Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Letter 2012

Merry Christmas!  It hardly seems possible that it is the Christmas season again, but here we are!

Garison turned 3 in September and is constantly reminding us that we need to get rid of this or that because there are no more babies in the house :).  I’d like to take a moment to say, “Hallelujah”!  Little G is most definitely a momma’s boy and I just can’t help it.  He loves all things big trucks, cars and plays with toys beyond his years because of his older brother and sister.  The ipad would be another favorite which he has been proficient on since he was 2 – what are these kids going to be like as teenagers?!?!

Our middle princess, Kara, is a personality to behold.  She is all over the place and I love her to pieces for it.  She began her 3rd year of dance and I’m happy to report that progress is being made! :)  This fall, she played soccer for the first (and last) time.  While she was a great runner and support for who ever had the ball, the actual idea of “kicking” the ball was a little lost on her.  It was entertaining none the less.  Kara Bear has a very generous soul for a 5 year old and I can’t wait to see how that matures as she gets older.  She loves to dance, sing, draw and play with anything “girl”.

Levi is now seven!  I am not that old!!  He is in 1st grade and loving it.  We could not have asked for a better teacher for him and everyday he says his favorite subject is “recess”.  Levi played basketball in the winter, took swim lessons in the summer and played soccer in the fall.  This is a fun age to watch as they develop as players.  His all time favorite past time is video games – he consistently beats Garet – and I’m choosing to believe that there is a million dollar career in there somewhere :).

I am in my second year as the accountant at Troy7 and loving it.  The job is a perfect fit for me and I am so thankful for it.  I spent the summer doing a triathlon training program at our local running store and was able to complete my first Olympic Tri in August.  While I’m glad I did it, I enjoyed the sprints Garet and I did all along the summer more :).

Garet is still engineering it up at Troy7 and we are lucky enough to eat lunch together several days.  I think I can count on one hand the trips he took this year, which means I had a good year :).  He also did the Olympic Tri in August and just finished his first Half Marathon in November.  Triathlons have been a good sport for G since it marries his first love of biking with running and he isn’t a bad swimmer either with those dolphin fin feet of his!!  He also took on the 3rd and 4th grade class at church – I think he secretly enjoys getting to play the games each week.

Traveling is always a big part of our year because it is my love language :).  I think I have successfully passed along my love of hotels to Kara, so someone will keep the tradition going.  In February, we planned a spur of the moment trip to Disney and totally surprised the kids the day before we left.  It was so, so fun!  My mom joined us and we hit every park!

Every year I make it a goal to visit at least one new state or experience something we’ve never done before, so this year we hit the Midwest!  We headed up through Iowa and went to the Hoover Presidential Library (don’t knock it!), then up to Minneapolis, MN to the Mall of America.  Garet and Levi opened and closed the amusement park there and we had a blast!  From there we went over to the Wisconsin Dells to Kalahari Water Park – Loved it!!  Wisconsin was the only state I lacked east of the Mississippi, so it is now checked!  We finished up our trip by going through Milwaukee, WI and Chicago, IL and seeing the sights with friends and family.

Finally, we got some weekend trips in to the beach, the Kentucky Farm and I got to spend my birthday weekend with my life-long friends from Auburn.

Through all of the above, the past 12 months were some very hard months.  We saw all 4 of our parents in the hospital for serious health issues.  Last December, my dad was taken to the ER with a massive blood clot in his lungs.  Three doctors told us that night that he shouldn’t be alive, but his heart was so strong from running that it got through.  Six months later on June 2nd, my dad and I sat in a waiting room as a doctor told us that when they went in to remove my mom’s gall bladder, that they found a massive amount of cancer.  In the two days that followed waiting on the biopsy results, I can only say that your prayers carried me through.  Six rounds of chemo and a couple of surgeries later, I’m happy to report that mom is in remission!  Garet’s parents didn’t want to be outdone though!  Kathy took a fall out west on a hike and broke her ankle.  After surgery, a cast, a heart scare and now a boot, she is officially a trooper and getting quite skilled on the scooter!  Finally, the “c” word struck again - Garet’s dad is having surgery to remove cancer in the next week.  We are so thankful they found his early and the prognosis is very good that they will get it all removed.  Prayers are certainly coveted for him.  I was especially grateful to sit at the table with all four of them at Thanksgiving this year!!

Again, I can not thank all of you enough for helping us through a very tough year.  For all of the smiles and good times, there were an equal number of tears.  I constantly had to remind myself that God is in control and I am not – so thankful that his mercies are new every morning!  As we approach this Christmas season, let us not forget that God made the ultimate sacrifice by sending his son here to us so that we may live.  Thank you, Lord!

1 comment:

Mandi Michaelides said...

I love hearing about your family and all your adventures!! What a joy! <3

:-) We will continue to pray for your loved ones and health for this coming year.

Merry Christmas!

P.S. Love your writing style, Alison! What talent you have!!