Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas letter

Since I don't have addresses for all of you (and also because I didn't get cards sent to everyone I hoped to this year), here is our Christmas letter.

When I began to think about this year’s Christmas letter, the first thought that came to mind was “thank goodness 2012 is almost over. It’s a year that we will be glad to see end.” And yet as I began to write, God reminded me of the many blessings that He provided us with this year as well.

Maia’s shunt revision surgery in February started a journey that culminated with a prolonged seizure two days after Mother’s Day. A six week hospitalization followed because of a life-threatening infection in her brain and spinal fluid. Literally, people all over the world prayed for our warrior girl! It brings me to tears thinking about it even now. We were humbled and touched by the outpouring of support from our church, family, friends, and people we have never even met. While life looks different for Maia (and our family) than it did before May 15, we praise God for the progress she continues to make!

This year reinforced how thankful we are for family. During Maia’s hospitalization, Matthew enjoyed time with both sets of grandparents. How fortunate we were to have them love on our boy while Mark and I struggled to balance hospital and home life. A highlight of Matthew’s year was a puppy named Suki who lives at Grandmama and Grandpa Jerry’s! They have a wonderful time playing together. Matthew wasn’t exempt from the hospital, either. He had outpatient surgery the day after Maia got home so that I didn’t have to take any additional time off from work. But, he was quickly on the go again, eager to explore and have fun.

Matthew and Mark were able to help celebrate Mark’s grandma’s 101st birthday in August. Grandma died later this fall so our memories of time spent with her are even more precious. We miss her, but are so glad that she lived to see the kiddos come home and be part of our family!

We had a short visit from Melanie’s brother and sister-in-law, Jake and Krys, who live in Portland. This was their first opportunity to meet Matthew and Maia. Matthew is eager for the time when they visit again or we are able to travel to Oregon to see them. “Dyadya” and “tiotya” (Russian for uncle and aunt) are some of his favorite people.

The kids both attend pre-school: Maia in the mornings and Matthew in the afternoons. They have wonderful teachers who are absolutely committed to them. The kids are showing such progress as a result. No words can express how thankful I am for their caring and dedication.

Mark and I are fine. He remains at home with the kids and I continue to work as a nurse practitioner for Mayo. Life is crazy and chaotic as Christmas approaches. We are waiting to hear if our offer to buy a home on 2 acres of land will be accepted. It has a main floor bedroom for Maia and space for Matthew to burn off some energy. We trust that God knows where we will be next Christmas and that He has our best interest at heart.

  So as I look back over the past twelve months, 2012 looks nothing like I anticipated when writing last year’s cards. And while it was a difficult year on many levels, it is also a year that has taught us much about relying on our heavenly Father and rethinking what is important in our lives. It is a year that has showered us with many blessings and given us many reasons to give thanks and praise. We have much to celebrate this Christmas and pray that you do, too – most importantly, the greatest gift of all – the birth of the Christ child!

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