A Thrill of Hope, the Weary World Rejoices: 2017

Some people view Christmas letters as trite, a thing of days past where people exaggerate the good and omit the negative. But, I believe there is power in being able to celebrate the gift that is being alive. I hope you see this letter as some of our highlights of 2017, rather than a full account.

As the year comes to an end, it is easy and almost humorous to see the struggles that have been our reality this year. But, it has also been a wonderful year, the kind of year that restores faith in humanity and leaves a trail of gratitude for the love we have been shown.

Thank you for being a part of that.

Gabe recently finished his first semester of his Masters in Food Science, at Kansas State University. He continues to work for Schwan's full-time and had a few of his projects become products. Most days he wins the favorite parent award, one he rightly deserves.

We celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary this year and both agree our fake dating story turned out like the best (worst?) corny Hallmark Christmas movie.

This January I started working from home teaching English online, early in the morning. I love being able to stay at home with my kids while teaching students on the other side of the world, except for a brief few minutes after my alarm goes off every morning.

Roland started preschool this year. His mischievous grin and clumsy tendencies keep us and his teachers on our toes. He regularly misuses large words, and loves going to school.  His imagination and ability to recall information keeps life interesting.

Hazel has turned into quite the talker this year. She loves to sing and fight imaginary bad guys. She will turn any object into a microphone, cellphone or beloved sidekick. Hazel has an infectious laugh, and loves to cheer on her family.

Zelda turned one and has earned the nickname Happiest Baby Ever. She is usually smiling and happy to be alive. She loves babies, and usually has a doll in her arms. Her concern for others is endearing, especially in someone so young.

We have had a busy year with a lot of heartache and growth. We are exhausted, but happy most days.

If you made it this far, congrats!

We hope your holidays are filled with love and hope.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and a Happy Festivus for the rest of ya!

All photography by Cory Keller

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