The last time I wrote was on my 16th wedding anniversary. Six and a half months ago. That has never happened. I’m going to go back and retroactively date a 13th birthday letter to my kids, since I’ve never missed that. And recap my Mommy & Me trip to Vail this month. But this, well this is the annual Christmas letter.
I mailed my cards almost a month ago, over half of them anyways. And I kept thinking, hey I put a link to a letter, I better write one. But then life.
Life is good, by the way.
This time two years ago we were sitting with a freshly minted cancer diagnosis. In the first COVID Christmas where there was no church to go to or family with whom to gather. Two hurricanes had slammed into the family farm in Louisiana and ripped it to shreds.
2020 was a hard year.
2021 was a year to climb back. A mix. Ups and downs.
Then 2022. One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 18. It’s in 1 Samuel too but this is the one I go to. The whole chapter is deeply comforting. But then you get to the middle, verses 16 – 19:
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
That’s been 2022.
A spacious place.
Not that there hasn’t been hard mixed in, but there’s been an incredibly phenomenally extraordinary amount of goodness. The best friends. The best experiences. Wonderful travel. Amazing food. Adventure and respite. (And I just had my second clean bill of health from MD Anderson.)
Bray is still making Houston look better and received manager of the year at his company, again. I completed my first year as Assistant General Counsel for a Honeywell company last week. It’s incredibly busy but the office is across the STREET from my house and the kids school. It has been a game changer as far as letting me be involved in ALL they are involved in. Which I love and they tolerate (we only have 5 1/2 more years, sniff sniff).
Which logically brings me to ALL they are doing. Sam and Will played JV and varsity football for their middle school this fall and Lillie cheered! What fun to have them all three on the same field for the first time in our triplet history! Now they are all three playing basketball which is less fun because when the boys have a home game, Lillie is away, and vice versa. Ahhh, triplet juggling. Simultaneously, the boys have joined a non-school baseball team and Lillie is doing some outside cheer work. The spring will bring the boys on two baseball teams and Lillie cheering and running track, both of which she loves.
This summer, we did something EVERY SINGLE weekend. We adventured all over the place.
Our summer vacation started out without Lillie because she had cheer camp, which I had no clue about when we booked the trip last August. But she was able to join us for our last day in Yellowstone, riding horses and fly fishing in the northern portion, and then she traveled with us down to the Grand Tetons where we hiked and white water rafted. Before she joined, the four of us experienced the rodeo at Cheyenne, the wonders of Cody, and then all of the gorgeous geysers of southern Yellowstone.
But in addition to the big family vacation over the summer, we had Refugio, Lake Conroe, Minnesota, Louisiana, Fredericksburg, Canyon Lake, and Toledo Bend – fishing and boating and working cows and visiting museums and playing games and staying up late. What an incredible summer.
In addition to sports, the kids are now half way through 7th grade and have one more full year at the school we’ve been at since 1st grade. It seems unreal. This time next year, we’ll be talking about where they go to high school. Everyone says it, but it’s true: the days are long, the years are short.
Bray and I are closer to 17 years of marriage than 16 as I write this and this month we realized we’d been together for 19 years. Next year I’ll turn 50 and our relationship will turn 20 – where does time go!?!
As Christmas twinkles mere hours away, we all feel extraordinarily blessed. We have our family, extended family, a fantastic community, and a faith that sustains us when the circumstances around us darken. We celebrate the miracle of Christmas and also the miracles, big and small, in our daily lives.
I mentioned on the socials that I’ve missed this community, and so want to return to writing, but life is ever busier and since finishing the cancer treatments, I want to live in the present and do it all. It’s meant very little time for writing.
Our crew is so thankful for the blessing of your love and friendship and wish you a very Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with adventure and bravery.