2011 Christmas Letter

Dear Friends,

2011 has been quite an eventful year for our family. It began with a lot of stress over my husband’s job at Blockbuster Video, which was shutting down stores left and right with only a partial guarantee that he would still have a job through the company’s bankruptcy and sale process. He was one of the lone few in his district who left the company voluntarily, and in May, he began in a new position at the Vitamin Shoppe. As an assistant manager, he has been learning a lot of new things about nutrition and how to run a high-volume store, and it looks like he is in a position to advance sometime in the near future.

Around the same time as James began his new job, I found my hours at the baby store decreasing, so I began a position as an assistant to a home-based professional photographer. There was a lot of schedule juggling to be done with three jobs between the two of us, and eventually, I did decide that it wasn’t working out to my or the photographer’s advantage.

July marked our sixth wedding anniversary, but we spent the day finishing an emergency drive to Wisconsin. My mother-in-law had suffered a massive stroke earlier in the week and was having brain surgery as we got on the road. She came through surgery alright, but had some significant damage. Due to her previous health issues, doctors became more concerned about her heart than her brain. To a point.

Over the next several months, she fought like a champ to stay with us, but for every forward step of her recovery, there was another step backward, and finally, on October 18th, she passed away in the hospital with her husband and other family members around her. We all miss her a lot, and needless to say, the holidays just haven’t been the same without her.

In the meantime, however, we got some happy news. In August, we found out that there will be a new member joining our family next spring. Michael is very excited to be a big brother. We don’t know if the new baby will be a boy or a girl, but he insists he’s going to have a sister and has named her “Baby X.” He’s been trying to help pick out names for after the baby comes out, and so far, his top contender is Nemo, which he insists is perfect for a girl.

And speaking of babies, I have continued my position at the baby store and, after cutting out the photography job, have picked up a weekly shift at my local cloth diaper retailer. It’s the perfect job for a mom of young children, since the babies are welcome and motherhood is our staff’s top priority. Michael enjoys coming to work with me most days, especially when there are other four-year-olds there to play with.

We are looking forward to some big changes in 2012, though we’re still waiting for clarity in the details. We hope that your holiday season was magical. We think often of our family and friends near and far, and we hope that you all have more blessings in your life to count. Because even though we have had what some may consider a fairly difficult year, every day we are grateful for all the good things, the people and the love that we hold so dear.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sara, James and Michael



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