Wishing your continued peace, love, and happiness thru the holidays and beyond

This holiday season will be remembered by my family as the year that two things happened for the first time.

  1. We had two little boys to enjoy the holidays with and stack a pile of presents for under the tree
  2. We wrote a holiday family newsletter for the first time and have included it in with the card we sent out.

But we still haven’t solved the problem of actually collecting all the mailing addresses of the new friends we’ve made over the past year.  Next year, that will be worked seamlessly into the holiday production workflow.

So for those not getting an envelope in your mailbox, here is our holiday newsletter in its entirety.  Along with the photos that were included with it.


Hello from Half Moon Bay, California

Here we are, writing a holiday newsletter to insert with our 2008 holiday card.  Certainly, this is one of those things we never expected to actually do.  OK – in fairness, Keturah has been willing to do one of these for years.  J.J., on the other hand, has been trying to avoid this in the same manner that he’s been (successfully, so far) avoiding acquiring a mini-van.

But there is a simple reason we’ve made the leap and have dived into composing this masterpiece.  And the reason is this: we haven’t gotten around to letting some of you know that we had another wonderful about addition to our family this past year.  Jude – our second son, born on August 4, 2008.

So let’s get right to it. First off, with today’s modern medicine you can make appointments to give birth.  If you look in J.J.’s calendar, his summer months are filled with appointments such as “weekly status meeting” (these exist on his calendar every Monday at 1pm), “review design specifications for web project”, and “haircut”.  In the midst of all these, exists the appointment for August 4 at 6 AM.  That one says “Take Keturah to the hospital so she can have our baby.”  It also happens to be marked with an URGENT indicator so that he understands that it’s pretty important he not be late.

If that doesn’t seem like  we are thumbing our nose at mother nature and the reproductive process, how about this: we stopped to get a bite to eat and a cup of coffee on the way to the hospital.

But the truly important thing is that Jude Stafford Toothman was born as a beautiful baby boy at 8:03 AM on August 4.  The first “Hey Jude” came about 15 seconds later.    Mason and Jude differ in age by exactly two years and two days.  At birth, Jude weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces.  Jude was born with brown hair and blue eyes.  There is much debate over whether his eyes will stay blue and as of mid-December, they are still blue.  For the record, Keturah believes those eyes will turn brown eventually.  J.J. believes they are blue to stay.

Mason adores Jude.  He loves to make silly faces to try to get Jude to laugh, is eager to hold him, and likes to show him how to play with toys.  He also loves climbing in Jude’s crib, stealing his stuffed animals, and using Jude’s socks as gloves for his own hands, but I guess perfect behavior can’t be expected from a two year old.  Speaking of gloves, Mason got his first baseball glove this past fall and it was a big moment.  He is eager to play catch.  Currently, he’s much better at throwing.  To really appreciate how well he can throw, you should see him grab the TV remote and throw it across the living room.  Yeah, we love that.

What we’re hoping for Mason right now is that if he happens to read this letter one day, notice that there are approximately 234 words written about Jude and only  125 words about him – that he won’t  be too upset about that.

With the pregnancy, there wasn’t a lot of traveling this year.  Though a trip to Costa Rica in January is fast approaching.  As for our careers, Keturah left her previous employer after Jude was born and is now freelancing for another ad agency in downtown San Francisco.  J.J. has now been working at Stanford University for a year.

And when we’re not doing that, we’re folding laundry.

Here’s wishing you a wonderful holiday season as well as continued peace and happiness in 2009.


Keturah, J.J., Mason, and Jude

Mason at the Beach

Mason playing at the beach – Half Moon Bay – Summer 2008

Mason staring at sharks and fishes – Aquarium of the Bay – July 2008

Mason staring at sharks and fishes – Aquarium of the Bay – July 2008


Jude about 30 minutes after being born – August 4, 2008

Mason holding Jude on the day Jude came home from the hospital

Mason holding Jude on the day Jude came home from the hospital – August 2008


Jude and Mason hanging out – Fall 2008

Keturah and J.J. – New York City – December 2008

Keturah and J.J. – New York City – December 2008