Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Letter

I am in the process (yes, it is a process for me) of sending out our annual Christmas cards.  I put my address book away after I did thank you cards for Darby Grace and I am unable to locate it - still.  I can only imagine that there is a reason for this (besides my desk is covered in a foot and a half of clutter.) 

Some of the Christmas cards we receive come complete with an updated briefing of what has gone on for a family in the past year.  Others, like ours, are just photos.  Others yet are simple holiday greetings reminding us of friends near and far. 

I always loved receiving the Christmas letters.  Of course, in today's technologically connected world, an old fashioned letter seems outdated.  Don't you think?  With all of the social media that we're constantly in tune with, we know the goings on of those around us.  At least we think we do. 

If I had to write a summary letter of our 2013, it would kind of go like this. 

Our 2013
Just like that, another year is almost over.  Seems almost as quickly as we started 2013, 2014 is looking us in the face. 
In 2013, we saw plenty of action in our family.  In the first month of the year, we witnessed the devastating destructiveness of fire as my sister and her family lost everything they owned when their house burned to the ground.  We witnessed the power of the social media and our family, friends and community as wave after wave of donations came in for their family.  We saw, with renewed eyes, how community bands together in times of trouble. 
In early winter, too, we had a few different foster puppies, including Holiday - the not so much Boxer mix.  Throughout the year, we've worked with a rescue group, Joe Joe's Place, to raise awareness and funds for animal rescue.  

We spent the winter and the spring gearing up for Jonah's playing baseball, Ella learning how to play tennis and Piper playing her first ever year of softball.   We also spent time gathering our Minnie Mouse themed clothes, blankets and other baby items for the addition of Darby Grace, who was due in early May.  
In 2013, we learned about placental abruption, stillbirth, pre-eclampsia and how to plan a funeral.  We said goodbye to our little girl, our kids' baby sister.  We again saw the strength of our family, friends and community with so many sending meals for our heartbroken family, making donations to our pre-eclampsia walk and sending donations to our church in little Darby's memory.   We witnessed, with humbleness, the doctors, dumbfounded by our loss explain how fragile pregnancy, life and death really are. 
Tim & I visited Disney World twice, once in the spring with our fabulous friends for the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival and once in the fall with our family to visit during the Halloween season.  We took our annual vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina in July.  We had a fabulous week and our annual family photo shoot with local photographers and friends, Kate and Daniel Pullen
Fall of 2013, had our littlest Piper entering kindergarten, Jonah and Ella are both in the our town's middle school.  It also brought travel fall ball for Jonah and the girls playing rec soccer.  It was a crazy schedule but the kids had a great time playing their sports.  We saw their improvement at each and every game and practice. We also learned in the fall that we're expecting another child in the spring. 
It seems that we'll have a busy spring, if we have all the kids playing sports again like they did in 2013.  I think we'll try to take it a little easier than we did this year though.  We'll sit back and try to enjoy and relax during this pregnancy.  Our newest addition, another son, has an estimated arrival window in May, 2014. 
 During this Christmas season and into the new year, our family wishes you health, happiness, love and knowing God's grace. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Snow Day - December 2013

While snow in NJ isn't unusual, snow in early December is not common.  Today is the second day in three days we're experiencing snow.  On Sunday, forecasters in our area called for a "dusting to an inch" of snow.  No one was concerned.  This is what we got:

  In our town, we received about 8-10 inches of snow, depending on where you measured.  Yesterday, local forecasters apologized profusely for getting it wrong.

They proceeded to forecast another storm for today.  4-6 inches of snow to accumulate while we'd be in school and at work.  All of the schools in the region took the warning pretty seriously since there were many accidents on Sunday from people being caught off guard; schools around the area called the first snow day of the year.  This morning, all of our local new stations and even Good Morning America were preempted by local weather reporters out in the snow.  While the roads may be slippery, it's now 1 o'clock and the forecast has changed.  The new forecast is 1-3" of snow in our area.  Again, our weather forecasters failed us.  Wonder what they will say this time?  Another sorry?  (Maybe because I am posting this, the storm will increase in intensity and dump another 10 inches on my complaining behind.)

The kids will now be in school until June 20, 2014.  They are having fun today and we are home safe, but I believe there will be major bellyaching come June when everyone has had it with school, teachers included.

Hope you are safe, wherever you are.