Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas!

To all who have checked out our blog for the first time, Welcome! Hope this “note” finds you filled with the joy of the Season and Hope for the New Year. We are blessed to have every one of you in our lives!

I know that for everyone 2009 has been a year of unexpected blessings with twists and turns. Our family was no exception.

In January, we had a special visit from Spencer’s mom and dad along with Grandpa Carlson and one of the girl’s favorite cousins, Drake!

February brought change that none of us had expected. Spencer lost his job so; we hit the road and drove around the Midwest looking for what the Lord might have for us. Within a few weeks we had a clear direction and an offer from Ryan Lawn and Tree in Kansas City.

In March, we had three weeks to pack the house, say good-bye and move states away. In the process we celebrated Haydee’s first birthday and even managed a quick couples retreat in the midst of all the craziness!

The month of April was all about adjustment for everyone in the family. Spencer settled into his job and mommy got lost a lot trying to find places in this big city. Payge and Haydee went to Colorado Springs with mommy to celebrate Meemee’s birthday and Aunt April’s wedding shower.

In May, I got a job with the YMCA teaching swim lessons for the summer, we went to Columbia for Memorial Weekend and “us girls” drove back out to Colorado Springs for the big wedding in which both Payge and Haydee were flower girls and I was the Matron of Honor. Spencer joined us later and was a groomsman for the big day.

After the June wedding, we got back home and I learned how to navigate working outside the home with two little ones; they were real troopers and mommy enjoyed teaching and the community of the Y. We also had a special visit from Grammy and Papau Wicks the guys took in a Royals game and the adult women enjoyed dinner and a movie together.

July was hot, but we had a fun visiting in Iowa with Spencer’s family for the 4th of July and we then drove to North Carolina for Uncle Aaron’s wedding! Phew, it was a looonngg drive, but it was so great to see all of my family again.

August was still full of more work for me and I also got recertified for lifeguarding at the Y. Spencer still liked his job a lot, but it was hard to work so long on those hot days. We got a really deserved and much needed break at the Wicks family vacation in Branson, MO. It by far was one of our most favorite family vacations and the girls had so much fun with their cousins, the pool, a boat day and Silver Dollar City.

In September, the girls and I drove up to Iowa to get canning lessons from Spencer’s mom, go Apple picking, have fun with cousins and make some data transition for Wicks Chiropractic so I could become their new insurance biller!

In October, the girls and I head out to Tennessee to see my parents and sister in their new home. We had stopped there along the way to the wedding back in July, but we only got to sleep there and didn’t get to take in their quaint city of Franklin. It was a special time, but also when my Grandma passed away. So, we headed back to KC and then the next day headed out, with Spencer, to California for the memorial services. It was a special time of celebrating her life and getting to be all together. Spencer also received a promotion and he continues to be so grateful and thrilled with his job, and so are the rest of us!

In November, we got to make another trip to Franklin, TN for Thanksgiving. It was a relaxing and wonderful time. While we were there we got word that Kyle’s (April’s husband) dad had passed away suddenly. It was a heartbreaker for all of us and we headed back to KC only to drive the girls to stay with Spencer’s parents in Iowa so I could drive out to Colorado Springs and be there for the services. It was a short trip, and hard for me to be away from the girls so long, but I was so grateful to be there for my sister.

So, here we are full on in the middle of December, three of our four birthdays this month, and one more trip to Iowa for Christmas with family! I can’t believe all this year has held for us. If you’ve made it until the end of this letter I have to hand it to you; I didn’t know it would be so long!

The girls are growing closer every day, learning how to play imagination together and Haydee, at 21 months, is even potty trained with big sister guiding the way. We miss Colorado, but we have no doubt we are exactly where the Lord has placed us. In this next year, we plan to really plug in and serve at our new church we just love and hopefully we can find some good friends here to share life with.

There’s so much more to share, but if you ever want to read more about this year you can just read my previous posts and get more of the story!

Again, we hope this “note” finds you filled with the joy of the Season and Hope for the New Year we are blessed to have every one of you in our lives!

Monday, December 14, 2009


We loaded back up in the car just a few weeks later to celebrate Thanksgiving in Tennessee,even though our last minute trip with my family was just a few weeks before this. This had already been planned as we take turns with our families each year ; one side gets Christmas, the other gets Thanksgiving. It's hard to have to choose between the two, but I am so grateful both families are at least within a days drive. Our time together was sweet and the girls added plenty of funny moments. One of the days was warm and sunny and we took the opportunity to take some pictures at the neighborhood park. We also got to take in a Civil War candle light ceremony and tour an old historic mansion.
Sadly, the end of our trip was marked by another family loss, something at this time I won't go into. Nonetheless, it is a sharp reminder to not take one day on this earth with our loved ones for granted. Our lives are so richly blessed by the love and health we enjoy, thank you Lord and thanks to each of our friends and family who help make this life full of joy.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happiest Place on Earth

As I mentioned in the last posting my beloved Grandma passed away. We were blessed with the ability to go celebrate her life and say good-bye. My whole family had the opportunity to be together which was unexpected and nice since we had no idea when all of us could be together again. While we were in Sunny Southern California we decided we had to take in Disneyland. Of course this was the girls first time and I don't expect them to remember, but our time there was so special for all of us. To see the wonder through their eyes and all the joys of being a kid was healing for everyone. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, but when we got back home and went to the Y where she saw her 'friends" the first thing she said was, "I went to Mickey's House!"