Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours,
we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.

Our Christmas Letter 2014:
Merry Christmas to our dear family and friends!  What a joyful, and fast year we have had.  Our lives changed forever, in the most wonderful way possible, on January 24th when our precious 6lb 13oz baby girl, Tracey Ann, entered the world.  Despite all our research and reading, its safe to say nothing prepared us for the intense love and immense change that filled our life.

Our animals, Lexie (cat), and Lloyd (dog) have both adjusted well to their little two-legged sibling; however, as Tracey Ann has gotten more mobile and able to interact with them, Lloyd enjoys her more and Lexie enjoys her less.

Our wanderlust hasn’t diminished with the arrival of Tracey Ann (we just have to bring more luggage).  As I’m writing this letter, Tracey Ann (at the age of 10 months), has been to 21 states, on 2 airplane trips, logged thousands of miles in the car, and visited four major league baseball parks, several state parks and one national monument.  We’re doing our best to pass the travel bug on to our next generation.

With the arrival of our first child, Chris and I began to address big questions such as “how do we want to raise our children?” and “where do we want to settle long-term?”  While we don’t have the long-term answers, we do know God is keeping us in Rifle at present.  Just as we were evaluating opportunities elsewhere, Chris was offered a new job at his school as middle school Athletic Director and 5th and 6th grade Dean of Students.  In addition, we were thrilled when my employers approved me for an adjusted work schedule (working full time, but fewer days for longer hours) allowing me to be home with Tracey Ann as much as possible.  We hired a nanny for the days when I’m in schools, and we have been so blessed by how she loves and cares for Tracey Ann in our absence, and what a sweet addition she is to our family.

Chris loves his new job, and it keeps him on the go constantly.  He spends a lot of time working with students who have made, we’ll call them “less-than-wise decisions” and he has such a heart for reaching students during these tough middle school years.  His switch from teacher to administrator, and his enjoyment of this new position led him to begin a new graduate degree in educational administration.

As for me, I have fallen in love with motherhood and enjoy every second with Tracey Ann.  Some moments are more sleep-deprived than others, but I feel so fortunate to have a healthy, happy baby girl, and I try to maintain an attitude of gratitude and joy.

Other highlights of the year include Tracey Ann’s dedication in our Rifle church with all of her grandparents present; Chris seeing a game in his 30th Major League ballpark (Turner Field in Atlanta, GA on the 4th of July with our family and his parents); and connecting with family and friends far and wide to introduce them to our baby girl.
 This Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of our Savior as a family of three, Matthew 7:9-11 is made manifest to us – how God’s love for us, His children, is so much greater than our love for our own child, which seems impossible.  Our prayer for you is an incredible realization of God’s love for you as He sent His only Son to Earth to die for our sins, that we might have eternal life.

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