winding down 2009

dad & philip, hard at work

my wonderful oldest nephew, dillan
al & greg getting serious about quiddler

first christmas as a married couple!

'twas quite snowy...
mom & dad opening gifts on christmas eve

snuggle time!

philip & landon cheesin' it up!

making spritz cookies with mumsie!

Christmas in Iowa was wonderful, as usual. Although the cost of flying out to the midwest is considerable, it was well worth it. In spite of weather and terrorist threats, our flights went well. We spent time baking, playing games, eating, reading, watching movies, and removing snow. My favorite activity was sorting through Trav & Tami's enormous collection of Legos in order to put together some of the sets. I love organization...I'm a bit of a freak about it, especially when it's not my own stuff I'm dealing with. Another highlight was putting together the puzzle that Mom & Dad purchased for the whole family to conquer (although we were missing 3-4 pieces, including Morocco, where, ironically, Al & Greg were heading to on the 26th for their honeymoon). The snow and family togetherness made everything cozy and warm inside.

We flew home on Monday night and were greeted exuberantly by Ophy. She meowed many times that first exhausting night, but now she's contenting herself with sleeping near me, on me, on my pillow, etc. She's not too keen to let me out of her sight. I'm enjoying being back with the little snuggler.

Philip and I arrived at our 6-month mark on Dec. 27. It doesn't seem possible that it's been so long that we've been married, but on the other hand, it seems that we've been married forever. We're really enjoying being married and living in Bellingham, and we're hoping to look back on this time of financial instability as "the good old days." We have nothing to complain about: God has provided and we are blessed with wonderfully supportive families. Thank you, families!

We're looking forward to a new year and new opportunities here in Whatcom County. We're very involved in our church teaching Sunday school to K-4 kids, partipating in worship and worship planning, and I also play in the handbell choir. We're trying to strike a balance between involvement and sanity, and I think we're doing a fair job. I'm hoping to land some sort of permanent teaching job, and Philip is looking into options for further schooling for an education degree.

Well, it's time to go. Apparently I turned this into some sort of Christmas letter, so hopefully you all feel updated. Have a safe and happy New Year!


...and we've got 50-degree weather

i'm looking at a bulging suitcase, wondering what to take out so everything that we really need fits. i know i don't need everything in there, but when there's room, i say, "hey! there's room! now i can pack that ______ i really wanted to take!" unfortunately, i forgot to factor in my husband. we both shove lots of last-minute stuff in, hence the bulge.

i cleaned both bathrooms and vacuumed and shook out rugs and paid the bills and delivered the key to our friend and am anxiously pacing around the apartment, either ignoring the suitcase or fretting that Ophy will be too lonely/scared/hungry/sad without us.

but i'm excited to go to iowa! i'm really excited to be done with the flying part, and thrilled that our whole family will be together this year (greg included)! hooray.

we had snow and ice earlier this week, but the rain came on Tuesday and melted it all away. now it's in the 50s and sunny, which is fine by me since we're driving to seattle tonight and flying tomorrow morning. no more sleeping in the airports for us! (unless denver decides to get all snowy).

all right. enough lollygagging. back to packing.

*edit: i lied. it's actually only 46 degrees. but after 2 weeks of abnormally low temperatures for this area, my internal thermometer is all messed up.