Well, this has forced me to really swallow my pride and expectations. A virtual Christmas card….so painfully tacky. I love doing it the old-school way with the hand addressed cards signed with love and stuffed with a family christmas letter and a beautiful picture. I always admired my grandma for sending mountains of cards every year and I was determined to keep that tradition going. Ever since Michael and I were married, I have excitedly prepared my card list and mailed them out in early December and then eagerly awaited responses in my mailbox.
This year was not supposed to be any different, and I did buy a beautiful box of cards, but they have been waiting for me to open them for weeks. So now, 7 days before Christmas, I am admitting defeat. A Christmas letter blog post will have to suffice for this year.
Dear Family and Friends,
Merry Christmas!! We hope that you are all doing well and enjoying the holiday season surrounded by your loved ones.
This year has been bittersweet for our family. After a long battle with severe osteoporosis and dementia, my grandma Withrow went to be with her Lord just after Easter. The weeks leading up to her passing were difficult as we all took shifts caring for her and staying with Papa but the time invested in family is always worth it. We are missing her dearly, especially during the Christmas season, but we are so comforted by the fact that she is no longer suffering or restricted by her body and is with Jesus.
Heaven also grew sweeter with the passing of her sister, Joyce, and brother, Tom, and several other friends and loved ones. Of course we are all still missing my sweet Maw Maw Andrews as well but we do not sorrow as those without hope, one day we will see them again!
The greatest adventure of the year for our family was the road-trip to West Virginia with Papa in October. A lot of people thought we were nuts to attempt a road-trip of that magnitude with a 2 year old, 4 year old, 6 year old, and an 86 year old all in the same minivan, but we had the time of our lives. The kids were excellent during the drive and we made lots of interesting stops along the way. The weather could not have been more beautiful and the best part was reuniting Papa with family members he hadn’t seen in years. Sometimes I think you have to be a little bit crazy to attempt the best adventures.
The kids are doing well and growing faster and faster. Jonah is in first grade and enjoying homeschooling as well as Taekwondo. He has earned his orange belt and already looking forward to the next level. His favorite activity is reading and studying dinosaurs, dragons, and sea life. Depending on when you ask him, he will tell you that he wants to grow up to be a paleontologist, marine biologist or a ninja.
Haven is doing really well and we are working through some K4 workbooks with her. She loves to color and draw pictures and spend time with her beloved kitten. Haven has been cat obsessed since she was a toddler and daddy finally gave in and let her have her very own kitten on her fourth birthday this year. She is now a self-declared “kitty mama” to her baby Sally.
Laelynn has changed so much since last year. She is walking and running and talking and full of personality and determination. She is still her mama’s girl and loves to be held and cuddled but can also be hard to catch! She loves baby dolls and wearing her sparkly fairy wings while pretending to be “kinkerbell!”
As for Michael and me, we have been kept busy with painting and other projects around our new home! God blessed us with the opportunity to buy our first home together this summer and we love it. We are only about five minutes from where we were renting before, but now we have a larger back yard for the kids. Our lot is on a pond and conservation area so it is really quiet and private. We feel incredibly blessed to be here and we are excited about the future!
From our family to yours, we wish you all a very, merry Christmas!!
Jonah, Haven and Laelynn