…and hello to 2016.
While our New Years celebration was less than underwhelming, I have high hopes for 2016. I have to believe that it will be better than 2015.
2015 had many ups and downs, from my health problems early on and the ongoing battle to diagnose and fix all the medical problems that J deals with, to bringing T into our home and making S leave, to the birth of our first grandchild and her multiple surgeries and hospital stay and her and her mom moving to LA to be near her family, to marriages, pregnancies, and graduations. I can honestly say that I was able to survive this year as well as I have, thanks to help from the people I love: my mom with her weekly calls, my family who offered unwavering support and encouragement anytime I needed it, my advisors who would not let me give up, my friends who knew my struggles and still treated me the same, my daughter who I knew needed me to show her that quitting is not an option and we both can accomplish difficult goals, my friend who gave up sleep more than a few times for semi-regular meals with me, church members, neighbors, strangers…I could go on and on.
Our year in a nutshell (or a long family holiday letter):
Dear Family and Friends, Christmas 2015
We hope this letter finds you well. We have had a very busy and eventful year, so let’s get to it…
A got married to A.L. on June 1st. A.L. is in the Navy and they live in San Diego along with their dog Bomber. She is 24 years old.
S joined the National Guard and enjoys going to drill. He works at (residential treatment business) and is making a difference in the lives of the clients he works with. M gave birth April 30 to S’s daughter, E. She is his first child, and our first grandchild. E has had some health problems, and is scheduled for her next, and hopefully final, surgery December 14. M is such a wonderful mom and we are blessed to have them both in our family. He is currently looking to move to Missouri and is 21 years old.
B is living in Ottawa. Earlier this year she was able to locate and contact her birth father. Her parents, W and D, have been a huge support to her in this venture. She is now in contact with more of his family and has found out that she has more sisters. She is working hard in college taking pre animation. She has 11 roommates and 3 cats. She is looking forward to traveling to the Virginia to visit her boyfriend, M.D., who’s in the Navy. She is 19 years old.
K is going to school for pre-med. She was recently awarded a paid internship at a forensic facility. This is a great opportunity for her and we are excited to watch her reach her goals. She has a wonderful boyfriend, Z, and they are expecting their first child next year. They have taken in her cousin B.G., and are helping her graduate from high school. K lives in El Reno, OK and is 19 years old.
J is a senior at Tuacahn High School. She is looking forward to graduation and college and traveling. She is an amazing artist and loves playing her video games. She has been working at REC since October. She loves the new found freedom that her job (and paycheck) give her. She lives at home and is 17 years old.
R is one of the new additions to our family. He is the son of Jay’s brother. R has had severe medical and emotional problems that have brought him to Saint George where Jay and I are available to support him and hopefully one day we will be able to integrate him into our family and our home. He living at RRCS and is 12 years old and is in the 6th grade.
T is the other new addition to our family. His mom is in the Navy and his dad is dealing with medical issues, so T has come into our home. We love having him here, and he brings an energy to our home that only a 7 year old can. He is in first grade. He has learned to love math and is really good at it. He loves his video games and can relate to just about any situation if it’s put into a video game context.
L was able to walk, at graduation, for her Associates of General Studies degree in May. She is currently finishing up her last semester for her Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice with an Emphasis in Digital Forensics, and will be done in December. She has been applying for jobs all over the world, so we are excited to see what comes next.
Jay is also attending school, and is looking forward to going part time at work so he can take the classes he needs for his degree. He has decided on a biology degree, and will make an announcement in the future about what direction he will go from there.
We were able to purchase our first home this year. We are quickly learning how to do the required maintenance on it. We have some big plans for our little house, like adding a much needed second bathroom and redoing the tile work in the kitchen and bathroom, but we love our home and we would love to have you all come stay sometime. Until next year…know that we love you.
(Jay, L, J, T)