Bartlett Christmas Card 2017

Bartlett Christmas Card 2017

Merry Christmas from the Bartletts! Welcome to our annual Christmas card blog post! We didn’t send out physical cards this year… or a birth announcement… or all of our thanks you cards… I blame having a baby (my excuse for all my shortcomings these days). You can read our past Christmas blog posts here: 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. (That many already?)

In case you hadn’t noticed, we had a baby this year! 2015 was the year-of-the-house. 2016 was the year-of-the-trips. 2017 was the year-of-the-baby!

We found out we were pregnant in December of last year, so we got to share our news with all of our family at our Christmas family gatherings, then we made our announcement to the world in January!

I spent most of the first half of pregnancy feeling pretty sick, but overall I had a very healthy pregnancy. You can read more about my pregnancy here and here.

In March we found out we were having a baby BOY! You can read my post about finding out the gender and how we chose the name Benjamin.

Dylan and Kelsey were able to come for Easter this year. It was so great to spend time with them! We hate that they don’t live closer!

This spring we had our friend Stevie stay with us while she did a physical therapy rotation in Liberty. We just had another friend, Leea, move in for a few months before her wedding to our friend Colton. We are so thankful that God has provided us a home that can be a blessing to others, although I think we always receive the greater blessing! 

Brad’s sister Heather graduated from MSU in May! We are so proud of her! She’s halfway through her first year of teaching and she is doing an amazing job. We are so grateful that Heather lives in KC again! I’m very thankful for her friendship and for what a great aunt she is to Ben!

My cousin Wesley got married in May. My aunts that were photographing the wedding snapped a handful of photos of Brad and me after the wedding. I’m glad we have special and spontaneous pictures like this to remember this short but amazing season of life.

After the wedding we took a babymoon to Nashville! We ate lots of food, drank lots of coffee, and dreamed about the future. We loved getting some time away just the two of us! You can read my post about our trip here.

In June we went to Summerfest with our student ministry at Pleasant Valley. I was a group leader and Brad spoke at a breakout session. Spending a week in the Ozarks serving students is one of my highlights of the year!

We were super blessed to have several baby showers this summer! We had a shower with my friends from our church, a Donley family shower, a Bartlett family shower, and a shower with my family friends. At each shower, I was reminded of how fortunate we are to have so many people that already love Ben so much.

My brother Dylan got engaged this summer! We are so excited to officially welcome Kelsey into our family! She fits with our family so well and I’m looking forward to growing closer to her in the years to come. Yay for Bartlett-Donley family vacations someday!

At the end of July Brad and I celebrated our 5th anniversary! We had a really special day together, reflecting on our last 5 years and dreaming about the years to come and what God has in store for our family.

On August 11th our precious baby boy came into the world! There is nothing like having your first baby. You can read more about his birth and the whirlwind weekend in my post here.

Ben was such a serious newborn, but now he is super smiley! He’s been really expressive since day one and he has been jabbering a bunch lately.

I was able to take 12 weeks of maternity leave. I loved getting to spend so much time bonding with Ben. Our favorite activities were going on walks and visiting dad at work.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Ben and Brad! It was taken after baby dedication just when he was starting to get smiley.

In November I went back to work and we took our first road trip with a baby! Both of which went well! We took Ben to Springfield for Brad to speak at a youth retreat. It was so much fun to introduce Ben to some of our favorite old Springfield spots!

Ben is eating and sleeping well and we are enjoying everyday with him! We are so thankful for a happy and healthy boy. Experiencing the Christmas season with our baby has been so special already!

As usual, we’ll leave you with a Christmas hymn.

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains
Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly, sweetly through the night
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their brief delight
Gloria, in excelsis Deo
Gloria, in excelsis Deo
Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song?
Gloria, in excelsis Deo
Gloria, in excelsis Deo
Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing,
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.
Gloria, in excelsis Deo
Gloria, in excelsis Deo
Yeah
Gloria, in excelsis Deo
Angels we have heard
Angels we have heard on high
Angels we have heard, oh
Angels we have heard on high
Angels we have heard on high
Angels we have heard on high
In excelsis Deo
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you and your family!

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