"Christmas Card" 2013

Well, it's mid January, and I think I can finally admit that I am most definitely not going to get around to a "Christmas Card" this year. Bother. Here's my attempt: We here in the Baxter household have had a full and fabulous year. In an attempt to keep it short and sweet, here's the run down:


  • Hood turned 3 this year, and is quickly closing in on the big number 4.
  • He loves Thomas the Train, Monster Trucks, Disney Pixar's Planes and Cars, and LEGOs!
  • Hood has a frighteningly good memory. On the 2nd or 3rd viewing of a movie or reading of a book, he can quote along, and he notices if a **certain someone** attempts to skip pages in an attempt to bump up bedtime.
  • He likes to tell jokes, but most of his jokes are 95% sound effects. However, he is at his funniest when he is simply himself and is offering his perspective on life.
  • Hood has an EXTREMELY sensitive gag reflex. And a certain pregnant Mom has been requested to "not toot around [him]" lest he throw up...again.


  • Nick knocked out 5 out of 7 Architecture tests this last year...passing them on his first attempt (that's a big deal). The last two will hopefully be done in time for next year's Christmas card.
  • He finally sold his beloved Suzuki SV650 motorcycle, and upgraded to a brand spanking new Yamaha Star Bolt. He gets stopped regularly as guys admire his bike. So, if you're keeping track Ladies, riding an awesome bike like a Bolt stops men in their tracks.
  • Nick filled his year with constructing several outbuildings around our property. We built a shed to house the riding lawnmower, but promptly bumped the lawnmower out, and instead parked the Bolt and Amy's Vespa in it. Also, Hood was the proud recipient of a playhouse built by Daddy, complete with a heater and a sleeping porch.
  • Nick is taking online cooking classes from Rouxbe. He is working towards his first certificate. His "homework" is always delicious, and we don't let any dogs eat it.
  • At the beginning of this last year, Nick started leading our Bible Study at church. He has been challenged and stretched in new and exciting ways, and has seen immense personal growth as a result. Who said being busy was bad?!


  • I am closing in on my final year of school in this seemingly endless pursuit of my bachelor's degree. I will be graduating in June with a Bachelors of Design in Interaction Design from the University of Washington.
  • I enjoyed a wonderfully productive garden again this last summer. We had so many potatoes, lettuce, fruit, peas, beans, berries, beets and carrots that we were able to share with friends, family and neighbors. I'm looking forward to (and actively planning) the garden for this next spring.
  • This last year also included a job change for me.. I ended my time at Artitudes Design, a Graphic Design firm that had me doing lots of awesome Book Trailers and Illustration work, and in June started working at Amazon as a User Experience Design Intern. My internship was extended part time into the school year, and it will be up in March. Hopefully next year will hold news of new and exciting career fronts for me and my freshly minted degree.
  • We were very delighted and (somewhat) surprised to find out that we will be expecting a new family member this next year. Baxter baby #2 is due May 24th. The timing is not perfect...seeing as that my graduation date is June 14th, but I just wanted to really Ace my senior project by "designing" Human Life. I hope my professors take note. My sister and her husband are expecting kiddo #2 as well, and they are only 3 weeks behind me! So excited for the close cousins.
  • Nick and I enjoyed participating in the Tour de Tucson in Arizona this last November for the second time in a row. Last year we did the 65 mile bike ride, and this year we decided to up the ante and ride the 85 miles. Then I got pregnant. And then, day of, Tucson received the highest record rainfall in 200 years. Forty miles in, after fording two washed out roads, Nick lovingly (and understandably) told me that he "loved me, but his legs were numb (from cold) and if he had to keep on waiting for me at the top of every hill, he probably wouldn't be able to make it the whole distance." I was able to keep on chugging along, and managed to make it the entire way, surprising myself and finishing over an hour and a half after Nick.

It's been a wonderful year, and we have so many things to be thankful for as a family. Thank you all for your love and support. We love you and thank you for being in our lives.


Nick, Amy, Hoodie and #2

Christmas Card