siblings develop. My siblings are another “light” in my life. Our siblings help make us who we are.

We were thrilled to add another sister to the “diapered duo” on November 2nd, our third and latest perfection: Hazel Rae. We have already fallen in love with her sweet smelling, brown-haired head and those very BIG big toes! Her older brother and sister are anxious to transform her into another playmate and Seth asks, “can Hazel walk yet?” “Is Hazel going to talk?” Though she has disappointed in those areas, she has offered several smiles—proof that she has fallen in love with us, too. Even those 20 little fingers that constantly poke and prod her.

I am overwhelmed all over again at the process of bringing life into this world. It’s peaceful and painful all at once. It both takes the life out of me and gives me what I live for. My brightest light fills in the valleys. He calls every time he gets in the car to come home to me and sometimes just after he has left. He loves our children more than life itself and I see it in action. He is and has always been perfect for me.

The five of us trekked through the forest of Northern Arizona, starting a new tradition this year of cutting down our own Christmas tree. Craig found the perfect one. Its lights have rendered peaceful, many restless nights with baby Hazel. Urim and Thummim, in the scriptures, literally mean “Lights and Perfections”. We aren’t the brightest and certainly not perfect, but our lights and perfections translate our trials into a more lucid language, clearing our vision, enabling us to endure to the end. I am grateful for the light of Christ and His perfect example. This next year, I will turn to it more frequently to be able to see more clearly and fulfill my role in this life.

Love you All,

I know I know, Christmas is over. Just thought I'd share my annual letter and a photo between the photos, where life happens--bumps and tears.


Anonymous said...

You do have a way of writing. I love your family picture at top and the ones below. So cute. Thanks for sharing your "letter" with us all. :)

Amy S. said...

I love your writing!...thanks for posting the Christmas letter.

rebecca said...

Between photos are a clear favorite of mine, and yours is darling.
Thanks for sharing your letter - it reminds of me your first post-Hazel-birth words, so clear, such insight from the standpoint of review, not just of the diapers but of the overall ALL and is somewhat of a "between photo" itself, your 2006, right where it belongs.

Jill said...

Your letter is beautiful. Your writing is a light in the blogging world for sure.

ingrid said...

You certainly have a gift for writing. I love the between photos shot as well. What a beautiful family you have! I always look forward to your annual Christmas letter, so thank you for posting it.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful letter! Thanks for sharing and love to you and yours.

Anonymous said...

I love reading what you write Jordan. I love how in love with Craig you are. That kind of relationship certainly fills in the valleys!

ShawnaB. said...

Lovely Mangums! What a letter, Jordan. You said perfectly how I feel about the Christmas letter - so tidy and neatly wrapped. We run to our mailboxes for this sort of "mundane"! I loved your letter - beautiful and from the heart. You and Craig, now there's a great couple. Thanks for posting. The "between photos" ae the very best kind of all.

michelle said...

Beautiful letter. You are such a wonderful writer -- I can't get enough! And I love the photo of your beautiful family as well. I never knew about "lights and perfections", so profound. Thanks for sharing how you breathe meaning into the mundane.

TX Girl said...

I've already told you this, but I still think Seth Noble is the coolest name.

I enjoyed reading your Christmas letter and seeing your perfect photo. I love that you have captured your little family in it's most true form- an obvious loving family.