For 2013, thanks. For 2014, hope.

Christmas Card

I always wanted to be one of those families that sent a photo Christmas card to our list of loved ones. I used to do it, before kids. Then we had kids and the hundreds of dollars it cost was just too much (hello postage!). I also wanted to be that mom that sent out birth announcements but since we all but tweeted their births (okay, we might have tweeted), no mailed announcement needed.

If I’m ever going to be that person that mails out Christmas cards with smiling photos of my babes, this is the year I need to do it more than any other year. This is the only year I can really include Shaundi. This is the only year that I can send out a photo of her beautiful, peaceful face without being worried that people will think I’m weird or stuck in the past or crazy. Our 2013 Christmas card is representative of all that happened in our lives in 2013.

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Scroll to the bottom for our video scrapbook of 2013

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Until we really looked through all of our photos from 2013 (nearly 20,000 of them) and watched the videos (about 400 of them), it was hard to see anything other than death and darkness and sadness. But oh my gosh, there was so much LIFE in 2013! So much love and light!

In January we had a 2 1/2 year old, a six month old and a baby on the way. Scoutie couldn’t sit up yet, Lulu wasn’t in preschool yet and we hadn’t didn’t know if we were having a baby girl or boy. As the months zipped by Lulu learned so much and had no trouble sharing with anyone who would listen, she started preschool and enjoys her “jobs” in her school. Scoutie crawled, sat up, turned one year old and eventually walked. We found out we were to be blessed with another little girl and we called her Shaundi Adrian.

This past year we loved so much, we grew and we lost. We came to know and feel the love of our entire community — near and far. Thank you for your role in our community, whatever it may be. As we struggle through the meaning of life and loss, we are ever comforted by the people that God has placed in our lives. We are aware of the embrace of family, friends and strangers and we are so very thankful for it all. As difficult as our journey has been, we can only imagine the journey of those without the kindness and generosity we have been shown.

For 2013, thanks.

For 2014, hope.

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