We're looking forward to Patrick's first Christmas! We'll remain in Oxford to spend time with Jonathan's family, but this also enables us to create our own Christmas traditions. We're up to any suggestions!
With it being Patrick's first Christmas, it makes me look at the many first of 2011 and all the wonderful God has led us this year.
We ushered in 2011 with a trip to Hawaii with my family. It was so much fun and a "babymoon" for us right before the baby. Jonathan enjoyed the snorkeling, and I enjoyed my time as a "beached whale." We were also able to visit the Mighty Mo- a highlight for the both of us.
February brought us the greatest joy as we welcomed Patrick David into our lives on the 18th. We also celebrated the start of our 2nd year of marriage. Patrick is almost 10 months old! I just know he'll be one too soon. He's crawling almost faster then we can get things out of his reach. He likes to live life on the edge by trying to eat cords and play in toilets. He's also showing us his social side by talking to us (or really Dadadada) all the time. He also enjoys singing to anything on the radio. Patrick loves big boy food and says "ummmmmmmm" whenever he eats something new or yummy. He pulls himself up on anything within his reach, and he's wanting to walk. We've been so blessed to have this constant reminder of God's love and the joy He must have in watching us, His children.
The majority of the spring was spent applying to be missionaries with ReachGlobal. We were accepted by them in October. We're headed to San Jose, Costa Rica to work with an International Youth Group. The group has about 45 students who are Missionary Kids, Third Culture Kids, and Costa Ricans. We're so excited about helping these students mature in Christ!
We had a wonderful summer visiting friends from all over. We went to Georgia numerous times and were able to go to Chicago, Indiana, and Michigan. We enjoyed Lake Burton as much as possible! Jonathan and I also took Patrick to the Red River George in Kentucky and learned how to lead climb. Patrick loved hanging out in the hammock.
In August we went down to Costa Rica to meet the youth group. We had a wonderful time visiting with the families of the youth, eating beans and rice, engaging in Spanish (or me attempting to communicate), seeing the beautiful La Cumbre camp, and Jonathan having the opportunity to speak at 2 youth groups.
Patrick was quite the hit with his fair skin and large size. "Muy Gordito!" We fell in love with the students and hope to be able to return to Costa Rica soon to be the youth directors.
In addition to the youth climbing team, Jonathan and I started teaching undergrad students beginner rock climbing. We've really enjoyed teaching a new age of students and can now say we teach rock climbing to Kindergartners to Seniors in college. Sadly teaching has provided more opportunities for instructing than for climbing.
The rest of the fall has been dedicated to getting to Costa Rica. We've been calling, emailing, and mailing everyone we know. If you haven't heard from us yet, please give us your address so we can send you our updates. We've had several open houses, Maggie's spoke at a church, and Jonathan attended a conference. We know that God will get us to Costa Rica in His timing, and we hope to be in Costa Rica next fall.
We've had a great 2011, and we're excited about 2012-- a toddler, going to Costa Rica, meeting new people, and growing stronger in our relationship with Christ!