Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

the front and back of our Christmas card this year :)

With fear of sounding cliche tossed by the wayside I'm just going to say it.  "Seriously, it's Christmas already?? This year has flown by!"  Alright, now that we've got that out of the way...

January 2011 began with Emmalyn being three months old, me staying home with her, and Chris still laid off from Hawker Beechcraft.  Lots of "family time" whether we liked it or not...  Most days we were Switzerland. 

I am so, so, so incredibly grateful to be able to stay home with Emmalyn.  I'm just as grateful for a husband that fully supports my desire to be home and raise our family.  This is what makes my heart come alive.  We don't live cushy.  We have one income.  But we're living in the purpose that God has called us to this moment, and that's all that matters.

In February, Chris graduated from the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Reserve academy.  He is almost done with his "field training", and will be soon be able to ride shifts on his own.  His heart is completely in law enforcement, and we are both excited for the day that he gets hired (either by Wichita PD or SC Sheriff) and paid for what he loves to do.  His enthusiasm and love for law enforcement is evident as several "higher-ups" have told him that they see it when he is out working.  

Ironically during the layoff, we had the chance to take the awesome Dave Ramsey Financial Peace class...  We chuckled at the end of every class saying "Yep, this will be a great resource to have once we actually have money to work with!" But now that we have a steady income, we are slowly working our way to become debt free.  The light feels far away, but it's somewhere down there at the end of the tunnel.

In March Chris was offered a job at a small aircraft company.  We decided he should take because it had benefits.  It actually paid less than unemployment, but insurance sure is nice to have around.

My baby sister got married in April.  The last of the four kids.  Crazy.  Because I'm pretty sure it feels like about 3 weeks ago when we were all eating macaroni and cheese, doing school in the dining room (we were home schooled for those who don't know) and tattling on each other.

In June, I (Ginny) started volunteering at our church's coffee shop, Jitters.  I continue every other week, and am enjoying taking on more responsibilities.  If you're local, you should stop by and see me some Sunday (it's in Asbury Church at 15th and St. Paul).  :)  Speaking of church, Chris took the position of "sound technician" for the Breakthru service at church.  It's a few hours on Sunday morning for service, but he enjoys it and is dang good at it - if I say so myself.  :)

I'm pretty sure it was June (but can't remember exactly because it's not written in my calendar that I'm looking through to write this letter) that Chris got a call-back letter from Hawker!!  Praise the Lord :)  He was literally on his way home from work [and was going to clean his car out to get it ready to sell] when I called him to let him know.  I could have kissed our mailman that day.  I restrained.  

July brought our five year wedding anniversary.  I can't honestly remember what we did, but it was nothing extravagant (dinner and a movie maybe?) as we had our nine month old sweet baby girl waiting for us to return ;)

August and September I filled my days planning and creating for Emmalyn's 1st birthday! Check out all of the fun we had :)

In September I started the process of switching to all natural beauty products.  I've had a really fun time with it, and continue to experiment with making my own products.  Here and here are a few of my trial and errors :)

Emmalyn had great fun being a peacock for Fall Festival this year, and I had great fun making her costume :)
As far as I can think, those are the highlights of our 2011...

Emmalyn is 14 months old now and keeps us on our toes.  "She wears me out just to watch her" is what my dad says :)  It's true.  She started walking at about 10 months and has yet to stop unless she's sleeping.  She knows a lot of animal sounds, and will repeat "da" if you say "dada" and "ma" if you say "mama".  She has always been an easy baby, and continues that trend.  She has most definitely and unfortunately (or fortunately, however you want to look at it) inherited her mother's strong-willed trait.  I laugh as I imagine the future with laid-back Chris in the background and me and her forehead to forehead ;)  She's a friend to anyone most of the time, totally independent when she wants to be, but a complete mama's girl when the mood strikes. 

We continue to be in awe of God's abundant blessings poured in our lives.  "Blessed" is used so flippantly, but it's the one word that says it all.  It's been a year of many valleys, but many hills.  We've had some scary, not fun, "glad to not have to go back" times this year.  But coming out the other side we have our health, we have loving family and friends.  And above all else, we all have a Savior that came to this fallen and broken earth to show us His unfailing and unmeasurable love.

We pray that you will know blessings this season and this new year that is upon us.

Chris, Ginny, and Emmalyn

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