Isn’t it amazing how the birth of someone so small can have such an impact on our lives and hearts that we are never ever the same? We began this year making preparations for the arrival of our little boy. We read books, took a class, and made several stops at BabiesRUs so that we would know how to handle every eventuality…On March 9th, Luke Mitchell arrived with his big blue eyes and an unquenchable thirst for adventure, and we found that you just have to take one day at a time. Now as we near the end of the year and his 9th month, we are amazed at how much we all have grown! I have learned how to multitask like never before, Andrew has learned to get by on minimal sleep, and Luke has learned to move about, hide things under the oven, unroll the toilet roll, and steal our hearts every time he smiles and says “Mama”.
Even though the miles have separated us from family, we were fortunate enough to make visits to Colorado, California, Utah and Portland. The Relate Institute, whom Andrew used to work for, invited him back to a retreat, partly funding our trip to Utah in June, allowing us to spend time with Andrew’s sister, and most of my family. It was really fun to see all of the Mackrory cousins together and see, not only a confirmation of our quality gene pool, but how they have all changed in just a year. Scout camp took Andrew to Puget Sound for a week so I skipped off to Colorado with Luke so Grandma and Grandpa Mackrory could spoil us. Just as the cold was setting in here, we went off down to Southern California so Luke could meet his Grandma Arnott (and GREAT Grandma too!). It was so nice to see the sun, all day, everyday, for a FEW days, and we managed to sneak in a visit to the temple, an hour at the beach, and a ride through the orange groves! We just got back from spending Thanksgiving with Andrew’s sister (the Webbs) in Portland, and despite the illnesses that inflicted half the party, it was so nice to see them and be with family again.
At the end of the summer, our church ward boundaries were redefined and we became part of a new ward. We left behind a lot of friends, but found that there are much more young families with whom we can relate, and Luke has the benefit of extra playmates at the back of Sunday School. We are currently doing a Christmas assignment and Andrew is sharing the teaching of Gospel Doctrine.
I became my own boss just before Luke was born (and then he became boss..), and in August, Andrew got a promotion. He really enjoys the team he works with at Microsoft and keeps very busy with the Homeowners Association. I love being at home with my little boy and having time to do crafty things when Luke takes a nap longer than an hour, a truly rare phenomenon.
Next year we plan to join my parents in going to South Africa for 2 weeks. Hopefully I can get my US citizenship in time to get a passport… It will be so fun to show Andrew and Luke a part of my childhood and see my Grandparents as well. We’re sure there will be reasons too to return to Colorado and California and we look forward to spending anytime we can with family. It has been hard to be living so far away from everyone but hopefully the internet and telephone will keep us feeling connected.
We hope that this letter finds you happy and healthy. As we celebrate all that is Christmas, the trees, the treats, and the trimmings, may your family feel the love and the change that can come from the birth of one tiny baby so many years ago. When you look to Him, your heart and life will never be the same.