Friday, January 7, 2011
Our Christmas Letter 2010
From David's memoirs:
I was reflecting on life and how quickly it passes by. (I reflect much more since Julie and I celebrated our 20th anniversary in Europe studying the art and architecture of Paris, Rome, and Florence. We see things so differently now and look for meaning in all that we observe.)
I realized that Christmas is a touchstone that allows us to reflect and re-evaluate who we are and where we are going and at times how fast we are arriving. I figure that most of us will enjoy about 50 to 60 Christmases. We will have more but we will enjoy about that many. A few on the front end we did not remember, spent in diapers, and didn’t have any ability to eat and enjoy the food and festivities of the season, such may be the case with a few more on the back end of our life. That leaves a few others in the middle that may not have been enjoyable due to our own bad attitudes or lack of love for others. Julie and I have spent 21 Christmas seasons together plus the Christmas season while we were engaged. Each year has been wonderful and full of treasured memories. This year has been exceptionally tender. This may be our last year with our whole family home.
Emily is moving into the realm of adulthood and is quite self-sufficient in her studies at George Wythe University. It has been a treat to have her here, as she is not able to come and visit us often.
We are not sure where Andrew will be next year at this time as he could be getting ready to leave on a mission since he has a January birthday. It seemed like last year that he was a 5 foot little kid trying to look his age but never looking tall enough or old enough. Now he is 6’2” and singing bass in the choir.
Elissa has informed us that she is moving to France to become an au pair. It seems that her time in Europe this summer did not satisfy a desire but created a passion to travel and to learn. She claims that she is going. I say that it is doubtful. Those who know Elissa will not need to hear an update.
The chance of looking at my home in 365 days from now with half the children causes me to reflect and ponder if I have taught all that they need to know to the essential things of life. Where have I spent my time in my discussions, teachings and activities? Where is my heart and my focus? I hope that next year as well as next week will find me gathering those of my family who are home around me and teaching of the matchless love of our savior, of his infinite goodness, of his perfect plan.
As for the year to come- I will still have much to do with each child. Emily will still need guidance in life and in college (or at least she will still have the grace to ask my opinion even if she does not need it.
Andrew and I will still fix things together and work on projects. Elissa, Andrew and I will still go on epic mountain bike adventures; we may even be joined by Erica a bit more this year. Erica will still be reading and asking me questions about life. I will still count on Edie to look like a princess but attack me when I least expect it like a ninja. Hannah will still keep me on schedule and continue to rule the world from her point of view.
Through all of this, we will continue to draw closer to the Lord and seek to do his will in all that we do.
Photos: 1) Edie and Hannah playing with the Lionel train under the Christmas Tree. 2) Julie and Dave on Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy--June 2010. 3) Our family's visit to see Emily at university. 4) Emily with her very special friend, Isaac Arnott in December 2010. 5) Andrew, David and Elissa up in the Brian Head mountain area--Cedar City. 6) Another family picture during our visit to see Emily at George Wythe University.