Tuesday, December 21, 2010

2010 Happenings

I just mailed out all our Christmas cards and didn't include a family update like we usually do. Since so many people are on facebook it seems redundant to write about all the family happenings that most people already know about. So, since our card included our blog address, I thought I'd just do our family letter here. And maybe now I'll be more consistent about updating this blog too.

We were just a little into 2010 when we found out that I was pregnant, and by the time we wrapped our minds around the fact that we would be having a newborn, Merin was here! It has been an absolute delight to have a newborn baby in our family. I'd prayed throughout my pregnancy that this experience would soften all of us, and it certainly has. There is just something magical about how a baby- so fresh and new- brings sweetness and peace into even the darkest of moods. We have all enjoyed her so much. She's an easy baby which means I can say "sweetness" and "peace" when I talk about a newborn. She just started smiling this week which is so much fun.

Chase, who wasn't too sure about how it would be to have a daughter, is absolutely smitten. And Elias loves her more and more everyday. He loves to sing and dance and talk to her and feels so important when he gets to help take care of her. We work to find plenty of ways that he can be included and this has really helped his transition from being the only child. It'll take time though. We were a family of just three for a long time!

Chase is commuting to San Antonio for his job which is hard on all of us, but he loves what he does and where he works. We are so thankful for this. Between working and his long hours in the car everyday he doesn't have much time for his many hobbies, but gets out to the gun range whenever he can. He went deer hunting recently for the first time and we had to buy a new freezer to house all the meat. Venison is the new chicken in our house. Anyone have good venison recipes?

Elias goes to Kindergarten every morning and really loves it. Well, he loves math and recess. He still talks nonstop and has more energy than all of us put together. He's gotten really into soccer and loves playing at school during recess and wants to play more as soon as he gets home. I was a pretty lame soccer opponent late into my pregnancy, but I could at least stand there and kick the ball with him. He played t-ball this year which was perfect for him and will probably play again this next year.

Elias recently got into legos and it's the only thing he's ever encountered that will keep him occupied for hours. He completed a 362 piece set yesterday while I took care of Merin and got a ton of Christmas stuff done!

I worked part-time for my church this year which was so much fun for me. It's helped make my transition to having two children go smoothly just because I'm not as busy trying to juggle working on top of home and all our other activities. We have simplified life a lot since October and it's made all the difference. I still "work" with refugee women in Austin which I love. I don't like to say "work" or "volunteer", because the women are truly my friends and I love to be with them and a part of their lives. You can see more about my refugee friends here: http://www.hilltribers.blogspot.com/
We are still waiting on our Ethiopian adoption. We never thought we'd wait this long and it's hard to even talk about. But we know that God has this whole adoption under His faithful, loving control and we'll have our child in our arms not a moment too late.
You can read more of our blog for a couple other happenings in 2010 (like the Endeavor Games and Chase's trips to Haiti), and I'll post a few of our other favorite pictures of the year below. (I lost my hardrive though so only have pictures from the summer until now).

Merry Christmas!

Family Camp at Laity Lodge

First Day of Kindergarten
Cool Tatoo

We finally meetComing out of delivery room with Chase

Meeting Big Brother Elias, Aunts, Grandmothers for the first time...