Kalil Family Christmas Letter ...


Christmas cards this year? Nope. I don’t have time for that. I can barely keep my kids in clean underwear. Priorities people, priorities.

If I had sent holiday cards then I would have bragged about Mike. He passed a series of super hard tests and is now an Enrolled Agent. He would tell you EAs are the only federally licensed tax practitioners. In accountant world this is a big, big deal (or so I’m told). He also ran his first half marathon (I ran it with him and managed to only fall down once). He took a road trip with his BFF Arnold following the Blues Trail from New Orleans to Memphis. He also took another solo trip to Costa Rica, which is fast becoming one of his favorite places.

Shelby (13) got braces and was beyond thrilled about it. She said she really, really needed them. I didn’t think so. But my parents never got me braces and I still hold a slight grudge that my sister got braces and I didn’t (totally serious). Shelby also went on a trip to Costa Rica with Girl Scouts. She planted trees, went kayaking, hiked to a waterfall … and was only homesick for the first 24 hours. Shelby started her last year of middle school and is counting the days until high school. She’s become obsessed with manga, all things green tea and astrology. She continues to do aerial dance and had a solo in Zuzi’s Winter Solstice show.

Cooper (8) said the most important thing that happened to him was that he got to go to THE New York. Coop is in 3rd grade and loves school. He hates math, but loves technology, science and PE. This year Cooper discovered audiobooks and devoured every, single Goosebumps book. HE graduated from a twin, race-car bed to a full-sized bed he can keep for years (he says forever, since he plans on living with us forever). He’s still the sweetest, kindest kid in the world.  

I painted every, single day this year. And even had a couple of paintings in some group gallery shows. I went to Hawaii with my girlfriends (magical). The kids and I spent a few weeks in Idaho at my Dad’s ranch and convinced him and my stepmom to move to Tucson (if you need a house in Southeastern Idaho, I know a place). My dad taught me to use a jigsaw and Mike surprised me with my very own jigsaw. I read almost 100 books this year and even though I surpassed my goal of 60, I’m a little bummed I didn’t make it to 100. I’ve settled into my job at Gannett and have been blessed with the world’s best coworkers.

In 2017 we added to our family with the arrival of the the cutest Dachshund in the world, Lincoln “The Braveheart” Kalil. This takes out four-legged family members to three (we have our Golden Retriever Bella and kitty Pixel). Lincoln is my dog, though I share him with Cooper at bedtime because he likes to sleep with Coop. He hangs out with me all day (I work from home) and is my wingman when I run errands or pick up the kids. I’ve wanted a Dachshund since I was a kid, and Lincoln has fulfilled all my Doxie dreams.

Maybe the biggest news for our whole family would be our move across town. We bought a new house in northwest Tucson and plan on staying there forever. We have a pool now and live close enough to Shelby’s high school she can take the bus (woo hoo, less work for mom’s taxi service). We can walk to Whole Foods and Starbucks. It’s pretty much our dream neighborhood.

Twenty-seventeen was a pretty great year (minus Mike’s ponytail phase).As we head into the new year, we wish for more laughter, more connection and more adventure for our family and yours.