2011 Holiday cards + an update

“Count your blessings this holiday season…and always.”

Now that Christmas has come to an end…I thought I’d take a moment to share a long overdue update on my blog. We celebrated Christmas…and felt a little more blessed to have this little guy celebrating his very first Christmas…at home!

Yes, I say that quite happily because this year has been challenging and uncertain at times and we’ve been quite thankful that we’ve been out of the hospital with Chance now for 2 1/2 months. We say lots of prayers that it’ll stay that way. We were reminded how fortunate we are to be home as we’ve learned of some of our spina bifida family who have found themselves in the hospital this Christmas and also having our niece in the hospital with leukemia. This year has definitely helped me cherish the little moments a little more. Chance has been in physical therapy for the last few weeks and is gradually gaining the strength needed to sit more confidently, roll around, and scoot a bit. I imagine it might not be long until he’s crawling.

We celebrated Christmas at home with the kids. Aside from the excitement of opening gifts majority of the day has been calm. We feel blessed to have such amazing kids. They were a tad bit excited to see all the gifts santa brought them.

I thought I’d take a moment to share our holiday cards online with all of you. Some of you have likely already received yours…and it’s possible that some may be in the mail still. It seems that every year our mailing list grows a little bit because this little silly idea of mine to make our own cards has definitely become a tradition that will continue for many years to come. Every year I seem to be told by a handful of people that our cards were the “keeper” of the stack they received…I suppose now that leaves no pressure every year. For me they’ve become not only a tradition, but almost like a gift to give myself…something that helps me cherish my family a little more each  year….and something I can then share with those special people in our lives that we adore.

This year I elected to do a bit more of a photographic theme. It seems only fitting. To be honest…I took so many photos of the kids I wanted to share that after sifting through all this year’s photos it made me want to turn our cards into almost like a photographic “highlight” of our year.

The cards were made to have an accordion fold so they’d open a bit more differently than a normal card. I felt it left a lot of room for me to include photos. I included a bit of type that seemed fitting like “for unto us a child is born” and “may god’s blessings be yours this Christmas”.

On this inside of the card I included some of Hope’s handwriting along with her illustrated version of our family. It’s neat to see how much her illustrations change every year.

On the inside of the cards we have a family photos taken at the last minute as I began designing our cards. Yes, rushed…but still a priceless candid moment with my family. I felt it important to include: “Love bears all things, Hopes all things, Endures all things. Love never fails.” (Corinthians 13: 7-8) beside our family photos. Our family has been through so much over the years but this year has undoubtedly been the toughest. I often don’t write nearly as much as has affected us. I just trust there’s a purpose in everything…and I trust God’s using all these challenges that have been thrown at us to strengthen us. As we tried to get the boys to open up a bit more happily in the photos taken we realized it was worth just letting them be themselves…and goofy moments prevailed. Thankfully Chance’s shunt plays along with him being upside down…he really does seem to love being turned upside down.

Our cards were two sided so the back includes more photos along with giving Hope a little credit for helping me with our cards.

I’ve had a few of you express an interest to see the past year’s cards this year…so just in case you’ve never seen them you can view them here…now I’ve got less than a year to plot out an idea for next year’s cards. Yeah, well…no matter how much time I give myself to think out ideas…it always leaves me sending them out the week of Christmas the last few  years.

I hope you enjoyed this year’s cards…and if for some reason if I missed sending you a card this year then be sure to send me your address. I lost a few addresses early this year when my laptop crashed so hopefully I didn’t miss too many of you.

Happy holidays to you all.

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December 28, 2011 - 1:45 pm

Colette - Beautiful!!!

January 31, 2012 - 11:22 am

Denise - Please keep your positive outlook for Chance. His future is wide open and filled with many possibilities. I know because 27 years ago my son, Ryan, was born with Spina Bifida. He is currently a PhD student at Loyola University in Chicago. His goal is to be a college professor. When he was born they told us he would have learning disabilities – wwll he has proven many people wrong over the years. His best attribute is his positive attitude, he lets nothing keep him down!

I have clung to Jerimiah 29:ll throughout Ryan’s life – “for I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord . . . plans to give you hope and a future”

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