MONEY TALKS – 2020 was an “interesting” year for the Hoole Family. The kids are getting older and more independent. Carsyn is loving school and becoming quite the social butterfly. Brody on the other hand learned how to ride his bike without training wheels and potty trained himself (surprisingly enough, in that order).
Maine Weekend – Over MLK weekend we drove up to visit some family friends in Maine. The timing was perfect as we got eight inches of snow the night before we went skiing at Shawnee Peak. The following day Alisyn, Carsyn, and the rest of the group went shopping at LLBean in Freeport. Unfortunately, Brody managed to dislocate his elbow, so we had a fun Sunday afternoon at Maine Medical Center. Luckily, he was fine after the doctor popped it back in, and we ended up having a fun afternoon in Portland with Aunt Paula.
Bretton Woods – In February we rented a ski condo in Bretton Woods New Hampshire right near the Mount Washington Hotel. The mountain offered some great outdoor activities including skiing and scenic zip line tours. Meanwhile the hotel had tons of activities including a daily movie matinee, cupcake decorating, a wildlife encounter show, video arcade, sledding, and horse drawn sleigh rides. On non-activity days we ventured out to a few restaurants (and breweries) including the famous Polly’s Pancake Parlor. Remarkably, the family favorite activity turned out to be riding in the complementary shuttle bus around the hotel properties where the kids could put money in the tip box.
Home Schooling – Unfortunately towards the end of March the Windham Schools went completely remote. Having two kids at home while trying to work was a challenge, but nothing compared to our new full-time position as 1st grade teachers. After that experience I have a newfound respect for the dedication, hard work, and patience that teachers across the country demonstrate daily. I can only hope that it’s slightly easier teaching someone else’s child rather than your own (in an effort to test this theory, we joked with the neighbors about swapping kids for the day).
Summer Vacation – In July we took our annual family vacation to Lake Winnipesaukee. While this year was certainly different due to COVID-19, luckily many of the local restaurants and ice cream stands around the lake already offered plenty of outdoor seating. Once again, we took a day trip to Whale’s Tale waterpark and had a fantastic time. The park was reservation only and limited capacity to 25% which meant there were no lines! Unfortunately, due to the summer drought we could not tube down the Pemigewasset River as we had planned (and didn’t find out until we got to the tube rental stand). Fortunately, we had some close friends renting a nearby cabin at Squam Lake. We ultimately had a great day exploring a new lake with some old friends.
Back to School – Thankfully Carsyn and Brody were both able to resume full-time schooling this fall. Carsyn is now in Mr. Mullen’s 2nd grade class while Brody is in Ms. Victoria’s Pre-K class. She loves class and her afterschool YMCA program and continues to enjoy her weekend dance class. Brody has continued to amaze us with his front flips at gymnastics. In fact, due to his balance and athleticism his teacher recommended he try a Parkour class.
As much fun as we’ve had in 2020, we are looking forward to putting the year behind us and get back to a sense of “normalcy”. I think we are all tired of cooking at home and I am personally looking forward to getting out to see family, friends, and clients again. Furthermore, we had a few trips planned in 2020 that were postponed due to COVID-19 that we hoping to reschedule when it’s safe again. We hope you all have a safe and prosperous 2021. Yours truly, the Hoole Family.