We got exciting news at Christmas. We were blessed to have Raven, Bryon and Sidnee home for the holidays.
I was able to have lunch with Sidnee, Raven and Bryon before flying out Monday. It was a short trip, but very memorable. It’s hard to have her gone, but I know she is where she needs to be, and she has a great support system close at hand.
We just returned from Utah for Kenzie’s high school graduation. It was a great trip. We had some difficulty on the way and had to replace our alternator and battery in Salt Lake City. We were fortunate that it happened in SLC and not some remote part of Oregon.
DeLana was able to play basketball a few times. We got to watch softball games and eat pizza. The time with family is never long enough, but we had a great time. We wish we had more time to see other friends, but we accomplished the family and Temple goals we had. This was a great family trip with many tender mercies.
Mason turned 13 and started a new school. He served as the Deacon’s Quorum President for a while in Eagle Mountain. He has spent quite a bit of time outdoors cliff jumping, mountain biking and hiking.
Jaxon started a new school and learned to be a confident swimmer in the North Umpqua river. He participated in the pie eating contest at the Fall Festival in Roseburg. He didn’t feel so good when he was finished.
Our biggest change came when we moved from Utah to Oregon. In April we felt like it was time to move, but we didn’t know how or where. We came to Roseburg, Oregon to visit Shawn and Jill Clark in July and fell in love with Roseburg. They brought us to Tioga bridge in Glide, and we were blown away by how beautiful the area was. Steve was able to get a job transfer with Chase and we made the move in late August. The move has been challenging at times, but we know it was the right thing to do. We miss family and friends (Idaho, Utah and New Jersey), but we love being surrounded by nature. We hope this holiday season finds everyone safe and healthy. We love and miss all of you.
As I was reflecting on 2013 over the last few weeks, difficulty and pain seemed to be the overriding theme. Today I made a list of highs and lows, and I was surprised what i found.
Major surgery for suspected cancer
Being sick so much
Tough Mudder with my brothers
Ward Christmas program
Temple with Raven and Sidnee
Riding Sundance with Ryan, Reed and Kevin
Catching Fire with Raven
DeLana taking the kids to Canada
Riding 650 miles on my mountain bike
Making the Tough Mudder book
Using a lathe for the first time
Erick & Tami Hull visiting unexpectedly
The financial struggles and potential cancer weighed pretty heavy on me, so that seemed to linger in my mind, but there were clearly many good things that happened this year. I am confident that 2014 is going to be a better year for us, because things are going to finally work out financially, and I have chosen to look for the beauty in things. My struggles do not define me. I define me.
Bishop Goertzen was released today. He was called as Bishop of our ward when we split and became the 2nd ward 4.5 years ago. He was replaced by Bishop Laursen, who had served as a Counselor to Bishop Goertzen a few months ago. Bishop Goertzen did a great job, and Bishop Laursen will do a great job.
It’s funny to me that humans are so adaptable, yet we resist change. We are probably the most vulnerable species at birth, and our bodies aren’t protected from the elements like animals. We sunburn, and we get cold and wet. But we do have the mental capacity to create clothing and shelter, and overcome our natural shortcomings. Yet we resist change, even though it is a necessary and crucial part of life. Everything has a season, and God has given us the ability to experience different things and different times in our lives. It is so easy to drudge forward and not enjoy the things around us, especially as we struggle with trials and challenges. But I think life is to be enjoyed, and we should grab on to the people and experiences around us.