Sunday, December 22, 2019

2020: I like the symmetry

But I have to say that 2019 has been a good year. After a number of really hard years, and despite continuing with cancer treatment and the challenge of starting a new business, the "yoke" has just felt lighter (Matthew 11:28-30). God has been gracious and provided in ways we couldn't have even imagined. It's hard to put into words how thankful we are for His healing power in my body; when I was diagnosed with cancer last year, I was at stage 3B. To go from there to no sign of cancer in 18 months is a gift we do not take lightly! The opportunity for Ivan to work with our son is another huge blessing. It's interesting that Ivan's first entrepreneurial enterprise was Hoyt & Son Construction, started back in the 1990s with Jon. Now they're back in business together, again in the building industry, but on a whole other level! And to be only a 15 minute drive from Tina and her family has been such a gift too! We love the time we get to spend with them.

Jon and his family are just over an hour flight away, allowing us to get together way more often than was possible in the past. They came for Thanksgiving and it was such a treat to watch the grandkids play together. A favorite was the magnetic building tiles, but they also played dress-up, learned new games, did a lot of craft activities, as well as just chasing each other around and laughing. Love these kids so much!

We packed a lot into those five days! Natalie and Tina surprised me with an early birthday celebration, by decorating and getting all the supplies together so we could make candles together.

We took the three oldest grandkids to see a live production of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", which they loved, and will remember each year when they hang their Grinch ornaments on the tree.

Each of the couples got a night out without the kids. We ate too much, laughed a lot, and just enjoyed one another's company!

 (I really love this photo of us piled on the couch with both our kids and all the grandkids!)

Jon was promoted at work again this year! He loves what he does and it shows. Natalie, using her immense creativity, will be opening an Etsy shop soon.

We couldn't believe how much Eisley had changed in the four months since we'd last seen her... from just learning to walk back in August, she's now running and, boy, is she fast! Her vocabulary is growing and she's her own little person, not "baby Eisley" as we used to call her. Even at this young age (19 months), she's showing an aptitude for taking things apart and putting them together.

Adalyn, age 5, started kindergarten and loves her Montessori school. She also enjoys dance and voice lessons, playing at the park with her friends, dates with Daddy, being a big sister, and cooking and crafting with Mom.

Kyle started a job as salesman at a new RV dealership at the beginning of the year, but it wasn't long until he was promoted to sales manager. He's kept busy whipping the department into shape! Tina loves being a stay at home mom who is also a fashion blogger and photographer. You can find her at Tina In Real Life on Facebook, where she shares what works (and doesn't) in mom life.

Simon, who turns 6 this weekend, also started kindergarten in the fall and loves his teacher (he often accidentally calls me "Miss Migg" haha!). He's made lots of friends in school and in the neighborhood. We cannot believe how much and how fast he's growing and learning!

Betsy, just under two years younger, wants to do everything her big brother does and she's learning and absorbing like a little sponge. She spends Tuesday afternoons here, while Tina helps in Simon's class, and we thoroughly enjoy our time with her. She's very much Tina's "mini me" and reminds me so much of Tina at this age.

This was a tough year on my maternal side of the family. We lost Uncle Jack and his wife, Nancy (less than a month apart), then Uncle Martin (the last of mom's siblings to pass) followed by the death of my cousin Ruth from cancer. I wasn't able to make it to any of the funerals except Ruth's. As hard as it was to lose her, the chance to see cousins I hadn't seen in decades was special. We count it a privilege to spend time with family whenever we can. So the girl's weekend with Tina to Colorado was super fun! We saw family in Denver and Colorado Springs. The Sunday afternoon we were there we enjoyed a fun time out in the country. This photo was snapped right after Tina, me and my sister Beth finally emerged from the corn maze -- can you see the relief we felt!?

Pretty excited to say I'm cancer free! I started radiation the day after Christmas last year, finishing in February, and then continued with Herceptin treatments through May. Now I'm taking a pretty strong oral chemo drug until next June. Don't enjoy the side effects, but it's nothing compared to what I went through last year, so can't complain! Getting the cancer free diagnosis meant it was time to celebrate!

Ivan has stayed quite busy this year as manager of the new real estate investment business he and Jon started. He spent the year researching, looking at various possibilities, and then they finally purchased several multi family properties and began renovations on all of them. We're learning a lot and having fun while we're at it!

We have settled into East Valley Bible Church, a church plant here in the Vegas valley. The sense of community is strong and we are grateful for the fellowship with other believers. Ivan's leading a study during the monthly men's prayer breakfast. Kim had fun attending a craft night one of the pastor's wives hosted earlier this month.

We have felt truly blessed this year, and now we look forward with anticipation to 2020 and what the year might hold.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Unknown said...

Merry Christmas Kim and Ivan. I'm happy that your health is improving and that you have the opportunity to be near Tina and her family, and not that far from Jon and his family.

The Bug said...

This was such a better year for you! I'm so happy about you being cancer free!

Your grandkids are so stinkin cute :)