First let me start by saying that we did not send out physical cards this year, so if you didn’t get one don’t think that we forgot you. I feel bad because I LOVE getting Christmas cards in the mail, but this year a blog post will have to suffice.
We lovingly deemed 2016 the year-of-the-trips. We traveled a lot this year, both together and individually. The first big trip of the year was Brad’s trip to southeast Asia in February with a team from our church, Pleasant Valley. Here’s Brad to tell you more about it.
Merry Christmas everyone! This year I had the chance to visit a group of pastors and their families in Asia who are partnered with our church and help teach at a pastor’s conference. It was an incredible experience, and I was amazed to see how God is at work among His people around the world. Thanks to those of you who made this trip possible through prayer and financial giving. We are very blessed by generous friends and family.
In April we took a trip that we’d been planning and looking forward to for a long time – we went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida. If you know us, you are aware of our love for all things Harry Potter. It was a super fun and memorable trip! You can read more about our trip here.
We both took trips for our jobs this year – Brad traveled to St. Louis, MO, and Louisville, KY, (WAY closer than Asia) with his job at Midwestern Seminary and I went to New Orleans, LA, for a conference with my job. In the spring we took a quick trip up to Omaha for a concert and we visited Bolivar/Springfield for the wedding of some friends. I also went to Minnesota this fall with my mom and aunt for a wedding.
All that travel and we still managed to make some progress on our home renovation! (Slowly but surely…) We painted the trim in our bedroom white, our hall bathroom got a complete makeover, we installed new countertops in our kitchen, and we turned the pink hearts room into an office! We’re finally getting close to finishing all of the must-do projects. Slated for 2017 is to redo the blue flower room (last room with wallpaper!!), replace the carpet in the guest bedroom, and finish our master bedroom/bathroom update.
It seems that every Christmas blog post comes with a job change! This fall Brad left his position as Assistant Director of Admissions at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to join the staff at our church as their Digital Communications Coordinator. Here’s Brad to tell you more about it.
While I was definitely sad to say goodbye to my friends and family at Midwestern, I was super excited to take on a new challenge at Pleasant Valley this fall. As a full-time digital communications coordinator, my days are spent helping the church and the congregation get equipped to spread the gospel and love each other. It’s been great! I’m still taking classes at Midwestern, and am officially halfway through my Master of Divinity.
I’m still loving my job at Viracor-Eurofins. This year was extremely challenging, but also super rewarding! I’m very blessed to go to a job that I love everyday!
This year wasn’t without sorrow. My dear cousin Justine went to be with the Lord in November after a tough battle with cancer. We miss her terribly and we grieve the fact that we don’t get to enjoy her presence here with us anymore, but we rejoice knowing that she is fully restored and with Jesus. We are so thankful for the ways that God was glorified throughout her journey and the impact that her life will continue to make. You can read a tribute that Brad wrote for her here.
God allowed our family to have a wonderful weekend together at the end of July. We got to spend quality time with Justine and each other. It felt like much better version of Christmas. I’ll always treasure the memories from that weekend.
Our last trip of the year was one that we just returned from – New York City! It was fast and furious, but so much fun. I’ll blog about it soon!
Some other great highlights from 2016:
- Our BFFs Brittni and Jarrod welcomed baby Barrett into the world! We love him so much already!
- My sister-in-law got a corgi and it’s pretty much the cutest ever.
- I got to relive my youth group days when I went to Summerfest (camp) with our church’s student ministry.
- Our dog Libby is still cute in case you hadn’t noticed from our Instagrams.
We are so thankful for each of you who have loved on us this year! We are excited for what 2017 will hold, and can’t wait to share it with you all!
We’ll leave you Come Thou Long Expected Jesus.
Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.
Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne