Monday, December 14, 2009

Our Christmas Letter

This year has been very eventful but also very quick. If there are events or anything that have been left out forgive us. So with that said, let’s begin at the beginning:

January: We spent New Year with family in Afton, Wyoming. But we had to leave early. But the time we did spend was really fun. Gwenna turned 4 months on the 16th and started rolling over from back to front and front to back. She started eating rice cereal but we had to put that on hold because of a rash.

February: I had tons of time to get rest and to get caught up on my reading. Valentine’s Day, I prepared a beautiful candle lit dinner for Jared, Gwenna, and I.

March: We enjoyed a weekend in Utah with family. Jared and I got a date night, thanks to Aunt Karena. We started a better schedule for our family home evenings; making them more effective and regular. This was the first month in a long time that we didn’t have neighbors [which was really nice]. Jared and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary at home with a movie and Gwenna. Gwenna turned 6 months. I started my first garden and hoped it would grow.

April: this month we enjoyed watching General Conference at home and celebrated the 179th Birthday of the Church. We celebrated our friend’s Britney and Aaron Nethercott’s wedding and drove to Twin Falls for Rachael’s Baby Shower. On our way back I forgot my phone in the bathroom of the Chubbuck wal-mart. Lucky for us an honest person found it and turned it in. When we got back home on Sunday, 12th [Easter] we celebrated with Jessica and her roommates. Gwenna had her 7 months anniversary of life on the 16th and the next day our friend, Rachael, had her baby, Sydney. We were woken on the 11th to Gwenna rolling off of her bed [the pouf chair] and landing on the ground [scary] needless to say she started sleeping in her crib after that. Cherisse and Ian Papenfuss came to visit and we ate lunch at Big Judd’s.

May: We went to spend Mother’s day in Afton, with mom. That morning Gwenna started crawling forward for the first time! She turned 8 months that Saturday. Our friend, Michelle, had her baby, Atticus. We drove through Yellowstone to go to Eli Cox’s Wedding in Billings, Mt. on the 19th and 20th. My mom came to visit from Washington and we all celebrated Jared’s 25th Birthday with a picnic in Smith Park. While working in the garden my plastic hand shovel broke so Jared bought me a nice, new, shiny metal one. J My peas sprouted.

June: We celebrated Father’s Day and Gwenna turning 9 months. She started pulling herself up so she’s standing and on the 27th she took her first steps. Gwenna cut her first tooth and we rearranged the living room to look bigger and Gwenna would have more space to play. I found that there were potatoes planted in my garden from our previous neighbors so I let them alone. Jared gave me my birthday present early so that I could start using it. It was Wii Active and a yoga mat and DVD.

July: Our Friend Ryan Tippets got married and Jared and I were able to go to South Jordan, Utah. And celebrate with them. We saw the latest Harry Potter Movie and the next day Gwenna turned 10 months. She hadn’t taken any more steps [at least not on her own; she always holds the couch or a chair]. My mom came to visit again and on the 18th we all went to the Melaleuca Company Picnic. I had my 23rd birthday and we went to Washington. Gwenna started walking around on her own

August: We drove Jess to the airport [1st] on her way to Georgia and called my mom on her birthday [13th]. Gwenna turned 11 months old on Sunday, the 16th. On the 22nd we were late to the Merritt Family Reunion but had a blast. Not a lot else happened this month.

September: Karena and the boys came to visit but had to leave early and couldn’t stay for Gwenna’s birthday party. She had so much fun eating cake and opening presents. It was dog themed and on the 12th. We called Christopher on his 19th birthday and Jessica on her 21st birthday.

October: We joined the rest of the family in Afton for General conference and Karen’s 70th birthday. On the 5th we called my Dad for his 50th birthday. Our stake had a wonderful conference on the 18th. We got a call from someone in Idaho Falls saying that he’d found Jared’s Wallet on the side of the road; which started the police looking for the thief. We went to Utah to visit family and later helped Jess take her driving test [which she passed]. We took Gwenna trick or treating at a friend’s house and at the ward party. Jared and I were crayons and Gwenna was a skeleton.

November: I went to the temple and enjoyed serving in that capacity. We went to spend Thanksgiving in Afton with family and really enjoyed the time we got to spend with everyone. Jared took me to see New Moon and the week we got back Gwenn and I was really sick. We put up our Christmas tree and are slowly adding presents.

December: Jared finally got new glasses and they look awesome. We plan on staying home for Christmas and enjoying New Year with friends and family. We had tithing settlement yesterday and could proudly hold our heads up high and say we had paid a full tithe.

As this year comes to a close I’ve been thinking about the service I can give to others. It’s been something I’ve been trying to focus on all this last year and I recently found this quote that I’d like to share; I found that the thing that stops me from serving others is the fact that I’m giving of myself. I know that that sounds incredibly selfish on my part and it is; but, that is what I’m working on. Elder F. Enzio Busche said, “The pain of sacrifice lasts only one moment. It is the fear of the pain of sacrifice that makes you hesitate to do it.” [BYU Devotional; May 14, 1996] And president Dieter F. Uchtdorf has said, “In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the umber of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance. Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts, notice the loneliness and despair; let us feel the silent prayers of others around us, and let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers.” [Ensign; Dec. 2009; p.62] I encourage all of you to join me this next year to seek ways to bless the lives of others. I’m sure all of you try to do this anyway but I’d like you to join me in actively doing this. That includes praying to know who to help. Most people, when you ask if there is anything you can do for them, will say that they’re fine and there’s really nothing you can do to help. Most of the time this really isn’t the case. PLEASE, silently and secretly look around for something you can fix, or mend, or clean. Anything is better than nothing. We all want to feel loved and thought about. Please join me this upcoming year in serving others. I love you all and am thinking of each of you constantly [I’m not just saying that]. Merry Christmas everyone and I truly hope that this next year is full of love and joy for you and your families.
Feliz Navidad,
Jared, Sandra & Gwenna Merritt

P.S. there are pictures on facebook and on our blog:

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