January: I started my new job at the Danville Polyclinic. Still working for OSF, but now in an office and officially as a Nurse Practitioner. This has been a huge year of growth and learning and I am super grateful for the the experience thus far as well as the pretty terrific people I am getting to work with. James continues to work third shift as a sergeant and both Peyton and Paige went back to school at DACC. Paige settled into weekend drill for the Army Reserves and Peyton continued to work at Mad Goat Coffee. Just before the college semester started, we spent a few days in the Dells and had a great time!
February: Paige and Peyton turned 19, I really remember nothing else from that time!
March: Peyton and Reese got to take part in the wedding of Logan and Ash-A-Lee. It was a beautiful wedding and my girls looked not quite as stunning as the bride!
Over the summer Reese went to camp, James and I went to Florida and relaxed (NO studying!), and the girls worked, traveled and basically spent no time at home!
Late August we moved Paige into Eastern Illinois University where she attempted to attend classes between her part time jobs, military obligations and social engagements! Peyton lived off campus and Illinois State and finally learned to cook for herself! Peyton became active in a fantastic on campus ministry called Encounter and started playing drums in the praise band. Both girls had busy, fast paced semesters with a steady stream of ups and downs. It has been a learning experience for their momma to let them figure out life without my constant
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Reese and I celebrated her turning 10 with a few of her best buds and their moms on ANOTHER trip to the Dells. This was a great girl's trip and a fantastic way to celebrate a birthday!
The week before Christmas was spent in Orlando checking out the Disney Magic. The weather was mostly beautiful and the togetherness was mostly pretty awesome. We recognize that our days of a family of five going on a trip together are likely a thing of the past and I remembered that each day of the trip. We stayed at Bonnet Creek resort and it was beautiful and added some relaxation to an otherwise activity filled trip. We were able to spend some of that time with some old friends and their kiddos and ours became FAST newer friends. It was time absolutely well spent. My family put up with my anxiety and obsession with the planning pretty well!
And here were are closing out another year...another decade. Paige and Peyton turn 20 in just two short months. Paige's unit is deploying sometime this late winter/early spring and she could be gone for a year (still no perfectly exact date to leave or an exact location). As we get closer to this time it is easy to get anxious to fit in all the "moments," but I am trying to relax and enjoy our time together.
I am finishing up this letter on Christmas Day morning. James is still working, and the girls are still sleeping. We will make breakfast together when he gets home and then open a few things that Reese picked out in Florida and wrapped herself (that sounds terrible!) Christmas was more about the experiences this year so there is no much to do in the way of unwrapping today. I do feel a bit sad for the days of huge morning excitement for what awaited everyone under the tree! We met together with The extended Reese family yesterday afternoon and it was truly a great time. James and I and Reese visited with his Aunt Cheryl and her family last night for (amazing steak) and a quiet time of catching up. I came home to my bonus girls Lauren and Brookelyn here spending quality time with their cousins.
Asking for prayers for us this year specifically for James and his safety on his job, for myself in year two of seeing patients, and for Reese here at home and Peyton as she goes back to college. More specifically for Paige and her deployment and how that affects her and her unit and all the family members left behind.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Upcoming...I feel that I worried my way through 2019 and I just don't want to do that again. My prayer for 2020:
Lots of love to all as we look forward to 2020,
Sandy & Family