I can change and I have changed for the better, but I can't change anyone else nor their perspective of me. Took me many years to understand and believe that truth, but it's finally sinking in.
As I watch a friend's marriage on the ropes we are discussing his options. He wants to change and is changing. The problem is that his spouse is not supporting him or even allowing him to change. She is preventing him by continued criticism and disparaging words. One idea was for him to move out for 2 months to intensely focus on his own emotional and spiritual health. Then we sought additional counsel who brought up the conundrum: If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a noise? Likewise, if a person changes and no one is around to see it then does it really matter?
Once we worked our way to the truth it became clear. The answer is "debatable" for the tree making noise, but "no" for the relationship value of one person changing without the other person being involved. What good would weeks of solitude do for the wife who isn't around to witness the change? She would not be a part of the process. Anyway, even IF he goes through the metamorphosis of character and she is around, will she even notice? Some people refuse to see a person for who they truly are because their filter or lens is so fogged by history and bias.
I'm going the long way around to my point, but it is this: Who I am now is most certainly not who I was last year or 5 or 10 or 20 years ago. Yet, there are those who hang on to historical Bronson with my personal failures and see me through the same foggy 10-year-old lens.
Anyway, these past two weeks of vacation at home (a.k.a. stay-cation) were possibly the best two weeks of the past 10 years. This vacation is different than the previous 10 years because ALL vacation time previous to this one was consumed with travel and visiting relatives. I jogged down memory lane and couldn't come up with a single time since graduating college where I took vacation AND stayed at home for 10 days straight.
I took time for mountain biking twice in one week, which hasn't occurred since Moab 4 years ago. My friend's work schedule shifted so he is available to ride with me. I foresee much more mountain biking in 2012 than the previous years...
Did you know WTB makes a tire with the model name "Bronson"? I'm not making this stuff up. I saw another guy on the trail with my name on the tires and when mine needed to be replaced I jumped at the chance to have my name imprinted by the manufacturer on the tires.
My company gave us 4 tickets to go to the Zoppe circus. Reason # 2,296 we are the 4 Webbs and not five is because ticket combo packs come in groups of 4 only. We also received vouchers for concessions. Cotton candy was the overwhelming choice.
The Zoppe Circus claim is that no seat is more than 20 feet from the ring and I can confirm it is an intimate setting. The tricks, gags, and stunts this Italian family pulls off is outstanding. We spent the 20 minute ride home with each of us recounting what our favorite parts were.
We threw our first official house warming party with 22 guests. I'm amazed by how much more room we have to host this many people comfortably. The only publishable picture from the event is of the boys showing Easton how to operate the Wii remote. The gaming system single handedly entertained the kids the entire evening. Other pictures like the "chubby bunny" marshmallow game will remain off the grid for fear of retribution from the individuals involved. :)
Christmas presents this year were right on target for what Easton and Layla asked for and many gifts were so awesome we never thought to mention them before. Susanna gave a craft to build a princess crown for Layla and a craft to build an airplane for Easton. Easton and I tackled the plane together piece by piece. I glued it, then he painted it, then he put the stickers on it. Such a simple toy, but I enjoyed the process of building it. Kind of like a model car, but age-appropriate for Easton.
Another favorite gift is the tent. One pink princess tent for Layla and one blue rocket tent for Easton. perfect.
Easton's quickly adapting to the Valley of the Sun climate. The day time temperatures were in the 60s. Easton compensated for the relatively cold temps by wearing his mittens and fuzzy slippers all day long.
The Fisher Price Kid Tough See Yourself Camera is a surprisingly big hit with Easton. I knew Layla would love turning the lens on herself and taking pictures of others, but Easton also loves it. So much that taking turns is almost a battle. I may be on track to create two shutter bugs.
One of the most humorous Christmas moments was watching the twins attempt to contain their excitement as we waited to open gifts. They acted like freshly shaken cans of soda just waiting for the top to burst open.
An unforeseen change in the 3-year-old Christmas celebration is how much time I spent unwrapping, building, and playing with toys. Most toys were daddy-proof causing me to consider dynamite and bolt cutters as viable tools for removing packaging. Building and playing with the toys turned out to be one of those extra-enjoyable aspects which I wouldn't admit to in a Facebook post.
Our new sectional sofa is a magnet for cuddling and relaxing. Easton is growing into the protective big brother role very nicely. I like this next picture because it shows their happy demeanor and closeness with each other. Layla has the face of a loving, well cared for sister and daughter.
Easton yuks it up with a lollipop that looks like Mater from the Disney-produced Cars Movie. That there's funny. i don't care who ya are.
When the twins were born almost 4 years ago I had visions already dancing in my head of the adventures we would share. One of those adventures was to take a family hike. Every few weeks since they were old enough to walk it crossed my mind. Then I would realize their bodies and minds were still not capable of scrambling up the side of a hill... until now.
We took a 30 minute hike up the side of South Mountain. I pointed them towards the trail head and they took off climbing like a couple of Rocky Mountain goats. The views from the top were spectacular. Sharing them with Easton and Layla was even better. Their sense of accomplishment for tackling such a big hill was almost tangible.
Vacation is over and not it's time to get back to work. I have ONE vacation day scheduled for the first five months of 2012. Other than that I'll have my nose to the grind stone doing our best to make ends meet while saving for the three month vacation (sabbatical) coming up in September. I can do anything for 9 months...
Happy New Year!