Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas from Peru

Dear Ones,

We would not have thought it possible that life could change so much in just 12 months. This time last year, we were living happily in Washington, DC, surrounded by our good friends, frequenting our favorite restaurants, visiting our favorite sites in and around DC and enjoying a lovely Christmas with each other, 4 couples and their children. How times have changed! This year we are still living happily, but in Lima, Peru, surrounded by many new acquaintances, establishing new favorite eateries and sometimes wishing for our old favorites, becoming familiar with this city of 12 million people, and enjoying Christmas with a new couple, their children, several LDS missionaries and, most surprisingly of all, our child.

Caleb was born in January, weighing in at 7 lbs. 6 oz and with a height of 20 inches. We have enjoyed every moment (even the sleepless ones) with Caleb since he joined our family. He is a very mellow and generally happy child. He sleeps through the night, usually 10 - 11 hours, drinks from a cup and has graduated to “grown-up” food. We have been asked time and again what we did or are doing to produce such a happy child. All we can say is that he came the way he is and we are extremely grateful. We have taken more pictures of Caleb in the last 10 months than either of us had taken previously...ever. As you parents can attest, nearly everything he does is new and amazing and definitely worthy of recording. He is crawling now and into absolutely everything he shouldn't be. Despite the mountains of toys we own (he is the first grandchild on both sides so this is to be expected) his favorite things to play with are remote controls, cell phones, outlets, plugs and all manner of cords, ribbons and shoelaces. We do not anticipate that he will be an only child forever, but for now the sun rises and sets in him and we are most decidedly in love.

Choosing the ornament for the advent calendar

After one failed attempt and a second year-long application process, in April of this year we learned that Kenny had been offered a job with the United States Department of State in the Foreign Service. He was only too happy to leave his job with EDS and accept the position. He was immediately plunged into a series of training courses culminating in his (our) being assigned to Lima, Peru, in September. He then began a refresher course in Spanish, having learned the language while serving an LDS mission in Mexico several years before.

We prepared for our move to Peru by:
1) Attending several seminars on life overseas and life in the Foreign Service
2) Quitting our jobs - After 5 years, Linsey was sad to leave her colleagues at Greenberg Traurig, but thrilled with the prospect of being a full-time mom
3) Scouring the Internet and travel books for as much information on
Peru as possible
4) Making what seemed like a thousand lists of things to buy and get rid of and put in storage and sell (mainly our car, we were very sad to leave it behind, and very grateful to our friends Matt and Cassidy for handling the details)
5) Making plans to visit Utah to spend time with grandparents before we took the only grandchild 3000 miles away and to attend Linsey's brother Lyman's wedding (to Kelli, what a great addition to the family)
6) Sending cases of diapers, formula and myriad other baby and, remarkably, a few non-baby things to ourselves in Peru
7) Taking a family picture with Linsey's family -- the whole family was together for the first time in 4 years, an event worth commemorating
8) Being released from our Church callings (Kenny as 2nd Counselor in the Bishopric and Linsey as Relief Society President) -- Kenny has since been called as Young Men's President in our ward in Lima and Linsey, for the first time in a very long time, is without a calling (once her Spanish improves, we are certain this will change)
9) Making final visits to sites and restaurants (clearly we are obsessed with food) in DC that have special meaning for us
10) Saying goodbye to our life and our friends in DC -- we were especially sad to leave George and Teresa (our landlords and Caleb's godparents) whom we dearly love, but happy that a job with the Foreign Service will mean many future opportunities to visit Washington, DC

He knows the tree is off limits but he just can't resist the lights

We have been in Lima now for just over 3 months. It is a massive city, typical of most large cities, with many lovely parts and many not so lovely. There is a lot of petty crime here, but so far we have managed to avoid this. We live in a part of town called San Isidro that is known as the business district of Lima. True to form, there are many businesses here, but also many quiet and safe neighborhoods with parks, corner cafes, schools, churches, and most importantly, because most neighborhoods are lacking them, sidewalks. Lima is known for its fabulous and cheap food and we can verify that the reputation is well deserved. In particular, not surprisingly, the ceviche is spectacular.

Kenny works in the Political section at the Embassy and finds his work both challenging and fulfilling. Linsey is adjusting to being a stay-at-home mom and loves spending time with Caleb. She is taking Spanish lessons and Kenny says improving daily. We are looking forward to our first Christmas with Caleb and are loving the fact that our house in Lima has a fireplace and thus a mantel where we can hang our stockings...with care, of course.

I love Christmas!

As we come to close of 2006, we find ourselves in a much different place in our lives than we expected, but are happy and thriving. We are very grateful for the blessings of health and security that we enjoy. We have wonderful and supportive family and friends and especially a loving Heavenly Father. We miss you all and invite you to come visit us here in Peru or anywhere else we happen to be. Know that you are always in our hearts and in our prayers and certainly now as we celebrate Christmas.

May God bless each of you.

Love,
Kenny, Linsey and Caleb

3 comments:

Natalie C. said...

Linsey, OH MY GOSH! YOU'RE IN PERU!!!! How fabulous. I look forward to reading about your adventures & seeing all the pictures. Your little boy, Caleb is SO CUTE!!!!!!!! By the way, I'd love some suggestions for places to eat in DC. Even though I've lived here for so long, I feel like it's time to start enjoying DC's uniqueness a little more than we have. Love you & Happy New Year!-- Natalie Sponbeck Cardon

Anonymous said...

I know I signed up with an account, but I can't remember where I put the information, so I'll just say we received your lovely card just after Christmas, thank you. It is lovely to see your faces and know that you are doing well. I read over your blog today, and I absolutely enjoyed every picture and word. Your advent calendar is the most beautiful I have ever seen. The miniature ornaments are after my own heart. Caleb is growing so fast, before we see him again he will be talking in two languages and running faster than I can. I notice he got a "basketball". You are making sure he's starting out on the right foot, unless of course that's a soccer ball, which it could be. R,S,N, and baby have taken a short trip to Italy to visit, so they havn't received your card yet. However, I am sure they will contact you as soon as they return. We had a lovely Christmas, busy and eventful. All are doing well. We miss you, but know you are doing important things, and when you return your service in other areas will be all the more valuable. Love and kisses, DE.

Sina and Nate said...

Great message, but did you realize you broke one of your cardinal rules for posting to your page?

 

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