Holidays, my heart

Christmas Letter 2014

As cliche as it might sound, I honestly cannot believe the year 2014 is almost over.

This year has been such a whirlwind, wonderful year.

We started out the year in Savannah, enjoying being so close to family and enjoying our life there. I absolutely loved my job and Andy was working hard at his. He had a few calls about other jobs but quickly turned them down because we loved our house and our proximity to grandparents and other family. Then one day he gets a call and the job seemed way too good to be true. One month later from the initial call Andy started his new job. What a whirlwind! We have so loved Cleveland and East Tennessee. I tell Andy almost daily I don’t know if I will ever get used to living somewhere so beautiful.


Andy– What a year he has had, y’all. I couldn’t be more proud of him. This year has been the biggest year of growth for him in his career and he has worked so hard. The promotion he got was something we weren’t expecting so early in his career but he deserves it more than anyone I know. As we all know, Andy’s not much of a talker, but as far as I know he absolutely loves his job. I know his boss is very good to him and I know that he seems a million times happier. His job is always going to be stressful and crazy busy, but it isn’t weighing him down at all times like it was before. No one is more thankful than I am for that!

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Rory– I think out of all of us, Rory has had the most growth this year. She struggled through school last year and lost a lot of confidence in herself in the process. The move was hard on her, she remembers every.single.thing. so she had a hard time missing her friends and grandparents. She also is very attached to “things” and she most definitely struggled with missing her “yellow house”. It was a very big adjustment for her. About a week after we moved here, I started Rory in a PreK program that is affiliated with a church. We hadn’t had the best experience with that in the past, but I prayed long and hard over where to send her and kept coming back to this particular school. God directed us there because, y’all, that girl has flourished. Rory’s confidence is back and soaring. She has learned so much it is actually shocking to me. Tears are falling as I’m writing this just thinking about how far my precious girl has come from last year. Gone is the girl who comes home from school saying, “but I just want to be a good girl”. Thank you, Jesus, for answering our prayers for a wonderful teacher and school. Rory is such a strong-willed, smart girl and I know teachers make all the difference with her. I will be praying non-stop for her teacher selection each and every year so she can continue to flourish like she has this year. As you know, her fashion sense has flourished as well. She absolutely cracks me up with her need to have the right outfit and how much she thinks it out. Nothing about the process is vain, its just a very well planned and thought out process for her (as is everything in her life). She is so her father’s daughter because she has that engineer brain, but even fashion is math and a project to her. She gets a measuring tape and measures her self and then her clothes to see which thing would fit the best. I mean COME ON. No one taught her to do this, she just found a sewing measuring tape and has been doing it ever since. My heart swells with love and pride for my sweet Rory Eve. I’m so glad this has been a year of rescue for her. And I truly mean that.

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Ryder– Ryder is my free-spirit. I can’t tell you how many times a day Andy and I will say, “oh she’s in Ryder world.” It is so funny to watch her. Every day we drop Rory off at school and every day we get home and Ryder goes straight to her room. She LOVES being alone with all their toys. She plays alone all morning, even going so far as to say “mom get out I don’t need you!” after I check on her. I love to listen to her talking to herself or playing with Barbies and making them talk. I have never seen a child so imaginative, but apparently my sister, Telena, was that way too. Ryder hasn’t had as hard of a time with the move, but I think it IS because of her “Ryder world” and of course because she is younger. She is every bit of a threenager and we have certainly struggled with that, but because I just had a threenager in Rory and now see how precious Rory is at almost five, I feel like I can survive Ryder. It is challenging and we are looking into her possibly going to Rory’s school for a few days a week to have more structure. We shall see. I personally wouldn’t mind having some time to think and get things done without worrying what Ryder was going to get into that day. Ha! I can’t wait to see how Ryder continues to grow and learn new things every day.

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As for myself, I have had a wonderful year of growth as well. I feel like I started the year in a drought and am now coming out of that. I absolutely loved my job in Savannah and miss it all the time, but I have enjoyed this time at home with the girls. I’ve been trying to work on blogging more and have really gotten into loving makeup (which sounds juvenile) and the whole process of how it can make you feel like a whole new person. I’m really enjoying the apartment more than I thought I would, which goes to show that “attitude is everything”. It is cozy and I could definitely go for 2 bathrooms instead of one, but I do really love it. It is easier to maintain and I love the layout. You all know how much I love to make my home beautiful for my family and I think that even in the apartment I’ve done a good job at that. Since we finally sold our house in Texas, I do get excited about starting the process to find our first home here in Cleveland in the next few months. I’m hoping I can convince Andy that we need to go for a project house and have lots of remodeling and ripping down walls and making it into our own. I will say that ending this year knowing it is my last full year in my 20s has thrown me for a loop just a bit. I never thought I would be feeling this way, but I am a little sad. At the same time, I’m hoping my 30s are more settled and I feel that they will be. I hope that my 30s bring me finding the courage to finally go after my dreams of maybe writing that book I have always wanted to write. I’m hoping my 30s bring me friendships here that are mature and honest and real. I’m hoping they bring me more growth as a wife and a mom.

We have surely been blessed this year. I’m immensely grateful for the gifts God has given us this year. Big changes are always hard, but I feel like moving here rescued us in a lot of ways. We have all grown and changed in many ways. I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings us.

Thank you for being such a huge part of my year. I love every single one of you who reads the blog so much.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and I can’t wait to show pictures and video of our Christmas as well.



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