a different kind of flashback friday

i've been going through my computer files, trying to make some space on my start up disk (really, i just need to suck it up and get an external hard drive), and i came upon this letter that i wrote. our family "new year's letter" from 2006. I think this may have been the last time my parents sent out a letter. I was entertained re-reading it and remembering...maybe you'll enjoy too?

Hey all,

It’s been several years since we have distributed a Christmas letter and no, the Kelly K. family has not fallen off the face of the earth, we’re just pulling ourselves up from hanging over the edge! That’s honest, right? I am driving back to Southern California later today and decided after reading and enjoying all of your family updates that there is nothing more that I would rather do with my last few hours in Utah :) than type up our own addition. So, here I sit at my parent’s kitchen counter while Bethany chases the barking dog out the back door and Casey ignores my mom’s requests to vacuum the family room. I’m not sure how the two youngest feel about being the only two living at home, but rumor has it that the house has gotten a lot quieter over the past year.

I will attempt to catch you all up on the last couple of years and inform you of plans for 2006, just in case we skip the letter again next year.

My Dad, aka: Dr. K., Papa Kelly, Gwampa, hasn’t aged since 35, still puts in 90-hour work weeks and is a great provider! I appreciate his dating advice, which usually sounds something like: “You would make me very happy if you told the loser you’re exploring other options.” Some of my favorite times with Dad are spent driving around bundled up with heat on full blast and the top down on his new shiny black BMW, watching him take his turn behind the boat, and discussing possible interpretations for his counsel after a father’s blessing on my behalf. He and my mom enjoyed cruising through the western Caribbean and exploring Book of Mormon ruins this summer—a trip that re-wetted his appetite for diving. The remaining K. kids are getting scuba certified and the reduced nuclear family of 4 is going diving in Cancun. The trip was conveniently scheduled the week before my spring break, but I wasn’t invited anyway! I’m really not bitter.

Kit, my mom, is keeping busy as usual. Trying to find the perfect educational experience for the “little” kids and single-handedly saving the world. Last year, she was the President of the Utah County Medical Alliance and through that, reached thousands in educating on internet safety. I admire her desire to go back to school and finish her degree—a long awaited dream of hers. I think she wants to be an integrative counselor when she grows up. Really, she has always been one. People often ask me how I know so much about health and wellbeing and I have to give the credit to her :).

Chad & Keira have now been married for five years. They are living in ______ where Chad is working as an electrical engineer. Adam is now 2 1/2 and the greatest joy in all of our lives! This Christmas he announced that he got a “grip of presents” and asked me in regards to the electric bull I got him, “Can you take it back to the store now?” They are all excitingly awaiting the arrival of their first daughter in January and are “doing great”!

Collin & Elizabeth live in Orem and are expecting their first—a little girl due to be born on my birthday (which would be so fun for me). They are going through the fabulous process of applying for dental schools. Collin’s first interview with UNLV is coming up. I am pulling for Vegas as they would only be a few hours drive away from me! Collin is my financial/business counselor and Liz is so creative. She has recently gotten involved in photography and currently designs sample pages for a scrapbook company.

Charity—the 26-year-old fledgling—I moved to Southern California in August. Yes, I get to drive home to a skyline of masts, sails and palm trees with the Pacific Ocean in the background. It’s a peaceful and happy place. After spending the last couple years trying to figure out the “next step” post graduation, I decided that for me it’s more school. I just finished my first semester at an obscure private university in Irvine where I’m working on a master's in Marriage & Family Therapy. As if the torture of an MA isn’t enough, I’ve decided to apply for the doctoral program at the end of next semester. Wow, huh? Who would have thought? I love school. But more importantly, I love what I will be able to do when I’m done!

Emily & Russ were married in October (hence the formal family photo) and live in Orem. They are so great together. They are both working and going to school full-time. Russ is finishing up in Construction Management with hopes of starting his own business. Last I heard, Emily was studying Advertising—but I changed my major five times and I’ll give her some room to do the same. Emily just got Russ a drum set for Christmas and they have turned my parent’s food storage room into a practice room. We could be a regular Partridge Family—Russ on the drums, Casey on the guitar, Dad on back-up guitar, Emily on bass, Collin keyboard, Bethany on vocals, I’ll be the roadie, and Mom will be the manager. Watch out music industry!

Bethany (15) was voted “most attractive” at school. It is no secret that she is the best looking of the three K. girls. I’m just glad she’s so much younger than me and *hopefully* will never be dating competition. She is a double “triple threat.” She’s smart, beautiful, and talented and she sings, dances and acts. She is counting down to sweet sixteen (7 and 1/2 months away). She could also host TLC’s "What Not to Wear" and practices on Mom daily. She is a sweetheart and asks frequently if she can move in with me next summer. I don’t blame her!

Casey (12) blows us all away with his natural guitar talent. He’s obviously the youngest—he gets his way with nearly everything and tries to act much older than he is (though his short & skinny, skater frame deceives many). He is into art, music, and video games. My little punk bro—he is turning into a really cool kid with a great personality. And he’s a looker!

All in all, the more I learn about other people’s problems the more I think we’re doing pretty great!! We have so much to be grateful for! Especially at this time of year when dad gets his bonus and...just kidding! This is the time of year when we can resolve to be a little more kind, more loving, more patient, and do more good in the world as we reflect on the Love of our Savior and the amazing and infinite blessing of His life and Atonement!

Much love to you all!

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