We’ve crossed the country every which way this year -- we went over the border to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, and were within spitting distance of the Mexico border when we visited San Diego.
We’ve frolicked in the waves of both the Atlantic and the Pacific.
January 1st we were in Ohio and December 31st, in California.
We’ve hunkered down as Sandy crossed over us, and then put our shoulders to the wheel to help folks afterwards.
We’ve seen starfish and wild ponies, we’ve hiked among tulip trees and Torrey pines.
We haven’t had many of the more typically newsworthy milestones, but we’ve experienced plenty of new and wonderful things this year.
Some of our favorite family times this year were exploring the tide pools on the Oregon coast and eating Voodoo Doughnuts when we traveled to the Portland area for the wedding of Aunt Michelle and now-Uncle JJ.
We also loved seeing the wild horses of Assateague Island, as we took our annual summer camping trip as a family. Especially memorable was when the trio of bachelor stallions stole our tortilla chips right out of our trunk and ate them as we watched.
Our least favorite happening this year was finding out that Grandma G. would not be able to conquer her cancer. We did rejoice in being able to spend Christmas with her, though, and hope that her strong, indomitable character will help her continue with us a while longer.
Ian was ordained a deacon this year, and Lucy took the step of baptism. The growth of each of our children -- both physically and mentally -- frequently astounds us. S. and I continue to be incredibly grateful for the true joys we find in our family life, and take seriously our "sacred duty to rear [our] children in love and righteousness". After 14 years of marriage, we feel the constant strength of our love and teamwork even through the nitty-gritty of raising four children and running a household.
Like you, we are often aware of how fragile and uncertain our futures are; like you, we sorrow when tragedies and trials touch our lives. We still hope, however, that we can live as Paul taught, "in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and [being] persuaded of them, and [embracing] them".
Have a wonderful new year, and thank you for being among those we love.