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The State of the Union

So it’s been a while…a long while. Sometimes I have such a long dry spell without any updates that I begin to wonder if I should let this blog drift off quietly into the blogosphere. But then ultimately, I guess there’s still a part of me with something to say. So here I am.

It’s the beginning of a new month, in the new year…so why not just dive on in?? Matt and I are doing…well…we’re doing pretty darn well.

The Jingle Jog 2 mile run/walk went off without much fanfare. Amy and I walked the route and my foot held up just fine. I did long to be able to run…but still felt good being out early on a Saturday morning in frigid temperatures, speed walking around the frozen lake. Sounds nice, right? It wasn’t the exciting finale to my year of running – but the t-shirt is pretty cute, and Amy and I still managed to have a good time.
I know there will be more opportunities for fun runs in 2011, and in fact, we are set to run the Red Flannel 5K again on the 12th of February. I’ve been running the past few weeks and the foot is holding up well. It’s been annoyingly long road to recovery, for me…but Matt’s perspective definitely helps keep my own in check. I can't help but be thankful for my able body. Physical strength is a gift…good health is a blessing. I try to remind myself of these things when I start to whine.

Christmas with our families was wonderful.
We enjoyed many visits with the different groups of both sides of our family over the course of 3 days at our house!
It was a three ring circus at times, but I wouldn’t have changed it. We love hosting at our house. We love being surrounded by our families here.
Of course, I love to cook, and serve my family…so it was a real treat for us both to have everyone here.
It was truly a blessed Christmas for us. We rang in the New Year with friends playing games, snacking on munchies, and laughing until our sides hurt. It was just how we like it.

We enjoyed bowl season, as usual and managed to watch an obscene number of games, thanks to a printed out schedule (kept near the couch at all times) and our handy, dandy DVR (still life-changing, Mom!). We also managed to consume ridiculous amounts of homemade chex-mix throughout the season as well…but again, that’s how we like it.

My 35th (oy) birthday also came and went. We celebrated it in true Emily style…a day off work, a matinee (complete with plenty of popcorn and Diet Coke), some shopping, and a pizza (that I didn’t have to make) for supper, capped off with a slice of sinful cheesecake. The only thing missing…was, of course, to celebrate with my parents. Even at the (ridiculous) age of 35, I still miss having my family sing me happy birthday. Although this year, I was surprised with cake and ice cream (complete with candles and singing) by our friends Brian & Emily, and their adorable daughter, while over at their house for movie night. So, that was pretty special!! We’ve enjoyed several fun evenings with Brian & Emily lately and it’s been great to get to know them better. It’s such a blessing to call them friends! The past several years Matt and I have weathered a lot of changes with our friends…it’s been tough off and on for Matt. Some of his old friends have slowly lost contact…I think unable to find the same connection with Matt they once had. He tries to act tough, like it doesn’t bother him…but I know at times it does. On the flip side – he’s also been in contact lately with old, old friends from school who he hasn’t heard from in years. Chatting back and forth over e-mail with them, and getting together for dinner now and then really means a lot to him. People forget…he’s the same guy. It’s so obvious to me…I get frustrated when other people can’t see it. It’s not always there on the surface, but it doesn’t take much digging to reveal.

We’ve also been spending a lot of time lately dreaming of our upcoming Hawaii trip and making travel plans with Blake and Amy. It’s so easy to forget, in the hub-hub of travel planning…but it is only because of the amazing generosity of Julie’s family that we are able to make this trip. I don’t want to lose sight of that…and remember the WHY of our trip. To celebrate LIFE, and all that it has to offer through Jesus. Julie’s cancer journey is ongoing, as she makes plans for reconstruction…but I can’t wait to celebrate how far she’s come, knowing who got her through this far.

For us, this trip to Hawaii means so much as well. It is something we longed to do…had hoped to do for our anniversary one day…before Matt’s stroke. Just when we thought we’d never have the chance to go – this amazing opportunity comes our way. And while making all the plans – Blake and Matt decided to surprise Amy and I with the news that they’d been secretly planning for us each to renew our wedding vows while in Hawaii together! It was an announcement that brought me to tears. Amy and I had talked last summer about how fun it would be to do – but of course the boys shot that idea down quickly. I knew that for Matt to agree to do it…he would really have to WANT to do it…and I knew all the thoughts that would be swimming around his head. It will be amazing for us to be together on the beach – reaffirming to each other and the world, that through all of what we’ve been through, we still choose each other.


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