Welcome to the 2012 Edition of the Humphrey New Years letter, where we try to recap the various adventures and changes that have happened during the year 2011! Some of you enjoy reading our letter each year, some just glance at the pictures, but if you are reading this, it is because you mean something to each of us in a special way. Over the past few years, this letter has been written from the perspective of our house, our cats, our dog, our unborn babe and our 6 month old babe, so I (Steve)decided to take back the reigns!
The year 2011 started out VERY COLD!!!
After having already missed a week of school at the end of 2010, Steve saw January present itself with snow and several more snow days. This actually was not a bad thing as Steve got to spend some time at home taking care of seven month-old Garrett, as Laura returned to work after taking the fall semester off. Naturally, we spent the winter months trying to keep Garrett healthy and warm but did manage to get away to Asheville on a couple of occasions and took advantage of as many sunny days as possible.
Spring Break rolled around quickly. Just after learning that Laura's sister Sara was pregnant with their first child, we all trekked down to Savannah, Georgia to celebrate our week off from school. Though a bit colder and wetter than we would have liked, we enjoyed walking around the historical squares, and of course, Steve did his best Forrest Gump impression at the famous corner from the movie.
April rolled around, which meant warmer weather, a family celebration of Easter,
and the first of some dramatic performances for the year. Steve had fun performing the roles of Uncle Henry and the Emerald City Guard in the Northeast State production of "The Wizard of Oz".
He even got to perform alongside a couple of his students from Holston Middle School, where he finished up his 4th year teaching there. Laura, of course, returned for the spring semester of her 7th year teaching at Robinson Middle School. It would turn out to be her last year as an 8th grade Language Arts teacher.
May arrived quickly, which meant the end of another school year, but more importantly, preparations for Garrett's 1st birthday party!! Steve went on a 3 night backpacking adventure on the Appalachian Trail with some buddies from Memphis and California just prior to the exciting event, which Laura hosted wonderfully at the Warriors Path State Park playground and with the theme of Monkeying Around.
Lots of family and friends, including Laura's former roommate Amy, attended this milestone event in Garrett's life. Garrett, of course, took it all in in stride. No sooner was the party over, then summer vacations began in earnest. June consisted of a trip to Topsail Beach with the Hendrix's
and to Washington, D.C. with the Humphrey's.
In July, we took our own family trip to the Knoxville Zoo and to Pigeon Forge where we visited Dollywood for the umpteenth time (yes, we got season passes this year, and it was great. Garrett loved riding the kiddie rides himself, especially the bumble bee ride) and did a little bit of hiking.
August rolled around, which of course meant back to work. Laura started an exciting new job this year as an English as a Second Language teacher in Kingsport. This entailed going from one school, 150 students and lots of grading, to 4 schools, 20 students and no homework to grade (not bad, eh?). Steve also saw a change as he switched from teaching Social Studies to teaching Math. In the middle of the month, we all made a trip to Charlotte to celebrate Steve's parents' 50th wedding anniversary, which turned into quite the Humphrey family reunion. Garrett continued growing quickly during the fall and learning LOTS of new words, and by November, he took his first steps.
Now, of course, he is walking and running everywhere. Both Steve and Laura sponsored Forensics clubs at their school and successfully sponsored and held a Middle School tournament. They also performed in a drama service at Central Baptist Church in early November. Of course, a couple of more Dollywood trips and hikes got worked in during October. Garrett enjoyed Halloween as several different characters: Joseph for preschool and a visit to a local nursing home, a castual skeleton pajama set about town, Superman for the Wallabies Halloween bash
, a parrot for CBC's Trunk or Treat, and a monkey suit for Mammaw and Pappaw's CCC Trunk or Treat (ain't costumes, grand?)! Just prior to Thanksgiving, the happy couple managed to take a much needed vacation to the Sandals resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
We ate some yummy food, did some great boating, snorkeling and scuba diving and met some great new friends. Steve's parents made the trip from North Carolina to spend Thanksgiving with their youngest grandson, and we also shared the day with Laura's cousins Lisa and Todd and their family, who moved back to the area this year.
The Christmas season was next upon us. Garrett loved all the pretty lights decorating our house and the neighborhood.
Laura performed in a play at Kingsport Theatre Guild, and Steve was again hired by Highlands Christian Fellowship for their Christmas production. After a busy Christmas Eve and Day with the Hendrix's in Johnson City AND Knoxville (Laura's sister being due in January), we traveled to Myrtle Beach to spend a couple of days with the Humphrey's before returning home to quietly ring in 2012 - which should be another exciting year where, undoubtedly, the adventure will roll on. We are realizing that, at least for a few years, our adventures will need to be more "domestic" in nature due to "Wee G," but they are exciting in a new way! Our best to all of our friends and family, and we hope to see or hear from you some time in 2012!!! And even though it happened in 2012, we are so excited to welcome our very own new year baby niece to the family- Beatrix Hendrix Chesman!