Thursday, January 14, 2016

Christmas card and letter...

As you read in previous posts we left for vacation on Christmas Day. With all the preparation I forgot to set my post with our Christmas card and most bloggers I do wish I could send everyone I know a Christmas card and letter but I just can't. ;( This is the next best thing, right?!!?

Dear Family and Friends,
I know each year the letter starts the same way, “I can’t believe another year flew by,” but it’s so true. There is some truth in the old saying “the days are long but the years are short.” I am always reminded as I sit down to write our Christmas Letter how evident the Lord’s presence is in our lives.
                  January, just like December, is always a busy month for us. We celebrated lots of family birthdays as well began to remodel our kitchen. Mark and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it has been 7 years…we have been through SO MUCH together but still have a lifetime ahead of us. We celebrated with a nice dinner at home after the kids were in bed. It was glorious!
                   In February Wyatt earned his blue stripe in Taekwondo. He was so excited and so were we! Mark and I continued the kitchen remodel into the month as well. It’s funny how it’s never as quick as planned. ;) We were SUPER excited to get a few snow days in February. The kids both LOVED finally getting to sled FOR REAL! We ended the month with a fun evening at Disney on Ice. We had been before but it’s a show that never gets old!
                  March is Sloane’s birthday month. Oh goodness our “loaney lou.” She had a flamingo 3rd birthday party with lots of friends and family in attendance. The party was fun but not as fun as getting to spend her ACTUAL birthday in Disney World. Thanks to her Aunt Shelly and Uncle Kyle she even visited Bibbidi bobbidi boutique and was dressed as Cinderella for the day. We enjoyed dinner in the castle with all the princesses as well! It’s safe to say March was a success!
                        When April started we were ready for spring! Mark’s sister got married in April and that was a family affair. It was such beautiful wedding! We all had a blast! Wyatt earned his red stripe and t-ball started just as Sloane’s dance was coming to an end. We were also able to spend Easter with our families. The weather was great, the sun was shining and it was a perfect day to remember the true beauty of the cross.
                  May is always SUPER busy! We had so much fun as the school year came to a close. The first part of the month we spent lots of time outside. Zetta and Nora got to have their first sleepover at Aunt Em and Uncle Mark’s house. We all had a BLAST! Cardinal’s games, Mother’s day, trips to the Zoo, and even the pool were all fun times as well. In May we also got to vacation with my family. Orlando, FL with family and sunshine made for a PERFECT week! As the month came to a close we celebrated Wyatt’s 5th birthday. (Yes, you read that right. He is FIVE now!) Like the past 5 years we spent the day as a family remember Wyatt and Ryder on their special day.
                        June = Pool I don’t need to add much more. Both Wyatt and Sloane were jumping off the diving board and swimming to the side with no floaties (or help) by early June. They are fish! Sloane had her dance recital in June. She loves to dance and enjoys being on the stage even more!
                        Wyatt wanted a pool birthday party so we waited until July to celebrate. It was a great Toy Story party and he received every dinosaur ever made. He was one happy boy! We spent July 4th with friends and had a blast. It was super-hot so we continued to spend the rest of our free time in the water!
                        In August I turned the big 3-0. It still feels weird to be 30…I used to think that was so old, not anymore! ;) We took a “long weekend” trip to visit some friends in Tennessee. It was such a fun little getaway. We visited Discovery Park of America and spent a day on the lake. Wyatt and Sloane both LOVED the boat! A weekend with good friends is so refreshing for the soul. At the end of the month Sloane started preschool and Wyatt entered Pre-K, both of them enjoy school which makes mornings smoother. Ha ha!
                        In September we celebrated Grandparent’s Day with a big bonfire and a group of lifelong friends on my parent’s property. It was probably one of the highlights of our year. It was a perfect evening! There is something so special about multiple generations of true Christian friends coming together and enjoying each other’s company. Mark went on the annual fishing trip with the men of his family to Bennet Springs in September. He had such a great time and even caught some fish. ;) September marked 3 years since Mark has been a chiropractor! He works so hard and truly loves his job. We ended the month with a trip to Eckert’s to go apple picking. It was such a fun family day with the kids!
Oh October…how I love thee. A weekend at Sam A. Baker state park is a family tradition! 2015 didn’t disappoint. Wyatt says it’s his favorite weekend of the year! Mark and I also took a vacation with our dear friends the Dumey’s sans children. It was a belated birthday celebration for Kelley and I since we share a birthday. ;) We had an AMAZING time! It was really fun to get our toes in the sand and even get little too much sun in OCTOBER!!!! As the month ended Captain Jack Sparrow and Princess Jasmine ate way too much candy and bobbed for apple’s at the Dumey’s annual Halloween party…LOVING every minute of it!
November always sweeps in so fast. We start the month with Mark’s birthday! The kids and I always have so much fun decorating and making the day special for him. It’s so sweet to listen to all their birthday ideas. Mark went on a weekend golf trip with an old college teammate in November. The kids and I had a fun weekend together but missed their Daddy A LOT! 2015 Thanksgiving was one for the books. New traditions were started as well as continuing with some old ones…Wyatt and Sloane only had 1 day of school the week of Thanksgiving so we spent LOTS of time together as a family, ate WAY too much food, and stayed up way too late. It was all worth it in the end. Thanksgiving continues to be Mark’s favorite holiday with family!
And here we are...December. I reflect on the year as I write this letter. I go back through pictures and certain notes and/or important events I have saved throughout the past year and I would be lying if I don’t tear up a bit. We leave Christmas day to vacation with Mark’s family and are already counting down the days! We are entering into such an amazing time of year. The month of Christ’s birth. I love hearing Wyatt and Sloane tell me the story…I could hear it over and over and it would never get old.  I love they get to talk about it at school and learn a little deeper about the true meaning of Christmas at such a young age. As you and your family enter into this holiday season don’t forget to stop and think about the past year. Think about all the blessings the Lord has provided for you and your family.
May you enter into 2016 knowing the Lord says, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

With love,
      Mark, Emily, Wyatt and Sloane Schmitz

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