Dearest Family and Friends,
Another December and yet again I’m sitting here wondering where the time went. We’ve had a busy and eventful year, and yet somehow I’m managing to get Christmas cards out for the first time in something like 10 years? We have been so incredibly blessed this year, I don’t even know where to begin. 2014 was packed full of events like my 20th High School Reunion, visits from some of our best friends, trips to California, our adorable 17-year-old niece, Katriana, moving in with us, and a scare with my mommy’s health. And that’s only the stuff I remember!
Russ started a new job in April with Message Systems, a company based out of Columbia, Maryland. Fortunately for us they wanted to hire him bad enough to let us continue living in Utah while he telecommutes from home and gets to fly to the east coast every few months. Talk about win/win. He has enjoyed his work and fortunately gets to keep in contact with the old Donnelley gang by doing consulting work with them as well. In his scant free time (when he’s not being the best husband and dad in the world) he enjoys woodworking (especially crafting beautiful handmade bows and the occasional arrow) and reading.
I am, for the first time in 17 years, at home without one of my kids! I wouldn't have known what to do with myself, but fortunately my sister Melinda gave birth to the cutest, sweetest baby in June, so I have the sincere pleasure of spending my mornings with Miss Naomi June. She is such a delight! Beyond that I am trying to hone my writing skills (not to much effect) and eventually, maybe, I might think about finishing my degree at USU. But Naomi is so fun, that school might take yet another backseat.
As I said, my niece Katriana moved in with us this year in August. We have had so much fun having her here full time. We have always been close, but it has been such a joy to have her in our home. She is a talented artist and basically whatever this kiddo wants to do with her life, it’s hers. We love our Katie-girl so much! She will be graduating from Logan High this year.
Morgan turned 17 in August and is a junior at Logan High. She is such a fun, entertaining person. She loves art and creates the cutest comics in the world. She is preparing for an exchange in Germany this spring. Her exchange partner will arrive in March and then she will spend most of June in Germany. She is very excited for this new adventure.
Britton will turn 16 in March and he is Mr. Science. He loves to think about the world around him and what makes it tick. He is also like most teen boys and loves playing video games. Britton just found out he will be going to Germany this year as well. We are going to have a full house come spring, but we are all very much looking forward to it.
Morgan, Britton and Katriana all have their learners permits, so those of you on the roads in Logan might want to watch out! ;-) I am actually very proud of all three of them. They are responsible kids, and they are doing great, but it’s a scary first step as a parent.
Paige is 12-years-old and in 6th grade at Mount Logan Middle School. She loves getting to go to school with our beloved Aunt Nancy everyday, as well as drawing, writing and watching anime. She can sing like a little bird and is a very good student. Paige has an outgoing, gregarious personality. Her father and I often scratch our heads and wonder where she came from as we were (are) kind of nerds. She’s such a sweet girl though and we sure do love her.
Darien is 10 and in 4th grade at Ellis Elementary. Darien is an amazing soccer player. This is surprising to me as I am NOT athletic. He looks as if he got most of Russell’s genetics, so that’s probably why he’s such a natural athlete. He is so much fun to watch, but the most amazing thing to me is his dedication to practicing and becoming better at the sport. I never thought I’d be a soccer mom, but sign me up, because it’s so much fun! This winter he even gave a shot at basketball and, yet again, impressed the heck out of his family.
Liam is 6 and in 1st grade at Ellis. Darien and Liam’s sweet auntie JoJo takes them to school each morning and she is such a blessing in their lives. Liam is such a character. I literally never know what is going to come out of that kid’s mouth. Most of the time it’s hilarious, but occasionally, in public, I squint my eyes and look around while asking, “Where are your parents?” There isn't an object Liam can’t scale or jump on/over. Fortunately, he’s pretty good at being my baby too and still will let me cuddle him. I appreciate he hasn't let this embarrass him… yet.
I am so grateful for the blessings we have received this year. As many of you know we had quite a scare with my mom in October. I truly feel that without the amazing care she got from her doctors, and especially the love, prayers and support we received from so many of you, we would have lost her. I can’t thank you all enough for your kindness, generosity and love. That truly is a blessing without measure.
I am so grateful for this time of year, in spite of the harried craziness, for moments like these to reflect on the beauty and joy in our lives. I am grateful for my faith in our dear Savior and the example He set for us all. I hope to be kinder, more forgiving and full of His love for all our brothers and sisters. We, as a family, are so grateful for each of you in our lives. Thank you for the richness your presence brings. Merry Christmas to all of you, and the Happiest of New Years.
Note: All contents of this letter were written by Amy. Please do not hold Russell or the children accountable for her eccentricities. ;-)