I tried to send out traditional Christmas cards in the mail one year but decided it way too much hassle, so for the majority of the years since we’ve been married, I’ve been doing our family Christmas card via the blog instead. Tacky? Maybe. But I’m all about things that save us money and stress!

So, in case you haven’t been keeping up with us via the blog all year, here’s a quick rundown of our 2018:

Matt continued working as fulfillment manager (with a healthy dose of human resources thrown in) at Sherwood Pet Health, and he’s now been there about four and a half years (I think). His responsibilities grew quite a bit more this year as he started hiring people (and firing people, unfortunately) and managing his own team. He’s also been working on a lot of personal projects this year, including writing in his novel, trying his hand out at some woodworking projects (a new passion for him), tending to our yard and gardens, and taking up weight lifting again.

I continue to enjoy my time as a stay-at-home mom, and this year, my side projects of blogging and my part-time photography business kept me busier than ever.

Raven turned 3 in April and then entered preschool for the first time in August, which she immediately took to. She has been quick to learn all her letters and the numbers she’s been taught so far, and she’s forever telling us everything that “Teacher Deb” says and does when she comes back home. She also is finishing up her last year in Nursery (at church) and will start Primary at the beginning of January.

And of course, our biggest news this year was the addition of our beautiful son, Mathias, who came on June 19 (exactly three weeks before his due date) and is just full of smiles and coos for everyone. He finally started sprouting some fuzz on his bald little head, is digging on solids, and can roll from tummy to back readily (and has rolled from back to tummy once). He adores his big sister (and she is SO good with him), and it’s been such a joy to see their sibling bond develop.

At the end of this year, especially, we’ve been dedicating ourselves more than ever to the things that will bring us closer to our Savior Jesus Christ, like studying our scriptures daily, serving in the temple weekly, and praying together and individually. There have been hard parts about this year (as with any year), but we have seen TREMENDOUS blessings come into our lives because of these things, and our testimonies of the reality and divinity of our Redeemer are stronger than ever.

We are so grateful for Him–that He condescended to come to earth as a baby and experience all the facets of mortality so that He could know perfectly how to succor us and eventually die for us. I’m grateful for the knowledge we have that because of Him, death is not the end. These are truly the “good tidings of great joy” to “all people” that the angel foretold at Jesus’ birth, and we find great peace in them.

We wish you the merriest of Christmases, and we hope that the end of this year brings you fond memories, peace and comfort, and health and happiness!

Thank you so much for all the cheer you bring to our lives!