Greetings and Happy New Year!
We are excited by all the Lord has done in our lives this past year, and amazed at how quickly time can fly! This was a big year for our little family, as we welcomed our our firstborn son into the world. Ethan Edward decided to surprise us and arrived 8 days early, on Friday, March 27th, weighing 7lbs 12oz. Due to some complications, recovery for Jennifer was a little rocky, but our family and Church body were amazing in the weeks following as we adjusted to being a family of three (wait, we’re parents?!). We were and continue to be humbled by the blessing and responsibility of raising our son. The postpartum time was a difficult time of growth and stretching for us as a couple, but we praise God that He is in control, and that He is patient to teach his children.
Though Ashton and I had some growing pains initially, our little guy has been the sweetest and happiest little fellow. Ethan is 9 months old already, and continues to bless us with his laughs, toothy grins, jabbering and curiosity. He is our little extrovert, a great traveler, and charms everyone along the way with his generous smiles. He has yet to have a real “shy” moment with a stranger. (He also recently welcomed his first cousins into the world- both boys! Adventure is ahead!) He is crawling around, he absolutely loves reading books, and he is a great sleeper. He looks so much like his daddy, and loves to play with him too. We are so thankful for our little boy who lights up our days.
Our E is also learning to travel. We go to Omaha to visit my family every few months, and this year we also traveled to Florida before E was born, as well as to a bed and breakfast nearby for our babymoon. As a family we vacationed in Lake of the Ozarks with my family, and traveled to Idaho for a wedding.
Ashton and I continue to try to find our “niche” in central Illinois as we put down roots and desire to raise our family to be active in ministry and the community. Ashton is still on the board for our local Right to Life group, as well as a Legislative task force in Illinois, and we try to volunteer for pro-life efforts as we’re able. For fun, I taught ballet up until a few weeks before E was born (I looked bigger than I felt), we took the Bradley (natural birth) class together, and we became CPR certified. And, we enjoy opening up our home in hospitality as much as we can. Ashton still works at Samaritan Ministries, a 3 minute walk from our cozy apartment. We’re considering moving this year, so we’re soaking up the close proximity and lunches together in the meantime. Jennifer keeps busy reading to Ethan, taking care of our home and doing hospitality. Somehow, there’s never a dull moment!
We celebrated our second anniversary on September 21st this year. We are grateful for all the Lord has done in our lives these past two years; as a couple and now as a family.
Ashton, Jennifer and Ethan