It seems a little old school to write a Christmas letter. After all, if you really wanted to know about our year, you could see the highlights on the blog or facebook timeline. But I like writing! And you must be mildly curious about how our year has gone if you’ve made it this far. So why not post an official update?
The first half of 2012 included a few trips (cruise with my family, Florida with Nate’s family, Arizona with Nate’s work), playing with toddlers in the church nursery, hosting a small group, and spending lots of time focused on our first born. The turning point and highlight of our year was the arrival of our second daughter in July. With a birth weight of 9lbs 13oz, we never would have guessed she’d spend her first week of life in the NICU. But, sadly, the doctor’s suspected a lung infection and ordered a week’s worth of antibiotics. Since then, she’s given us a few scares (a small heart murmur and an iris cyst), but overall she’s healthy and whole. With lots of dark, curly hair, dark eyes, and an incredibly happy disposition, she’s nothing like her sister was at birth!
Six weeks after our baby was born, our big girl turned two. They say that two is terrible. And, yes, we experience our fair share of whining, tantrums, and self-centered bossiness. On the other hand, we also have lots of giggling, dancing, singing, and snuggling. Our two-year-old is empathetic, teachable, smart, polite, joyful, and outgoing. We often get comments about how advanced she is verbally. Nate’s typical response is something like, “Have you met her parents? They talk a lot too.”
Several people have asked for an update on Daniel and Guatemala. We recently learned that our main connection to him (his former social worker) is moving back to the states. However, we have a lead on a connection in his hometown who might be able to visit him, transfer money for his tuition, and keep us connected. Please pray that something works out soon! We hope to make a trip there with both girls next year.
Nate continues to manage our apartments, fly a few times a week, and do real estate development/IT work for a local IHOP franchisee. We eat lunch together (most days), and he’s (usually) home before the girls wake up from their naps. He’s been known to take on diapers, laundry, baths, bedtime books, and nighttime prayers. He’s also exceptionally patient and capable when it comes to potty training. What can I say? He’s an amazing guy!
I have thoroughly embraced my SAHM job. However, I think “Stay-At-Home Mom” is a misnomer. We rarely stay home! We find something to do almost every day–play dates, the children’s museum, toddler science time, church open gym, walks, parks, errands. I’ve been blogging (obviously). I take and edit lots of pictures (also obvious?). It’s stereotypical. And that’s okay. Because when you have a newborn and a young toddler, some semblance of normal is welcome.
Our parents (and Nate’s grandparents) live nearby and provide us with babysitting for our weekly date nights. We’re still not sure who enjoys this time more—the parents, grandparents, or babies. Wade (my brother) and his fiancé (!) are in town, too. Christy (Nate’s sister), Chris, and Claire live about an hour and a half away. Our girls are lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful family!
No update would be complete without mention of our friends. You definitely deserve credit and thanks for helping to make 2012 a wonderful year for our family. Thank you for your continued willingness to love, challenge, help, and encourage us!