Sunday, December 21, 2014

2014 Christmas Greetings

Hello Dear Friends and Family!

I'm guessing that most of you won't receive our season's greetings until late in the week, so I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas filled with lots of quality time with loved ones! As I started our Christmas shopping just last week while lamenting the fact that the Christmas decorations weren't completely in place, it became very clear to me that I would be writing a “Happy New Year” letter this year instead of a “Merry Christmas” one! As you might have guessed from my tardiness, life has been a little crazy for us the last few months!

The most recent change to our lifestyle and our schedule was a result of my mom's move to Lawrence in the middle of September. As most of you know, my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's four years ago, and since that time I've been handling her financial and medical affairs. Since her move, I've also become her primary caregiver, which means I'm lucky enough to spend 6-8 hours with her almost every day! Despite her disease, my mom is still an amazingly lovely person, and I am so blessed to be able to spend this time with her. I'm also incredibly thankful that Chad's support allows me the freedom to do so!

Spending my time with Mom would have been a much easier transition if it weren't for the second biggest change for us this year: our most recent canine addition named Flower! We started fostering this abused pit bull mix in January of 2014, and let's just say we didn't know what we were getting ourselves into! Flower came to us through a rescue called Game Dog Guardian, which pulled her from someone's basement in Kansas City where she'd been tied up by her face for the first year of her life. Her scars are significant—both physically and emotionally—and she is definitely a work in progress. She is incredibly time consuming and needs tons of exercise and training, and spending enough time with both her and Mom has been a bit of a challenge! Needless to say though, we adore this snuggly little head-case, as evidenced by the fact that we officially adopted her in April. She' s our third “failed foster” in a row! Ack!

Fresco handled the transition back to sharing our affections with a sister pretty well, especially considering this one is often antagonizing him in an attempt to start a wrestling match. He is so patient and tolerant, and despite his advancing age (he turned 8 this year) he can still keep up with his two-year-old sister's energy level pretty well!

Chad and I did get the chance to enjoy some traveling this year despite the chaos, first with a quick trip to Colorado in March, where we went skiing after a hiatus of about 8 years. On the way there, we were able to meet Chad's half-brother Matt (who grew up in Iowa) for the first time. It has been so great to get to know Matt and his wife Julie and their four kids and so cool to see how much Matt and Chad have in common!

Near the end of May, we celebrated our 20th anniversary a couple of weeks early with our first trip to Hawaii. We spent a week on the island of Oahu, where we snorkeled, hiked, body-surfed, biked and toured Pearl Harbor. It was amazing! We also each took a trip sans the other—Chad to Florida for golfing earlier this month with his golfing buddies and me to Pelican Lake in Minnesota with a bunch of girlfriends in August!

Chad's love for golf obviously hasn't changed, and his day job hasn't changed either. He celebrated 11 years with Westar this year and continues to enjoy all things energy related. He took on additional volunteer responsibilities at church this fall and now pulls the equipment trailer almost every Sunday morning in addition to being in charge of set-up and tear-down. This means he works 6 days a week and also provides back-up support for my mom's needs as well! He is pretty darn amazing and I'm so darn lucky to have him!

I also absorbed some additional volunteer duties at church this fall and now spend about 8 hours a week doing data entry, handling prayer requests and leading my volunteer teams. Prior to my mom's move I was still able to provide photography services for friends and volunteer at the food pantry monthly, and although those things have fallen by the wayside, I'm still able to occasionally volunteer with the homeless ministry Family Promise and still sit on a couple of boards for non-profits around town. We try to balance our volunteer gigs with other fun stuff too—like attending concerts and KU football games and watching KU basketball! We are super blessed to have so many hobbies we enjoy and activities to keep us busy!

We hope you all have a very happy holiday season and a blessed and beautiful 2015! We hope to see more of you all in the upcoming year!

Much love to all,

Kim (and Chad)

No comments: