Greetings, readers, and warm wishes for a bright year ahead.
After looking back at some of my past January notes, I think I’m finally ready to stop making far-fetched resolutions and predicting what the year ahead will look like. I mean, let’s be honest, was there really any chance that I would get my whole family outside every single day and move my body in some sort of semi-challenging way daily? Not really. And I never would have imagined how much our world would change soon after I penned my January 2020 note. So this year, I will simply hope for health and happiness for me and my family and for all of you, and I’ll do my best to find ways to maintain and achieve both of those throughout the year.
There are lots of ways to be inspired throughout this issue, our annual health and wellness-focused edition. You’ll meet the Cypress family on page 32, who have learned to roll with the punches as they live with sickle cell disease. The adjustments we’ve all had to make during the pandemic are nothing new to this family (and aren’t their twins so handsome on our cover?!).
You’ll love reading about three families who have inspired each other in their medical career paths, beginning on page 20. I had nothing to do with the selection of these neat families, but it turns out that one is my sons’ dentist, the funny and friendly Dr. Wong at Virginia Family Dentistry, and one is my longtime friend and fellow Jazzerciser, Donna Palmer (read more about Jazzercise and friendship in the column to the right). Donna’s twin daughters have followed in her footsteps in pediatric nursing.
Wendy Irvine, our longtime travel writer, is back with some tips and encouragement to get you back on the road or in the air in 2022 (page 56), and Paula Chambers has a road trip idea for all of the football-loving families out there (page 52).
There are so many nuggets of advice and good reminders in Mark Loewen’s Parental Guidance article on page 24, I’m going to tear this one out and highlight some of my favorite sections to read over and over again this year. He reminds us to be present in our child’s life, be consistent with our words and actions, be respectful of our children, and to be fun. Now that is some advice I can get behind!
Our calendar has lots of ways to get out and have fun over the winter months, and lots of them are free at our area’s libraries. I was amazed by the wide variety of activities the libraries have planned, everything from magic shows to gardening for teens to Japanese cooking for manga fans. There are a lot of virtual events at the libraries too, from coding with Scratch and making a dance battle for the librarians, to yoga, rapping, and author talks. And if you’re looking to take a deeper dive into a new skill, check out the many offerings at the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen – we have their full winter/spring class schedules beginning on page 39.
And finally, how about a family sleepover in February? RFM is proud to support The Ronald McDonald House for this fun family fundraiser (say that five times fast!) that includes snacks, hot cocoa, and unlimited snuggles. Head to page 29 for more info.
From all of us at RFM, have a safe and happy 2022, and thanks for picking up this issue.