Brandon wishes everyone a happy new year!
Happy New Year! I guess it’s fitting that 2011 finished a year-long ride down a water slide, at least in terms of speed. And, not surprisingly, 2012 is off to a similar start. I guess if we don’t like the slide, we’d better get out of the water park! :) Thankfully, we do love what we’re doing and are so thankful for the many who make it possible for us to continue.
I last wrote en route to St. Louis, but stopped that post short of sharing about our daughter Julie's graduation from physical therapy school the previous weekend, so I'll start with that today.
She did it. Thirty grueling months later, on Dec. 10, after being stretched beyond what she thought she was capable of, and after endless hours of studying, memorizing, applying knowledge, and testing, Julie received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from University of St. Augustine’s with highest honors. As if that weren’t enough, much to her complete surprise, she was also selected as the “Most Outstanding Physical Therapy Student” of her class. She may still be in shock about that. We were all able to gather to celebrate her and it was a day full of rejoicing. Her degree is a study in perseverance, in pressing on, in resisting the pull of the path of least resistance, in keeping on—and we’re so proud of her character and accomplishment. She’s studying now for her boards, which she’ll take Jan. 30 in Andover, and then she’s off to join Derek in Mbale, Uganda, to begin her new life as a wife and physical therapist.
The whole family gathered to witness Julie’s graduation from PT school on a beautiful December Saturday in San Marcos, CA.
We had a sunset walk on Coronado Beach while out for Julie’s graduation and it was delightful. This is the beach we were walking 36 years ago when Paul proposed.
We made it home late Tuesday night, and Wednesday morning was our final Patriots women’s study. It was a time of closure and celebration, and a very sweet ending to a great fall together. I already miss being with this great group of ladies weekly.
The Patriots women’s study came to a close the 14th, but our friendships and connections will continue.
Though Meegan doesn't really loom over Paul as it appears in this photo, she is hitting 5'10" at 14 years of age. The others are close behind.
We had a carriage ride through a neighboring town, making for a very fun Christmas-y sunset activity.
We all know that “everything” is never done, but we did get the important things done so that when Lisa, Gabe, Kari, and Brandon arrived that Thursday night, Dec. 22nd, we were mostly ready for them. Let the party begin!!
Our first of many dinners together, a couple of days before Derek and Julie arrived.
Brandon gets his hands on the vacuum cleaner as he helps Papa get the job done.
Lisa and Kari continue the annual tradition of decorating gingerbread houses.