Thursday, December 13, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays! We hope that this letter finds all of you safe, warm, cuddled up with loved ones, and sipping your beverage of choice. As for our family, 2007 has been a year full of changes and great blessings.

Little did we know, at this time last year, that we’d be living in St. Louis, MO this year, so Dan could go to graduate school in Medieval European History at Saint Louis University – his top choice. Before the move, Danny spent his time playing with Bree during the week and working weekends at Icon Health and Fitness. He lost 60 pounds, passed his Falconry Apprentice test, went camping, and hit a couple desert canyons while still in Utah. In St. Louis he volunteers at the World Bird Sanctuary where he is able to work with all kinds of raptors (to date, he has worked with 2 species of falcon; 3 species of hawk; 5 species of owl; and the odd Turkey Vulture). Among the things he misses are: family time; hot springs; canyons; relaxing.

Watching Dan reach for and meet his goals has been a highlight of the year for Jan and Bree! In preparation for the move, January quit her job in June. After ten years, it’s still weird not to plan her life around Residence Life timelines. Being able to stay home with Bree, however, is a long-awaited dream come true. Bree also loves the change! Jan & Bree took their first ever road-trip together in October to visit friends in Iowa, and it was a great growing experience, and a very fun trip. January is spending her time getting to know St. Louis (slowly) and preparing for the arrival of our newest family member in February. Dan has been amazed to watch Jan thrive in her new job. Among the things she misses are: Danny-time; Pro-Staff lunches; hanging out with friends; Cache Valley.

Bree has also had a big year. It didn’t take her long to adjust to St. Louis and make new friends whom she loves dearly (although she still misses her family and friends and talks of them on a regular basis)! Some of her accomplishments for this year include: Sitting still for her first two haircuts (a total of at least ten inches); temporarily liberating “Friend Froggy” from his aquarium so he could be “free”; starting and finishing potty training in two days; learning to climb trees with her dad; hiking Fiery Furnace and Little Wild Horse Canyon; and finding her own castle in Goblin Valley! She can spot a Red-Tail in the air and thinks “Kurkey Vultures” are “really cool.” Bree loves all things pink or Princess and can play dress up for hours. She also loves to color and draw and she simply cannot get enough stickers to satiate her desires. She is happiest outside and would live at the park, if we let her.

St. Louis is an adjustment from other areas we have lived (the Midwest is sadly devoid of mountains, deserts, and oceans), but we’ve had many experiences to assure us that we are where we should be. We are excited to share this adventure and would love visitors anytime!

We love you all!