merry christmas: our year

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We decided we would try something new (and less-stressful, simple, and eco-friendly) and share a digital Christmas card this year.

We also thought it would be fun to give a short little update on our past year.

In some ways, it seems like not that much happened.

There weren’t that many big events (other than a wedding and moving), but so much change took place in our lives.

So, some highlights from our year:

In February, we observed Lent as a family.  I was pretty sure this was going to be the hardest thing ever and I wouldn’t make it very far.  This was the first time that I had ever done any sort of fast, and it was a catalyst for many lifestyle changes – after doing something for 40 days, some things stuck and continued to change and evolve as the year went by.  Mostly, it was a disruption in our daily habits which led to us looking a little deeper at the everyday choices (even the smallest ones) we make and how or why and if they should be different.

At the end of March, we celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary and a couple of days later found out that our landlord was moving back into the house we were living in and that we had 30 days to find a new place to live.  We were extremely blessed by the house that came available just up the street from where we lived.  After a busy month of painting and cleaning, we finally moved into our new home in May, and love it here!  We are still within walking distance from the dock and beach, have lots of yard and woods for the kids to play in, and a cozy and bright house.  1186055_10151756268753895_99404326_n

We also were given our sweet puppy, Kaia, from a nearby friend.  She was a black lab mix and the sweetest dog.  After a few months, we realized between the kids and her, we couldn’t give her the attention she needed.  We loved her and were thankful for the time we had her.  We found a great new home for her, and although we miss her at times, we know it was a good decision to give her up.

My sister also got married in May.  I had the joy of being her matron of honor,
and Shea was in the wedding party, also.

The summer went by quickly.  Jeremy has been working for a window washing company for the past year and a half now, and with all the sunny weather, he had plenty of hours.  We got out to the beach as much of possible and took a lot of walks.  We also started our first garden.  We had a pretty good amount of zucchini and tomatoes, and some beans.  We are already looking forward to next season to see what we can do better.

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In July, Hailey turned 1!  We had a simple backyard family party for her.  She mostly tried to not make eye-contact with anyone and clung to me as much as possible.  She is almost 18 months now and is saying so many words.  She copies everything her big brother and mommy does and especially loves to take care of her baby dolls.

I formed a small preschool co-op with a few other moms in September.  This has been a great outlet for Shea and Hailey to interact with others and do some fun projects.  I have enjoyed getting out of the house and spending time getting to know the wonderful moms who are a part of this group.  It has also been so fun to continue planning and teaching little ones.

Shea turned 4 at the end of October.  He has recently learned to write
his name and has a love for WP_002065books.  While he isn’t quite reading yet, he especially loves listening to Beverly Cleary books (we have read all the Ralph books and have moved on to the Ribsy stories) and the Magic Treehouse series (which we get on CD from the library).  We are amazed by how much these little ones are growing and what they are learning to do (and say) each day.

In November, I launched my Etsy store, a simple aesthetic.  I have been working on it on and off for a couple of years now, and it is so exciting to see it up and live!  I am working on more items and hope to be able to have more time to promote it in the new year.

Fall flew by and we can’t believe we are already in the midst of advent!  We have been celebrating simply with our family this year (you can read more about it here) and are looking forward to celebrating Christmas with family and friends this month.

Wishing joy and peace to you this holiday season!

– The Ellis Family

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