Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Letter 2008

Dear Friends and Family,

Historically when we've sat down to recap the year, we've been amazed at how fast the year has gone. This year however, is markedly different. As hopefully everyone knows by now, we decided that it was time to launch on a great adventure, we moved to Maryland. As with any grand adventure, each new adventure has packed the last 12 months with what feels like a lifetime of memories. Our year has been full of of difficult decisions, family reunions, boxes, sad goodbyes, job hunting, boxes, real seasons, adjustment, and oh yeah, boxes. So while many things did happen since last we wrote, please forgive us if we can't get very far away from the move and its impact on our lives.

We started taking seriously about moving in July, right around my birthday. I say seriously because it seems like we have always had discussions about wanting wide open space, a slower pace of life, and maybe most of all, we wanted Audrey to grow up near at least some of her cousins even though she only has one (for now.) The decision to actually “pull the trigger” was not an easy one. We have grown to love Biola University (the only place Eric worked since he graduated,) The City of Hope Pediatric Unit (where Ashley loved her job as a Pediatric Oncology Nurse) and many, many wonderful friends. Undoubtedly, most difficult was the decision to leave our family in Southern California.

We've been asked several times whether we think moving to Maryland was a good decision. After thinking through an answer to that question, we have come to the conclusion that our adventure cannot be measured in terms like good and bad. Ultimately, we believe that God has confirmed our decision to follow Him on this amazing journey. Our transition to Maryland has been really good thus far. There have been very difficult moments where we felt completely lost without our familiar surroundings but also amazing moments like walking through the nature preserve near my parents house with the fall leaves in full color. Fortunately, living with Cedulie and Luis (Eric's Mom and Step-Dad) has been a enjoyable for all parties and Audrey LOVES spending more time with her cousin 'Fia (Sofia.)
In terms of work, Eric is in the midst of a job search specifically looking in higher education and non-profits with a higher education focus. Lucky for us, there are many schools and universities in the area and Washington D.C. is a treasure trove of non-profits. Ashley has decided to stay home to raise Audrey (and hopefully more kids in the years to come,) a decision that everyone agrees is a the most important one we can make right now. She may look for some part-time work once we figure out where we are going to live.

The highlight of our year was ironically our goodbye party at the farm. It felt a little like being at our own funeral but it was amazing to have so many friends together at once. We will always remember being blessed by so many people who mean so much to us, in a place that will always be our first home. The most difficult part of our transition is being so far from all of our friends and family. It is easy to take for granted the ability to call up a friend and go out for coffee (or something.) Although we feel a little bit like life is paused right now, we look forward to seeing what God has in store for us as get more established here. We miss you all very much and hope to see you soon.


Eric, Ashley and Audrey Lapointe