Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! Since we decided to do a digital letter this year, we thought we should at least try to make it “fun.” So…Ready to sing?

In the year of two thousand nine, the good Lord gave to us…12 months in our house, 11 days of craft shows, 10 months of dance class, 9 million diapers, 8 months of freedom, 7 birthday parties, 6 grandkids playing, 5 KILOMETERS RUN! 4 days in Austin, 3 decades, 2 jobs for Steve, and a family that’s blessed beyond words.

12 months in our house:
2009 was the first full year in our house, and the best part is that now it really is ours! We were blessed to be “housesitting” for some friends of ours, and we ended up buying it! We loved the house to begin with, but in the last couple months, since it’s been OURS, we’ve really enjoyed making it our own. We have also realized how many little expenses come with owning a home, and for that reason, we decided to be smart (read: cheap) this year and send our Christmas cards digitally. (we know you just throw them away anyway…)

11 days of craft shows:
It’s crazy to think that last year at this time I was just starting to think about having my own business making hair bows and other girls’ hair accessories, and this year it’s in full swing! I started ‘the pinkadink’ in February of this year, and it’s been quite the journey. I had a table at 11 different craft shows this fall! It’s been fun, and a great way to get the word out, but man, I’m tired.  To keep busy til next “craft show season” I just started my very own website ( so I can still be taking orders! I love it! The sad news to share is that I will no longer be selling Creative Memories products after this year. I just had too much going on with the two businesses, and it was time to let one go.

10 months of dance class
Lillian had ten months of dance class in 2009, and while we’re sad to say it, she has decided it’s not for her. I think before preschool she really needed that class as a social outlet sort of, and now that she gets that from school every day, she really lost interest. It sure is nice to have no plans for Mondays though!

9 million diapers
Another adventure we found ourselves on this year was potty training! Josiah did GREAT and is fully trained, except for nights and naptime. But while Josiah was decreasing our diaper changing duties, Brielle was still going strong. And now she has a little competition. I started watching a little guy from church who is now almost 6 months old every day, and between the two of them, I feel like it’s been a 9 million diaper kind of year.

8 months of freedom
This summer was bitter sweet for us, as we knew that our life of freedom (sleeping in, staying in our pjs all day if we wanted, eating, playing, everything at our leisure) were dwindling down. We loved our 8 months of freedom, but in September Lillian started High 5, which is a 5 day/half day preschool for 5 year olds. She LOVES it, and in just a few months has grown by leaps and bounds!

7 birthday parties
This year Brielle turned ONE, Lillian turned FIVE, and Josiah turned THREE, and between the three of them, we had a host of birthday parties! Brielle’s favorite activities at this age are: screaming, hitting, playing in the toilet, and eating cheese! She’s a little pistol, and we’re learning a lot, as neither of the other two kids were like her at all. Lillian’s favorite activities are: watching cartoons, coloring, practicing reading, playing with the neighbors, and singing Taylor Swift songs. Josiah loves playing trucks, trains, baseball, “honey and sweetie,” and jumping off the stairs. While life seems to be flying by, we truly enjoy this time with the little ones around.

6 grandkids playing
In Feb of this year my niece was born! Hazel Faye joined the family and we couldn’t be happier. She is my first niece, so it’s been fun giving her all sorts of pinkadink stuff. That makes SIX grandkids on the Smits side, and while we’re still flying solo on the Hydeen side, the family will be growing next year! In April, Steve’s sister Erika is getting married to Will, and Steve and I will both be in the wedding. I’m looking forward to an in-law on the Hydeen side!

5 kilometers run
In May, Maria and I ran the 5K together at Tulip Festival. It was my first race since high school, and it turns out my body is STILL not a fan of running. It was fun to set a goal and reach it though. And while 3.2 miles or whatever might not seem like that big of a deal to YOU, it was to me.

4 days in Austin
Steve still keeps busy with 88improv, and once again, his team traveled to Austin, Texas for the Out Of Bounds festival there. He always has a good time performing and spending time with his friends. They don’t seem to get much time to just hang out here, so that’s something they really enjoy.

While he was busy in Austin, the rest of us went camping with some of the Smits gang. It was our first (out of 3) camping trips that wasn’t full of thunder, lightening, and RAIN this year! We did, however, hear a train every few hours in the night (a LOUD train, which was very CLOSE to us) and poor Josiah got freaked out by the excessive mooing from the cows in the morning. But hey, that’s what you get when camping in Iowa.

3 decades
On September 1st, Steve turned THIRTY! Because of a late labor day this year, we were glad to have him home on his birthday (usually he’s in Austin)! To celebrate, we brought cake to the improv show for the team and all the audience members. Lillian and Josiah got to go with me, so it was a fun night for everyone. Steve and I also celebrated earlier in the summer when we went to see Coldplay in concert here in Omaha. It was such a great night, and we wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Another fun outing we had as a couple this past summer was finally getting to see WICKED! I’d been wanting to see that show for YEARS now, and finally got to go! It was incredible.

2 jobs for Steve
Steve has actually had the same job, just at two different locations this year. But if you ask me, it seems an awful lot like two completely different jobs. He started the year at Methodist Hospital where he had a small property and was able to call most regular guests by name. Now he’s at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. While it was a major promotion and an honor to be chosen to get that job, it’s been quite a headache (literally) for him. It’s the biggest contract that his company has, and he works lots and lots of hours and (if you ask me) does not really get the appreciation that he deserves. But in this time of economic uncertainty and such, we feel so blessed that Steve has a job that can provide for our family

And a family that’s blessed beyond words
It’s truly amazing to us that God has known the whole plan for our little life forever. And as He slowly reveals the path to us, we realize that He really does know what He’s doing. And we’re so thankful for all He’s given us, especially in sending his son. I’m not sure there are too many things I’d give my kids up for, if any. It truly makes me realize what a sacrifice it was, to send His son, and watch him suffer on this earth. We serve a loving God, and I’m so thankful for that special birth so long ago. It was for us…

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