Tonight we attempted a funny family photo. There was some yelling, swearing, and a bunch of blurry photos. So instead, here is this adorbs photo of Norah from Thanksgiving in Iowa and our Christmas letter.
Friends and Family,
As this year draws to a close, it seems appropriate to appreciatively reflect upon our experiences. This has been a good year for us. It has been a year of growth in all areas of our lives, and we are fortunate to say that the challenges and struggles of the past year have been relatively mild.
We moved into a new apartment at the beginning of the year and have enjoyed the new space quite a bit. Our place is centrally located with fairly short commute times for work, and in one of the better school districts that Omaha has to offer. The school aspect has been important to us since Norah began kindergarten in August. That she is now a school-aged little girl is all at once surreal, terrifying, exciting, and awe-inspiring. There are days when we’d prefer that she stay young and dependent on us in the ways that she used to be. Then there are also the times when she sits down and does something like reading an entire book (including the big words) without any help, and all we can do is grin like proud idiots at the seemingly endless ways she manifests her unique potential.
While I can’t pinpoint the exact moment for certain, it’s likely that it was in one of those moments of parental pride, intoxicated by the reward of having an utterly awesome kindergartner, that we decided this year to try to have another kid. I’ll spare you the totally-sexy-and-high-five-worthy details of that process, but suffice to say that it worked and we are expecting our second child in June 2015. We’ll find out what we’re having in mid-January. As we did with Norah, we do not plan to share that information with the rest of the world until the kid is actually born. That’s just how we roll.
Aside from creating the miracle of life, one of the highlights of the past year was a trip that Sarah and I took in June to New Hampshire. It was our first time being back east since we moved to Omaha, and we took advantage of our Midwestern family to leave Norah in Iowa while we made the trip. Seeing so many friends who welcomed us back so warmly made for an amazing week. Lunches were purchased. A wedding occurred. Late night conversations were routine. Tattoos were marked in our skin. And I peed in the ocean while standing on a rocky outcropping being barraged by waves. For as much as I can say about the Midwest being our home and essential foundation, New Hampshire will always be a place of comfort and belonging for our family.
I continue to enjoy my work at Creighton University where I am responsible for holding students accountable for their behavioral misconduct. Sarah recently switched jobs at the University of Nebraska Omaha. She went from working as the office administrator in University Communications to now working as the assignments coordinator in University Housing. Having worked in residence life in New Hampshire, she was excited to get back into that type of work at UNO. She has only been in the new position for a few weeks at this point, but all signs point to the change being a good one for her and our family.
We look forward to the coming year and everything it has to offer. Whatever lies in store for our family – whether good or bad, comfortable or difficult – we trust that 2015 will be every bit the blessing that 2014 has been. We are privileged by our Creator and by our circumstances to have very little need, but we ask that you pray for us anyway as we will continue to pray and wish well for you, our brothers and sisters in this life.
Marshall, Sarah, Norah, and the Fetus