It’s the week of (well, now I guess AFTER) Christmas. I’ve LOVED getting the mail every day. Anyone who saw me rip open the cards would have no idea that I most likely already know everything that the letter says, thanks to facebook. :) But I think it’s important for me to recap the year, even if most of you already know our story of 2010. It’s been a year with lots of uncertainty, lots of trusting God, and lots of not being disappointed. :)
We took our very first “real” family vacation (went somewhere far away and didn’t stay with family) this year in March. Our friends Pete, Sarah, and Emily Connell are living in southern CA and wanted to make a trip out there before Brielle needed a plane ticket. :) It was a short and sweet trip, packed full with parks, pizza, the beach, IKEA (a first for me!), Disneyland, and catching up while the kids slept. The kids are wondering when we’re going to see Emily again, and unfortunately, I think future playdates with Emily will have to be in Orange City. It was a really fun trip that we all wish was an annual event.
After recouping from our vacation, we had Steve's sister’s wedding in April. Steve, Lillian, Josiah, and I were all in the wedding, and it was certainly a cause for celebration. We love our new brother and uncle, and it was a great time celebrating with family.
It was even more special than we realized at the time, actually, because it was our last chance to spend time with Steve’s grandpa (who the kids call Papa HoHo) as he went to be with the Lord soon after the wedding. God’s timing truly is right. We’re so thankful for the chance to see him at the wedding, and even for the little details like the kids getting to know some of that side of the family before they were thrown into the emotion of the funeral, etc. It’s our family’s first major loss since my mom, so it was interesting to hear the kids talk about death, and the questions they had, and even the peace they had about it, knowing that their loved ones are in heaven, waiting for us to join. It hit them harder than I expected, though, and they often mention Papa HoHo and how much they miss him, as we all do.
We had no idea what was in store for us financially this spring because the sweet little boy I was watching was moving away. :( But sure enough, God provided two families who needed daycare, and once again our needs were met. This past summer I had my three plus three extras every day, and as soon as school started, I had a baby join us, but the big girls went to kindergarten. So most of the day I have 5 kids, til the big girls come home, and then the baby leaves. If you ever call between the hours of 8 and 6 and I don’t answer…now you know why.
The fall was a crazy time in the Hydeen household. We found out during the summer that Steve’s contract for work was going to be canceled at the end of August. He worked so hard and so long at that property, and was often very stressed out. So while we were of course concerned at the loss of the contract, we knew there was something better in store, we just had to wait on God to show us what it was. We seem to have lots of practice waiting for God’s plan, so we had a lot of peace about it, and sure enough, it paid off once again. Steve got the word last week that on January 16th he’ll be the manager of valet operations at the downtown HILTON. We’re excited for him to be out of the stress of the hospital environment, and moving into something he always loved (remember his bellhop days?). Please pray for our family though as the transition will be hard for all of us. I’m expecting lots of long days and weeks without seeing much of my BFF while he gets things rolling at the hotel. We praise God once again for providing for our every need.
Lillian’s big news for the year was starting kindergarten! We were so sure that she was ready. She’s such a smart girl, with great social skills, and was almost six. She had preschool every day last year, and we were just SURE it’d be an easy transition. And we were WRONG. Thank GOODNESS my big sister was here to help me through that first week, because I’m pretty sure I needed just as much TLC as she did that week. Eventually things got better, like we knew they would, but OH MY….my heart was not prepared for that. She’s doing great now, reading up a storm, and her teacher says she’s a delight in the classroom. We’re so proud of her.
Josiah turned four this year, and is becoming such a big boy. He’s still the lover-extraordinaire that he always has been, but it’s fun to see him grow into a “person.” He LOVES trucks. Loves them. He amazes us all at his ability to distinguish between an F150 and a one ton dually, but he seems to have it down. :) He’s starting to learn to read as well, since his big sister is constantly sounding out words all day every day. It’s crazy because he’s always been so laid back, and a bit slower in his development because of that. And now suddenly he cares about reading, when he JUST learned all the letters! It’s so fun to see the kids’ different personalities, and to really just love them for who they are. He’s following in Daddy’s footsteps too, and becoming quite the comedian (he thinks so anyway). :)
Brielle is just a hoot. We of course think (almost) everything she does is so cute, since she’s more than likely our last baby. She recently started talking (like, real words and conversations, etc) like crazy, and while we often have no idea what she’s saying, it’s fun to have her be a vocal member of our family. She has a different personality than both of the other kids, and most days we’re still trying to figure her out. The only thing we know for sure is that she is by FAR the biggest stinker we’ve ever had. She loves babies, and right now is obsessed with “baby Griffin” and “baby Jesus.” She can really hold her own with her big brother and sister, and can often be seen doing EVERYTHING the big kids do, and even things they would NEVER do. She recently moved out of her baby crib and now shares a bunk bed with her big sister, and thinks that’s pretty cool. We’re still working on the potty training thing. She has LOTS of interest, and would sit on the pot all day long if her mama had a bit more patience. :) She actually peed ONCE now, so that’s progress. I know when it clicks, it’ll be a piece of cake, so we’ll just wait til the click. :)
We’re so thankful to God for our jobs and our kids, but also for our hobbies, which are becoming more and more a part of who we are. It’s so wonderful to have a way to express ourselves in a way that’s so different from our everyday roles. Steve is still performing regularly with 88improv, and has had the opportunity to do some creative stuff for work too, which has been fun. The pinkadink has kept me ridiculously busy this fall. I only did a few craft shows which turned out to be very successful, and didn’t take up every single Saturday like I did last fall. I love love love the sewing and creating part of it, but I will admit that I’m glad to be DONE for the Christmas season and take things at my own pace again. And maybe even just sit on my butt and watch tv for a night. :)
Every year at this time I just get so emotional thinking about God’s love for me. I am so blessed. I got a new brother in law and 2 sweet nephews this year, took a road trip with my sisters and our kids crammed into my van all the way to Ohio to visit Ang and her family, celebrated 7 years of wedded bliss :) and probably lots of other great things that aren’t coming to mind right now. And as wonderful as all those things are, they pale in comparison to the blessing of knowing that God sent his son for ME. Because he loves ME. May this Christmas (and now new year I guess…) be filled with reminders of God’s love for you, that came most beautifully in the form of a baby.